Is Supporting the Second Amendment Morally Equal to Supporting Slavery?

 

I invited Cam Edwards of NRA TV to the podcast today to talk about the current debate over gun rights and the relative strength of the NRA. Several commentators have suggested that the NRA’s political standing has been weakened by the reaction to the Las Vegas shooting, though it’s too early to get any reliable data.

But when it comes to the goals of the Left on gun control “gun safety,” the data is clear: They want to kill the Second Amendment.

Following the New Republic’s “It’s Time To Ban Guns” headline and the Bret Stephens “Repeal the Second Amendment” column comes this from the op-ed page of the New York Times:

One of the great disconnects of our history is how a nation birthed on the premise that all men are created equal could enshrine an entire race of people as three-fifths of a human being. We tried to fix that, through our bloodiest war and a series of amendments that followed.

Not so with guns. The Second Amendment, as applied in the last 30 years or so, has become so perverted, twisted and misused that you have to see it now as the second original sin in the founding of this country, after slavery.

Gun rights, the “second original sin?” An evil protected by the Constitution comparable to slavery? Which means that defending the Second Amendment is the equivalent of defending pre-Civil-War slavery?

Some gun owners will find this argument repugnant. Others will note the irony that the same guns required to end slavery and defend individual liberty are now being linked to the oppression they helped end.

But I think we can all agree that it’s very difficult for gun-rights supporters to enter good-faith negotiations over gun law reforms with people who’ve announced up front that they want to confiscate your guns, strip you of your constitutional rights and think of you as the moral equivalent of Simon Legree.

There are 25 comments.

  1. Member

    In a word – no.

    • #1
    • October 6, 2017 at 9:08 am
    • 4 likes
  2. Coolidge

    Michael Graham: But I think we can all agree that it’s very difficult for gun-rights supporters to enter good-faith negotiations over gun law reforms

    Especially when the NRA is already announcing surrender on bump fire stocks.

    • #2
    • October 6, 2017 at 9:11 am
    • 2 likes
  3. Coolidge

    And that’s another example of why I won’t have anything to do with the NRA.

    • #3
    • October 6, 2017 at 9:12 am
    • Like
  4. Contributor

    I never cared for the “common-sense gun control” talk. If I’m going to share a tent with a camel, I want to share it with the whole camel. Let’s make the conversation about keeping or abolishing the Second Amendment. That’s what it’s really been about all the time anyway.

    I find the clarity refreshing

    • #4
    • October 6, 2017 at 9:27 am
    • 4 likes
  5. Coolidge

    Michael Graham:

    But I think we can all agree that it’s very difficult for gun-rights supporters to enter good-faith negotiations over gun law reforms with people who’ve announced up front that they want to confiscate your guns, strip you of your constitutional rights and think of you as the moral equivalent of Simon Legree.

    It’s been said that one of the biggest obstacles to entitlement reform is the vocal contingent on the Right who insist that entitlements are unconstitutional and should be done away with entirely. People who might otherwise accept the fact that entitlement spending has ballooned out of control worry that moderate reformers are just taking the first step towards Randian indifference.

    So it is on the Left with gun control. The Australiaphiles on the Left have probably done more to kill gun regulation than the NRA is capable of.

    • #5
    • October 6, 2017 at 9:40 am
    • 2 likes
  6. Member

    Yudansha (View Comment):
    In a word – no.

    The 2nd amendment is the opposite of slavery.

    • #6
    • October 6, 2017 at 9:48 am
    • 12 likes
  7. Member

    My answer? Read this:

    Seawriter

    • #7
    • October 6, 2017 at 10:04 am
    • 5 likes
  8. Thatcher

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Yudansha (View Comment):
    In a word – no.

    The 2nd amendment is the opposite of slavery.

    I agree.

    • #8
    • October 6, 2017 at 10:22 am
    • 5 likes
  9. Member

    But when the basic argument is the Constitution is too ding darn difficult to amend, gosh all fish hooks, it probably makes sense to dress it up the way they did before sending it out into the world. Especially when somebody looking like Yosemite Sam is going to make the rejoinder “Great Horny Toads! By design, child, by good design, and probably not ding dang difficult enough considering your Income Tax, Direct Election of Senators, and, Heaven help us all, Prohibition,” before the little fellow gets to the bus stop.

    • #9
    • October 6, 2017 at 10:57 am
    • 1 like
  10. Member

    I remind everyone who brings up “gun control” that guns are inanimate so “gun control” is really “people control”.

    • #10
    • October 6, 2017 at 11:19 am
    • 4 likes
  11. Member

    It’s just another example of the ignorance of the New York Times editorial board. If they had even the most modest familiarity with the history of the US founding and its Constitution, they would understand that the right to keep and bear arms is a direct and necessary implementation of the inalienable right to individual life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that is at the center of the founding of the United States.

    There can be debates about how the matter of slavery was handled in the drafting of the US Constitution, and whether the result was ever consistent with ideals expressed in the founding documents. But, there cannot be any rational argument that the right of self determination and self defense implemented in the right to bear arms was in any way an error or inconsistent with any of the ideals of the founding of the US.

    • #11
    • October 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm
    • 4 likes
  12. Thatcher

    Michael Graham: The Second Amendment, as applied in the last 30 years or so, has become so perverted, twisted and misused that you have to see it now as the second original sin in the founding of this country, after slavery.

    While guns right have greatly expanded in the last 30 years (with a few setbacks like Connecticut and Colorado), the violent crime rate has dropped by almost 50%. Bring on the twisted perversion, I say.

    • #12
    • October 6, 2017 at 2:11 pm
    • 4 likes
  13. Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Let’s make the conversation about keeping or abolishing the Second Amendment. That’s what it’s really been about all the time anyway.

    Not that I read this to mean that @henryracette is in favor of abolishing the 2A, rather that I agree that we ought to be honest that that’s what we’re talking about.

    As for me, before we talk about abolishing the 2A (or any other portion of the Bill of Rights) we should first consider a constitutional amendment outlining a LEGAL and CONSTITUTIONAL process for dissolving the Union. States that wish to continue living under the current Constitutional order must have the means to do so peacefully. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they resort to violence?

    • #13
    • October 6, 2017 at 4:22 pm
    • 2 likes
  14. Contributor

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Let’s make the conversation about keeping or abolishing the Second Amendment. That’s what it’s really been about all the time anyway.

    Not that I read this to mean that @henryracette is in favor of abolishing the 2A, rather that I agree that we ought to be honest that that’s what we’re talking about.

    As for me, before we talk about abolishing the 2A (or any other portion of the Bill of Rights) we should first consider a constitutional amendment outlining a LEGAL and CONSTITUTIONAL process for dissolving the Union. States that wish to continue living under the current Constitutional order must have the means to do so peacefully. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they resort to violence?

    You read it right: I’m a gun guy. I think “abolish the Second Amendment” would be a wonderfully awful message for the left to embrace, and I’d like to see them do it.

    • #14
    • October 6, 2017 at 4:34 pm
    • 4 likes
  15. Member

    The NRA has taken the French course: a preemptive surrender! Once one commences to “consider” a shift in position, there inevitably will be a shift in position. The the suggestion that this particular ban is a negotiable item means that others more apealing to the Liberals’ eyes also are on the table. A willingness to “consider” this limitation means that others are open to “consideration” and makes a failure to make some accommodation of the opposing view an “unreasonable” and impossible-to-defend stance.

    If, as those of us on the side of the 2nd Amendment always have agrued, the problem is with the people who use firearms irresponsibly and criminally, then how can a piece of hardware be balamed for the event in Las Vegas? I hope that government control is delayed until my years are over.

    • #15
    • October 6, 2017 at 7:49 pm
    • 1 like
  16. Contributor

    I’ll make one comment in favor of gun control — quite probably the first time I’ve ever done that.

    I own a lot of guns, have spent a lot of time shooting, and have taught shooting and self-defense classes. I’m a staunch Second Amendment (and Constitution in general) advocate.

    I’m not familiar with the actual use of bump stocks. I’ve never tried one. I’ve read that they introduce a lot of inaccuracy; I don’t know how true that is, and the current media are of course unreliable.

    However, if a bump stock makes a semi-automatic weapon difficult to control for all except the most experienced shooters, then I can see a case being made that they represent a dangerous modification to a firearm and possibly something that could be prohibited for that reason alone. This isn’t a case against fully automatic weapons — I’m in favor of their legality — but rather of modifications that make a weapon inherently inaccurate and unmanageable.

    Absent that concern — and, again, I can’t attest to its validity, having never used a bump stock — I see no point in banning them. A semi-automatic can be fired fast in single-fire mode, and with greater accuracy.

    • #16
    • October 6, 2017 at 7:57 pm
    • 4 likes
  17. Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    if a bump stock makes a semi-automatic weapon difficult to control for all except the most experienced shooters, then I can see a case being made that they represent a dangerous modification to a firearm and possibly something that could be prohibited for that reason alone.

    Amen! In my (limited) experience, accurate semi-automatic fire is far more effective than general automatic fire, other than under certain specific conditions.

    • #17
    • October 6, 2017 at 8:57 pm
    • 2 likes
  18. Inactive

    Much depends upon how one defines slavery. Some might call “slave” a person three-fifths of whose entire production of goods and services (add up all the taxes you pay – down to “fees” constituting 20% of your cell phone bill) is taken by the state. After that, consider that the Bill of Rights has already been diluted beyond recognition. The proposed elimination of the Second Amendment is part of this ongoing process. In my book, we are all – those of us who produce all the goods and services which are re-distributed – a living example of a perfect form of slavery. We are largely distracted from awareness of our servitude.

    The logical conclusion of the assertion that the Second Amendment is the moral equivalent of slavery is that we will have to fight another Civil War. I will not hesitate to bet on which side will win that one. The left has been intentionally attempting to provoke us to violence – á la Antifa. It is a credit to the character of those on the right that we continue to resist the invitation. It is obvious that the left knows we will not respond to their invitation to become violent – up to the point. If they are emboldened to attempt confiscation, however, all bets are off. In their solipsism, they believe nothing is worth dying for. Their perception of their own safety can be seen, for example, in the fact that the left’s attack on First Amendment religious freedom was aimed only at Christian bakers. Do you suppose they steered clear of Muslim bakers accidentally?

    Molon labe.

    • #18
    • October 7, 2017 at 11:47 am
    • Like
  19. Coolidge

    civil westman (View Comment):
    It is obvious that the left knows we will not respond to their invitation to become violent – up to the point. If they are emboldened to attempt confiscation, however, all bets are off. In their solipsism, they believe nothing is worth dying for. Their perception of their own safety can be seen, for example, in the fact that the left’s attack on First Amendment religious freedom was aimed only at Christian bakers. Do you suppose they steered clear of Muslim bakers accidentally?

    Molon labe.

    Don’t kid yourself. Confiscation will work here. Here’s how:

    • They pass a law allowing them to confiscate guns. Too many people will follow a law no matter how bad it is.
    • Then they ask for everyone to voluntarily turn in weapons. Some will, many won’t.
    • Then they look for someone who isn’t very bright, and who can be counted on to violently resist confiscation.
    • They confront that individual and spin up a news story about how he owns machine guns and silencers, and none are legally registered, giving most people a bad impression of him.
    • Then they surround him and do something to provoke him.
    • Then the go in and kill his entire family, making sure children are killed very brutally.
    • They will claim the man put his children in harm’s way, it was all his fault.
    • And they make it very clear to any observers that they will do the same to your family as well.
    • Almost everyone will turn in their weapons after a few incidents like that. Some won’t, and they are counting on that to keep the police continuously at a state of war, much like Prohibition.

    Terror works, especially when conducted by the government. If they ever do away with the second amendment, this would be their plan. Individuals with small arms won’t make much difference. Heavy weapons and tanks and aircraft will be required. Small arms would only serve to stem the assault until the nation guard or rebellious military units get involved.

    So let’s hope gun confiscation is never seriously considered. It won’t be pretty.

    • #19
    • October 7, 2017 at 12:19 pm
    • 2 likes
  20. Thatcher

    Skyler (View Comment):

    civil westman (View Comment):
    It is obvious that the left knows we will not respond to their invitation to become violent – up to the point. If they are emboldened to attempt confiscation, however, all bets are off. In their solipsism, they believe nothing is worth dying for. Their perception of their own safety can be seen, for example, in the fact that the left’s attack on First Amendment religious freedom was aimed only at Christian bakers. Do you suppose they steered clear of Muslim bakers accidentally?

    Molon labe.

    Don’t kid yourself. Confiscation will work here. Here’s how:

    • They pass a law allowing them to confiscate guns. Too many people will follow a law no matter how bad it is.
    • Then they ask for everyone to voluntarily turn in weapons. Some will, many won’t.
    • Then they look for someone who isn’t very bright, and who can be counted on to violently resist confiscation.
    • They confront that individual and spin up a news story about how he owns machine guns and silencers, and none are legally registered, giving most people a bad impression of him.
    • Then they surround him and do something to provoke him.
    • Then the go in and kill his entire family, making sure children are killed very brutally.
    • They will claim the man put his children in harm’s way, it was all his fault.
    • And they make it very clear to any observers that they will do the same to your family as well.
    • Almost everyone will turn in their weapons after a few incidents like that. Some won’t, and they are counting on that to keep the police continuously at a state of war, much like Prohibition.

    Terror works, especially when conducted by the government. If they ever do away with the second amendment, this would be their plan. Individuals with small arms won’t make much difference. Heavy weapons and tanks and aircraft will be required. Small arms would only serve to stem the assault until the nation guard or rebellious military units get involved.

    So let’s hope gun confiscation is never seriously considered. It won’t be pretty.

    Connecticut has already passed a law making a class of guns illegal and no one complied. Your basic premise that people will turn stuff in has already been proven wrong.

    Therefore , I don’t trust the rest of your analysis.

    I know no one who says they would comply. No one. Door to door visits will result in police being shot from behind as they go in. You cannot disarm America. It cannot be done.

    • #20
    • October 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm
    • Like
  21. Contributor

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Connecticut has already passed a law making a class of guns illegal and no one complied.

    New York has its so-called (and much reviled by gun enthusiasts) SAFE Act, passed in 2013 in reaction to the Sandy Hook shooting. It requires that owners of so-called (one has to use “so-called” quite a lot, when discussing either gun or health-care legislation) “assault weapons” register their weapons with the state — and prohibits the ownership of additional so-called “assault weapons.”

    Compliance with the law has been on the order of 4% of the target population — this in a state that has draconian anti-gun laws.

    Any path to actual widespread gun confiscation would have to pass through a period of wildly energetic public outcry and objection by those of us who see the right to gun ownership as tantamount to religion. I can’t see it happening here. I hope the Democratic party endorses the idea in a big way.

    • #21
    • October 7, 2017 at 12:51 pm
    • 2 likes
  22. Thatcher

    Maybe it is NY I am remembering. Thanks.

    • #22
    • October 7, 2017 at 1:35 pm
    • 1 like
  23. Inactive

    Regarding Skyler’s proposed methods of confiscation – they will indeed use various types of subterfuge to try to pick off armed citizens bit by bit, but they will reach a point where the military will be required. It is an open question whether the armed forces, or even the police, will comply with orders to shoot their fellow citizens for refusing to give up their arms. I do not believe it can be done without warfare. Recall that warfare need not consist of traditional battle lines. This one would use lots of guerrilla tactics and much asymmetry. Those with military strategic and tactical skills would surely go after decision makes and those in officialdom pushing the policy i.e. decapitation. Given that the Second Amendment will never be removed through prescribed means of Constitutional amendment, such officials will be acting outside the Constitution, hence they would make themselves fair game.

    • #23
    • October 7, 2017 at 1:37 pm
    • 1 like
  24. Thatcher

    Old fashion civil war will result.

    • #24
    • October 7, 2017 at 1:40 pm
    • 1 like
  25. Contributor

    civil westman (View Comment):
    they will indeed use various types of subterfuge

    This and all discussions of gun confiscation assume something that, I think, is unlikely to be true: that our elected politicians will be able to sustain a disinterest in the outrage of the electorate. In order for that to happen, I think the electoral process itself would have to be broken, so that our legislators had no concern of losing their jobs as the public expressed its widespread displeasure with their behavior.

    Long before the kinds of concerted efforts described in this thread could be enacted, I think the voters — those highly motivated, responsible, die-hard conservative pro-gun voters — would have spoken loudly via the ballot box and the checkbook, and the gun-grabbing party would have been turned out of office.

    I just don’t see it. I think we tend to win the gun-rights battles.

    • #25
    • October 7, 2017 at 1:52 pm
    • 3 likes