by Craig Masters
State Representative Rhonda Fields (D) was granted a lengthy guest column in the January 5, Denver Post. Her personal story not withstanding, her efforts to justify the socialists/central government position on gun control does make one valid point. She writes, “For my fellow state lawmakers and me, our top legislative priority should center on keeping firearms out of the wrong hands…” What she doesn’t identify is her definition of the ‘wrong hands.’
The idea that somehow some bureaucrat examining paperwork is going to be able to identify the mentality of a mass murderer and thereby deny that individual the purchase of a firearm is contradictory to every concept in the field of mental health. If it were true that government – and by definition the bureaucrats who work for government – know all that is best for all the rest of us, the profession of psychiatry should be eliminated, mental health professionals should all be decertified, and the State Bureau of Holier-Than-Thou should be established as the replacement for state congress.
But if professionals in the field of mental health, such as the psychiatrist who had “treated” the Aurora theater shooter, can’t predict a mass murdered, how can a bureaucrat designated by a person with no extensive professional experience in mental health or psychiatry, such as representative Fields, be expected to decide which hands are ‘wrong’ hands for gun ownership?
Like it or not, the Aurora shooter and the more recent shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary would have been stopped sooner and fewer people would have died if someone other than the shooter had been armed with almost anything from a weapon to a stick and some training in its use. There were members of the armed forces in the theater that night… it was a designated ‘criminal safe zone’ and the criminal was the only one safe! The problem wasn’t that some of those in the audience couldn’t have qualified under almost any government screening program; the problem is simply that the only guy with a gun was the ‘wrong’ guy.
A recent Rassmusen poll result indicates that the same percentage of likely voters support the gun control positions of both the republicans and democrats. Exactly the same percentage. Never even at the outbreak of the Civil War was the country so divided so equally as it is today.
Gun control isn’t the only issue currently dividing our house. The famous 47percenters popularized by the presidential election have already been joined by at least one more percent of people who see their neighbors working less and living better. The GAO reports the summer of 2012 marked the first time in the history of entitlement programs when those who live on charity and entitlements live a lifestyle not affordable to the average working family in most of the country.
The ‘fiscal cliff’ deal this week included only $1.00 of government spending cuts for every $41.00 in tax increases. Yet popular polls indicate that 4 out 5 people wanted government to cut spending at least as much as it increased taxes. The trend of government being non-representative is clear in this issue. Those in power are not going to risk their royal lifestyle by cutting any program to their constituents which might result in an election defeat.
Abraham Lincoln lived his life under a set of principles on which, he explained, he first firmly planted his feet and then stood tall. He was not afraid to speak his point of view. Even as he faced the possibility of fighting between the states he recognized that, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Lincoln is the man who reminded his fellow Americans that, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” But perhaps his most important comment on government was this:
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their Constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.”
But if only one-half of the people are being abused by the government to the point of exercising “their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it,” then those in the one-half who support the abuse of the other half will never recognize the need for change.
In the final analysis, it is as true today as it was at the time of the writing of the Bill of Rights, that the predictable abuse of central government is the reason the people’s right to keep and bear arms should never be infringed.