The smoke is clearing a bit on the gun-control issue, at least temporarily. Mind you, in the minds of the left it will never be settled until every gun is either confiscated or registered, bar-coded and controlled by a government-controlled, satellite-linked safety system. But for now it looks as if the people have spoken; and they spoke loudly. They rallied. They wrote letters and called representatives. They made it clear that pleasant careers in Washington might end if the wrong laws ended up on the books. Heck, even New York Gov. Cuomo backed down on his magazine ban!
In addition, the people bought so much ammunition, and so many firearms, that one could say they voted with their money. They bought every semi-automatic rifle and high capacity magazine they could get their freedom-loving hands on, and cleaned out the ammo to boot. This is political activism at its capitalist best!
But I still doubt that the left got the message. They cling to their dreams of a gun-free America with the kind of mindless devotion that they always accuse the religious of having. So I’ve come up with an analogy to help gun-control advocates to see our point. I’m not hopeful. They’re not much influenced by facts or reason when emotion comes into play. But here it goes.
Imagine, if you will, a time when the political and social pendulum swings so far to the right that there are conservatives, true conservatives, in charge of the White House, Senate, House and Supreme Court. (If you’re a progressive, this is only a drill. Don’t go checking the Huffington Post or MSNBC. But before you laugh, remember that demographics are destiny and conservatives aren’t afraid to have large families.)
Now, imagine that the right-leaning government decides to register the entire Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender population. ‘Don’t worry,’ they say. ‘We’re not going to hurt you. Trust us. This is for your safety. It’s just so we have a record, you know, of who you are and where you are and where you move, and how much money you have and the sort of jobs you hold. Sign here.’
And what if that same government did the same thing for every woman’s uterus. ‘It’s just that children are so important, and women’s health is a priority! We want to know when you’re having children, and when you’re using birth-control. We want to keep track of how many abortions you have, because frankly, we think there should be a limit on high-abortion uteri. We won’t use the information for anything bad if you’re a lawful uterus user. Don’t worry! We’re from the government and we want to keep you safe and make this a better country!’ (Although, in point of fact, I expect this more from the leftist environmental fringe, troubled by high-capacity uteri producing too many ‘parasites’ for planet earth.)
If this happened, and if the then right-leaning media were in favor of the idea, the LGBT community, as well pretty much every woman with standard parts, would be aghast and mobilized. They would be fearful. ‘Why are they registering me? Why do they need that information? Where will the bar code go?’ And the right could say, ‘oh, you’re just being paranoid. Are you anti-government or something?’
Now to be clear, I would be vehemently opposed to either. And so would all of the conservatives I know. But the point remains that nobody wants their freedoms restricted or their lives subject to unnecessary scrutiny. The same applies to how much alcohol you purchase, the hobbies you engage in, the books you read or what kind of muscle car you drive. Americans traditionally don’t like being tagged, branded or cataloged in any way; especially when the information might be used for purposes of control by central authority.
So let’s bring it back around to ‘the gun thing.’ Obviously, mass registration wasn’t one of the recently discussed initiatives; in some ways, though, it already exists when purchases require background checks. But during the recent excitement, lists of concealed weapons permit holders were published and far too many new rules and regulations were proposed. Furthermore, special attention is still being paid to registries of the mentally ill, without nearly enough thought devoted to how mental illness will be defined for purposes of restricting gun ownership, nor how one would arrive on the list or be removed from it.
Ultimately, lawful gun owners don’t want registration or any other control scheme that lists them and their weapons. Because we all know that registries are kept for a reason. And that reason is simple. So that the people on the registry can be watched, their activities curtailed and their cataloged possessions confiscated.
The next time you hear someone say that they don’t know why gun-owners are so afraid of more government gun restrictions, don’t talk about Hitler or Stalin. They can’t accept the lessons of history as relevant. But suggest to them that you’d like to have the government make special efforts to watch them, or keep a record of something they believe is important.
They’ll tell you it’s silly. But they’ll walk away wondering, ‘what if?’ A question we should all ask in times like these.