OPINION – An unthinkable crime has been committed. Emotions are running high and outrage is overtaking sorrow. Something must be done. No more excuses. No more platitudes. No more talk of “rights” and “due process” when innocent blood cries out from the ground for justice. The time has come for decisive action. We will not be denied.
Sounds a lot like what gun control advocates are saying following the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, doesn’t it? But what I’m actually describing is the mentality of a lynch mob.
The similarities are striking. The emotion-fueled lynch mob actually perverts justice in its quest to take action at any cost — just like gun controllers are doing. The lynch mob seeks to kill for a presumed offense; gun controllers seek to unjustly take freedoms. Both lack moral authority for what they seek to do. Both are perfectly willing to punish the wrong people to achieve their goals.
The desire to impose controls on firearms is simply an outlet for the irrational fear and distrust of others. Charley Reese described this antipathy toward mankind as follows: “What the gun-control crowd is saying to you is that even though we’ve never met, I don’t trust you to own a firearm. I’d like to prevent it, but if I can’t do that, I want to make it as difficult and as expensive as possible.”
What if we applied that same groundless approach to other natural rights?
Would we consider outlawing cameras or computers or strictly licensing them in defiance of free speech just because some people might use them to produce child pornography? Or do we hold individuals accountable for their actions and deprive them of life, liberty and property only after due process has been observed?
The way we answer these questions is a good indicator of whether we support the rule of law or mob rule.
But high profile tragedies are simply too opportune for most gun control advocates not to exploit them for political gain.
Political vultures swoop down while the victims’ bodies are still warm to promote their pet policies while the public’s judgment is still clouded by emotion. Politicians know they have a limited window of opportunity before emotions subside and rational thinking returns, so they manipulate our sorrows to their advantage.
This is precisely how the PATRIOT Act, the NDAA, and two wars of conquest against nations that had never materially harmed the U.S. were sold to the American people. And today they stand on the graves of slain schoolchildren and pimp an agenda that they could not sell to the public under less emotional conditions.
The telltale sign that this round of calls for gun control is petty tyranny masquerading as good intentions is found in its blanket approach to restricting gun ownership rather than affording due process to each individual. Prior restraint laws claim to prevent people from doing harm by treating us all as potential criminals.
Thomas Jefferson had the answer to this fallacious reasoning, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. … Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
There have always been human beings capable of monstrous acts of violence against the innocent. How they do this may vary, but the one question that remains is: Who will protect the innocent? The state obviously cannot, as witnessed by the fact that in every single homicide in this country it failed to protect the victims. This means that the primary responsibility for protecting innocent life belongs to all of us.
In our time, the best tool for this job is the personal firearm. It is the equalizer that can create the parity of force that enables anyone, from a martial artist to an elderly woman to stop the attack of assailants.
What could have stopped the killing in Connecticut was a firearm in the hands of a citizen who understood that the responsibility for protecting innocent life rests upon each of us. Gun control laws founded in irrational fear and distrust of the people created a legally enforced gun-free killing zone at the grade school.
The gunman, like all other criminals, did not obey the law. Only the law-abiding did. And they paid the ultimate price for their obedience.
We should carefully consider where gun control leads before joining this particular lynch mob.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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