Emotions always run high in the United States in the debate over citizens carrying guns.
I have friends on both sides of the issue who speak passionately as they defend their position.
It’s important to remember that every American heart breaks when our children are murdered, regardless of one’s position on gun control. While every American may not agree on the solution, every single American grieves over the situation.
My arguments against increased gun control go against the cultural climate. The principles I advocate on gun control run counter to the emotional currents of many Americans who feel the pain of mass shootings.
However, principled arguments over the Second Amendment should be outside emotions caused by mass shootings.
Arguments for or against gun control during raw emotional pain are like greeting uninvited wedding guests; one may tolerate the uninvited for appearances, but you don’t like them or want them.
The best surgeons with the steadiest hands operate using principles and procedures they’ve refined long before the emotional impact of meeting their dying patients.
The debate over gun control should be rooted in wisdom and principles, not emotion and passion.
On two occasions during my lifetime, I’ve been in the middle of a crime scene that involved the deaths of more than one child. The gruesome images have never left me. I feel for the young people in the Florida high school who had to step over their dead friends.
I empathize with first responders who care for the wounded and the dying. My heart goes to the parents who lost a child to a murderer carrying a gun. I understand what you saw, and I know how you feel.
If possible, read what follows without emotion and see if it makes sense.
Protection of Life, Liberty, and Property Are the Principles At Stake
Americans do not need less liberty regarding possessing and carrying guns; we need more.
There are mass shootings like those we’ve experienced in America due to our government encroaching on, limiting, and intervening in the personal freedoms of individual Americans to openly and continually carry a firearm.
Let me explain.
When our country was founded, the nation’s Founding Fathers believed in Natural Law.
Natural Law is a view that certain rights or values are inherent in – and universally known by – human reason.
The best summary of Natural Law is contained in the following seventeen-word statement:
“Do all you have agreed to do and do not encroach on other persons or their property.”
Our Founding Fathers believed that every rational human being knows that you don’t intrude or infringe on someone else’s person or property.
In the early days of our country, when a criminal encroached on another person or property, the criminal was forcibly detained and jailed locally. The courts established the precedent that restitution would be made to the victim(s).
If your property had been taken, the thief would be ordered to return your property and make financial restitution to you for bringing it in the first place. If an arsonist destroyed your house, the fire starter would be responsible for building a new home and financially reimbursing you for your inconvenience.
If you were injured or wounded by a criminal, he would have to pay you money. Victims of crime had their property and personal losses financially restored by the criminal.
In the case of murder, the murderer would be swiftly brought to justice via execution. It was “a life for a life.”
Over time, common Law developed within the United States court system. As various crimes occurred in the United States and the criminals were caught and brought to court, the judges would look at legal decisions in previous cases to rule on the restitution amount deemed fair and equitable to the victim.
Again, throughout the first few decades of American jurisprudence, two things were true about crime and the courts:
1. The people encroached upon were the victims, not the state.
2. The criminals who encroached made restitution to the victims, not the state.
The Reason for an Armed Citizenry in a Land of Liberty Is the Rule of Law
Because our forefathers understood the principles of Natural Law, American citizens always needed to have the right to keep and bear arms. Amendment II of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution gives citizens “the right to keep and bear arms.”
Most Americans don’t understand why our forefathers felt the right to keep, and bear arms was necessary for a free society.
There were two main reasons.
(1). Our nation’s forefathers knew there would be occasions when criminals would not make the court-ordered restitution to their victims.
When that happens in a country built on Natural Law, outlawry is invoked.
Outlawry is the ability of citizens in a civilized society to pass judgment and punish those criminals who refuse to make court-ordered restitution to their victims.
Most of us understand the term “outlaw,” but few understand that it is derived from the word outlawry. Outlawry means criminals who run from court-ordered restitution are handed over to society and placed “outside the protection of the law.”
This is what it meant to be an outlaw. One “outside the law” was Wanted: Dead or Alive.
It did not matter how the outlaw was captured. The outlaw was to be brought dead or alive back to the courts. The state paid the one who captured the outlaw a bounty for the capture.
In the old days, prisons were fairly empty. Incarcerations were limited to those awaiting trial. Once a court ordered the terms of restitution, the criminal was released to work and pay for his crimes.
It was hazardous for a criminal to run from his responsibility of making restitution for his crimes.
It would cost him his life.
Our Founding Fathers understood the need for civilized society to “keep and bear arms” because a society of free and civilized people was ultimately the highest power in the land. The citizens of the United States would need to keep and bear arms because of outlaws.
A criminal placed “outside the law” for refusing to pay restitution was to be denied his civil rights. He is an “outlaw” or “out(side) of (the) law.”
A modern version of outlawry would be a free and law-abiding teacher in a school, armed with a weapon, shooting and killing a murderer in the act of encroaching on human life. When a person attempts to take someone else’s life, as a citizen of the United States, you are to take action. You are to take that person’s life.
Natural Law demands it.
The citizen doesn’t wait for “law enforcement” to take action. Our Constitution, built on Natural Law, demands the citizens to take action.
Many believe a country is more civilized when free citizens don’t have guns. Our Founding Fathers believed just the opposite. According to Natural Law, a free society makes that free society’s people the highest authority–not the state or the government.
Could law-abiding citizens in a free society make a mistake in dealing with an outlaw? Of course, the checks and balances on a free people is the knowledge that you might be deemed an outlaw if you violate Natural Law and encroach on an innocent person.
Natural Law is as much a science as biology, physics, and math. It is understandable regardless of one’s adherence to religion because it comes from Nature and Nature’s God. Natural Law understands that victims experience a crime of encroachment, and the criminal is the encroacher.
The US Government Has Wrongly Assumed the Role of the Victim
In today’s “advanced” society, the criminal pays his or her debt “to the state” (e.g., “prison time”). The criminal who encroaches is no longer forced to pay restitution to the victim.
Unfortunately, in modern, progressive America, the United States government has replaced the people of the United States. When a state usurps the governance of a free people, the state will eventually devolve into fascism.
A fascist state does not arise overnight. Just like in Germany in the early 20th century, fascism progresses slowly as more and more power is handed to the state and more and more freedoms are taken from the people.
(2). Our nation’s forefathers understood that there could be an occasion when the government violates Natural Law (by encroaching), and it would be the duty of the free citizens of that state to rebel.
Very few Americans know that the reasoning of those we call Patriots, the men, and women who fought their government during the American Revolution, was built upon Natural Law.
People like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, and others believed that England was encroaching on the people and property of the colonists.
America’s Patriots believed people should always be able to keep and bear arms because there always needs to be the ability for a free people in a free society to revolt against a government that violates Natural Law. England violated the principles of Natural Law, and in obedience to Nature and Nature’s God, the American colonists revolted against England.
Thomas Jefferson, when writing the draft of the Constitution of Virginia, wrote:
“No free man shall be debarred the use of arms.”
Alexander Hamilton wrote:
“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they are properly armed.” (The Federalist Papers, pages 184-188).
Abraham Lincoln declared at the commencement of the Civil War:
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they 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.”
These men understood that any government which removes the right to keep and bear arms from her free citizens takes a gigantic step toward statist fascism.
So, though we grieve over the mass shootings in this country and we deplore acts of violence by criminals throughout our land, we should resist with all our might any intrusion by the government to take weapons from us.
Natural Law demands free citizens have the right to be armed.
As a Christian, I may choose not to bear arms and turn the other cheek to live as Jesus Christ lived. But as an American citizen, I feel I must resist any effort by the state to take weapons from her citizens.
As a Christian, I am promoting a principle of statehood that is essential to guard the inalienable rights of all citizens that come from God.
The freedom to carry a weapon and protect the rights of citizens is a matter of liberty vs. tyranny.
It’s a matter of Natural Law.