I’ve never been a Ron Paul fanatic, at least to the degree that some people out there are, but I have always admired him, and for good reason. On guns, as many other important issues, I think Paul is right on the mark. He recently remarked on his website, “While I certainly agree that more guns equals less crime and that private gun ownership prevents many shootings, I don’t agree that conservatives and libertarians should view government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence…REAL CHANGE can happen only when we commit ourselves to rebuilding civil society in America, meaning a society based on family, religion, civic and social institutions, and peaceful cooperation through markets. We cannot reverse decades of moral and intellectual decline by snapping our fingers and passing laws.”
Gun control advocates cannot skirt the clear fact that percentage-wise, MORE people owned guns in this country 50 years ago, and that despite that, these sorts of things just didn’t happen back then like they do today. They really can’t get around that. All they can do is ignore it and focus on guns as being the problem and not culture because of their ideology. You probably aren’t going to convince someone who does not own a gun, doesn’t see a use for guns, and wouldn’t mind seeing them all go away tomorrow if they could make it happen, that we should keep most guns legal and focus rather on fixing our society and culture. After all, to many people on the left who would ban guns if they could and in the meantime talk about “gun control”, we don’t even HAVE a problem with our culture. In most of their minds, on that front, our society is “progressing”, so its really no wonder that the ONLY solution to them is to restrict guns and gun ownership.
There is certainly a clear cultural divide on this issue in this country, and because of it, the proposed solutions to gun violence are radically different. We can either retain our second amendment rights and start working the problem on the cultural and societal front, where history and common sense dictate the problem REALLY is, or we can further restrict our individual rights to own guns incrementally over time. I think its mostly one or the other. I just don’t believe there is as much middle ground for “reasonable gun control measures” as many gun control advocates would have us believe. To many people out there, banning certain guns is a whole lot easier than trying to fix many of the broader problems we face as a society, which many people may or may not even agree we have; problems that for some reason or another seem to permit peoples consciences more and more to just open fire. Fixing THIS problem is a real solution…a problem guns are really only incidental to.
Personally, I believe the second amendment has served this country well over the last 200+ years. And I believe it is indicative of a culture of individual freedom that has at its core just that, a belief in the individual; a belief that says, if all else fails, we can and will take matters into our own hands; a culture that doesn’t vest all power in, and wholly rely on the state for our protection and own respective demises like so many other countries around the world. We have a proud American heritage in these regards, a heritage that even a few hundred years ago was a rather novel idea. I have faith in the American people that it will endure for some time to come, despite renewed calls for “gun control”.