While walking down the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy had a quite a menagerie of companions to accompany her on her travails. There was the Cowardly Lion, Brainless Scarecrow, and Heartless Woodsman. Through a long series of trials, tribulations, and adventures Dorothy learns that she could have gone home at anytime by using the magic shoes she stole from a dead woman her house landed on, and her friends all discover that they already possessed select qualities but didn’t know how to recognize these traits in themselves. Unfortunately, Sen. Feinstein isn’t going to discover that her companions on her latest walk down the legislative golden path are possessing of admired traits, and she’s not wearing ruby red shoes.
At some point today Sen. Dianne Feinstein is set to introduce a bill proposing a new assault weapons ban. Unfortunately, a number of the provisions in this bill don’t target assault weapons, but simply guns in general. Her bill doesn’t merely limit the number of rounds that a magazine may contain, but also limits the freedoms of law abiding gun owners.
Sen Feinstein has made a carrier out of riding tragedy to success. By her own admission, she used the assassination of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, the nation’s first openly gay elected official to propel herself into a successful political carrier. Since then she’s been a tireless champion of gun control, authored the original 1994 assault weapons ban, and has been pushing to reinstate and strengthen the assault weapons ban since it expired in 2004.
While Sen. Feinstein’s dedication to her cause is admirable, her reasoning is full of holes so large that monkeys wearing funny outfits could fly through them. Firstly, there’s the obvious hypocrisy of the whole situation. Sen. Feinstein doesn’t want you to own a gun, but has no problem buying one to protect herself. In addition to that, there’s the blatant manipulation of public opinion through the obfuscation of basic gun facts. If you’re wanting to sway my opinion then use accurate information to make a well reasoned argument supporting your stance. Don’t try to mislead me by confusing the difference between a semi-automatic firearm and an assault weapon. They are two very different beasts.
Frankly, gun control laws aren’t going to stop tragedies such as what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary. People like to paint these events as problems of the times, but unjustifiable gun violence of this nature has been with us for decades. Gun laws aren’t going to keep criminals from getting guns, nor will criminals respect these laws. It doesn’t matter how many exceptions your bill has for hunters and sportsman. When you limit the ability of law abiding citizens to procure effective means of defending themselves then you invite tyranny into our homes. As many before me have argued, the right the bear arms isn’t enshrined in the Constitution so people can visit the shooting range at their leisure, but to enable the people to overthrow a tyrannical government should one ever arise in the United States. So long as the municipal police departments have AK-47s, body armor, and armored vehicles then every American has reason to believe they need similar hardware. If you feel there’s a need to remove such weapons from my home then I feel there’s a need to remove such weaponry from the police department. If the police department can’t protect me without a semi-automatic rifle then how can I be expected to protect myself without one? If it takes the police several minutes to arrive at my door once I’ve called 911 then I need the means to protect myself until they do.
The recent gun control debate isn’t about safety. Taking guns away from people doesn’t stop gun violence. The debate isn’t about assault weapons. Most of the massacres of the previous years didn’t involve assault weapons, but semi-automatic weapons. The debate isn’t even about criminals having guns! Most of the mass shootings have been committed by people who were perfectly law abiding before they starting shooting people. The debate is about our rights. Do we, the people, have the right to defend ourselves or not? While gun control is being debated there will be many questions asked, but perhaps the most poignant question won’t be voiced. Do we have a need to defend ourselves? The undeniable answer to that question is an unequivocal yes. As long as crazy, murderous, lunatics exist there will be a need for the common person to respond with force to unjust aggression. Perhaps Sen. Feinstein needs to recognize that. Perhaps, also, she needs to recognize that a person doesn’t need to be a senator before they have need of a gun because I’m willing to bet she felt safer after buying a .38 special.