Sunday, February 17, 2013

For the greater good

The Tampa Bay (formerly St. Pete) Times has begun a new bit on their editorial pages to highlight a letter of the month to the paper.  Not surprisingly, their first winner parrots the paper's disdain for the second amendment.

William G. Emener  of St. Pete Beach posits the specious argument that since he does not have the right to drive his car at any speed he wants, gun owners do not have the right to own any weapon they choose.  He goes on to state that reasonable people have to forgo certain rights because of the misuse or abuse of those rights by unreasonable and irresponsible people.

A more accurate and logical, and thus easily disproved argument would be that Mr. Emener may own any vehicle he is legally allowed to own, but he may not operate that vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public at large.  I may possess any firearm I am legally allowed to own, but I may not endanger the public by misusing that firearm.  That is already against the law.  No one is suggesting that vehicles be banned because of abuse that Mr. Emener may do with them.  Indeed, Mr. Emener's own argument works against him as he is claiming that he is capable of responsible use of his vehicle therefore he should be allowed to own one despite the potential for disaster if it is misused.  I make the same claim about owning an AR-15 or AK-47 or SKS or any other scary looking firearm.

I would be curious to hear what Mr. Emener defines as an "assault weapon" since that term is actually a non-existent classification of firearm.  It is a term coined by anti-second amendment forces like the Brady group, HCI, and others.  He also refers to guns with high capacity clips.  Could you define "high capacity" for me Mr. Emener?  It is 30 rounds? 20? 15? 10? 5?  Many 9mm pistols have 15 round clips.  Are those now to be deemed assault weapons? A model 1911 Colt and its clones can have 8 round clips ( and some double stacked models even more), are those assault weapons?  This is why the original assault weapons ban was defeated by the courts -- too overly broad and open to wildly varying interpretations.

In his closing, Mr. Emener breaks out this frightening rationalization: 

"Sometimes we have to give up certain rights...for the better good. Doing being a mature, reasonable and responsible citizen."

Wow!  How many tyrannies have been inflicted, how many rights trampled upon, how many lives lost because someone deemed it for the better good of society?  70 years ago, a charismatic leader convinced the citizens of his country that for the greater good of society, certain segments of that society had to be eradicated.  And thus 6 million innocent Jews were murdered.  Too extreme an extrapolation?  I think not.  Once we start erasing our constitutional rights to salve our consciences there is no end to the restrictions on the freedoms granted to us by the founding fathers and the Constitution.

I'm sorry Mr. Emener, you are not a mature, reasonable and responsible citizen, you are a sheep...a lamb being led to the slaughter by your own refusal to make the hard choices in life, to demand that people be held accountable for their actions, that criminals be punished not coddled, etc.  You would bubble wrap the world, remove all choices in life and subjugate yourself to the whims of a government that is your employee not your superior!

No comments: