“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”
– Spock, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
Citizens of Cleveland enjoyed catharsis when the Cavaliers triumphed in the NBA Finals, ending the city’s 52 year professional sports championship drought. Unfortunately for Cleveland’s liberty-lovers and constitutionalists, the hysteria inherent to the celebration of the basketball championship has remained, and transformed into hysterical and histrionic demands by law-enforcement representatives that its law-abiding citizens give up their right to open-carry firearms.
As with almost every single proposal (read: knee-jerk reaction) to curb gun violence following a shooting, advocates of gun control want everyone to suffer for the crimes of a few.
The philosophical underpinnings of the above quote by everyone’s favorite Vulcan is not without its faults; decisions based on the needs of a majority over a minority is a common source of tyranny. Gun controllers have effectively appropriated Spock’s rationale, but in so doing, they have perverted it by inversion. Gun controllers believe a few rotten apples spoils the whole barrel.
There now exists a prejudice against gun owners, a bias levied against them by liberal progressives and their partners and enablers in the mainstream media, and other authoritarians.
One of these authoritarians is Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association president Stephen Loomis. On July 18, CNN.com reported “The head of Cleveland’s largest police union is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to temporarily tighten the state’s gun laws during this week’s Republican National Convention following Sunday’s shooting in Louisiana that killed three officers and wounded at least three others.”
Loomis told CNN:
“He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something — I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point… They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over…
We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry… An AR-15, a shotgun, multiple handguns. It’s irresponsible of those folks — especially right now — to be coming downtown with open carry AR’s or anything else. I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not. We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.”
To his credit, Kasich commented “Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested.”
Legal gun owners (law-abiding citizens) are now an unofficial demographic, and one that suffers from prejudice. They are treated with contempt and suspicion for not acquiescing to gun control regulation, but these peaceful gun owners are not the problem; they are not the ones involved in mass shootings, nor are they responsible for gun violence that spills the blood of gang members and innocent bystanders in Democratic Party controlled cities.
Ohioans, Clevelanders and conservatives visiting the city LeBron James built for the RNC convention are not culpable for the shooting deaths of Dallas and Baton Rouge police officers. So why does Loomis want gun owners and open carriers to relinquish their rights?
It’s Gun Crow. Statists want gun owners to be treated as second-class citizens.
Loomis expresses the same belief of other run-of-the-mill gun controllers: if you believe you have a right to self-defense, eventually you will modify that belief into a variation of “the best defense is a good offensive” and become an aggressive gun owner, a vigilante or maniac looking for someone to shoot. Essentially, legal gun owners all have the potential for violence because firearms themselves represent a temptation that these gun owners could not resist, and should all be treated as time bombs waiting to explode, and distrusted as such. Legal gun owners cannot be trusted to not be violent; they just can’t help it.
Loomis’ demands and assertions are risible for several reasons. First of all, he contradicts himself by saying “We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it,” while asking Kasich to infringe upon the constitutional rights of citizens to keep and bear arms. Second, he tries to draw a parallel between open carry and yelling fire in a crowded theater; that analogy works only insofar if the person open carrying yells “fire!” but a person who believes somebody open carrying will just start shooting into a crowd is operating under delusional paranoia. Third, there are countless sporting events, parades, concerts and other instances of people meeting and interacting en masse in Ohio; what is unique about the RNC that should compel government to deny citizens their rights to bear arms and due process?
I do not own, nor have I ever fired, any firearms, and have no desire to do so. I’d be perfectly content to live in a world without firearms, provided we lived in a world where governments and private citizens and enterprises respected individual rights and refused to commit violence. That’s not going to happen any time soon. Though I am no fan of firearms, I recognize they serve legitimate purposes of self-defense and resistance to tyranny.
I do not criticize gun grabbers and controllers because I fear I wouldn’t be able to own guns anymore. Rather, it’s because I bristle at the lies and propaganda spread by gun controllers to advance their agenda; cannot stand the obliviousness and arrogance of gun controllers who advance proposals that would not prevent future or past gun violence; become offended at the disparagement of peaceful, law-abiding gun owners as though they are little more than a paranoid and violent demographic who deserve to be treated as a class to which individual rights do not apply, even though they are not responsible for the gun violence gun control advocate claim to want to prevent.
Gun controllers despise law-abiding gun owners because it puts the lie to their belief that it is the gun itself that compels a person to commit violence, rather than a person’s emotional or mental state or some philosophy or ideology that person may adhere to. Gun controllers are prejudiced against gun owners who defend their natural right to self-defense and resistance of tyranny. It is a new form of racism; a belief that there is something inferior about a person based upon just one fact that statist/authoritarians belief is a character trait that defines a person’s behavior. Statists believe gun owners are inherently defective and can not be trusted to not inflict violence on others. This is obviously incredibly ironic since statists rely upon men with guns to enforce their coercive laws.
This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Dillon Eliassen, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC
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