Why is it "liberal" to advocate restrictive gun laws?

I find it curious that civilian disarmament has become so closely identified with liberalism (I use the term civilian disarmament because I’m not much of one for the term “gun control” as it’s popularly used–controlling one’s gun means hitting one’s target, not being denied access to the gun in the first place, the goal, to one degree or another, of all “gun control” laws). When did liberalism cease to be an ideology that celebrates individual rights? When did it become “liberal” to grant the state a monopoly on the use of force (or at least on the means to use force)?

One would think that laws that abridge individual liberties would be anathema to those who would identify themselves as liberal. It seems that we are to accept as “liberal” the idea that the individual’s right to defense against crime and tyrannical government should be subordinated to the will of the state.

Along similar lines, I am curious as to why these ostensible liberals, who are vehemently opposed to the current, “conservative” government, seem to place less trust in their fellow citizens than they do in the government under an administration they claim to despise and distrust. Many of the same people who argue so strenuously against recent governmental intrusions on the rights of individuals (Patriot Act, domestic wiretapping, etc.) argue for greater governmental control over firearms. In this regard, “liberals” are, oddly, in full agreement with those who advocate totalitarianism.

I guess they ain’t makin’ liberals like they used to. That’s too bad.


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