Thank goodness we have the Second Amendment. I say that a lot, but I’m especially grateful after seeing the latest news out of New Zealand.
Less than a week after the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand has moved to ban and confiscate semi-automatic long guns.
The bill bans so-called “military style semi-automatic firearms,” which according to the bill are any rifle or shotgun that accepts a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds. But .22 and smaller-caliber arms are exempt, so everybody’s varmint guns are safe.
And, according to reports, the legal owners of now-illegal hardware will be entitled to “fair and reasonable” compensation through a buyback program that’s expected to cost a couple hundred million dollars.
Naturally, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., says that we “must follow New Zealand’s lead.”
This is exactly why we have the Second Amendment. Whatever government currently in power in the U.S. cannot push through a ban like this or anything close to it because of our constitutional protection of the right to bear arms.
Gun bans like this frequently follow on the heels of a heinous violent crime, when people are thinking least clearly about the issue. We don’t think clearly when we’re dealing with grief and trauma. That’s just a fact. And just as it’s common for individuals to make sweeping, ill-advised life changes in the wake of personal tragedies, it’s possible for large groups of people to do ill-advised things in the wake of public tragedies, like give up their ability to defend themselves.
That’s what happened with Britain’s big gun ban in the 1990s, the same with Australia, and the same now with New Zealand. And it’s the exact tactic the anti-gunners in this country employ when they immediately try to use human suffering to push for more gun control. It took New Zealand less than a week to enact this gun-grab.
In response, you have folks like the New York Time’s token alleged conservative Bret Stephens, who piggybacks on tragedy to call to repeal the Second Amendment so that we can pass more gun control. Without 2A, a Democrat-controlled Congress could probably beat New Zealand’s time at passing a gun ban in the future.
That’s just one thing that’s so great about having a Constitution that’s hard to change by design and has language specifically protecting the right to keep and bear arms. Every human being is born with the intrinsic right to defend themselves. Period. Our Founders knew this and wisely put a backstop in place that keeps reactionary impulses from trampling over that right.
Knee-jerk gun ban proposals in reaction to horrible events don’t get to use an express lane. Activists typically have to spend a lot of time convincing a lot of people of their position if they really want to change the document. That’s a feature, not a bug.
Because, for the record, once again: Gun bans only affect the law-abiding; the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is the ability to fire back; and the warm and fuzzy feeling people might get from passing new gun control laws won’t stop a bullet when a wicked person breaks them.