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Greg O'Keefe / Mar. 10, 2014

What We're Up Against

Guns are essential tools of modern life. The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees (but does not give) us the right to keep and bear arms. So why is there any controversy at all?

I used to have discussions about gun control more frequently than I do now. Good, bad, or indifferent, I don’t engage people as often as I used to. Two old gun control arguments stick in my mind. The first involved a coworker, an otherwise intelligent man with a PhD who was vehemently anti-gun. He made a comment that blew me away, insisting that he would allow his wife and daughter to be raped and murdered, and that he would never try to stop the attacker by using a gun. The second was an email conversation with a man whom I never met face-to-face, also intelligent. He and I went through a lengthy conversation over many days, and I put forth every argument and piece of evidence I knew. The guy impressed me with the way he listened and seemed to have an open mind. However, in the end he actually said (after I won all arguments), “I don’t care what the fact are. I’ve made up my mind.”

Either of these two attitudes is perfectly acceptable (although at the same time, completely illogical) if they apply only to the individual who adopts such a philosophy. In other words, in an ideal world in which each of us is free, and also responsible for our actions, such tragic abdication of personal responsibility affects few people other than the individuals involved. But this is not an ideal world. These morally reprehensible individuals are not content to make decisions for themselves. They want to tell the rest of us how to live our lives. They do so not just by presenting an argument, which would be fine, but by succumbing to the old nauseating adage, “there ought to be a law”. They in essence pay someone else to put a gun to our heads and tell us how to live our lives.

The people who make up the gun culture are in general responsible, freedom-loving, patriotic citizens who live and let live. By contrast, our adversaries who push gun control are often just the opposite.

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