A right to life and 2nd Amendment right to defend it

I can’t think of very many people who are intrinsically opposed to life.

Sure, there will always be people that may be against life, be it their own (being suicidal) or that of others (being homicidal). But I like to think that most people are in favor of having the essential right to exist.

What many people don’t consider is that, with the right of an individual to have life, comes the responsibility of an individual to protect that life.

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of hearing a presentation by arms rights activist and CSU faculty Ken Stanton, Ph.D. An acclaimed speaker of the pro-arms movement, Stanton began advocating in favor of Second Amendment rights after losing a friend in the Virginia Tech massacre five years ago.

Stanton argues that, had the VT campus permitted concealed carry weapons, the spree-killer would have been faced with self-defending opposition. As the campus is a gun-free zone, the murderer had an advantage over the rest of the university: an advantage of being a well-armed violent criminal with hundreds of unprotected victims.

This advantage cost the life of 32 people and wounded 15 more.

Laws that take away guns are laws that take away self-defense. If someone has the intention to commit a violent crime, a sign that says “NO GUNS ALLOWED” isn’t going to prevent that. It will only limit the means that surrounding law-abiding citizens have to protect themselves if violence may occur.

It is counter-intuitive for laws that are intended to keep people safe to grant power in favor of people possessing the intention to harm.

I truly do believe that gun restrictions are formed by people with good, albeit uneducated, intentions. Unless someone is a fascist tyrant attempting to control and disarm the citizens under his control, I cannot imagine creating gun-control regulation that wasn’t meant to make the public safer.

But unfortunately, criminals don’t follow laws. They only take advantage of the opportunities they are provided with. So why give them better access to easy victims?

Bearing arms is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Restrictions placed on a right create privilege. In this case that’s equivalent to restricting who has the opportunity to self-defense in life-threatening situations, and who does not. How can we ethically leave it up to legislation to decide who has a better chance to live and a better chance to die?

As stated before, I believe most people argue in favor of the inalienable right to life. How, then, can they be in favor of legislation restricting protection of that right?

By not allowing government gun control, everyone (and not just criminals) gets the chance to carry a gun and it evens out the playing field. In some weird, crazy, completely counter-intuitive way, guns create more peace.

There are no rational arguments against the right to keep and bear arms. There are incredible sources out there that debunk any and all arguments far more eloquently than I ever possibly could in a 700 word column, such as gunfacts.info (an easily navigable, free 112 page document brimming with cited information). If you oppose or are unsure about your stance on gun control issues, I highly encourage you to check it out.

As there are no reasons to restrict the right to have firearms, it becomes our duty as citizens to
join the dialogue and protect that right.

Responsible ownership is essential here. Study and practice gun safety. Never let gun ownership translate into becoming an aggressor. Learn the laws regarding where you can and can’t carry and have a valid permit where needed.

At CSU we are fortunate with these laws — anyone over 21 years of age that has taken a gun training course may obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I know I feel a lot safer knowing that if a gunman came into my class, there will probably be at least one other person in the room with equal firepower to protect me from becoming a victim of yet another school shooting.

No place is immune to crime. Don’t allow yourself to become immune from defense.