Saturday, September 24, 2005

Door-to-Door Confiscation

In Stalin-esque fashion, officials in Louisiana have taken the view, "If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves."[1] As I mentioned last Tuesday, the evening news presented a video of police entering a home in New Orleans, finding firearms, and confiscating them. Perhaps I should have been more clear. "Entering" meant breaking the glass on the front door and opening the door, using what appeared to be a crowbar. "Finding" meant, upon not finding survivors, rather than continuing to search for survivors elsewhere, they searched for weapons that might have remained in the home.

Officials have continued their weapons confiscation mission in New Orleans, going from door-to-door to take guns from their rightful owners. They have even seized a firearm from a man who had one in his boat for protection while he rescued people. Law enforcement is supposed to protect those who cannot protect themselves -- not create more people who cannot protect themselves. It is ironic that law enforcement is targeting gun owners and those gun owners are peacefully surrendering their weapons, rather than using them to defend their right to keep them. So much for the argument that owning a weapon means you are more likely to use violence to resolve conflict. Apparently the police would rather confront peaceful gun owners than unarmed looters. Those 'right-wing-extremist' gun owners are not nearly as extreme as the founders such as James Madison, who stated, "Americans need not fear the federal government because they enjoy the advantage of being armed, which you possess over the people of almost every other nation."

Two groups, along with individuals in Louisiana, are trying to stop this blatant violation of property rights. "The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, seeking a temporary restraining order to halt the seizures of guns from law-abiding citizens. They described the confiscations as 'arbitrary,' 'without warrant or probable cause' and thus 'illegal.'" Read the whole article here.

The creation of law enforcement officers did not end the right to self defense. The existence of police does not nullify the need for private ownership of firearms. As Patrick Henry stated in a speech on June 9 1788, "Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? ... If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"

If we want to claim that racism is at work, or that government has no regard for people in low-income areas, this is the best case so far. As Thomas Sowell stated six years ago, "The biggest hypocrites on gun control are those who live in upscale developments with armed security guards -- and who want to keep other people from having guns to defend themselves. But what about lower-income people living in high-crime, inner city neighborhoods? Should such people be kept unarmed and helpless, so that limousine liberals can 'make a statement' by adding to the thousands of gun laws already on the books?"

"To disarm the people [is] the best and most effectual way to enslave them."[2] And how much easier it is to control slaves than those who may act freely.

[2] Mason, George. 3 Elliot, Debates at 380

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