Perspectives: Government, gun control advocates are pushing us into a fight we didn’t want

OPINION – As famous as politicians are for hubris, it’s hard to know when to take them seriously. For instance, when vice president Joe Biden claims that the president may attempt to enact sweeping gun laws by executive order, is he simply bloviating?

It’s no secret that hyperventilating newscasters and politicians are agitating for stricter gun control following the murder of 20 first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary. But, as Pat Buchanan points out, their preaching to the choir has utterly failed to sway the one audience that really counts — the gun-buying public.

The threats of further civilian disarmament laws has prompted the most intense buying frenzy of homeland defense rifles, full capacity magazines and ammunition that most of us have ever seen. It’s time to ask a very serious question that requires careful consideration before answering.

Who honestly believes that millions of Americans are rushing out to purchase these items with the intention of meekly handing them over?

Too many gun control proponents tend to view defenders of the right to keep and bear arms through a lens of contemptuous self-importance. But they would be very unwise to dismiss the commitment to liberty of those they seek to disarm.

The elephant in the room that few dare to acknowledge is that there are times when it is entirely appropriate to fight to maintain one’s inalienable rights. In a constitutional republic, these rights are not subject to the will of the majority.

As much as modern day sophists wish it were not so, the individual right to bear arms in defense of one’s life, liberty and property is a natural right. It can be seen in every living creature that fights to protect itself and John Locke referred to it as the first law of nature.

This right is not limited to defending our lives against the aggressive attack of an individual murderer, it also extends to protecting ourselves from the predations of the despotic state.

In his Second Treatise on Civil Government, Locke described how a government that would “endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power” puts itself in a state of war with its people. When this occurs, Locke argued that the people are, at that moment, “absolved from obedience” and justified in defending themselves against the state’s unlawful force and violence.

When government transgresses this fundamental principle of governing by the consent of the governed, Locke states, “by ambition, fear, folly, or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people, by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty.”

Locke’s reasoning provided the philosophical foundation for America’s War for Independence. It remains a valid answer to any attempts to deprive us of inalienable rights in our day as well.

While our political leaders labor to assure us that they are only trying to keep us safe from what they have termed a plague of gun violence, they are being deceptive.

For instance, the U.S. has the highest rate of firearms ownership in the world, yet it is far from the most dangerous nation in terms of violent crime. Even Britain, with its gun control laws, has a violent crime rate more than four times higher than our own. Newsman Ben Swann does a masterful job of exposing the rhetorical sleight of hand regarding misleading gun statistics.

The calls for a government monopoly on arms are not rooted in the desire to protect society. They are the mating call of would-be tyrants who wish to control others. To consolidate their power over the population, the people must first be disarmed.

Those who would dismiss this as simple paranoia need to check their egos at the door and engage in serious study of human history. Even Aristotle recognized the fundamental principle of despotism when he wrote, “Both the oligarch and the tyrant mistrust the people and therefore deprive them of arms.”

American gun owners are not the aggressors in the coming fight over our inalienable right to keep and bear arms. Those who are foolishly calling for government aggression against peaceable American citizens need to consider exactly what they are tampering with and where this may lead.

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.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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48 Comments

  • Tyler January 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    The people will never revolt as long as they have entertainment and food. The majority of people would let the government take their guns. Until food is out people will let the government do almost anything. As I watch the old and weak buy up ammo and guns I wonder how many of them would really be willing to kill.

    • joe January 13, 2013 at 1:01 am

      GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH. Do you have the guts to stand up for your rights? I DO.
      I fought during Vietnam for our rights. What makes you think i will back down. NO. I urge all vets
      to get their chl and join the NRA. We must stand up against these attacks against our freedom.

      • Snowfield January 15, 2013 at 8:20 am

        So who do you want to start fighting against? Other Americans? The US government? Who will you be fighting and who is it okay to kill?

  • Keep Our Freedom January 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    History repeats because a lot of people in powerful positions don’t understand or learn about history. Here is a good read about how Russia became the Soviet Union, all because they took people’s right to arm themselves away.
    http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/28-12-2012/123335-americans_guns-0/

    If we don’t fight and protect ourselves and our rights, we will become just like the Soviet Union or worse.

  • D. Rex January 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    People seem to forget that Willard Romney enacted some of the strictest gun control laws in the US while acting as Governor of Massachusetts

  • DoubleTap January 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I took an oath almost 40 years ago to serve my country. And again about 25 years ago as an LEO in another state. There are literally hundreds upon thousands of combat experienced vets, who have taken that oath and understand that the oath does not have an expiration date. In that oath, I swore to defend my country from “enemies foriegn and domestic”. There are many, many more like me….who will stand and fight. Do not be misled people….as Brian stated in the article, these people are not buying these firearms and ammunition to just hand them over to a tyrannical government. Democracy is defined as two wolves and a sheep discussing lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. God bless the USA.

    • Annettie Cannavale January 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      … A RIGHT!

      – Editor’s ellipsis.

    • Robert January 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Ditto Double Tap !

    • Snowfield January 15, 2013 at 8:23 am

      So who are the domestic enemies you are wanting to fight? Is it okay to just start killing other Americans? What about the rights and freedoms of people you want to kill?

      • DoubleTap January 16, 2013 at 11:27 am

        First, I am NOT wanting to fight anyone. Second, if it is Americans who are wanting to harm me or my loved ones….yes I will kill them. When anyone, American or otherwise, make the decision that they are going to inflict harm on me, my family and/or loved ones, they have given up their rights and freedoms at that point. When they cross that line…all bets are off. If that American be my neighbor or the government and their intent is to inflict harm on me, my family/loved ones, then the dayu of reckoning has arrived.

  • Tyler January 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I would not trade my soul for my guns. Do not be so quick to condone murder.

    • Bryan Hyde January 10, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Murder is the taking of innocent life. Taking the life of an aggressor to protect innocent life would constitute justifiable homicide. Not something to take lightly, but certainly not trading one’s soul either, especially if the aggressor’s actions forced you into making a decision you didn’t want to make.

      • Tyler January 10, 2013 at 7:55 pm

        Yes that is pretty black and white. As in an armed intruder trying to kill your family. A government action will be more in the gray area. At least at first.

        • Bryan Hyde January 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm

          In both cases individuals are seeking to deprive innocent people of their inalienable rights. Self defense against an aggressor is justifiable whether they work for the government or not.

          • Tyler January 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm

            I do not see defense of the constitution alone as a defense for killing. The defense of life may be required to defend the constitution. What a conundrum.

      • Snowfield January 15, 2013 at 8:26 am

        You have a pretty broad list of “aggressors, though, Bryan, and a pretty broad definition of what you consider evil. Your calls to violence could come and bite you in the behind legally if someone gets fired up and kills someone.

        • Bryan Hyde January 15, 2013 at 10:46 am

          Perhaps you could be more specific about exactly whom you think I’m naming as aggressors? Or what you say I consider evil. Please spell it out, if you don’t mind. I’m curious why you would consider peaceable people acting in self defense to be an act of violence. Is Locke wrong? Were the Founders wrong in resisting the King’s efforts to disarm them?

          • Roy J January 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm

            Yes, I think that Locke was wrong on that point. (nobody else seems to want to answer that). The difficulty with Locke’s position is that it is arbitrary, since he admits some taxation and appropriation of some rights by the government, though the people have chosen that burden of freedom themselves. However, that is an argument by a majority always, especially in a democracy, therefore some minority, whether they will or no, will be forced to submit by force, to some things they don’t like. According to Locke’s argument, this minority has a perfect right to rebel against the will of the majority and also according to Locke, they should. So in that sense I believe it might even be argued that the Founder’s were in the forms of despots in regards to a minority in the Colonies which did not want to rebel against the Crown, but to remain English citizens. In other words I suspect Locke’s argument is at root, circular, because there will always be a minority wherever men band together to form an imperfect union, and where there is union, there must be compromise, and where there is compromise there must be some limitation on some freedoms. At least I think so.

    • Roy J January 15, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      Look Tolstoi, nobody is asking you to trade your soul for anything. As a matter of fact, I agree with you. People like you should not be armed…

  • Dude January 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    They can’t lock up 80,000,000 people who refuse to turn in their weapons.

    • Tyler January 10, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Most people would turn in their guns. Even more would turn them in with the proper motivation. At what point would you say killing a human is justified to keep you guns?

      • Bryan Hyde January 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm

        When that human being initiates violence against me or my family. We’re not just defending our guns at that point, we’re defending our lives, our liberties, and our property. I’d be curious to hear your definition of “proper motivation.”

        • Tyler January 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm

          We know that people have already voluntarily turned in their guns or have turned them in to gun buy backs. More motivation such as threat of fine or arrest would be plenty of motivation for many more. If the government is planning confiscation they will start with non confrontational tactics. I am not so sure it will be as black and white as say Nazi Germany. They know how well armed we are. I know many people with better weapons than the police.

          • Alvin January 11, 2013 at 6:22 am

            I wonder if many of these guns from the by-backs are stolen and it’s just thieves or drug users obtaining some easy money. I doubt it is people who respect their 2nd Amendment rights and just decided “Hey, I’m going to turn my guns over the government, They always know what is right for me” Don’t look too much into those by-backs events.

          • Roy J January 15, 2013 at 8:00 pm

            Tyler,
            You’re ignoring the question. It isn’t fair to your readers to ignore questions in a debate…maybe you just don’t care…how rude.

        • Snowfield January 15, 2013 at 8:28 am

          What about the liberties of the people you start killing? What about their right to life and right to freedom? Don;t they deserve a fair trial before you decide to start executing people?

          • Dsull January 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

            So everyone that owns a weapon is just itching to kill someone? People like you are the problem in this debate. Emotion trumps facts for you. In southern utah, there are more guns per-capita than in most area’s it’s size, and Utah has a high percentage of gun owners vs other states, yet our homicide rate is lower than the vast majority of other states.

          • Roy J January 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm

            Snowfield:

            You don’t have the liberty to break into the house, pillage the property, murder the grandmother, and abuse the help. Those are all crimes. If you choose to engage in that sort of thing, you deserve everything that happens to you afterward.

      • Roy J January 16, 2013 at 1:45 pm

        Tyler

        You are incorrect. By most people, you probably mean the population in general. However, when most people means gun owners, that most people becomes to ridiculous…I don’t know any firearm owners pining away for the day they get to turn their weapons over to the government.

    • Keep Our Freedom January 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      True they can’t lock up 80,000,000 people, but Stalin was able to murder 30,000,000, Hitler was able to murder around 50,000,000. So we won’t be locked up in prison, we will be “disposed” of, being branded as cultists or far left activists.

  • KILLAT January 10, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    I’ve bought my assault weapons, and enough ammo …. Maybe our government has run its course and were getting pretty close to a revolt. I just hope Law Enforcement and the Military follow suit. They stand no chance of millions of men with hundreds of millions and guns and billions of rounds of ammo. If the Chinese had a way to transport as many men as they could over here America doesn’t stand a chance! We’re already here 🙂 Good Article though!

    – Ed. ellipsis

  • Steamer January 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I spoke to an old gentleman the other day who told me that people don’t buy assault weapons for home defense. They buy them and stockpile ammo for the day that they are called to revolt against the U.S. government that has presumably turned against them. I asked how and when this was to work… would there be a phone call or email from a leadership-figure like Rush Limbaugh or the NRA’s, Wayne LaPierre? Would the armed mobs first take to the streets on Bluff or St. George Boulevard? What would be the first target for takeover? (The Smith’s store for provisions or the Walmart south of town to pick up more ammunition)? Even with a well-trained cadre of aging veterans at the front, there are so many logistical questions to this strategy that I think it clearly points to mental illness as the root cause for this whole controversey. Just look as some of the comments on this article alone!

    • Dsull January 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Ask the people of Syria, Egypt, and the other countries our president has sent arms to help them revolt against their government. All Obama has done in our own country is work on making it harder for law abiding citizens to obtain legal firearms, while making it easier for Mexican drug cartel’s to get weapons to kill innocent civilians.

  • Markus January 13, 2013 at 11:52 am

    So from the authors comments it appears he is willing to shoot people over a piece of paper or a piece of metal and plastic.

    • Bryan Hyde January 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Try again, Markus. Defending one’s life, liberty and property against lawless aggression is the reason for the Second Amendment. It matters not whether that aggression is government-sponsored or coming from a simple street thug.

      Many Americans have great difficulty understanding that any government, including our own, can become murderous if its power is unchecked. Privately owned firearms remain a valid check on state power. Otherwise the politicians wouldn’t be so eager to limit them.

      • Tyler January 13, 2013 at 8:48 pm

        So the constitution trumps the ten commandments or the teachings of Yeshua?

        • Roy J January 15, 2013 at 7:43 pm

          Hey Tyler,

          The man who God told to write the Ten Commandments down also told him to write them into the Book of Exodus…okay, okay Deutronomy, too, but I won’t ask you to read that, it can be boring…just saying you might want them in context…

      • Snowfield January 15, 2013 at 8:33 am

        Your the ones threatening to start killing people. Who do you plan to kill? Will it be random to prove a point? Law enforcement? Liberals? California move ins? Who needs killing, Bryan? And who gave you the right to take life liberty and happiness away from others based on your own persona fears?

        • Dsull January 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm

          From actually reading what he wrote, he’s not attacking anyone, if someone attacks him, he has a right to defend himself. The only one here talking about taking away anything is those of you who feel it is your right to force others to give up what is rightfully theirs so you can feel better about yourself.
          .
          Knowing that if someone tries to break into my house while I’m out of town for business, my wife will be able to protect herself and my children is a lot better than “hoping” that the police are nearby. I would feel little pity for anyone killed attempting to harm my family. More examples of this happening are overlooked than are posted.

          • Roy J January 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm

            Dsull:
            Absolutely.

        • Roy J January 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm

          Snowfield,

          …come on…seriously? this is supposed to be reality based…what kind of an argument is that? Do you even want a response?

        • DoubleTap January 16, 2013 at 11:36 am

          Snowfield, come to my house in the middle of the night and kick down my front door, or break my patio door and come in to steal or harm me or my family. You will soon understand what I am talking about. Just because you are against defending yhourself…I am not. I promise you it will only hurt for an instant.

          • Robb Willie January 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm

            DT, From a former Utahn present Alaskan, I enjoyed your response to the bedwetter.

        • Tyler January 16, 2013 at 9:31 pm

          Brian has stated that even if someone is able to take his guns away peacefully he is justified in killing them. He does not have to wait for violence. It is his paper given right to kill anyone who infringes on him, even if it is without force.

          • Bryan Hyde January 17, 2013 at 4:46 am

            Time to put your money where your mouth is, “Tyler”. Please cite a direct quote from me stating what you’ve just claimed. You’ve made an assertion, now let’s see if you can back it up.

            Self defense presumes that the defender did not initiate force (violence). When government uses force against peaceful people who have committed no crime, it is acting as the aggressor and may be rightfully resisted.

  • Fred January 13, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    This gun control argument is like telling all of the men in America to have their … cut off because some guys rape women.

    Crazy logic.

    – Ed. ellipsis.

  • Tyler January 17, 2013 at 11:03 am

    “Bryan”:

    1. “Defending one’s life, liberty and property against lawless aggression is the reason for the Second Amendment. It matters not whether that aggression is government-sponsored or coming from a simple street thug.”
    2. “When government uses force against peaceful people who have committed no crime, it is acting as the aggressor and may be rightfully resisted.”

    Here are two threats you have made to kill members of the United States Government if they impede your right to own a 30 round magazine or a rifle made for the military. Why don’t you just be honest and say you are willing to kill a human for wanting to regulate your guns.

    • Bryan Hyde January 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      In both quotes, I’m clearly advocating self defense against unlawful aggression from any source, including a government that is sending its agents to use deadly force against innocent people in violation of their natural rights. Why does the thought of people standing up to tyranny upset you, Tyler?
      If you’d like to argue that government force is always righteous, then by all means let us discuss the whether a person would have been justified to resist Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Stalin, Ataturk, or any of the other leaders who used government force to murder innocent people. Would Jews have been justified in resisting the Nazis? Were the colonists justified in resisting King George II when he sent men to disarm them at Concord?

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