Have to shut down the blog . . .

. . . Because I don’t have a license to express my views. What’s that you say? I don’t need a license to express myself? The Constitution guarantees my right to do so, thereby precluding the need for a license, and indeed, prohibiting the requirement for one?

But wait a minute–I was thinking that there was something else the Constitution guaranteed, some other fundamental human right. Something, in fact, that shall not be infringed–what could it be? Oh, yes–I think I have it. Something called the right to keep and bear arms–no, not bare arms, although I reserve the right to wear short sleeves when I want to.

But wait another minute–are there not myriad laws in this country that apply to the manufacture, sale, purchase, possession, storage, and bearing of arms? Do we not, as gun rights activists, call it a “victory” every time we manage to successfully persuade another state to allow us the privilege of paying for a license to bear arms (a rather conditional license, at that–subject to further restrictions)? Do we not pat ourselves on the back every time a state throws us a bone and loosens the restrictions on the exercise of this fundamental right?

It seems that we do all of those things, oddly enough. When you think about it, we have no room to complain about the civilian disarmament advocates’ refusal to acknowledge our Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms, when we ourselves insist on treating it as a privilege. Some of us bemoan the Wayne Finchers of the world, for “making us look bad,” by not being “law-abiding gun owners.” Some of us criticize those who would carry a firearm illegally, for the same reason. Some of us opine that gun shops under siege by the BATFE “have nothing to worry about,” if they follow the BATFE’s rules (all of them, despite their self-contradictory and ever-changing nature).

I am, despite my disdain for the idea of going to the bureaucrats, hat in hand, hoping for the privilege of carrying the means to defend myself, involved (to the extent my extremely limited abilities allow) with the fight to bring concealed carry to Illinois (I can talk the talk, but I still don’t want to go to jail–I’m a hypocrite, but at least I can admit it). In arguing for concealed carry laws, it is common to point out that concealed carry licensees can be counted on to be responsible citizens, because the people who would pose a threat to society are unlikely to jump through the regulatory hoops required for such a license. While no doubt true, that’s an argument for which I have little affection. I reject the idea that any unit of government is justified in putting up such hoops in the first place. I reject the idea that my right to bear arms (whether concealed or not) is in any way contingent on my somehow demonstrating, in advance, that I will never use them improperly. I utterly reject, in the final analysis, the notion that a fundamental human right can be subject to licensing.

I’ll continue to fight to make gun laws less strict, but I may never shake the nagging feeling that in doing so, I am granting legitimacy to the existence of any gun laws–in effect, assisting in my own oppression (and in everyone else’s).

So I guess the blog will stick around after all, because that right is not subject to licensing . . . yet.


11 Responses to “Have to shut down the blog . . .”

  1. E. David Quammen Says:

    Good one bud!

  2. Civis Proeliator Says:

    Yes…well said!

  3. Rogue Poet Says:

    Great Post. I would add drug laws… Why should the Government tell us what we can or can’t put into our own bodies. Suicide laws…. Why should the government have anything to do with our right to die at a time of our own choosing. I’m serious. I actually think these are, if not the same, at least strikingly similar arguments.

  4. 45superman Says:

    Rogue Poet, I agree with all your points, but I’m just a gun blogger (one of infinitesimal stature, to boot), so I try to avoid getting any farther out of my depth than I already am sticking (for the most part) to pure gun bloggery. I agree that the issues are related, though.

  5. redstradingpost Says:

    Your title freaked me out, don’t do that to me.

  6. 45superman Says:

    Heck, Ryan–I figured you would know that I can’t really shut up for any length of time 😉 .

  7. jeff Says:

    Excellent commentary!

  8. Gordon DeSpain Says:

    Good post, but, even there I’ve got a few comments.

    First, in most States, the first question you’re asked on the CCW application, is, “Are you a citizen of the United States?”

    The quick and simple answer, for me, is “No” (on the advice of Justice Hugo Black, who said, “If the people do not declare their Rights, I cannot protect them).

    The following is my Declaration of Rights: I am Gordon Arthur DeSpain, a 5th generation, natural born (United States Supreme Court legally defined) Citizen of the (USSC L. Def.) sovereign State, The Republic of Texas. I am not now, nor, have I ever been a (USSC L. Def.) citizen of the (USSC L. Def.) corporate entity, The United States “in Congress Assembled,” located within the 10 square miles of the District of Columbia, including, but not limited to, its Possessions and other Dominions. As such, I reserve my Constitutional Rights without prejudice.

    Believe it or not, the Legal “Declaration of Rights” above is the only thing that can recover your Constitutional Rights, after, you’ve answered “Yes” to the question in the first sentence.

    I’m temporarily “residing” in Baghdad (some might want to ask, “Why is ‘residing’ in quotes?”)

  9. Nimrod45 Says:

    I agree with your sentiments, but you have to remember we are dealing with 40-plus years of creeping socialism/statism – we have to pick our battles. The more guns we can get more easily into people’s hands, the better for us!

    Rome wasn’t built in a day…

  10. 45superman Says:

    I hear you, Nimrod–what concerns me is that I think we run the risk of undermining our position that the keeping and bearing of arms is an inalienable right that shall not be infringed, if we agree to restrictions. Hell, if you look at the NRA’s support for the NICS “Improvement” Act, the self-proclaimed leader in the pro-gun rights movement is advocating unconstitutional background checks (as just one example of NRA support for gun laws).

  11. Laughingdog Says:

    This is why I live in Virginia. If I don’t want to deal with background checks (one form of covert gun registration) or getting a CHL (yet another one), I can buy my guns by shopping in the Trading Post, and open carry. We are also one of the few states that doesn’t ban possession of firearms in places that sell alcohol by the drink.

    We still have a long way to go, and I’m thankful that other states have already successfully implemented things that I’d like to see here, such as permitless concealed carry, and allowing carry on school property with a CHL, because that just helps us in our own fight because we have proof that these changes won’t increase crime.

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