I like Charles Krauthammer. I admire his style. He debates matters armed with facts. He is calm and rational. His stature among conservative commentators is for me one of brilliance. But his ideas, his position and his attempt at logic regarding the "gun control" issue has fogged that brilliance for me.
Krauthammer has said that the crowded America we live in today needs to stop acting as if we are still the western frontier. Sir Charles says that there is no "need" for guns like the AR-15 in the hands of American citizens. I would prefer that we not focus this debate on his use of the word "need" because in my mind it is not up to the government, nor up to the community I live in to tell me what I "need" when it is my "right" to own any kind of firearm that I want. And just in case you have forgotten, that "right" wasn't bestowed upon me by the government, or by the ATF, or by my community, my "right" to defend my own life was bestowed upon me by God.
Years ago I was responsible for the annual "Law Day" program of the Northern Kentucky Bar Association. It had been our tradition to arrange for local lawyers to speak at area schools on May 1st, national Law Day, as our way of advancing the principles of the "rule of law" over the "rule by force" comparison which the original Law Day proclamation had sought to highlight.
While speaking to a classroom of seniors at one of the area's better schools I posed this question: "Can any of you tell me how many rights are granted to us by the United States Constitution?"
After a little thought a hand went up and the answer was "Ten?". Incorrect. Then another tried "26?" Also incorrect. Then several more attempts to answer with different numbers followed. All incorrect. The correct answer is "none". It is our most fundamental principle in this nation that all of our rights come to us as a gift from God. The Constitution was written in order to protect our God given rights from being meddled with by any man, or group of men however organized, whether as a government or not.
The bright young teacher also admitted that she had never thought of things that way. And she was teaching the class!
My right to defend myself is clearly implicit in my "right to life". God gives us life, men cannot take it away, at least in this country unless they adhere strictly to the dictates of due process. Because I have the right to life, as do all others, I have the right to defend my life and that of others from anyone who seeks to illegally take it from us. The government did not give me that right and therefore they may not claim any authority to regulate it. In fact with Constitutional protection, my right "shall not be infringed". Infringement is encroachment, it is trespass. My God given "right" is protected against trespass, protected from encroachment and as such is unfettered.
In fact only those who have been lawfully denied the liberty of exercising their "rights" should have any of their firearm rights "encroached upon". Those who lose the benefits of their liberty by conviction of a felony, who have been declared mentally unfit to exercise their liberty or who have not yet attained the age of responsibility which is rewarded with full liberty have no liberty which is subject to encroachment. For the rest of us, we should be able to own, bear, wear and use when justified any weapon necessary to put an end to whatever threat puts our lives in immediate danger.
Krauthammer's approach is an abandonment of these fundamental principles. He has not to my knowledge gone so far as to over state his position by asking if then, by my logic, we should be able to own nuclear weapons, a common goofy question sometimes asked by gun control advocates. The answer is "of course not". Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction. But Charles attempt to justify his position on gun control teeters close to this kind of hysterics.
One cannot both stand up for God and country, espouse the founding principles of our nation, and at the same time ignore the history which brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty. Our forefathers gathered arms, and ammunition, and stockpiled huge armory's of weapons including cannons and other weapons usually reserved for warfare. But they did not do so as a military, nor as a government, but as private citizens.
The "shot heard round the world" in reference to the battle at the Concord bridge was the response of private citizens to the attempt of the king to disarm them. The British military was under orders to find their weapons, seize them and destroy them. Why? Because tyranny only exists when its subjects cannot resist.
Our right to arms was not protected so inviolably so that we can hunt for food, but so that we wouldn't have to be like hunted animals, unable to defend our own lives.
I've read several, though I'm sure not all, of Charles Krauthammer's statements on this issue. He is simply wrong.
Despite my respect for him and his reasoned approach to important issues, I am disappointed that a man of his stature would exhibit such fogged reasoning by advocating in favor of gun control.