TAMPA, January 11, 2013 ― Supposedly, a philosophical debate is going on between “right and left” over the natural right to keep and bear arms. As usual, both sides are wrong.
The right to keep and bear arms is inseparable from the right to life. Here in the real world, arming oneself is the only practical way to exercise the right to life, which is properly defined as the right not to be killed by another human being.
Banning guns removes an individual’s ability to exercise the right to life. It places his life at the discretion of anyone who would take it away. Life is no longer a right, but a privilege, exercised at the discretion of criminals. Sometimes, the criminals wear government costumes.
When is this ever justified?
The only reasonable answer would be when an individual has wrongfully taken the life of another person. Even then there is room for an argument. If manslaughter does not carry a lifetime prison sentence, why does the perpetrator permanently surrender his right to life?
There is no justification for prohibiting gun ownership for virtually any other crime. Perhaps egregious assaults or child molestation also qualify, but that is still a tiny percentage of the population.
Even conservatives cast the net far wider. Standard conservative talking points go something like this. “We defend the 2nd Amendment rights of law abiding citizens who are not mentally ill to keep and bear arms.”
Virtually every word of this statement is wrong. And this is the “pro-gun” side.