The issue of gun ownership / gun control is not likely to disappear anytime soon. We, as a nation, are deeply divided over what it means to own a firearm. But as I see it, it’s not about guns, it’s about power – and in this country we do not believe letting power go unchecked.
Our system of government has established checks and balances to prevent one person, one party, one branch of the government from becoming too powerful. There are speed bumps and roadblocks to the passing of legislation – even good legislation. We do this because we understand the destructive nature of absolute power. We fear, and rightly so, allowing supreme power to be concentrated in one person’s hands. A benevolent dictator is good in theory, but… power corrupts. Power destroys.
It’s not about guns. It’s about power or, in this case, firepower. Guns are powerful tools. And like all tools they can be used for good and productive purposes, or they can be used for evil destructive ends. And just as we have established means to limit the amount of political power that any one person, party, branch of government has in our country, we must limit the amount of (fire)power that any one person can have – and which persons can have access to that power. A benevolent dictator is good in theory, but we don’t trust them. Responsible gun owners are good in theory too, but we shouldn’t allow them unfettered (fire)power without a more responsible system of checks and balances.
Even the 2nd amendment “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” that gun owners and the NRA are quick to quote begins with that phrase “A well regulated…” Regulation. Control. It’s written right into their favorite amendment.
Gun regulation, gun control is not un-American. It’s an idea built upon one of the foundational values of our country. It’s not about guns. It’s about (fire)power – and in this country we do not believe in unfettered, unchecked power.