Don’t Trust the Childrenry With Guns

Column by new Root Striker Shaquille Brisset.

Exclusive to STR

“You are incompetent. You are a tall, naive child, and you do not possess the wherewithal to be granted full autonomy. If not properly supervised, you may get hurt or hurt the other children. As loving guardians, we will be implementing a few measures to ensure your safety. From here on out, you are not to run with scissors, listen to your music above a certain volume, or stay out past seven on weeknights.”

Surprisingly, the paragraph above was intended for adults. A bit of hyperbole, yes, but it gets the point across: The Obama administration and its swath of gun control lobbyists believe it is our duty, as Children of the State, to relinquish our right of autonomy in order to ensure our safety. Apparently the acts of a few lunatics have caused all law-abiding citizens to forfeit their Second Amendment right. Look, I understand that events like the Sandy Hook shooting and the attack on Canada's Parliament conjure fear. I'm no robot; I have a loving family and friends and I, too, fear for their safety. But denying the rights of individuals to protect themselves in an effort to protect them sounds a bit asinine.

Gun control proposals appear fundamentally sound when etched on the yellow sheet in your legal notepad. No guns equals less violence, right? The problem is, however, that when implemented in the real world, these laws prove to be an abysmal means of preventing violence.

Gun control does not take weapons off the streets, it only leads to the centralization of gun ownership. Obviously by virtue of their occupation, criminals do not obey the law. They will keep their guns and the rest of us will be left defenseless. It doesn’t take a criminologist to realize this. Personally, I am curious as to whether or not these lobbyists have read of any of America's past experiments with gun control. Have they seen the evidence that leaves their points moot? Perhaps they think the statistics have been pulled out of thin air. Shall we simply ignore the fact that right-to-carry laws have lowered murder rates within states that have implemented those laws? Since implementing right-to-carry laws, Texas has seen a 30% drop in murders while Florida has enjoyed a 36% decrease. How delusional must someone be to attribute these decreases in crimes to mere coincidence?

By now, you’re probably experiencing that creeping feeling of cognitive dissonance, but since we are not little boys and girls, can we please employ a bit of pragmatism? Guns deter crime. Even with eyelids taped open, strapped to a chair in front of the flickering of an action movie marathon, one can attest to the fanciful notion of invulnerability. This is because people are biologically hardwired for self preservation. And guess what? Leaping head first into a hollow point bullet kind of goes against that programming. Criminals understand this. A study published in 2000 by the Journal of Quantitative Criminology revealed that Americans use guns to deter criminals 989,883 times per year. Most incidents end nonviolently. And the ones who choose not to make haste and ignore the whispers of their shoulder angel? Well, they learn the hard way. Recipient of the American Society of Criminology's Michael J. Hindelang Award, author and professor Gary Kleck estimates that around 8,000-16,000 intruders are incapacitated by gun owners every year.

Many proponents of “damsel in distress” tactics point to “successes” in foreign countries. These men and women, however, completely reject cultural relativism in their assessments. In his 1992 book The Samurai, The Mountie and The Cowboy: Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of Other Democracies?, political science researcher and attorney Dave Kopel, writes, "Foreign style gun control is doomed to failure in America. Foreign gun control comes along with searches and seizures, and with many other restrictions on civil liberties too intrusive for America. Foreign gun control . . . postulates an authoritarian philosophy of government fundamentally at odds with the individualist and egalitarian American ethos." Japan, for example, has very lax privacy rights when compared to the American standard. Rights for suspects and rights against self-incrimination are also few and far between. In Japan, citizens are regularly stopped and frisked by law enforcement. At their own discretion, Japanese law enforcement officers pay visits to people's private homes twice a year. Should we, as Americans, give up our right to privacy as well?

How much will we forfeit in the name of security? Today, our government seems poised to turn into the absolutist government of Hobbesian lore. And while I appreciate the constant reminders that the world is a scary place, I am a little skeptical about the sovereign’s ability to protect us. The police do not possess the power of omnipresence, so how can we expect total protection even in a Nanny State? I know law enforcement would have no qualms about checking beneath our beds and in our closets for monsters. However, think of the time that would take, the amount of personnel, the costs! I would hate for my neighbors to have to deal with the subsequent spike in taxes that would occur from such a practice, so I will do my part. I will alleviate the need for such a burden. So tonight, after I crawl into my footie pajamas, grab my bear, and turn on my little night light, I will cuddle up next to my Kimber 1911. After all, I am a big boy.

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Shaquille Brisset's picture
Columns on STR: 1

Shaquille Brisset is a content writer at Gainesville Coins.


Paul's picture

If I read this right, you seem to be accepting the premise that the rulers intend to protect us, while questioning their ability to do it properly. The premise is wrong. Far from wanting to protect us, their major project is to act as a parasite on us. Parasites do not protect.

Samarami's picture

First I'd like to welcome you aboard, Shaquille. There have been a number of "gun control" theses, and you present a good one with your own distinct analogy and set of references.

STR needs new essay writers (although there are still many willing to "take the heat" and continue to make good presentations). I see with not a little angst many sites that previously stood for true freedom and liberty sort of falling by the wayside. I strongly suspect a part of that might be the push for "NAP" (non-aggression principle), which may have spilled over into a general reluctance on the part of freedom lovers to to "aggress" by submitting comments that might be construed as criticism, or as bringing the substance of an essay into contention.

And, without controversial essays and lively debate, sites like STR quickly become fallow and risk demise. I recall a few essays (particularly those with "g-d" or "religion" in the topic) that elicited well over a hundred comments and wrestled on for weeks or even months. More than one packed up his glove and ball and left the playing field -- not a very "libertarian" approach, but happened nonetheless.

From the essay:

    "Obviously by virtue of their occupation, criminals do not obey the law..."

Second, I think it is important that one identify in her own mind what "criminal" is. Because (imho) there are free market criminals and there are non-free market criminals. The non-free marketers are the dangerous ones -- the ones most of us find ourselves blogging about. They are those who claim (by their armaments and their increasing willingness to use them on "..their own 'citizens'..") to exclusively possess a substance so many like to refer to as "jurisdiction". And if they have you convinced in your own heart that they indeed possess that magical substance -- that they represent "our" government -- their mission is 95% successful.

I submit that the human family is the only legitimate governing unit. You start your essay with that analogy (then relate it to central "authority" as in the u.s. district of collectivism). Unlike most animals, newborn human beings are totally dependent upon adult care and supervision -- hopefully with loving and dedicated Moms and Dads. Although we encounter horror stories of moms or dads who have flung their newborn into a well or manhole, 99% of Moms would never think of withholding their breast from their cherished newborn. We swaddle them and protect them and prevent from danger -- those children we love.

When you become a parent you have jurisdiction, whether you like it or not. It is a jurisdiction of love -- the only true and authentic jurisdiction. And that jurisdiction extends on out for a number of years. The Statlers sang a line in one of their songs, "...things get complicated when you get past eighteen..."

As a matter of fact, genuine jurisdiction has a way of reversing itself in time. Ever now and again libertarians will come up with the topic for discussion, " parents own their children..."? And that, of course, always elicits opinion from all sides. Because, as Thomas Pynchon is credited with having said, "...If they can keep you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers."

In time -- and in enduring, loving families -- the children ultimately inherit jurisdiction over elderly parents. Two of my daughters (I have seven kids -- five now over 50) have conservatorship over my accounts. That's done in our culture for a number of reasons -- one (and primarily) as a "legal" tactic to keep the white man's fingers away from the cup cakes. So I often badger them, that one nod to the white man and they can have me locked away forever and forever!

Genuine jurisdiction, as I said above, is a jurisdiction of love -- and trust. In the world tomorrow -- after human government systems have been bankrupt and skuttled -- jurisdiction and legitimate contracts will be those based upon trust.

This I believe. (Anyone here old enough to remember those old "This-I-Believe" radio shows?)


Samarami's picture

Addendum: I referred to the old "This I Believe" radio show, with Ed Murrow and his jangling of the 50's -- on which I cut my eye teeth (and eventually had to exorcise in order to acquire liberty and freedom). But in googling after my comment I see there is one still on the web.

I strongly suspect that none of the "beliefs" we've shared with each other here at STR could ever see the light of day on their site. I'm sure they only accept collectivist, teary-eyed pablum that passes for conventional wisdom amongst the unwashed masses -- that which supports, aggrandizes and promotes legitimacy of the chicanery of psychopaths organized under the mantle of "state".

But don't let this dissuade you from giving it a try. Sam

Mark Davis's picture

The police in Japan typically don't carry guns and are more like community service officers than law enforcement like we have here.   They are friendly, polite, educated and try to get to know the people in the area that they are working.  Tokyo has millions of people in a small area, yet it has the crime problems of a small rural town in America and you almost never notice cops beause there are so few.  The Japanese have very strong family and neighborhood ties which helps keep crime down and little need for police.  The police are glad to help with lost and found items and give out directions to tourists with little interest in making drug busts or getting macho.  The policy of surveying people twice a year is looked at as a courtesy for getting to know the people in a neighborhood and it is voluntary; you can say "no" you don't want to talk to them and they will smile, thank you and go away.