If it’s proper for Man to be free, what about those among us who would destroy our freedom? How should we respond to them? Should we resist? I believe that tyranny should be resisted with heart and soul. I include the governmental type of tyranny, and also the local, individual type. The thug who sticks a gun in your ribs in the parking lot is the soul mate of Nancy Pelosi. Both deprive you of your right to learn, to think, and to act – ie, of your very humanity. If it is right that Man should be free, it must also be right that he have the means of defending his freedom. Otherwise, we’d have to say, “It is right that Man should be free, unless someone disagrees.”
Should there be a limit to the level of tyranny we might morally resist? For example, should we be allowed to resist that tyranny which can be resisted with spears, only, or should we be allowed to resist that which can be resisted with rifles? Any attempt to delimit Man’s means of defending his freedom also delimits his freedom and makes it conditional upon the whims of other men. Should we be allowed to posses the means of resisting the tyranny of a single thug, but not of a gang? Again, that is the equivalent of saying, “Man ought to be free, unless several people think otherwise.”
No one who has ever come face to face with a gang in a dark parking lot will ever ask why a citizen needs a battle rifle! You’re damn right they are meant for killing large numbers of people! Sometimes, you run into large numbers of people that need killin’!
Just as freedom must include the entire rational process as well as physical action, so must the right to defend that freedom include all circumstances. It must also include, not only the means (a firearm) but the freedom to use it in self-defense. For example, some Brits claim they have the right to own guns, but the limits placed on their carrying, or even handling of their own guns makes such a claim preposterous. Their government has said, “You can have title to these things, but we will maintain possession of and control over them, and if you ever touch one without our permission, we’ll crucify you.” That is NOT the right to self-defense with deadly force.
The right to self-defense with deadly force is part and parcel of the right to live as human beings. To infringe on it is the same as censoring the news or literature, or forbidding certain inventions (as the kerosene lamp was once banned to protect the candle makers). To force Man to live at the pleasure or whim of his neighbors or his government is nothing short of slavery, which is nothing short of the murder of his humanity. It is one thing to publish an article of faith that says we sustain the law, and to invite or even beg folks to subscribe to that article. It is quite another to deprive them of the very means of disagreement. To limit Man’s choices is Satan’s plan, or, if you prefer, it is anti-evolutionary because it stands in the way of natural selection. Either way, it is tyranny and it is despicable.
The idea of licensing firearms, or requiring permits for their purchase or carrying is just as much an infringement on freedom as the outright banning of arms. “Oh, no,” you say. “There’s nothing wrong with reasonable controls and restrictions.” Bullcrap. Who’s reason? Yours? What if my reason says I need to be packing right now, and I don’t have time to fool around for three months getting a permit? License and permit laws say, quite literally, “You have a right to defend your life ONLY if you fill out this form in triplicate and take this course from some guy who may or may not be worth shooting, himself. If you encounter a deadly threat in the meantime, your right to life is hereby revoked.”
“But felons shouldn’t be allowed to have guns!” Bullcrap. If someone is loose on the street, there is no way of keeping them from getting or making a gun. As far as that goes, a club or a chain is bloody effective, too, especially if there are a dozen or so guys swinging them at you. My dear cousin, Kathy, was murdered by a convicted felon who used a brick from her garden to crush her skull. Kathy didn’t believe in packing a gun, and now the world must go on without her. I miss her something awful.
Since we can’t keep people from arming themselves and hurting others, why do we posture and pretend that we can? If they can’t be trusted with weapons, why are they loose, in the first place? If they can’t be trusted with weapons, keep ‘em in jail or euthanize ‘em. If we’re going to turn ‘em loose, then we should have the nerve to let ‘em be fully human, and if they screw up again, it’s the noose, for sure. The problem isn’t with the availability of guns to criminals. The problem is the presence among us of violent criminals, running amok and without fear.
I have no problem with a pacifist. I have no use for the silly dip, either. But I really, REALLY have a problem with the pacifist who wants to force is lunacy down my throat, and leave my daughters bare before the ravisher. A man who won’t fight for what’s right is, in the words of John Paul Jones, “…a thief of the food he eats and a trespasser in the bunk in which he sleeps.” We’re back to differences and opposites, again. The pacifist says there is no difference between good and evil, and that good has a right to exist only so long as evil will allow it. That, in my opinion, equals a win for evil. Anyone who does not hate evil and fight against it is an ally of evil. There is one exception: anyone who has covenanted with God that he will not take up arms against his fellow man is excluded from this condemnation, but only so long as that man humbly acknowledges that his mortal life is owed to those who defend it for him.
I’ve heard this quote attributed to everyone from Thomas Jefferson to George Orwell, but I love it: “We sleep peacefully in our beds because rough men stand ready to visit violence upon those who mean us harm.” Heinlein had it right in “Beyond This Horizon.” A person has every right to wear a peace brassard, but he must consider himself a second-class citizen, taking his place behind those whose being armed ensure his right to survive the consequences of his decision.