Thursday, April 22, 2010

Men Gather Legally with Guns - But What's the Point?

Groups of mostly men gathered on Monday, April 19th (anniversary of the "shot heard 'round the world in 1775 in Concord, Massachusetts). In separate rallies in Washington, DC and Virginia, they expressed concern about their 2nd Amendment rights. In Virginia, they carried their guns openly (as is allowed under state law).

So what's the point? It's legal to own guns. There is no proposed legislation to change this. (If there is some proposed legislation I don't know about, please tell me about it.) If these guys are just law-abiding gun owners, I don't know what the issue is.

I don't get it. Maybe they have been listening to too much talk radio or to others who just don't like the present administration and who seem to exaggerate reality. Maybe these folks, who clearly don't trust the party in power, are just hyper-paranoid that hiding behind some bush is a bill or executive order to take away their guns. And if there were such legislation being proposed, well, sure, they should be concerned. But if there is no proposed legislation, then this all sounds a bit paranoid to me.

Now I'm all for defending all our rights under the Constitution. And it's important to be vigilant, as you never know how they may be eroded by new laws or other government actions. But, still, we don't have to go to the point of creating the specter of a threat where none exists. There's a line between vigilance and paranoia. And unless I see more evidence of a threat on the matter of gun ownership, this concern seems to be trending a bit over the line towards paranoia.

Now I should point out I don't come from a gun-owning family. We lived in the city and there were no hunters in the family. Still, when war came, the men in the family took up arms to defend our land. But when peace came, they put them down and went back to their lives. So, I don't have a first-hand understanding of gun ownership. Still, as a libertarian, if there's a right to own guns (provided one doesn't use it for crimes such as robbery, murder, drug running, etc.), well, that's one's choice whether to own a gun or not.

But in conclusion, my question is: if there is no real and present threat to change the laws as they are today, why can't they just enjoy the rights they have?

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