March 1, 2011

Guns on Campus and the Second Amendment as a Mainstream Value

Whenever a college campus or workplace or general region considers affirming armed adults, there come objections from officials which rival those of the gun control organizations.

Here is the core of the second amendment: independence from officials who would suggest they can do personal safety better. When they cannot, they then do more of it, and bureaucracy grows.

The problem is that you can’t talk to them – not even conservatives – and ever expect them to understand that the kind of independence we have in this country is independence from them, especially. Yes, independence from conservatives as much as liberals. The distinction we were hoping for in the 2011 Congress is smaller government, and that does not mean cuts, my friends; it means the repeal of programs entirely. It would begin with the repeal of all guns laws as a reflection of understanding the dynamic of independence.

The focus from trustees and other agencies has been to argue or make the case for gun control. But this misses a fundamental point: They do not discuss with us, they take orders from us. This from educators and conservatives.

The quarrel educators and others meet us with is more about hanging on to centralization than anything to do with student safety. Even arming faculty, though it may feel like progress to some liberty purists, is actually no difference in freezing the citizen out of the concept yet again.

It is educators who need the education. Law enforcement knows that the target of crime is the first line of defense. This explains why crime continues despite more and more laws. Beat officers get it, while management votes for more gun control.

Virginia Tech’s Student Manual admits the rights of self-defense, but denies the means, and most schools don’t even have the capacity to sort out aggressor from defender. Why not? Because these would mean independence from them, and this is lethal to centralization.

Lethal force in America is lethal to bureaucracy in showing how unneeded so many programs really are. This is how I show that the repeal of gun laws will begin the movement to smaller government. Too many programs are boondoggles built on an anti-violence clone, and when you remove the cornerstone of them – gun control – they can be exposed as the boondoggles they are. This is why cuts are not enough: America needs the repeal of whole programs.

When it comes to guns on campus, we cannot rationally expect student safety as long as we are continually and stubbornly answered with arguments for more centralization evasion and more exclusion of the citizen. Armed students are anathema to this centralization foible because they promote independence, and that naturally then becomes student safety. You see the second amendment in action when that quality of student safety becomes a welcome reality and the bureaucracy is apparently not as optimal as they had claimed.

This is the supreme peaceable function of the second amendment. It simply makes centralization arguments worthless. Armed citizens impeach centralization. And that, my fellow Americans, is a mainstream value.

Conservatives, call your office.

John Longenecker is publisher of the Safer Streets Newsletter and Commentary.

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