Monday, August 11, 2008

Who shall be "allowed" to have a gun?

A Canadian writes, “. . . What you cannot square is the call for gun owners to be qualified and the claim that everyone has the right to protect family and property. If you insist on qualifications, even basic ones such as clean record, then you deprive some people of their right to protect house and home. If you insist on the right to protect house and home, you cannot require qualifications. Your problem lies in the fact that you want gun ownership to be a basic right, something that precedes government, while also insisting that gun ownership be regulated by government, so that people like Cho can't get a gun.

“If the government has the right to deny people like Cho ownership of a gun, while presumably taking on the responsibility of protecting Cho, then the government has the right to more broadly restrict the ownership of guns, while taking on the responsibility of protecting the population. If the government does not have the right to broadly restrict the ownership of guns, on the grounds that everyone has the right to protect themselves, then it cannot deny people like Cho the right to protect themselves by owning guns.

“The basic error is twofold: there is the positing of a mythical right to own guns, in place of the more general right to defend oneself, and there is a misunderstanding of the role of government in relation to defending oneself.”

Lawrence responds: Of course I can square this. Only those qualified means: not-criminals, not-nutcases, not-inept, and not too lazy to become qualified. This is not a conflict.

1. We as society don't want criminals to have guns.

2. We don't want nutcases to have them.

3. We don't want people who can’t learn how to handle a gun to have then.

4. And if a person is too lazy to want a gun, that's his decision.

These are normal, commonsensical exclusions. No squaring is required.

Gad. I qet the willies when you talk about the government and what it can do. Definitely a big brother in your horizon. The American people, and I don't hesitate to speak for them here DO NOT WANT THE CHOS OF OUR SOCIETY TO HAVE GUNS. We need not embrace governmental paternalism to want this. It is no contradiction. We don't want criminals to have guns either. These are people we want to be able to protect ourselves from, not empower against us. And we don't want people too inept (mentally deficient) to have them. You are really reaching to say I am contradicting myself if I don't want a homicidal maniac to have a gun. I have said from the very beginning that I didn't want him to have one. I have also said after I learned that Virginia is a concealed carry state and that Virginia Tech, for Leftist-Pacifist reasons, declared Virginia Tech a "gun-free zone' did a very stupid thing. Had there been teachers or students around with concealed carry weapons and had Cho known that, he might not even have attempted his massacre, but if he did begin it, it almost certainly wouldn't have lasted as long as it did.

Responsible people who qualify should be able to drive cars, fly planes, drive tanks, build bridges, build sky-scrapers, dig canals, build companies, and virtually anything else including the carrying of concealed weapons.

You should know better than to argue that "all" means "all without exclusion." Paul said the gospel was preached throughout all the land. Was he lying or did he mean all in a certain sense -- all the known land, all the land we have access to? All is used many times in the Bible and elsewhere to mean something less than "all without exclusion." We use it that way in English also. Do you really think the founding fathers were concerned about the Village Idiot being able to have a gun? That's absurd. You are quibbling.

Lawrence Helm

1 comment:

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