With the New Year less than a month away, Democrats are poised to take control of the House and Senate. This change in power has begun the rumors of increased gun control legislation among a host of other liberal agenda programs. When it comes to gun control, there are two hot button issues which are going to be the focus; the re-instatement of the flawed Assault Weapons Ban and the complete removal of privatized ownership of the 50 BMG rifles. There have been a host of intellectually challenged justifications behind these but my personal favorites have been "Why do you need these?".
That poses a very interesting concept on the basis of lawmaking. Regardless of the endless stream of data showing the decline of violence since the ending of the assault weapons ban or the statistical void of violence committed with 50 bmg, gun banners are trying to justify draconian regulations based on the need of gun owners and on the potential of the firearm to wreak havoc on society. Unfortunately, these arguments are often accepted by those who choose to take them at face value and never really dig into the potential such arguments make. Blatantly put, it is a full on assault on the rights of Americans not just the Second Amendment. For those who would tend to favor such a ban, allow me to place the same arguments on some of society's more common "household items". Make no mistake, I am arguing absurdity by applying it other elements of daily life, no just the 2nd amendment.
Let us start with private vehicles. The car is part of the American dream. We are literally indoctrinated with television, media, radio, and countless other adds to the benefits of private ownership of vehicles, however, the car is one of the leading killers in America. According to the national statistics as presented by NCSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System, over 43,000 people were killed in car related accidents. The silence of calls to ban cars has been deafening.
Let us apply the legal question of "why do you need these". First of all, we have statistical information which shows unarguable proof these vehicles cause unusually high death rates in Americans. To begin, all cars which have the capability to exceed 80 miles an hour should be prohibited.
The top legal speed limit in United States is 75 mph, therefore, car manufactures are encouraging crime and creating unnecessary risk to society by making cars for the private public with the potential to exceed the mandated legal speed limits. How about swimming pools or watersports in general? According to the CDC 2003 fatality report, unintentional drownings ranked 2nd as cause of death in children under the age of 14. Why do children need to be near the water? Besides the joys of recreating in pleasant environment, there really isn't a need for swimming pools or waterskiing. Bathtubs should be outlawed in favor of showers. Children under the age of 14 should be prohibited from fishing since there is no need to catch fish when the supermarket can provide them at whim.
I guess the real question then fall on who determines what is needed. What is the legal term for need? Really, to preserve life, all we NEED is shelter, food, and water. When we start basing policy of law on the concept of need and not on fact or statistical risk, we have in turn removed our legal claim to anything not defined as necessary with the opinion of those who mandate law upon us. The precedence of NEED is a slippery slope rank with the potential of eroded rights and wet with drool of anticipation of those who would strip us of what we have fought for and held so dear for over 2 centuries.
FREEDOM. Not just freedom as defined by the needs of life, but FREEDOM as defined by the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the bedrock foundation of this nation. The assault on any individual right, no matter how "logical" it may sound has a prevailing legal effect overall the rights we have.
Kelsey Hilderbrand is an avid shooter, hunter, collector, outdoor writer, and founder of High Mountain Hunting Supply