Yesterday, the president announced another plan to prevent gun violence. Of course, as with every other gun scheme the focus was not on the offenders. Notice no one ever suggests lessening armed robberies by outlawing convenience stores or banks. Some will argue that the president’s plan does address potential offenders by “keeping guns from those with mental health problems.” Sure, provided they’re in a magic mental health database which is only accessed by reasonable and detached psychologists and psychiatrists, and not the local NGO nut with a mental health worker certificate from a community college. The problem is that the right to keep and bear arms is primarily for defense against tyranny. Now we must trust the tyrant to be fair when deciding who may possess a gun. Lunatics should not have firearms but I fear we are not speaking of those who have been legally determined incompetent through a medical/legal process. Every child custody dispute, VA treatment for PTSD (a disorder the military almost promotes amongst veterans), or restraining order (a process often with little judicial scrutiny) will create a whole new class of “crazies” everyday. A database depends on the integrity and restraint of those who determine the entrants. Do you think discretion and care of the rights of the governed are going to be the primary concerns of whatever agency oversees the magic database? As a former peace officer I assure it doesn’t work that way.
The other new fix that will prevent us from having to hang violent criminals is the magic gun. The magic gun will have a fingerprint reader on it and it will only allow the proper user from shooting it. Decades ago there was something similar that worked off of magnetism. The shooter wore a ring that allowed the trigger to be pulled. The problem with making guns electronic is the same problem with cars. Today, many new cars can be shut down by satellite. Eventually, if we don’t prevent it, the police will be able to stop your car as easily as using a radar gun. Now imagine if they could shut off firearms within a home or within an entire city. The problem with that is that if the government can “grid” firearms, firearms as a constitutional protection will instantly cease to exist. It’s over. You may think that citizens should not have the right to ever use guns against government agents regardless of the actions of government. King George III would have agreed with you. He certainly believed that the government had absolute authority over the governed. George Washington, on the other hand, did not. Rather he and his comrades believed that God granted rights that could be protected by government but never usurped. To be an American, in the only way that matters is to believe that the government is also under the law and when it is not, the law itself may not be used to prevent the governed from controlling the government. The day all guns can be turned off electronically we will become dependent on the largesse and restraint of professional politicians. If you doubt me, look at this citizen seizure of federal property in Oregon. Regardless of your opinion of that action, you must admit that without guns they’d all be on their way to federal prison and nobody would be talking about government overreach in relation to ranchers. I realize that the magic fingerprint gun is not a fully electronic gun, But if you think that’s not the next step, you’re not paying attention.
Freedom is risk. If you want no risk, you want no freedom. We have created an entire criminal class in this country. When that’s been abolished, then we can argue about spying on people’s medical records. But the guns must stay as they are, simple tools for the citizen-soldier.