by Jim Davies, 11/3/2011
This continues my reviews of the Paul Presidential Platform. Ron Paul is second to none in Congress, in his record of resisting government's relentless drive to disarm Americans and his campaign web page on this issue is admirable. As President, he would be even more effective in obstructing the gun-grabbers. He might, for example, close down the BATF or at least order its agents to stay at their desks; that would make all Federal anti-gun laws unenforcible, though alas they make up only a small fraction of the 20,000 total. He doesn't promise to do that, but nor does he say he won't - and as the BATF is on his staff, he certainly could.
The issue concerns the right to self-defense. This is a fundamental human right; Dr Paul says it comes from God, while I see it as deriving from the axiom (an undeniable premise) of self-ownership. If we each own ourselves, and we do, nobody has any right to interfere with my life or yours and if they do, we have the right to deter them - up to and including the use of deadly force. A gun is a very convenient way to exercise that right, hence everyone is wise to have one handy.
Government's whole business has to do with the exercise of force, as Washington well knew and said; so it naturally resents such a rival resource. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) has made a good case that if the Jews of Germany had disobeyed the government's laws to register and then surrender their guns, the Holocaust might never have taken place; armed resistance would have broken out. As it was, all were taken as sheep to the slaughter. John Ross' extraordinary novel Unintended Consequences visualizes how skilled American gun-owners killed a few of the most loathsome government tyrants who bugged them and so provoked a revolution resulting in a large reduction in government scope. Fiction, but quite credible; and it includes a non-fiction element by recalling the 1943 Warsaw uprising in which ghetto Jews, clearly facing imminent death in the gas chambers, stole a few guns from German patrollers and started a resistance that tied down the German war machine for longer than the whole Polish Army had in 1939.
The Paul page recalls that he wrote a Bill to "allow pilots and specially trained law enforcement personnel to carry firearms in order to protect airline passengers and help prevent future 9/11-style attacks." It's entirely sick that he had to phrase it that way. "Allow"? - is the right to carry guns subject to Congressional permission? Absolutely not properly, yet in practice it is. Had not merely pilots, but any passenger who so wished, been packing a piece on 9/11, those attacks would never have taken place. All MIHOP and LIHOP theories aside, government enabled that disaster by that prohibition alone.
Ron Paul's position on guns is correct and I applaud his stand, but it's worth adding that gun ownership is not crucial, IMHO, either to individual defense against government atrocity or to how it can be abolished.
As to defense, it has long been government strategy to concentrate overwhelming force against its individual targets - with such as SWAT teams invading at dawn or during the night. If the target is armed and awake at the time he may be able to take down a few of his attackers, but will certainly lose his own life and then be castigated by the media for resisting "lawful authority." It may be heroic, but it doesn't effectively defend life. There is, I think, an exception to this in the unlikely case of foreign invasion; knowing their occupying troops would face a nation of gun-owners, the aggressor would most likely abandon plans to invade.
As to revolution, to try to overcome government with force is plain silly, as was never better expressed than by Francis Tandy: if armed resistors were so numerous as to pose a credible threat to it, ". . . such a [violent] revolution might be successful. But then it would be unnecessary, for people having refused to stand in the relation of subjects to it, the State would no longer be king."
So Ron Paul's admirable defense of gun rights is necessary, but it's not sufficient to liberate America. That objective can be achieved only when government's employees have been so re-educated as to withdraw their labor, as I reasoned in The Fix and on this ZGBlog.