On Tuesday, Cam wrote about a Republican trying to push for gun control. Those are going to happen from time to time because while you can argue the parties tend to lean one way or another on the issue of guns, there are always going to be exceptions.
I do find it funny that a day later, I come across another supposed Republican–a former staffer for Sen. Tom Coburn–also pushing for gun control.
If you’ve spent much time around us Republicans, you’ll know the conservative wing has traditionally bound itself to a set of guiding principles that serves as the true north for policy formation. Chief among them is fidelity to the Constitution. But this can go awry when the principles themselves are not understood correctly in the first place, rendering the actions that flow from them — or inaction in this case — strikingly at odds with common sense.
Along these lines, the reason Republicans can brush off the terror of gun violence with trite proposals for greater access to guns is because they believe our party’s principles of constitutionality precludes any limitations on the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms; that any restriction on gun ownership rights is a violation of them entirely. But this crude application of principle warps the true intent of conservatism by mistakenly elevating a specific amendment, making it an end in itself, over the fundamental aims of the Constitution.
The Fundamental aims of the Constitution were to preserve the liberties of the people as a bulwark against tyranny.
That’s why the Second Amendment exists, just like the rest of the Bill of Rights. A potentially tyrannical government would seek to disarm at least most of the population because an armed populace has the means to resist.
Look at everywhere tyranny has thrived. The only people who had guns was the government itself.
So no, preservation of the right to keep and bear arms isn’t something being done over the aims of the Constitution. It’s most definitely in keeping with those aims.
All of our laws — including the Second Amendment — were written to uphold our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Any principle that would pit a specific, unabated freedom against the foundational aims of the Constitution is not constitutional at all. Over 19,000 people have been shot or killed in mass shootings since 2015, many of these indiscriminately and at random, leaving us all to wonder who will be next. Clearly, the current application of the Second Amendment with largely unfettered access to firearms has encroached on our freedoms.
Except the Constitution never guaranteed people freedom from the wrongful actions of others. It couldn’t. Our Founding Fathers knew that it was impossible to do so.
But let’s talk about those 19,000 people.
First, let’s understand that many of those supposed mass shootings were the result of inner-city crime, particularly gang gun fights. Some were involved and others weren’t, but these were criminal actions by people already prohibited from owning firearms.
Next, let’s understand what he didn’t mention, and there really is a lot there.
For example, he failed to mention that part of the pro-gun argument is also the fact that gun control doesn’t actually work. We’ve seen plenty of evidence that it kind of sucks to prevent these kinds of shootings. We’ve seen them happen all over the world, though most folks don’t seem to remember when they take place outside of American borders. Yet all these nations have much stricter gun control policies than we do.
Most Republicans understand this.
Then there’s the fact that while estimates for how many people defend their lives each year with a firearm vary wildly, even the most pessimistic numbers are more than five times the number of people shot since 2015 each and every year.
In other words, guns save a lot more lives than is being presented here.
But our author, Republican that he is, apparently never looked at what his fellow GOP members actually said on the issue.