A Philosophical Argument Against “Gun Control”
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”
– The Declaration of Independence, 1776.
The right to speech, to thought, to expression, to religion and faith, to ownership, to protection, and so forth, are not something given to its citizens by a governing entity. Rather, these rights are inherent to our very being. They are among the things which make us uniquely human; they are as much part of our existence as our minds and tongues and eyes and feet. A government does not give us our anatomical features and, similarly, it cannot give us our inherent, inalienable rights which are ours because we are human and we exist. A government truly serving its people will act to respect both their physical and non-physical characteristics. An oppressive government will act in disrespect of and in opposition to what makes its citizens human beings.
On the issue of “gun-control” we hear many arguments for the trimming away of the Second Amendment. Aside from the fact that very few of these arguments are sound and rational, most do not recognize that the “Second Amendment” is a name given to something that has preexisted the inception of the United States government as well as any other empire, country and kingdom. The right of an individual to protect him or herself is as inherent to that individual’s human existence as having hands and being able to walk upright and to think. It is not a now-outdated invention, thought of by a group of men in the 18th century. Rather, the Founding Fathers knew that in order to avoid forming an oppressive governing body, such as the one they had just freed themselves from, they had to form one which respects inherent human rights. Not one that gives these rights – since you cannot give to someone something which belongs to them by nature – but one that governs with respect and appreciation to these rights.
And this is precisely the difference between a governing body under which people desire to live and a governing body from which people risk their lives to flee.
It is the disrespect, neglect and persecution of such rights that made and makes socialist and communist governments so radically oppressive. If you speak to people who lived through the Soviet reign, those who recently escaped Venezuela, those who fled Cuba and other countries, you will find that many of them felt as though their very humanity had been stripped from them. This is true since the goal of a socialist movement is precisely to amputate from people that which makes them uniquely human, their inalienable rights – first and foremost the right to protect themselves.
The Second Amendment cannot ever be outdated, just like our hands and minds and all actions that belong to them cannot be outdated. The Second Amendment guarantees (the best that any such document can guarantee) that Americans will live in a place where their inherent right to protect themselves against anyone, primarily an oppressive government, will be respected. In other words, the Second Amendment is not just an inalienable right in and of itself, it is the guardian of all the other inalienable rights which preexist the Declaration of Independence but were recognized by it.
One cannot propose to take away from everyone the rights which cannot be alienated from their humanity, including the right to protection, because a few have abused them. The same way you cannot propose to cut off everyone’s hands because a few have chosen to use their hands for abominable actions. We must approach every modern issue on an individual’s right to do so-and-so with this understanding: that if we propose to take away or even limit inherent rights, we are proposing that an individual be stripped of a part of his or her humanity. Further, that in doing so, we open a wide door to allowing the same to occur to others and to ourselves. Any government sanctioning of such a proposal must be met with wild opposition and distrust from the people since if put into action, such a proposal will undermine the very fabric of a free and prosperous nation.
* Salome Boroda was born in the country of Georgia and her family relocated to the United States in 1998. She has since obtained a doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Virginia. She lives in Charlottesville where she enjoys hiking, camping, reading, cooking and thinking. She believes that these activities are best done with her fiance and dog named Brady (although he mostly thinks about food). Salome’s family history is a testament to the detriment that an over-arching and abusive government can bring to its people. She is a believer in individual rights, states rights and the limitation of federal government.