This flag says it all. Stay away, keep off! I know my rights, and they SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. After all, the 2nd Amendment is in the Bill of Rights, right?
Slow down turbo. Lets consider together the impact of American gun debates on our Canadian conversation. The American 2nd Amendment is a glorious part of their Bill of Rights. I am in hearty accord with it, and Amen. However, I am no American. I am a Canadian.
One of the first things the opponents of firearm-freedom in my country do is throw this in my face. “You aren’t American, this isn’t America, you don’t have the Right to Own a firearm. It is a Privilege. And it is one the government has a right to take away at any time.”
This kind of facile argument is very frustrating to deal with, as there is a grain of truth to it. I am not American, and the American Constitution and Bill of Rights have no authority in Canada. But is that all there is to this? Are Americans the only men in the history of the world who have a right to own and bear firearms? Are they unique among men?
I think not. In a future post I hope to go into the American Constitution and the context surrounding the debates and men that formed the Bill of Rights. For now, we shall leave them by the way and move forward to sketch our program.
There have been several types of responses in the Canadian gun world to the typical anti-gun rhetoric above. One method has been to grant the premise that a Right does not exist where it is not enumerated in law, and then try to amend the situation by getting laws passed or struck. This method is fine, but the premise is flawed. More on this will follow in subsequent posts.
Another response has been to find a means of making Rights universal to Nature. If all men everywhere have universal and natural, rights… and property is one of them, then all Canadians have a natural right to arms. The logic of this is fine. Unfortunately, the leftists do not agree with the premise, and I partly agree with them.
So then, we are left in a dilemma. We know that owning guns and enjoying their use cannot be immoral. Somehow we know this, and yet we must make clear what we mean and do not mean. Our task is to form our thoughts, to bend our rational powers toward the effective communication of what we believe.
If Human Rights are so arbitrary as to require ratification by law, then we know they do not suffice. What if the ownership were not a Right? What if it were a Duty?
I aim to argue that the ownership and use of firearms, for defence in particular, is a DUTY of every man.