OPINION – My friend’s chihuahua certainly meant well. Any time someone knocked on the Simpson family’s door, Tiny went into full attack mode.
He’d race to the door, bug-eyed and frothing, carrying on as if a herd of escaped convicts riding grizzly bears were headed for the house.
For the person standing outside the door, it was almost a compliment to see Tiny’s overreaction. You could hear the growing desperation in each yap until the door was opened and the visitor invited inside, at which point Tiny would suddenly compose himself.
No doubt the little dog thought he was doing the right thing. After all, he was simply acting as a protector and instinctively responding to the stimulus of the doorbell ringing.
I was vividly reminded of Tiny’s antics as I watched the Pavlovian reactions to the headlines about the shootings at an Orlando night club. As expected, the gun control advocates were by far the most unhinged.
Like Tiny, they tended to react dogmatically in the only way they knew how. Their shrill demands and overreaction were fueled primarily by emotion and an instinctive reaction to certain media buzz words.
However, unlike the dog, rabid gun control advocates seldom find the rationality to compose themselves. With their enablers in the press urging them on, they simply continue to wear themselves out barking and spinning in circles.
They likely begin with good intentions, just like Tiny did. But somewhere along the way, they lose sight of the bigger picture and what is actually at stake.
Most importantly, they cannot be taken seriously because they lack the critical quality of moral authority in what they are urging.
Individuals who claim to be against self-loading, military-pattern rifles in the hands of the populace have a curious blind spot when it comes to such firearms in the hands of agents of the state.
They claim that such rifles are “weapons of war” and are only useful for “killing large amounts of people quickly.” But is that really the case?
Somehow, a so-called “assault weapon” is magically transformed into a noble instrument of defense when wielded by someone wearing the state’s costume.
The fact that such rifles have legitimate utility for defense of home or community should also mean that this application reaches beyond law enforcement. Rugged, dependable defensive firearms create the necessary parity of force to end a murderous rampage.
That means the primary responsibility for defending innocent life falls first to those who are actually on the scene. After all, law enforcement is seldom at the scene the moment a deadly attack is launched.
To those for whom the assumption of such personal responsibility is unthinkable, there is an unspoken distrust of the common people who make up our communities. They are demonstrating a clear tendency to confuse firearms proficiency and perceived professionalism with moral judgment.
As Jeff Snyder wrote 22 years ago following the bloody misbehavior of law enforcement at Waco and Ruby Ridge:
The responsible use of firearms depends precisely on sound and moral judgment, and no republic is founded or stands upon the notion that the government possesses and exercises moral judgment superior to that of the people.
All one has to do is examine the well-documented genocides of the 20th century to discover that no one kills with more efficiency or abandon than lawless governments. Preceding each genocide, laws were passed that carefully disarmed the targeted groups.
That can only happen when blind, unquestioning trust is placed in government rather than in the character and personal responsibility of the people.
This is why gun control advocates lack moral authority to call for disarming the public in the name of safety. They seek to deprive the innocent of liberty without due process.
There have always been evil individuals who have used whatever means were available to inflict harm on others. Renouncing liberty in a misguided attempt to prevent anything bad from happening again is criminally short-sighted.
The mania to regulate others is what makes gun control advocates behave like my friend’s dog every time someone came to the door. Except what they’re doing isn’t just annoying and counterproductive, it’s dangerous.
They’d be a lot happier if they took their inner control freak and dropped it down a well. We might even find some common understanding in the idea that we live in an imperfect world. Justice takes place after a wrong is done.
Bad things will happen. Evil will occur.
The best we can do is to be the kind of individuals who do not allow these things to come into the world through our actions.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator, radio host and opinion columnist in Southern Utah. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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