Gun Control Debate

Gun Control Debate: Showdown at the PC Corral
A Daily Reckoning Special Position Paper Report
by Jim Armhein, Editor – Whiskey & Gunpowder (Sign up Free today!)

“Ain’t gonna see no more damage done.
Gimme back my bullets,
Oh, put ’em back where they belong…
Tell all those pencil pushers, better get out of my way!”

— Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Gimme Back My Bullets,” 1976

AS I’M SURE it must be for almost every other American, the most indelible image in my mind is the live-TV collapse of the smoking, blazing Twin Towers on that darkest of days in late summer 2001. And unless an even more unthinkable catastrophe awaits us at some point in the near future (and it very well might), September 11th will no doubt go down in history as a generation’s most galvanizing moment, like the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination and news-reel footage of the Peal Harbor attack.

Gun Control Debate: Bravery in the Face of Criminal Scum

But for me, a close second is something I “saw” on a police audiotape that all three major local networks were repeating on every news broadcast during a two- or three-day period a few years ago. It was a recording of a 911 call that an incredibly brave city resident named Dwight Love placed in response to drug-dealing activity in his neighborhood. I call this man courageous because he placed the call from his cell phone in plain sight and within earshot of the criminals who’d taken over his neighborhood.

Now, I wish I could say that the blue-light cavalry arrived and took down the dealer. I wish I could say that the brave Mr. Love was given a hero’s commendation by the mayor. I wish I could say that his peaceable defense of his home emboldened other put-upon citizens to rise up against the criminal scum that is killing their neighborhoods. I wish I could say the system works, and that we’re all perfectly safe because of it…

But I can’t, because that’s not the way it turned out. Not at all. Instead, these vicious thugs approached the man and shot him point blank as he described them to the 911 operator. After the deafening shots, the last sounds on the tape were his cell phone clattering to the ground and his labored gurgling as he lay dying. Like I said: indelible.

Of course, some in the left-leaning Maryland media used this shocking incident not to starkly illustrate the fearlessness of criminals in the face of law-abiding citizens armed with nothing more than the naive assumption that the system is equal to the task of protecting them, but to lament the proliferation of guns in our society. That’s right: Instead of publicizing this tragedy as a wake-up call to the need for city residents to be able to defend themselves against the scum on every street corner, these hypocritical hyenas — writing their Op-Ed tripe from secure, guarded offices and driving their Benzes and Audis home to gated communities in the suburbs, no doubt — twisted this poor, brainwashed hero’s brutal death into a sound-bite supporting their own ultimate goal:

The elimination of your right to firearms.

Gun Control Debate: It’s Throw-Down Time at the PC Corral…

Being that my “beat” for Whiskey & Gunpowder is the arena of personal freedoms and individual rights, I could conceivably write about nothing but gun-related topics from here on out. That’s because there are so many ways in which the law currently inhibits your constitutionally guaranteed right to arms that I’d literally never cover the topic fully. It is both staggering and ridiculous, a shameless mockery of what was clearly intended…

I’ve been itching to open this powder keg of a topic for seven months, but haven’t done it until now. Why? Because for some, it’s nearly inconceivable that pro-gun sentiments could emanate from someone who’s not a knee-jerk, God-n-guns David Koresh clone. That’s why I waited until readers had absorbed enough of my work to call me both a flaming liberal (for my privacy and surveillance stances) and a right-wing nut job (for advocating our freedom to patrol our own borders, among other things). Such pluralistic pigeonholing having now been accomplished in spades, it’s time to start putting a little gunpowder into the Whiskey & Gunpowder dialogue.

Now, this isn’t just another rant about the modern bastardization of the Second Amendment or a bunch of statistics showing how gun control laws don’t work (they so clearly do not, though). My goal today is not to regurgitate the arguments and numbers anyone who’s truly interested and open-minded enough could dig up — like the 2003 CDC report on the meaninglessness of gun control laws or the low crime statistics in concealed-carry states — but to try to put a human face on the government’s shameless abrogation of what should be the most sacred of all rights:

The right to your own life.

That’s exactly what’s at stake when Second Amendment rights are infringed, and that’s exactly what the government’s constant whittling away of your right to forcibly defend yourself could cost you: Your life.

Gun Control Debate: Who’s to Blame for a Hero’s Death?

If you don’t believe me, just ask Mr. Love’s next of kin. And the really tragic part is that this poor, do-right man lost his life not because of a gun, but because of the lack of one. If he’d been able to fight back, his story might have ended with a hero’s commendation; the arrest or death of a drug dealer; a clean, safe street corner; and an inspiration to his fellow residents…

Instead, he became a sacrificial lamb to the naive cause of a leftist utopian dream world, and his street corner is no doubt now the permanent property of the criminal element, all of which are armed to the teeth (illegally, of course). As much as I blame the drug dealer for this murder, I also blame the legislature which so shackled the victim’s rights that he was killed for exercising the only course of action open to him: Calling an underfunded, spread-too-thin police force that itself is handcuffed by an overregulation of its use of force and the politics and red tape of shooting any suspect, no matter how justified.

What’s really sickening about all this is that the city government has spent a lot of time and money advancing the notion that citizens not only can, but should aggressively resist crime. They’ve hired advertising agencies for image ads, and the police have circulated DVDs and videos urging citizens to report criminals in their neighborhoods. They’ve convinced a lot of naive folks that conscientious people with cell phones and good intentions can defeat cracked-out, heat-packing, hormone-fueled teenage thugs with nothing to fear from an anemic penal system — and everything to gain in “street cred” by popping a cap into some do-gooder…

It’s like marching a wave of troops with radios into a line of heavy machine gun fire.

Their implicit message to us is to “take back our streets,” but they won’t let us protect ourselves while we do it. This is the real crime here — the deliberate deception of a citizenry under attack by a legislature with nothing real to lose. The thugs aren’t buckling under this approach. Instead, they’re sending out advertising of their own. Here in Baltimore, drug gangs have produced and circulated their own “Stop Snitching” DVDs, menacing anyone who bears witness against them. These aren’t idle threats, either. In 2002, they torched a house where a woman fighting the drug dealers lived, killing all seven souls who lived there…

The way I see it, all this blood’s on the city’s hands for stripping away the people’s right to armed defense of their lives and property. If there’s another way to see this, I haven’t heard it clearly articulated from anyone in the gun-phobic, Constitution-hating media.

Gun Control Debate: Your Guns or Your Money

Despite the fact that the U.S. states that allow concealed carry are statistically far safer than their no-carry or restricted-carry neighbors, there are still challenges to your gun rights outside your state house and the Hill. As if legislators and the mainstream media weren’t formidable enough adversaries for lawful, self-preservation-minded citizens to contend with, now employers are joining the fray…

Back in October 2002, timber and paper giant Weyerhaeuser summarily dismissed a dozen employees (some of them 20-plus-year veterans) from an Oklahoma pulp mill after a surprise vehicle inspection in the company parking lot revealed firearms locked in the employees’ cars — a common practice in the Sooner State that’s totally legal under state law. What makes this example even more galling is the fact that the firings were made under an unannounced rule change within the company that reversed 37 years of a written company policy permitting firearms in locked cars on company lots.

Beyond this, this vehicle inspection took place on opening day of deer season (the one day of the year gun owners were most likely to have their guns with them), under the auspices of a random search for illegal drugs. Talk about an ambush. Oklahomans were so outraged that they pressed for a law prohibiting such corporate usurpations of their legal firearms rights. But no sooner did such a law pass (March 2004) than Weyerhaeuser, joined by Halliburton and ConocoPhillips, filed suit in federal court to temporarily halt enforcement of the law, citing liability risks.

Ironically, except for a few political organizations and a very few outlets in the media, gun owners are granted no quarter in a society that was founded by the ability of its citizens to resist wrongful oppression by force of arms. And what’s really sad is that a lot of today’s “civil liberties” organizations won’t touch firearms rights (which arguably represent the pinnacle of personal liberty) with a 10-foot pole. Instead, they’d argue that your possession of a legally owned firearm presents a threat to the liberty of others…

Like those corner drug dealers, whom our unjust society has forced into a life of crime.

Now I ask you: What do you think poor Dwight Love’s last thoughts were as he died from playing by the mainstream’s twisted rules? Do you think he thought of himself the way the left portrays him: As an acceptable casualty in the war against criminals he helped create through his own divisive, envy-creating success? Or do you think he thought, “I wish I had a gun of my own, so I could shoot back at these bastards!”

The bottom line is this: In a way, and more than any other amendment or provision to the U.S. Constitution, the right to bear arms against all aggressors, within or without, is really the equivalent of the granddaddy of all rights: The right to life itself. And the Framers knew it. They foresaw a society in which the presence of guns both insured against the proliferation of crime and provided the close-at-hand means to combat it should it arise.

It’s a shame that’s too much reality for the mainstream to deal with.

As always, I invite and challenge you to forward this to all whom it might rattle or resonate with. And again, as always, I welcome your feedback, however reasoned or unhinged. So bring on the “Attaboys!” or “Whack jobs!” — whatever the case may be!

Armed and alarmed,

Jim Amrhein
for Whiskey & Gunpowder

Here’s the follow-up Whiskey & Gunpowder article Jim Amrhein wrote in response to e-mails written to him by readers of this article you just finished reading:

Bias Against Guns: Gimme Back My Bullets
“My goal is twofold. First, to offer some proof of the worth — rather, the vital, lifesaving importance — of an armed citizenry. Second, to truly advance the somewhat stalemated Second Amendment argument with an interpretation of the amendment’s wording I’ve never heard anyone else talk about.”

And here are other Whiskey & Gunpowder articles written by Jim Amrhein:

Animal Rights: “Righting” a Wrong
“No rights of ANY TYPE exist naturally, by virtue of birth alone. In the natural world, all that any creature — man included — has a “right” to are those things it can take by force or forcibly defend from being taken.”

Legends of the Fall
“There wouldn’t be nearly as many (if any) vast tracts of publicly owned land to hike, bike, bird-watch, dog-walk, horseback ride, or generally gambol around on if regulated hunting did not exist.”

Useful Links about the Gun Control Debate:

Brady Campaign — Myth of the Second Amendment — The Second Amendment and how it’s interpreted by today’s courts and modern society.
Firearms & Liberty — Examines the positives of gun ownership, and compares statistics of firearms-related injuries and deaths vs. those caused by other circumstances.
National Rifle Association — The mission of the NRA and several news stories involving this organization.
Second Amendment Foundation — An organization devoted to protecting and strictly interpreting the Second Amendment.

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