The right of decent private citizens to personally possess, transport, and responsibly use arms without government interference is the ultimate freedom and the main pillar supporting all other liberties. Few cultures have allowed their general population access to weapons, the tools of power, to the same degree as the United States. Instead, most societies have restricted the keeping and bearing of arms to a select few power brokers and their agents, often resulting in oppression on a grand scale.
Despite a massive amount of historical evidence to the contrary, there is a substantial body of Americans, many occupying positions of influence, who contend that the abrogation of the Second Amendment is the quickest path to domestic tranquility. Since this is as absurd as advocating blood-letting as a cure for anemia, it would seem advisable to question the motives and mentalities of the gun control advocates themselves.
In my observation, weapon prohibitionists can be broken down into seven major categories. Even though their motives may vary they all pose a mortal threat to liberty.
Many of those in favor of oppressive firearms legislation are are best classed as elitists. Elitists frequently identify with a peer group based on wealth, power, rank, social status, occupation, education, ethnic group, etc. and perceive themselves and their peers as inherently superior to and more responsible than the “common people”, thus more deserving of certain rights. Since elitists practically consider those outside their class or caste as members of another species, that most anti-elitist list of laws, the Bill of Rights is viewed by them as anathema. Naturally, the Second Amendment is their first target as it serves as the supporting structure for other nine amendments.
Another type of individual who favors the restriction of private gun ownership is the authoritarian. Authoritarian personalities are characterized by their belief in unquestioning obedience to an authority figure or group and a disdain for individual freedom of action, expression, and judgement. Those with authoritarian personalities function well in symbiosis with elitists occupying positions of power. Because authoritarians repress their desires for autonomy they harbor a deep resentment toward free and independent thinkers. Of course authoritarians do not want firearms in the hands of the general population as this constitutes a major obstacle to fulfilling their pathological and obsessive desire to control people.
It goes without saying that career criminals would like to see the public disarmed for obvious reasons. A well-armed population makes crimes such as assault, robbery, and burglary hazardous for the perpetrator and this is bad for “business.” Also, it would seem that even non-violent or “white collar” criminals live in constant fear of retribution from the public that they financially bleed and would therefore prefer that the public be disarmed. Evidence supporting this hypothesis can be gathered by studying the Second Amendment voting records of those legislators who have been convicted of willful misconduct.
Cowards by definition are easily or excessively frightened by things and situations that are recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful. It therefore stands to reason that the mere thought of guns and the circumstances in which they are employed causes them abnormal amounts of stress. Rather than admit their weakness to themselves or others, some fearful types jump on the anti-gun bandwagon and purport moral superiority to those “barbaric”enough to employ lethal force against armed assailants by claiming various humanitarian and pragmatic motives for allowing evil to remain unchecked. In reality, many of these individuals harbor an envy induced resentment toward anyone with the means, skill, and will to successfully stand up to criminal aggression.
The desire to assert oneself exists in nearly everyone, wimps included, so cowards seek out tame enemies against whom they can ply their pitiful brand of machismo. Instead of the sociopaths who commit acts of wanton aggression with guns, guns themselves and responsible gun owners are the main targets of their attacks. After all, real criminals are dangerous, so cowards prefer doing battle with inanimate objects that do not have a will of their own and decent law-abiding people whose high level of integrity and self discipline prevent them from physically lashing out against mere verbal assailants, however obnoxious they may be.
Ideological chameleons follow the simple social strategy of avoiding controversy and confrontation by espousing the beliefs of the people in their immediate vicinity or advocating the philosophy of those who scream the loudest in a debate. Quite a few supposedly pro Second Amendment public officials have shown themselves to be ideological chameleons when they supported restrictions on the private possession of military style semiautomatic rifles following recent atrocities in which such firearms were employed. Like their reptilian namesake, people who merely blend in with the ambient philosophical foliage seem to have little insight into the moral and social ramifications of their actions. Political and/or economic gain along with avoidance of confrontation are their only goals.
Security monopolists are those members and representatives of public and private security providing concerns who want the means of self protection out of private hands so that they can command high fees for protecting the citizenry against the rising tide of crime. These profiteers stand to loose a great deal of capital if citizens can efficiently defend themselves. To the security monopolist, each criminal who enters and exits the revolving door of justice is a renewable source of revenue providing jobs for police, social workers, victim counsellors, judges, prison employees, security guards, burglar alarm installers, locksmiths, and others employed by the security monopolies or their satellite organizations. No wonder it is so common for an honest citizen to be more ruthlessly hounded by the authorities when he shoots a criminal in self defense than a criminal who shoots honest citizens.
THE DYSFUNCTIONALLY UNWORLDLY
Just as a limb will weaken and atrophy if not used, so will aspects of the mind fail to develop if nothing in one’s environment exists to challenge them. People who have led excessively sheltered lives tend to have a difficult time understanding certain cause and effect relationships and an even harder time appreciating just how cruel the world can be. These dysfunctionally unworldly types are truly perplexed at the very notion of firearms ownership with regard to defense. To them, tyranny and crime are things that happen in other places far removed from their “civilized” universe. Also, they do not understand the value of private property and why some people would fight for theirs since they never had to work hard to acquire what they possess. While those suffering from dysfunctional unworldliness are most often people who have been born into considerable wealth, this condition is also common in members of the clergy, academicians, practioners of the arts, and others who have spent much of their lives cloistered in a safe and pampering environment. While many of these people may be quite talented and intelligent in some ways, their extreme naivety makes them easy prey for the tyrants who use them for the financial support and favorable advertisement of their regimes. Needless to say, the anti-gun movement is well represented and financed by the dysfunctionally unworldly.
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and it behooves all vigilant lovers of liberty to know and be able to recognize the various types of arms prohibitionists and understand their differing but equally dangerous motives. Acquiring knowledge of one’s foes is the first step toward defeating them. We must never forget that a threat to private firearms ownership is a threat to all freedoms.
The inalienable and fundamental right to keep and bear arms which is enumerated by (but actually predates) the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not about hunting, gun collecting, or target shooting. Its purpose is to insure that every responsible American personally possesses the means to defend the Republic from all forms of tyranny, within and without. It is what permits the other nine Amendments in the Bill of Rights to be more than mere hollow phrases on a piece of paper. Its free exercise is the antithesis of serfdom and the only meaningful form of holocaust insurance known to man.
We must never insult and degrade the spirits of our Founding Fathers by permitting the Second Amendment, the pillar of freedom, to be destroyed by the cold flame of legislative ink.
Gus Cotey, Jr.