As the debate over the basic right an individual has to carry a gun continues, some states in the US have attempted to enact “constitutional carry” legislation that protects an individual’s right to carry a gun without a license. Recently, such legislation passed both the State House and the State Senate of Oklahoma but was vetoed by embattled GOP Governor Marry Fallin. Other states have had efforts with similar results.
While it may or may not be effective to do background checks when a person purchases a gun, that isn’t the real issue here. Background checks when purchasing are a separate and distinct issue of whether a person must be licensed to use his own property which he already legally obtained. People are born with certain rights that are not bestowed upon them by government, at least not in any legitimate fashion, but are granted to them by the fact that they are individuals who exist. One of those rights is a right to defend oneself and others. Another of those rights is to do with one’s property as he pleases, so long as what he’s doing is not harming other innocent people. And, that’s the caveat. If the gun is being used offensively, then it’s not being used in course with the individual’s rights, but if the gun is being used in defense, then the owner has full rights for self-defense.
If you buy a house, most people don’t question your right to live there. If you buy a set of golf clubs, most people will not protest when you go to the golf course to play. It’s expected that if you own property you have the right to use it in a manner that does not harm others, except defensively.
The concept of constitutional carry is that it protects these inalienable rights to use your own property without interference or licensing. Currently, government takes certain rights away from you then sells them back to you in the form of a license or permit. The only way that government can grant such rights is to first take them away. Selling people something that was stolen away to begin with is entirely unethical and a violation of individual natural rights.
There are certain occasions when we might consider whether a person should not own a gun. Perhaps a person lacks the mental capacity to be able to distinguish offensive and defensive use. Perhaps a person is a habitual ignorer of the rights of others and constantly uses his weapon offensively. Perhaps a pattern of behavior has been established that demonstrates a person is highly likely to use guns in an offensive manner. In these situations, one could argue that these people lose an inherent right to gun ownership.
The problem with this is who gets to make these determinations. Governments can’t be trusted to make such determinations because they have inherent agendas, driven not as much by public good but more by what gives them and keeps them in power. Placing such decisions with government allows politicians and government representatives to take away guns at will for their own reasons, making flimsy excuses based on arguments for public good.
If we are to take guns away from the people who are most in danger of using them offensively, then that’s a decision that must be made by the people closest to them. People who already act in a capacity of guardianship of sorts – the people who are either in current immediate danger (they are staring down the barrel of that gun), or people who are close to the individual and know their motives and circumstances.
If you own a gun, there is no question that you must be able to carry it. Your right to do so comes from the fact that you own it, and it does not legitimately come from whether government believes you should be charged for such a privilege. If you fail to train to use the gun properly, then you accept full responsibility for doing so. But, no government should ever take away your natural rights in order to sell them back to you. Your property is yours to use, not because government said so, but because it is yours by virtue of your owning it. Unless there are extenuating circumstances that can only be determined by people closest to you, government cannot legitimately license your gun use. You have a legitimate right to carry any gun you own, and government should enforce that right rather than deny it.
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