I was recently asked if I could do an article about my thoughts on gun control. Given recent anti-firearm rights sentiment in the US, the ongoing confiscation in New Zealand, and a general interest in the subject, I thought that would be a great idea.
Every opportunity to show older generations the perspective of Gen Z conservative on gun control is a good opportunity to show the world that younger generations still respect and understand the importance of gun rights. All of us are no David Hogg-like, mini-tyrants that don’t understand the 2nd Amendment.
Before getting too far into my thoughts on gun control, I would like to start by saying I am a huge firearms fan. Up until they refused to fight the bump stock ban, I was an NRA member. I have been quail hunting since I was 7 and deer hunting since I was 12.
Firearms and the 2nd Amendment are a subject that I find very interesting and important. In this article I will examine American history with firearms, recent attempts to ban or limit firearm ownership, and why I think those attempts are unconstitutional. Enjoy!
The History of the Second Amendment:
In this section of my thoughts on gun control, I will cover the historical reasons for the Second Amendment and why the Founders knew we should own guns.
The Reasons for the 2nd Amendment:
I am a firm believer that the Second Amendment was created to do two things.
The first is that it was meant to reduce the need for a large, standing Army. That is the reason for the militia clause. If settlers on the frontier and men at home were armed, and those men were organized, then they could resist Indian attacks without requiring the protection of the Army. George Washington understood that; his early military service was along the frontier, as written about in His Excellency: George Washington.
That reliance on frontier militias both limited expenditures on the Army and prevented the creation of a military force large enough to take control of the government. As I discuss in my article on the Jeffersonian period (link below), the early American Army was only a few thousand men. It was not a force that could launch a coup, nor large enough to enforce tyrannical laws.
The second reason for the 2nd Amendment is that it was meant to prevent government tyranny. If the “Tree of Liberty” is to be “watered from time to time with the blood of tyrants” as Jefferson recommends in his quote on liberty, then the people have to be armed. Because of that, there is no restriction in the Amendment about what weapons people can own. Citizens should be able to, and for a while were able to, own whatever weapons they liked.
Private militias were created that were armed with top of the line military rifles and cannons. Those were especially prevalent during the early Civil War. The 2nd Amendment’s primary purpose was to give the citizenry the ability to resist tyranny. That ability to resist tyranny is one of the main reasons to own a firearm. And for awhile, they were able to. The Army was small, and the citizens were well-armed. Yet that began to change after the Civil War.
Reasons for the Decline of the 2nd Amendment:
The 2nd Amendment began to decline with the closing of the frontier. Or, at least that’s how I conceive of it when formulating my thoughts on gun control. Once society was functional across the whole continent, there was no longer as much of a need for militias. Small towns weren’t being attacked by Indians, so they didn’t have as pressing of a need for military-grade firearms. They still needed them for hunting, private protection, and potentially resisting tyranny. Yet the military need wasn’t as pressing, so the 2nd Amendment was allowed to decline in prominence. Because of that decline, there were attempts at confiscation and increased regulation as early as the 1930’s.
Attempts at Confiscation and Regulation:
In this section of my thoughts on gun control, I will discuss the government’s history with regulating or confiscating firearms in both American history and the modern day.
There were early attempts at firearm regulation during the 1930’s. Caused by gang violence related to Prohibition, those built into the NFA Act. That completely unconstitutional act banned all types of weapons based on caliber, barrel length, and how quickly they could fire. It also banned certain accessories such as suppressors and foregrips on pistols. Those ridiculous restrictions (as my thoughts on gun control have me view ATF regulations) limit innovations in firearms and persist to this day.
The NFA Act banned whole classes of weapons based on aesthetic characteristics such as barrel length. Those bans based on looks would return soon enough, but luckily weren’t overly drastic at the time. However, the ban based on caliber and firing mechanism was hugely oppressive. For the first time in history, Americans could not own the same weapons as their government. That enabled tyranny. The $200 tax on machine guns was very burdensome at the time: it was the same as buying a brand-new Thompson submachine gun, which was a high-end weapon. The NFA Act was the first step towards a tyrannical government limiting weapon ownership and striking through the passage of the 2nd Amendment that says “shall not be infringed.”
Modern Attempts at Gun Control:
The second assault on 2nd Amendment rights came during the Reagan Presidency. Reagan’s 1987 act banned civilian ownership of any machine gun made after that point. It was arbitrary and served only to prevent the common citizen from owning a machine gun and thus being on the same level as their government.
Beforehand, ownership was limited to those who could afford the $200 stamp. Afterwards, ownership was limited to whoever could afford the $200 machine gun stamp and a weapon that skyrocketed in value because of government-created scarcity. It made new weapons illegal, but still allowed old ones.
The only reason for that was to give the government and its increasingly large Army an edge over the common citizen, thus limiting his ability to resist tyranny. I have never heard a good defense of Reagan’s decision. To me it sounds like pure tyranny because it gives the government the ability to do that which the average citizen cannot.
Then, the Clinton Administration unveiled its “Assault Weapons Ban” in the 90’s. That ban went back to the principles of the NFA Act and limited new classes of weapons and accessories based purely on aesthetics. Larger magazines were banned despite a complete lack of evidence that limitations would reduce violence.
Bayonet lugs were prohibited despite a complete lack of reasoning behind that ban. When was a civilian in America last killed by a bayonet? Much less the bayonet of a fellow citizen. Additionally, the ban forbid sales of new AR-15s and other “scary” weapons to civilians, yet allowed the police to buy them. That purely tyrannical move again gave the government the ability to do that which the average citizen could not. It was tyrannical.
More recently, the Trump administration banned bump-stocks. Bump-stocks, for those who don’t know, just let you pull the trigger faster. They don’t even turn a weapon into a machine gun. They simply let you pull the trigger at a faster rate. And the NRA refused to fight for 2nd Amendment rights. It stood by and let the rights of the citizenry be trampled. Additionally, although the Assault Weapons Ban was allowed to expire, certain states still enforce its provisions and refuse to allow the sale or ownership of AR-15s or standard capacity magazines, among other weapons and accessories.
Why These Bans are Tyrannical:
Tyranny is “that which the government is allowed to do, but the average citizen cannot.” Luckily for America, there are few examples of this in American history. Unfortunately, what examples there have been have mostly been recent occurrences. That trend is most obvious in regards to firearm rights. Every piece of “common sense” legislation would have been incomprehensible the generation beforehand. It is one thing to not allow felons to possess certain types of weapons.
That at least make sense. (Although, if they are not safe enough to be trusted, why are they trusted to be present in society?) However, all of the Acts and bans mentioned above applied to every citizen except law enforcement personnel. That made law enforcement personnel more equal than the average person, despite their professed goal to “serve.” There are no historical examples of “servants” being allowed to own weapons that their masters cannot.
The only logical explanation is that these firearm restrictions are meant to limit the options of the average person. If he is at a severe disadvantage in terms of weaponry, he is much likely less-likely to resist tyranny. The patriots at Lexington and Concord were only able to resist the Redcoats when they were armed similarly. The battle ended when the British cannons arrived. The modern patriot is quite outgunned compared to his government.
The text of the 2nd Amendment states that “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Nowhere in the text does it state that bans are ok if there has been a shooting recently. Or if a gun looks scary. Or if it has a slightly short barrel. Those are all infringements. If felons are prohibited from owning certain weapons, that’s ok. The problem is when the bans apply to every citizen. That means the government doesn’t trust its own citizens, and is restricting their rights unconstitutionally.
The 2nd Amendment is very clear. It states that there shall be no infringements in relation to firearm rights. The bans and restrictions are all unconstitutional; they are infringements. Americans should protest and regain their firearm rights. Those rights aren’t negotiable, they’re a constitutional mandate.
They are a mandate because they help prevent tyranny, if allowed to exist. Americans made the mistake of not caring about their firearm rights as much after the frontier was closed. That allowed the government to step in and the 30’s and cash in on gang-violence to restrict the average person’s rights. The government has continued to do that- it capitalizes on public sentiment after a shooting to restrict our rights. The New Zealand government has gone even farther after their past shooting, who’s to say the American government won’t do the same?
Conclusion to My Thoughts on Gun Control:
Gun control is unconstitutional. It has only been imposed incrementally, each time cashing in on temporary public sentiment. Politicians know that the American public is emotional, so they use that to their advantage. They take advantage of emotions to pursue usually unpopular legislation. That needs to be resisted in the future. Fight for your rights, as the Founding Brothers did!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my thoughts on gun control and now understand the perspectives of a Gen Z Conservative on gun control! Help us prevent Joe Biden from taking out guns by sharing this article!
By: Gen Z Conservative
The Jefferson quote: https://genzconservative.com/thomas-jefferson-on-liberty/
Book about Jefferson: https://genzconservative.com/book-reviews-history-of-the-us/
Text of the Second Amendment: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment
Reasons to own a firearm: https://genzconservative.com/reasons-to-own-a-firearm/
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