Monday, August 16, 2010

Gun Control

During the fourth century A.D. when Christianity was rising to power and shoving Europe back into the stone age, there arose an agreement between the clergy and nobility. All education was to be under the control of the clergy and all bearing of arms was to be done under the command of the nobility. Thus the "unwashed masses" had no access to either of these two important sources of power.

This situation dominated most of Europe and a bit of Asia until the Renaissance, when a few people began rediscovering the glories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Then in the 17-th and 18-th centuries, philosophers began basing their philosophies on the enlightened principles of the ancient Greeks.

The American constitution was written in accordance with these enlightened principles. Democracy. Elimination of the nobility. Elimination of special privilege for the clergy. Education for all. Right to bear arms for all.

And thus the Second Amendment was added to the Constitution, giving the right to bear arms to all citizens, not just the nobility (which there wasn't any of any more), thus "thumbing our nose" at established Christianity which was adamantly opposed to such an amendment.

And now in the 21-st century, the Second Amendment, with its totally anti-Christian sentiment, seems to be most strongly supported by those who claim to be staunch Christians. I have no idea how this strange turnabout occurred.

But whether the Second Amendment is supported by Christians or non-Christians shouldn't have any bearing on how it is interpreted nor on whether it is even a useful amendment in the modern era. For that, we must look at the Preamble to the Constitution.

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments, was added to enumerate the rights that would contribute to the purposes stated in the Preamble. Each right was to be granted in the specific form that would enhance those purposes.

Thus, all citizens should be granted the right to specific forms of arms-bearing that would help us form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, as stated in the Preamble.

Does this mean we should all go around with Saturday Night Specials concealed in our boots everywhere we go? Well maybe, maybe not. There's room for differences of opinion here.

The pro-gun-control crowd believes that more guns will cause more gun crimes. This is hogwash because the people who are going to use guns to commit crimes will find a way to get guns no matter how illegal they are. If somebody is not deterred by a law against some crime, why would they be deterred by an additional law against possession of the implement for committing the crime?

The anti-gun-control crowd believes that the presence of armed law-abiding people deters crime. This is hogwash because the person committing the crime will probably get the jump on the law-abiding citizens who won't be able to reach their guns in time.

A very few instances have actually happened where armed law-abiding citizens have used their guns to prevent a crime. These few instances have been re-told and re-re-told so many times, with a few variations each re-telling, that you get the impression that such occurrences are commonplace. They aren't.

So how can I take sides when the arguments for both sides are hogwash? I can't! Personally I've never owned a gun because I've never had an actual use for one. On the other hand I've never been threatened by law-abiding citizens with guns but I've occasionally been threatened by non-law-abiding citizens without guns.

Overall, I don't see how gun control laws make much difference.