SACRAMENTO, CA (November 7, 2017) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) has issued the following statement concerning demands for new gun control following the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas:
We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and grieve for all those affected by the hand of an evil man in Sutherland Springs, Texas; indeed, we mourn for every man, woman, and child lost to unjust violence and unconscionable circumstance wherever and however they may fall.
In the aftermath of the horrific and illegal premeditated killing at the First Baptist Church we see once more, and quite clearly, that only peaceable people bearing arms can effectively respond to those evil or insane people who, devoid of a moral core, take deliberate actions to kill and injure others when they are at their most vulnerable. And, too, such peaceable people are not limited to those in government service; rather, they are found in abundance throughout our great nation, standing as sheepdogs, vigilant for the cause of peace but prepared to defend life if needed, perhaps even at the cost of their own.
In response to tragedy, some predatory politicians and others like them in the billionaire-backed gun control lobby have demanded, disingenuously, that those who advocate for individual freedoms must participate in some “conversation,” as if they are empowered to unilaterally compel their fellow citizens to do as they wish. But as the observant among us know all too well, their latent—and sometimes patent—desire is for no more dialogue to be had at all, simply that the Second Amendment’s core guarantees against government infringement be reduced unto a dead letter.
We believe the only “conversation” that is genuinely pertinent to their efforts is set forth in Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which provides the process for lawfully changing the supreme document of our social contract. All other proposals turn on legislation wrought from the tyranny of the majority; administrative rules and regulations to expand their preferred bureaucracy; and lawless rule by now-fashionable ‘pen-and-phone’ executive fiat. As a reminder to all who promote such dangerous instruments to achieve their gun control goals: Any rule crafted to impinge on Second Amendment rights can just as easily be reframed to limit the rights you hold dear; any offense you might employ against individual freedom today will, at some point, become someone else’s incursion on another liberty tomorrow.
If gun control proponents were honest—and they are by no means honest—they would admit what they really want when they demand a dialogue: for freedom advocacy organizations like FPC, and our law-abiding supporters, to concede ground to them on their terms, and with no reciprocation, so that they may more easily red-line fundamental, individual constitutional rights they do not like. We refuse to participate in their squalid process. We have no moral obligation to aid and abet our opposition, whether physical or philosophical, and we will not do so here.
Law-abiding gun owners are not responsible for evil or insane killers who use firearms, just as peaceable Muslims are not responsible for radical Islamic terrorists flying planes into our buildings and killing thousands, slaying hundreds in bomb blasts, or even running over dozens with vehicles. As we have said before, we reject the notion that good people and our basic rights must suffer for the crimes of the wicked.
We know that modern theories of gun control rely on the existence of three essential components to achieve, through force and attrition, the ultimate goal of a disarmed society: registration of people and property in persistent databases (through background checks and sale or transfer records); ever-expanding categories of prohibited people and items; and responsive confiscation of arms through law enforcement efforts. See, for example, California’s firearm regulatory scheme and associated APPS confiscation program or the New York SAFE Act.
In the final analysis, all roads lead to confiscatory laws with criminal consequences. And those who advocate for gun control would see other peoples’ sons and daughters carry the personal risk of their unchained desire to re-create America into the authoritarian utopia they seek.
To be sure, all constitutional rights have social costs, and the Second Amendment is not unique from other fundamental rights in that respect. But those considerations were weighed and the social interests balanced when we ratified the Bill of Rights in 1791 and, perhaps more importantly, upon re-affirming our commitment to those principles for all people in 1868 when we enshrined the Fourteenth Amendment and ensured their application to states and local governments.
Because of inalienable human rights like the individual right to keep and bear arms, protected by the Second Amendment, the news media is free to report on uncomfortable or embarrassing matters of national security; editorialists are free to discuss, even encourage, the removal of a sitting president; and those who promote gun control, even in opposition to the ruling party, have the freedom to advocate for those views.
The right to keep and bear arms, like freedom of speech and the right to due process, is a bright line rule that separates the people from servitude. Our nation’s founders wisely took great pains to protect fundamental rights like those contained in the First and Second Amendments in the very textual threads of our social fabric—not because they are benign, but because they are inherently dangerous and necessary to an enduring free Republic.
We recognize that gun control is one growing front of a still-cold but increasingly bitter war between those who desire a powerful government that has the ability to control its people and those who value freedom and individual liberty. But an armed and prepared citizenry—indeed, the unorganized militia—is the first, and perhaps last, line of defense against the deranged, evil, and tyrannical.
Accordingly, FPC believes that Congress should immediately work to remedy or repeal previously-enacted unconstitutional laws and expand statutory protections for those who would safely and responsibly exercise their right to keep and bear arms inside and outside their homes. Dozens of such bills exist today, and they should be passed and signed into law without further delay.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.