Gunslingers and Human Rights
The Second Amendment does not simply postulate people having guns. The Second Amendment postulates this: "A well-regulated militia necessary for the defense of the free state." It occurs to me that none of the people who have guns in America, except the military, come close to fitting this definition.
The gun owners in America fall into two categories. One is the solitary gun owners who use their
guns for hunting, solitary criminal activity, self-defense, or intimidation of their families
and neighbors. Another is people involved in any number of gangs, mafias and militias, none of
them well-regulated and none of them remotely adequate for defending United States. In both
cases, the criterion of the Second Amendment is not close to being met. And while I personally
am not opposed to people having weapons, it is rightful to make apparent that the intent of the Second Amendment does not apply to these people and these groups.
In a Washington Post article dating from the times of the Clinton administration, a gun owner
in rural Virginia said, "Guns are power." This is of course ridiculous. A gun may help you to
force your wife to obey you, or to keep your neighbor from urinating on your truck after he's had
five sixpacks of beer, or to prevent your niece whom you've sexually molested from calling the
social services, or to murder a young man from New York who is in love with your 21-year-old
daughter; but it is nothing against real power. What is a gun against the nuclear bomb? What is a
gun against chemical weapons? People like that are lucky that they are living in a country whose
government is bound by constitutional law not to massacre people such as himself, or send them to Gulag, or imprison them for the rest of their lives and use their bodies for experiments.
And they only get away with believing the foolishness they believe because the American
government follows this noble policy, in the same way as the gangsters get away with believing
that they are kings because the American government does not send the military in to pacify the
inner city, as the Brazilian government has done with the ghettoes of Rio De Janeiro after it's
had enough of their internecine bloodshed.
Is it a good thing for the government to allow people freedom, including such freedom as owning
guns? I think we all can agree that it is. But freedom from government totalitarianism does not
mean that one is allowed to create totalitarianism in one's own community. That, is a violation
of the implicit trust that exists in the constitutional order, as well as a violation of the
spirit of liberty. Liberty is not given to oneself in order that one can deny it to others. The
worst organs of oppression in America are not public; they are private and communitarian. And
that, is not what the founders of America intended for their country to be like.
The communities that are favored by gun-slingers are not free anything. They are some of the
most controlling, most homogeneized, most viciously assimilative, most fear-driven, most
intolerant, most closed and corrupt and oppressive, entities in the First World. If one is to
choose the rule of elected, official entities or the rule of unelected, unofficial entities, the
official entities, at least in America, are usually the ones more honest. And the existence of
unelected, unofficial, unaccountable, unbalanced, unchecked, organs of power in America, who use guns to intimidate their people and think nothing of murdering those they deem undesirables, demands that people have ways to escape oppression and abuse by these organs of power, assisted in this by entities dedicated to the protection of people's rights - rights upheld not only in face of abuses by government, but also in face of abuses by private individuals and groups, such as the ones listed above.