The Very First Personal Burden Goes Unaddressed By Candidates

Guns and 2008: A Powerful Unifying Force Overlooked By The Candidates?

By —— Bio and Archives--August 11, 2008

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What is it about Guns? . . a question addressed by many observers except Presidential candidates where the subject seems to be verboten. Here’s a new wrinkle: As the 2008 presidential candidates remain mute or just vague on prime 2008 liberty questions - especially in light of the recent Supreme Court decision that gun bans are unconstitutional - you’d think they’d comment as an important plank on their platform. 

Are they missing a bet? 

There are more than 300 million guns in the hands of some 80 million adults (I said adults) in America, and most of these adults believe that non-gun owners don’t have a clue as to what guns are really all about. The so-called Gun Culture is not even about guns, and most of what guns are all about… well, it isn’t even about guns!  It’s like Fishing: it may not be at all obvious that catching a fish isn’t what fishing is all about. 

Much of the deeper understanding of what guns are all about usually begins only after one elects to buy a gun and comes into contact with that culture. Sometimes, the election to buy a gun is often based on having been a victim of crime, and coming to a decision to fight back. Next time. 

[A new Liberty Interest emerging in Washington, D.C. and gaining ground is Capital Gun Owners. They reminded me in their very first week of operation of one of the truths gunnies know very well: that Guns are not about killing, they are about staying alive. See their site at CapitalGunOwners.org ]

Refusing to have anything to do with a gun is often based on the very same experience. It usually goes hand-in-hand with refusing to fight back in general, but how one knows what one will do in facing grave danger comes best from planning, not in denying. Banning guns and backing the ban with the force of the state is to take that response off the table, and not to speak for the constituent as an elected official any longer, but specifically to exclude the constituent entirely. This, of course, is incompatible with Liberty. This is the effect of regulation: excluding the citizen from the process. 

This isn’t the very best beginning for a candidate to let such an issue go unaddressed. Gun owners – millions of them and not a so-called Lobby – think in terms of during-the-fact, or, put another way, preparedness.

Many gunnies mention the fire extinguisher in the home as analogous. In fact, more than one placed around the home. (Both fire extinguisher and gun.) 

Many gunnies are also very much aware of something else the candidates have not addressed, and only paid lip service, and that is Citizen Authority. 

The Second Amendment in the United States is that the Citizen is Supreme Authority and that this authority is backed by lethal force. This is 2A, plain and simple. Through Just Powers, the monopoly on force rises from the citizenry to officials as we see fit, and not the other way around. This is why someone cannot have a credible opinion against guns per se – it would be to oppose one’s own authority as a citizen, perhaps even to surrender it. That’s not very credible, is it? (One may elect not to own a gun, personally of course, but may not ban weapons of others and thereby opposing the very force which backs their authority as much as his own. It would be to speak out of ignorance. The right is among the inalienable rights, and one may not interfere with (infringe) the lawful, lethal force backing our very own authority, which is superior to that which we give our servants.) 

Another point 80 million gun owner constituents are waiting to hear from the candidates is that the responsibility of gun ownership is not chiefly about safely operating a dangerous item (the alleged core belief of gun control), but chiefly in rising to meet the obligation (responsibility) to self and to loved ones on one inescapable reality: No one can take your place as the first line of defense for yourself and loved ones. No one else really has that obligation. In your most critical moment in facing grave danger, you are alone. This has never changed, and it never will. A cell phone won’t change it,  pepper spray won’t change it, a big dog, a whistle, and a bat by the bed won’t change it. It also trumps morally and legally another’s desire to regulate how much authority you have to act. All gun control obfuscates your authority to act. It cannot change it, it just hides it. 

More than a Right, it’s all about your own authority and how you are free to exercise it. Or how some want to give theirs up. Or worse, how some want to obfuscate and punish it for political gain. That is not only unconstitutional, it is unconscionable when people are made to believe that guns and responding to aggression with lethal force are wrong. Meanwhile, self-respect and carrying one’s own burdens – beginning with the primary burden – is most respectable, and this can be a powerful unifying force when it comes to how a community fights crime and wins prosperity. Or doesn’t. 

People come together in fighting blight, in beautification, in other programs where politics are set aside and people discover what they have in common, more than what they don’t. Safe streets would be one such example. Judging by the numbers of concealed carry permits issued over the last year and the increasing acceptance of the Castle Doctrine of armed self-defense, people are re-discovering their own authority to act, not out of fear, not in anger, but in purpose. A gun in the home isn’t about killing, it’s about staying alive. 

Some of the concern of constituents is how so-called Change will affect our liberties. My slogan is that it doesn’t take courage to change America, it takes courage to keep it. It takes guts just to discover what America is all about (because it means burdens). Carrying our own burdens such that others may not lift them and our freedoms along with them is what the lethal force backing our authority is all about. 

As we overtake the Nanny State and move into a deeper state of Dependency on officials (change), the issue becomes of greater and greater concern when candidates are silent on just how they plan to handle crime when forty-eight states already have a powerful model. (Concealed Carry of handguns based on official recognition of citizen authority as supreme. Forty-eight states don’t quarrel with it, but affirm it.) 

Finally, think of this in what we expect from our candidates for president: at the core of American Liberty is the idea that officials who like to lift our burdens (change) usually make a mess of it, and we all groan and bear it. Crime is an exquisite example, especially in the major cities who ban guns within their right-to-carry states that have made it legal to carry a gun. (They hide the ball of citizen authority.) This is because officials struggle for the wrong goals and try to take the place of the head of household in promises of helpfulness and assurances of compassion, but no matter what you propose, it can’t be done. In the final analysis, policy has by then excluded head of household from the process and Nanny State then becomes Dependency State more with every passing policy. So much for Change. 

In 2008, America will decide whether she wishes to be more a nation who carries her own primary burdens in all things, or wishes to be a majority to be carried by others in more and more things. The candidate who enunciates this in the campaign will clarify what millions are waiting to hear: more Nanny State, or back to self-rule with all of its burdens? With the right position coming from a candidate, so much costly violence may diminish so that officials – and all of us – may get on better then with the People’s business of prosperity on so many levels.

John Longenecker is author of Safe Streets In The Nationwide Concealed Carry of Handguns [2008]

John Longenecker -- Bio and Archives | Comments

John Longenecker is an author of Safe Streets In The Nationwide Concealed Carry Of Handguns – Meeting Dependency And Violent Crime With American Spirit, Independence, And Citizen Authority [CONTRAST MEDIA PRESS].  Safer Streets Newsletter.

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