“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is natural manure.” – Thomas Jefferson
It is less a matter of freedom, or rights; civil, or otherwise, that brings the subject of gun control into perspective. It is, to put it succinctly, a matter of war.
The Sub Machine-Gun was not created to hunt for game, nor was the AK-47, or M-16 assault rifle. The word assault, itself, is defined as:
1 a : a violent physical or verbal attack b : a military attack usually involving direct combat with enemy forces c : a concerted effort (as to reach a goal or defeat an adversary)
Popular social ideals on gun control, most origins rising from anti-gun activists, base their theories on the very concept that all guns are utilized as a vehicle for violence, and assault.
Ignorance, propaganda, and misinformation are tools used to scare the society at large. The generalization that guns kill people is at best misleading. In the same light, the pro-gun activists state that guns do not kill people; that people kill people.
“The two most significant federal statutes controlling firearms in the civilian population are the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968. The 1934 Act established strict registration requirements and a transfer tax on machine guns and short-barreled long guns. The 1968 Act prohibits mail-order sales and the interstate sales of firearms, prohibits transfers to minors, limits access to “new” assault weapons, and sets forth penalties and licensing requirements for manufacturers, importers, and dealers.
Crime and mortality statistics are often used in the gun control debate. The number of homicides committed annually with a firearm by persons in the 14- to 24-year-old age group increased by 173% from 1985 to 1993, and then decreased by 47% from 1993 to 1999. Firearm fatalities from all causes and for all age groups decreased by 22%. For juveniles, they de-creased by 40%, from 1993 to 1998″(http://www.policyalmanac.org/crime/guns.shtml)
“Although gun-related violence in schools is statistically a rare event, a Department of Justice survey indicated that 12.7% of students age 12 to 19 reported knowing a student who brought a firearm to school.” For further information, see CRS Report RL30482, The Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program: Background and Context, by Edith Fairman Cooper.)
Extremists of any ideal will use numbers, percentages, and statistics in an attempt to dissuade the public. Other methods include using fear as a driving force to make their point.
In reality, any tool misused is deadly.
Murders, and violent acts have been committed with tools-turned-weapons such as hammers, screwdrivers, and as demonstrated during the events that took place September 11, 2001; box cutters/razors are just as formidable as any gun in a combat, or confrontational, or assault situation. Yet there are no protestors, or tool control extremists objecting to the use of hammers, saws, or box cutters. These tools are a day-to-day necessity for the successful operation of various trades.
In the same light, fire arms are no less tools for a number of trades; trappers, hunters, and police officers represent the many different uses that these tools serve. The trapper may keep overpopulated vermin under control, while the hunter finds his food. A police officer will utilize his firearm to control a situation, or defend his own life from attackers bearing ANY kind of armed suspect, from knives, to firearms.
While pro-gun, and anti-gun groups may go to extremes to prove their point, there is a median where both sides should find refuge.
The truth about gun control appears to be a continuing debate. The right to bear arms is a freedom given to all US Citizens as the last defense, should our shores ever meet with invading forces again.
Less educated parties would argue that our shores have not met with invasion forces since Pearl Harbor, but it could easily be argued again, that the events that took place September 11, 2001 was in fact an assaulting invasion force that succeeded. Could gun control have affected the outcome of the events that took place to begin with? It is certainly a measure of questionable security, and whether or not gun control could have affected the outcome, one fact is certain. The United States of America was invaded successfully, assaulted, in the end it came to War.
The declaration of the War on Terror suggests a war on an intangible objective. The War on air, or the War on wind would be as easily affected, but in any case the assault on our soil resulted in conflict that is controlled by firearms of a majority of killing calibers.
This is fire arms in the extreme sense.
On American soil, guns serve an entirely different purpose, but the right to bear them still stands for the same reason. War.
The United States Constitution reads: A WELL REGULATED MILITIA, BEING NECESSARY TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE, THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
Citing the case of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs. TIMOTHY JOE EMERSON:
…The Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Anti-federalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second Amendment’s civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia.
(Judge Laurence Silberman, for the majority in Parker v District of Columbia (DC Cir. 2007))
The right to bear arms is a matter of war, and a country founded on war itself; in 1776 the United States attained its freedom from Taxation without representation. During the Civil War, the right to bear arms served as protection to citizens serving in local militias unguarded by Union armies, or in the same respect, protection by areas unguarded by Confederate armies.
While the continued debate on whether or not Americans should reserve the right to bear arms is indeterminate, there is only fact that Americans should remember. Accountability and responsibility are the elements that make of a strong nation, its citizens, and the foundation in which it stands. A nation that stands divided, does not stand at all. The coined phrase: “United we stand” explains it best. United we stand, divided we fall: at some point our nation must come to terms with their debate and draw a conclusion. If the nation stands as accountable and responsible for its actions, then its citizens will do the same. In this embrace to responsibility, and accountability, America may find its median ground, and issues far exceeding importance by comparison may be the focus of our nation’s attention.