Over the last year or so we have seen an increase in two somewhat related things in the rights and the gun communities. The first one being attacks on liberty, rights, and American values by so called “second amendment supporters”. The second being an increase in protests involving the carrying and display of firearms. I think these things are somewhat related.
Lets first address the what American values are. Our Constitution guarantees us a republican form of government, Article 4 Section 4. A republican form of government is a form of representatives that are supposed to represent those who elect him, or her. But we live not only in a republic, but a constitutional republic. This means that our representatives are bound by law to not infringe on our individual liberties in certain ways, or they are ruled by law.
So if our individual liberties are supposed to be protected, celebrated, and inalienable why are some of these “gun rights supporters” attacking these very basic concepts of individual liberty? I think that it is partially out of ignorance and partially out of societal conditioning. For quite some time now we have taught, or been taught, that we should suppress our individual desires for the sake of the community at large. This is not only ridiculous, but an affront to basic American values of individual liberty. These collectivist ideas need to be challenged and shunned by those of us that do understand individual liberty. There should be no tolerance for collectivism in a free society.
This brings me to activism. The growing number of young people challenging illegal searches and seizures has been an awesome and exciting time. Those “gun rights supporters” attacking rights have been dealt with exactly how they should have been. Dick Metcalf was fired and his editor resigned in the wake of his statements, Jerry Tsai resigned after his attack on liberty, and others have been rebuffed after posting similar attacks. On top of this many law enforcement agencies, that have been trampling all over our rights, have been sued and re-education programs have been instituted in the wake of activists willing to push the envelope of freedom.
Maybe some of these activists are doing it out of a desperate cry for attention to themselves, but either way it furthers the ideals of liberty and freedom. Bringing attention to yourself, and your cause, is the purpose of activism in the first place. I keep hearing that these activists are “irresponsible” or “not helping the cause”. I couldn’t disagree more. First of all, what cause is more desirable than freedom, and what could be more responsible than defending liberty? If these activists are “irresponsible” and “not helping the cause” then you can say the same thing about Martin Luther King Jr. or the Sons of Liberty, who founded this nation on activism. And both of these examples broke the laws of the land to bring attention to their cause, where these current activist haven’t even done that.
The fact that pro-rights activists are already receiving resistance from the “gun rights supporters”, before they even get to civil disobedience is a clear sign that ignorance has been deeply ingrained in Americans. One thing has been made abundantly clear to me in the last few years, and that is that change, for the good, is coming. People, especially young people, are beginning to understand what American values are. I hope they are going to bring about a movement back to liberty and freedom. If you do not understand or are not willing to help, then I suggest you get out of the way, or you will go the way of the Metcalfs and Tsais in this world. Because the reality is that if you do not support individual liberty, then you are the one who is being “irresponsible” and “not helping the cause”.