Cocco says that the “gun guys” were “displaying their perfectly state-permitted firearms.”
State-permitted! How about that? The right to keep and bear arms isn’t a right at all. It’s a state-granted privilege, one that the state can revoke at any time.
No, Ms. Cocco. That’s not the way it works. The right to keep and bear arms has nothing to do with some type of permission or license from the state. It is a fundamental right that preexists the state. It is an inherent right, one that has been endowed in every individual. It’s one of those fundamental rights that Jefferson (you know — that dangerous radical who believed in the right of revolution) was referring to in the Declaration of Independence.
This is one of the big problems of statists. They honestly believe that their rights come from the government, rather than from nature or God. Thus, they see nothing wrong with the state’s regulating or even prohibiting the right.
The logical outcome of this statist mindset is what you see occurring in places like China and Iran. If people’s rights come from the state, then what’s wrong with the state’s punishing people for saying the wrong things or for protesting against things that they’re not supposed to protest against?
Another myth, one that both conservatives and liberals have promoted for many years, is that people’s rights come from the Constitution. Thus, if a right isn’t listed there, the argument goes, it must not exist.
That’s just standard liberal and conservative claptrap. Since people’s rights preexist government, they must preexist the document that brings government into existence. Doh!
Moreover, our American ancestors were not dumb. A careful reading of the Bill of Rights, for example, reveals that (preexisting) rights are protected from government infringement. That is, the Amendments don’t grant rights, they prohibit government from infringing (preexisting) rights.
Statists make a big deal over whether the Second Amendment applies to the states or not. What difference does it make? Even if the Second Amendment had never been enacted, people still would have the fundamental, preexisting, inherent right to keep and bear arms.
Dionne takes conservatives to task for having arrested protestors and dissenters during the Bush administration. He’s right in his criticism. He also points out, “I don’t think conservatives would have spoken out in defense of the right of every American Marxist to bear arms or to shed the blood of tyrants.” Again, he’s right. When it comes to the consistent application of rights and liberties, conservatives are notorious for abandoning principle.
Not so with libertarians, however. We libertarians would, for example, defend the right of Nazis sympathizers to freely express their views, as the ACLU did many years ago. We also would defend the right of Marxist sympathizers to keep and bear arms. Again, rights are fundamental and inherent, not state-granted privileges.
Cocco and Dionne suggest that people who bear arms to rallies are threatening to use violence against people who disagree with them and therefore are suppressing free speech.
That’s inane. Just because someone is scared of seeing a gun doesn’t mean that his rights have been violated. It simply means that he’s got an irrational fear, one that he himself must conquer.
Suppose some big liberal union thugs appear at a protest meeting with clenched fists and scowling faces, hoping to intimidate people into shutting up. Have they violated anyone’s rights with their appearance? Of course not! The timid folks who decide to remain silent because they’re afraid of antagonizing the union thugs must do the difficult work of overcoming their fears and mustering up personal courage.
Ever since the gun-toting controversy began, liberals have operated on the assumption that the people openly carrying arms are threatening to use their guns on the president or on people who disagree with them.
Obviously, that’s hasn’t turned out to be the case.
At the risk of stating the obvious, if someone is intent on doing the president or someone else harm, how likely would it be that he would be carrying his weapon openly?
Let’s assume that someone did appear at these protests with the intent of harming the president and people at the rally. If that were ever to happen, my hunch is that Cocco, Dionne, and other liberals will be grateful that there were law-abiding citizens able and willing to use their firearms to defend themselves and others from the murderers.