Sunday, March 10, 2013

Whatever happens...

If you are not allowed to have a gun that a reasonable man might choose as a good one to bring to a gunfight, your right is infringed.

Whatever crazy new laws we get, the American people must retain, somehow, arms suitable for the purposes in view in the Second Amendment.

Note that the Bill of Rights does not create or confer rights, but acknowledges rights evident under any well-regulated understanding of natural law. The rights pre-exist the document. Even if we lose the Bill of Rights, indeed especially then, we need to keep our guns.

Of course the purposes of the guns are to protect life, protect liberty and to arm state forces raised at need. The Second Amendment is about protecting your own life against criminals and oppressors and being armed to take part in a state defense force or a resistance movement if you have to. Duck hunting and raccoon chasing don't enter into it. Some guns are adequate equipment for protecting your life and liberty and some are not.

I got some "retweets" and "favorites" on Twitter for saying I didn't want my obituary to read, "Dumbass died because he tried to defend himself with Biden double barrel, against thugs with 30-shot rifles." What the Vice President is pushing as the gun you ought to have is simply inadequate. It was a good fighting gun in the 1880's but that was a long time back. What has changed is the armament you're likely to be up against if you face today's criminals or, God forbid, the agents of a tyranny foreign or domestic.

In practical terms, the Second Amendment is infringed when you no longer have the choices and the privacy you need in order to have a gun the government cannot take away without very good cause, and which is adequate for the purposes already mentioned. Biden saying "buy a shotgun, buy a shotgun" is insidious advice. It betrays his contempt for the real purposes of the right to bear arms.

Let me repeat that. Your right to keep and bear arms is infringed if your gun may be confiscated arbitrarily and your right is also infringed if your gun is not up to the duty it is there to do. If you are not allowed to have a gun that a reasonable man might choose as a good one to bring to a gunfight, and keep it and bear it without government harassment, your right is infringed.

Who decides what sort of gun is good enough? It seems to me that the possessors of the right should have some say in deciding when it is infringed. Some chucklehead who thinks you should have a double barrel and use if for warning shots and shooting through your door is not the one to say--his advice is bad from end to end. Senator Feinstein's grasp of reality is not much better. But these are the people who want to let us--under the government's sufferance, of course--have inferior guns. They want us to give up all the progress gained in gun design in a generation or more.

Why I'm laying out the criteria for "infringed" versus "non-infringed" is that we have to settle on a definition of infringement before we go on to the next question: What are we going to do about it?

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