I have been told that the following two comments, made by me on my most Bill of Rights recent article, need to be the basis of an article on rights in general, and the right to keep and bear arms in particular. So I have decided to do so. And the recent events in Colorado, and the bald attempts to use them for political gain that immediately came with that horrific attack, make reminding us of our rights even more important.
ALL rights are inherent in being a sapient being. Whether the Bill of Rights was ever written or not, you are endowed by virtue of being a sapient being with the right to defend yourself from all aggression directed at you, the right to express your thoughts via the communication methods you are capable of, the right to be free from searches and siezures from others, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happyness (sic). The Bill of rights grants nothing. It enumerates rights you already have. This oft overlooked fact is why enhanced interrogations are unconstitutional whether the interrogatee is an American or not.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Please note, it does not say "all Americans are created equal". It says ALL MEN. And we have expanded this to include women. Achmed the terrorist has the exact same rights Joe and Jane Sixpack do. They do not have the right to attack innocent people, but they DO have the right to a trial by jury, Miranda rights, freedom from being "tuned up", waterboarded, beaten, or imprisoned without benefit of trial and representation, and freedom from being sent to other countries where these inherent rights are no recognized.
As an aside, this is exactly why I am in complete support of gay rights, including marriage. last time I looked, gay people are human beings, therefore, they have the same right to marry I did when I married my wife
If you read this entire comment, you will notice one thing that, I think, is more important than the rest of the comment. ALL rights are yours, whether some buttwipe in DC or your state capitol signs a bill outlawing all or part of any right. You DO have the right to self defense, whether your government passes laws attempting to limit your posession of the means to do so. You DO have the right to speak your mind, as long as you do not maliciously lie about another person (libel), using whatever means of communication you so desire. So what we need to do is make sure said buttwipes do not try to legislate away any more of the means of excercising our rights, and to return TO us some they have already stolen. THe next comment lays out how I'd fix all the violations of the 2nd Amendment rights that have been messed with.
First, to present the 2nd Amendment as I would write it. (And as L. Neil Smith HAS written it!)
"Every man, woman, and responsible child has an unalienable
individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and
carry, openly or concealed, any weapon — rifle, shotgun, handgun,
machinegun, _anything— — any time, any place, without asking anyone's
permission." The Atlanta Declaration of the Libertarian Party, written by L. Neil Smith.
The definition of "responsible child" is a child whose parents have certified is trained in firearms ownership, responsibilities, safety, handling, and marksmanship. The only restriction permitted is the will of the owner of private property, who may, of course, ban firearms from his premises.
So, Believer, I have no problem with that 14 year old and his shotgun. The alchocolic father, if he certified the child as responsible, is the person who determines whether the child owns or not. We CANNOT prevent both accidental or deliberate misuse of ANYTHING. Therefore, we must allow the use of arms to all, so that all may defend themselves against the few. I know that this may seem harsh to some. And the only answer I can give is "Life is hard. It has no guarantees. But I'd rather risk being shot by a person who might not be the best person in the world to own a gun than to be denied the right AND THE MEANS to shoot that person before he pulls the trigger on me, mine, or an innocent bystander." Is there an ideal answer, one that will make gun haters, gun ambivalenters, and gun supporters happy? Nope. But I have not, do not, and will never, support restricting the rights of ANYONE to make someone ELSE "feel safe". I actually support the right to yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater. I also support the right of a person injured running FROM that imaginary fire to sue the living hell out of you for doing it. As a firm and ardent supporter of the ZAP (Zero Aggression Principle), I see no contradiction or problem with this.
Now, to today, and what I would do.
First, I would not wave my magic wand and remove all restriction overnight. I'm not stupid. Public schools (vile places that they are) must teach firearms safety to our youth. REAL safety, not just "Run away from guns and tell police". Parents must be encouraged to get a basic education in firearms safety. I know hundreds of people, fully qualified, who would teach for free in exchange for the freedom I advocate. I'd encourage private schools to teach firearm safety, as well. Homeschoolers would be welcomed in the classrooms of public schools for the safety classes if the parents do not feel competent to teach it on their own. parents would be welcome to audit the classes, but not able to deny the children the book portion of the class. If hands on training is done, parents may opt not to allow participation (again, public schools. Private is a different thing.) Instruction in the ZAP, it's advantages, and why it is vital to the health and welfare of the populace as a whole, would be ideal to include in the curriculum, as early as possible, to make it ingrained in the fabric of society as soon as possible.
Second, after 2-3 years of transition to this, we would move to the second phase. Removal of the various unconstitutional gun laws now commences. With these laws removed, you WILL see a rise in violent deaths for the first couple years. No progress is ever possible without a little pain. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of those deaths, however, would be criminals learning the harsh truth that unarmed victims are MUCH easier to victimize than armed citizens.
This transition method, coupled with the card I mentioned elsewhere in this forum (which I don't like but would tolerate) would ensure the freedoms AND the security for our posterity as specified in the Foundng Documents of this country.
I am a member of the Irregular Militia. You don't have to join it, because it is simply "every able-bodied man (Now, citizen, male or female) who resides in the United States who has affirmed their intention to maintain arms for the defense of the free state". I so affirm my intention. To this I pledge my life, my (small) fotune, and my sacred honor. It may sound tacky and/or trite to some, but I mean it.
So, I hear you ask, what EXACTLY is the ZAP (Zero Aggression Principle, and why should you care? It is the basic tenent of hardcore Libertarians, but it would make sense for everyone to adopt it. Simply put, it is the principle of NEVER starting a fight. Never initiate aggression against another. Because, let's face it, ANY aggression against another MUST violate their rights. There is no way NOT to violate them and be aggressive at the same time. Now, never STARTING a fight does not mean you cannot fight. It simply means all fighting you engage in must be in self defense. Once the other party initiates aggression, there are no limits to what you may do in self defense. Sounds kinda simple, doesn't it? But think about it. If you never initiate aggression, and everyone around you operates on the same principle, how can there be any crime. After all, to commit a crime, you must initiate aggression. NO, I do not think that teaching the ZAP will magically remove all crime. I'm not stupid. But it sure as hell will reduce it, AND make the bad guys realize that their actions will not be tolerated. Right now, they know that 99% of people will run to the cops, AFTER the bad guy has left, and tell on them. ZAP tells them "We aren't running for help, we are ready to defend ourselves."