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Monday, January 24, 2011

Gun Control Is Good

Until today I have struggled to understand the pro-gun position and have left any political action up to others.  That ended today with my contribution to the Brady Campaign.  I have watched the last public servant attacked without my protest.  Two Saint Petersburg police today were killed by gunfire.  The shock and sorrow encountered by others in other cities was brought home to me.

Throughout my life I have watched in silence as political leaders have been assassinated.  I have heard very few arguments on their behalf or on behalf of thousands of other public servants who are open daily to the lethal unhappiness of others.  And it’s not only public servants in an official sense, but also for those who serve the public in the private sector.

The time has come to end the Wild West romance with guns—the perverted belief that we will all be freer if we all pack heat.  I will say for the first time without hedging or compromise—that is a loony, silly, crazy, bizarre notion entertained only by the violently conditioned.  Justice is a product of the state, not of the heat carried in the pocket.

Yet the political fight to end a plethora of guns will be fierce.  The reason is that the Wild West view of idiosyncratic justice is touted most by “law and order” disciples.  The disingenuousness of this position must be made plainly evident.  Justice enforced by me out of the barrel of a gun short-circuits what can only be attained through a legal process.  Vigilante justice is the preference of the unhappy, the angry, and the impatient.  I will impose my will right here, right now—to hell with anything that smacks of a process. We see “justice delayed is justice denied” turned on its head—justice this instant is justice denied.  Vigilante justice while as satisfying as the satisfaction of a child throwing his dinner plate on the floor is not in any way productive of real liberty based on real justice.  Guns are rightly for the province of the state to protect freedom and ensure justice, not for individuals playing at being mini-states.   

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