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An Open Letter to the Anti-Rights Crowd

by Jase Murphy
Editor, Texas Concealed Handgun Times

Dear Anti-Rights People,

It would appear that your position is just as intractable as mine. That if 50.5% of the people decide to do a thing, then that's the way to go and to hell with any consideration of right/wrong or the rights of the other 49.5%.

You constantly belittle and make light of the concerns of your opponents on the grounds that the U.S.A. has not yet been ruled by a despot. But such transformations do not take place over night, and when people look around and find certain events deeply disturbing, you call them paranoid kooks. You misquote and mischaracterize their arguments in an attempt to make them appear foolish.

Despite the fact that you have been inundated with proofs of what the founding fathers intended with the Second Amendment, you say that “no where does it say there is an inalienable right to own guns or to have guns without registering them. No where.” Your arguments are those of a man standing outside on a cloudy day at high noon, proclaiming that no one has proved to you that there is a sun. Unfortunately, neither Patrick Henry nor Thomas Jefferson nor Alexander Hamilton are going to rise from the grave and explain to you what their intent was. Even if they did, I doubt you’d believe them.

If there are such things as fundamental, inalienable rights, then life and liberty are the most fundamental of all -- and the de-facto rights to own and keep those tools that protect life and maintain liberty are just as real and just as fundamental.

Your position seems predicated on the belief that no one but a supreme court justice is capable of divining the difference between a just law and an unjust one – That while governments all over the world are teeming with corrupt power mongers, the U.S. government is somehow immune to such infiltration – That only those with the most noble intentions and purest hearts would rise to authority here. Based on the evidence to the contrary, I summarily reject any such assertion.

When the Amendment says “… shall not be infringed,” it indicates that the founding fathers recognized that the Right was absolute and inviolate. Despite this, there is a group of people that have decided that their moral outrage at the actions of a few violent individuals gives them the ethical superiority to define what is and what is not a right. There is a catch phrase in the anti-rights community: “Sensible gun laws.” Everything they want is “sensible” and everyone who opposes them is “insensible.” Really? Says who? The definition of what is “sensible” and what isn’t is pretty dependent on one’s point of view. From my point of view, none of them are sensible because none of them can be enforced without encroaching upon my rights. Registration laws are particularly egregious. The registration of property never prevented it from being stolen or used improperly. No one has ever presented any evidence of any practical benefit to registration, yet it is lauded as being one of those “sensible gun laws.” On the other hand, every arms confiscation in history has been preceded by arms registration. For this reason alone, registration is an infringement of my rights.

When the Declaration of Independence says, “governments derive their powers through the consent of the governed,” it does not say that that consent is always wisely given. When the Rev. Jim Jones fed his followers cyanide in his mass murder/suicide plan, it could be said that he did so by “consent of the governed.” When the Nazis killed 12 million people in their death camps, it could be said that they did so with the “consent of the governed.” Indeed, every tyrannical government that ever existed could be said to have come about with the “consent of the governed.” If you want to be stupid and skip merrily down the path to Armageddon, then that may be your right, but don’t expect me to go, even begrudgingly. I withhold my consent. When the colonists submitted the Declaration of Independence to the King, they withheld their consent. It was an illegal act of treason, yet fully within their rights as human beings to decide how they were to be governed.

Blind faith in any man -- or the institutions of man -- is an act of supreme ignorance. Because you clearly posses the ability to reason, I do not think you stupid. Yet because you refuse to use those skills to objectively examine the nature of the world, preferring, instead, to use them in defense of your pre-determined position, I think you are ignorant.

This is a fact that even you must recognize: There is a point beyond which some people will not allow themselves to be pushed. Since 1934, the gun laws in the United States have become increasingly restrictive. Whether or not you agree with it, there are a great number of people who believe with every fiber of their beings that these laws deprive them of their rights and abilities of self-determination. Year by year, despite any discernable, directly-related progress with respect to crime or violence, the pressure gets turned up a notch; the screws get another turn. The inescapable conclusion to this progression is violent conflict. I know of no one who wishes for such a conflict. Such a thing would be detrimental to both the government and the people. The protestations, which you so glibly dismiss as the rantings of the lunatic fringe, are, in reality, an appeal to stop this advance toward the unthinkable. They are a warning sign if imminent danger.

Much as I would implore a child to step away from the soft crest of a riverbank, I entreat you to back away from your current course. I fear that continuing down the road you have chosen will result in consequences more far-reaching than any of us imagine. We are willing to work with you to find answers to social problems, but we are unwilling to become the lab rats in your ill-conceived social experiment.

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