“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” -Bill of Rights
The first two rights in the American Bill of Rights are what I call *natural rights*. By this I mean they belong to everyone, and can never be denied to anyone for any reason. Any reasonable interpretation of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” by definition, acknowledges the existence of these natural rights. The first is the right to thoughts, feelings and opinions, and the ability to express them. It is impossible to even contrive a method of controlling what a person thinks and feels, and should, in my opinion, be considered torture to even try. Most of psychology actually exists because of repression of these thoughts, feelings and opinions. The second is the right to defend one’s self and one’s family from danger. “Self Defense” is a permissible defense for almost any level of action towards an attacker.
There is quite a bit of brouhaha in America these days about both these natural rights, and it would be comical to watch the contortions various tyrants are going thorough to try and deny them to some other group of society if it were not so fucking sad. Of course, as Michael so accurately noted in Stranger in a Strange Land:
“I’ve found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much . . . because it’s the only thing that’ll make it stop hurting.” – Michael Valentine Smith
So, today I want to say a few things about the Second Amendment. The attacks on the right to defend ourselves have reached a level where I actually fear it will cause society to engage in a possible needful exercise demonstrating the natural right of defense, in common parlance, a war.
Bump Stocks, Trigger Cranks, Assault Weapons, and so much more are vain attempts to nibble away at this right, even as the world so vastly shows us how futile such endeavors are. The right to defend is a NATURAL RIGHT, it cannot be denied, it is impossible, insane and tyrannical to even try. And look around. Do rebel groups have any trouble getting arms? Nope. Not a bit of trouble. How about criminals? Nope. In Australia, they have a fucking “new crime” where someone has a gun, and uses it not to hurt, but merely to threaten. Removing, or attempting to remove, the right of defense leads to tyranny, either by individuals (criminals) or institutions.
And now we have “ghost guns.” Anyone with about 2,000 USD can make countless fully functional firearms, in their office, basement or garage. All that is needed is a computer (it doesn’t even need to be a very good one, an old IBM 386 will serve quite well), some drafting software and a CNC machining center and/or 3D printer. To add insult to injury, if you will, there is a whole community built around the development and sharing of software to build these weapons as open source programs (which are protected by not the second amendment, but the first amendment). No one, ever, for the rest of time, can be denied access to a firearm. Technology is a wonderful thing.
Admittedly, the one can currently make are…rough and unrefined. (I am reminded of the FP-45 Liberator of WW2.) But, as with any technology, they won’t be for long. In only a few years, grenade launchers, SAM’s, name it. If you can design it you can build it. I spent a long time in manufacturing, and I can tell you, it is not IF it is WHEN. No government, no individual, no amount of repression can stop it, or even slow it. I have pondered before, and I ponder now, could it be that 3D printers are the beginnings of what will in 100 years be the “replicators” of Star Trek fame? Will we one day make all our “needs” directly from the Universal Source? Consider where this technology has already brought us, BOTH natural rights are now irrevocable. First, we received the network, where everyone can have their say, and now, self defense. It isn’t hard to see where this is going. 3D printers can already print “food” of a sort, and transportation and housing. Further, science is coming slowly to the point of beginning to understand the infinite energies that lie waiting all around us, and their very intimate relationships with existence.
So where does that leave us? Well, I will offer this. We could begin trying to find other ways to deal with each other. Perhaps bullying people to accept our needs, or putting our needs above theirs isn’t a great way to run a society. I am reminded of Gandhi, who over threw the British Rule in India with peaceful resistance, or Martin Luther King, who brought huge advances to race relations with peaceful demonstrations. We have little choice now. Everyone is armed, any one can and will defend themselves if forced to. Equality.
“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity.” -Gandhi
Said another way: “You will get more with a kind word, and a gun, than with just a kind word.” I see this as a huge step forward for liberty and a free society. The absolute and irrevocable guarantee of the security that comes with self defense allows a free society to consider other issues. Tyrants and bullies, predators in general, have lost most, if not all, of their power over us. It has been well demonstrated countless times that societies that have come to terms with the inevitable truth of a natural right actually have a freer life, in many ways. Certainly, less crime, but more to the point, bullies and tyrants cannot exercise any power over the individual, and for the most part, without that power, most of them are sad and hurt individuals who can now be healed by the community. The sources of their pain can be addressed in peaceful and loving ways. Compromises that attend to the needs of every individual can be sought, consensus reached, instead of the repression and violence that bullies and tyrants rely upon to force their will on others.
In closing, one last quote:
“You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” – attributed to Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.