As Americans are busy buying guns at a pretty rapid pace and the majority express support for gun rights in this country, a column in the Wisconsin Gazette by Tom H. Hastings is calling for the repeal of the “stupid Second Amendment”. Although the idea of repeal is a refreshing change from those on the Left who simply want to ignore the Second Amendment, I do have to wonder what exactly the author of the column hopes to achieve.
It should be noted that Mr. Hastings is a professor at Portland State University in Oregon who teaches conflict resolution, and is a director of something called Peace Voice which is a project of something else called the Oregon Peace Institute. Given this information I suppose we can safely assume he thinks we should all talk our way out of any conflicts that might arise, and I certainly agree with him on that point; however, I would like for him to first convince the criminal element in this country, both in and out of government, to adopt his methods before I buy into his plan.
There are, of course, a few other flaws in his approach which he may have to address. In his column he makes the assertion that individuals did not have the right to keep and bear arms prior to the 2008 District of Columbia v Heller decision by the Supreme Court. This belief illustrates a common misconception among the Left, particularly liberal college professors (am I being redundant?) that our rights are granted to us by the government, and that by repealing the Second Amendment our right to bear arms can be taken away.
For the sake of those who share Mr. Hastings’ misconception, let me explain. Before governments had been invented, people were few and far enough between that we could just ‘free range’ about the earth and as long as we maintained enough distance we pretty much had the right to do anything that came to mind. It was when our paths crossed with other free ranging human beings that exercising those rights sometimes became a problem. For a while it was sufficient to allow the human with the greatest ability to wield a rock or sharp object to get his way, but eventually mankind felt the need to find other means of resolving these issues, and thus government was created.
Note that the right to do as you please predated government and that government was created for the sole purpose of protecting that right. This concept was alluded to in the Declaration of Independence where it said “We hold these truths to be self-evident” (that means it’s such a simple concept that even a college professor should be able to understand it) “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”. Another point worth noting is that as far as government is concerned “we the people” play the role of Creator, not the other way around, which means that all authority of government comes from us and can be taken away when we deem necessary.
I have no doubt that Mr. Hastings has our best interest at heart and only wants to put an end to the mass school shootings and other acts of violence he referenced in his column, but again there are flaws in his plan. Take for instance the Sandy Hook School shooting that gun control advocates want us to believe would have been prevented with stricter gun control laws. I checked and in the State of Connecticut it is already illegal to randomly kill people, including school children, yet that little detail failed to stop Adam Lanza from killing 26 people. Judging from his disregard for the laws prohibiting mass murder, I would find it hard to believe he ever gave any consideration to the legality of the firearms he had in his possession.
While I applaud Mr. Hastings for recognizing the need to repeal the Second Amendment rather than just ignore it, judging from the comments which followed his column I believe he has a little convincing to do. For the sake of argument let us assume the Second Amendment is somehow repealed, what next? Does Mr. Hastings plan to use his conflict resolution skills to convince all of the gun owners in America, both law abiding and not, to simply hand over their guns? What about those who do not? Since we know that theory didn’t work out so well with alcohol, we can only assume that the same thing would happen with guns. Will he then resort to taking them by force just as they did with whisky, presumably at the point of a government owned gun? Perhaps I am mistaken, but that certainly looks as though he would be using a gun to achieve his goal. Ah, liberal conflict resolution at its best.