Gun Laws and the Fools of Chelm

 Jan 29, 2013 12:00 AM EST 

This article expresses my feelings on Obama's gun grab and brings up some intersting points.  What do you think?      

The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so. By David Mamet.
Karl Marx summed up Communism as “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” This is a good, pithy saying, which, in practice, has succeeded in bringing, upon those under its sway, misery, poverty, rape, torture, slavery, and death.

For the saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia. The agency is called “The State,” and the motto, fleshed out, for the benefit of the easily confused must read “The State will take from each according to his ability: the State will give to each according to his needs.” “Needs and abilities” are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to “the State shall take, the State shall give.”

All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.

Rule by bureaucrats and functionaries is an example of the first part of the Marxist equation: that the Government shall determine the individual’s abilities.

As rules by the Government are one-size-fits-all, any governmental determination of an individual’s abilities must be based on a bureaucratic assessment of the lowest possible denominator. The government, for example, has determined that black people (somehow) have fewer abilities than white people, and, so, must be given certain preferences. Anyone acquainted with both black and white people knows this assessment is not only absurd but monstrous. And yet it is the law.

President Obama, in his reelection campaign, referred frequently to the “needs” of himself and his opponent, alleging that each has more money than he “needs.”

But where in the Constitution is it written that the Government is in charge of determining “needs”? And note that the president did not say “I have more money than I need,” but “You and I have more than we need.” Who elected him to speak for another citizen?

It is not the constitutional prerogative of the Government to determine needs. One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work; one more adventure, another more security, and so on. It is this diversity that makes a country, indeed a state, a city, a church, or a family, healthy. “One-size-fits-all,” and that size determined by the State has a name, and that name is “slavery.”

The Founding Fathers, far from being ideologues, were not even politicians. They were an assortment of businessmen, writers, teachers, planters; men, in short, who knew something of the world, which is to say, of Human Nature. Their struggle to draft a set of rules acceptable to each other was based on the assumption that we human beings, in the mass, are no damned good—that we are biddable, easily confused, and that we may easily be motivated by a Politician, which is to say, a huckster, mounting a soapbox and inflaming our passions.

The Constitution’s drafters did not require a wag to teach them that power corrupts: they had experienced it in the person of King George. The American secession was announced by reference to his abuses of power: “He has obstructed the administration of Justice … he has made Judges dependant on his will alone … He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws … He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass out people and to eat out their substance … imposed taxes upon us without our consent… [He has] fundamentally altered the forms of our government.”
Gun rights advocates
            rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Jan. 2013.
Who threatens American society most: law-abiding citizens or criminals? (Matt Rourke/AP)

This is a chillingly familiar set of grievances; and its recrudescence was foreseen by the Founders. They realized that King George was not an individual case, but the inevitable outcome of unfettered power; that any person or group with the power to tax, to form laws, and to enforce them by arms willdefault to dictatorship, absent the constant unflagging scrutiny of the governed, and their severe untempered insistence upon compliance with law.

The Founders recognized that Government is quite literally a necessary evil, that there must be opposition, between its various branches, and between political parties, for these are the only ways to temper the individual’s greed for power and the electorates’ desires for peace by submission to coercion or blandishment.

Healthy government, as that based upon our Constitution, is strife. It awakens anxiety, passion, fervor, and, indeed, hatred and chicanery, both in pursuit of private gain and of public good. Those who promise to relieve us of the burden through their personal or ideological excellence, those who claim to hold the Magic Beans, are simply confidence men. Their emergence is inevitable, and our individual opposition to and rejection of them, as they emerge, must be blunt and sure; if they are arrogant, willful, duplicitous, or simply wrong, they must be replaced, else they will consolidate power, and use the treasury to buy votes, and deprive us of our liberties. It was to guard us against this inevitable decay of government that the Constitution was written. Its purpose was and is not to enthrone a Government superior to an imperfect and confused electorate, but to protect us from such a government.

Many are opposed to private ownership of firearms, and their opposition comes under several heads. Their specific objections are answerable retail, but a wholesale response is that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. On a lower level of abstraction, there are more than 2 million instances a year of the armed citizen deterring or stopping armed criminals; a number four times that of all crimes involving firearms.

The Left loves a phantom statistic that a firearm in the hands of a citizen is X times more likely to cause accidental damage than to be used in the prevention of crime, but what is there about criminals that ensures that their gun use is accident-free? If, indeed, a firearm were more dangerous to its possessors than to potential aggressors, would it not make sense for the government to arm all criminals, and let them accidentally shoot themselves? Is this absurd? Yes, and yet the government, of course, is arming criminals.

Violence by firearms is most prevalent in big cities with the strictest gun laws. In Chicago and Washington, D.C., for example, it is only the criminals who have guns, the law-abiding populace having been disarmed, and so crime runs riot.

Cities of similar size in Texas, Florida, Arizona, and elsewhere, which leave the citizen the right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed in the Constitution, typically are much safer. More legal guns equal less crime. What criminal would be foolish enough to rob a gun store? But the government alleges that the citizen does not need this or that gun, number of guns, or amount of ammunition.

But President Obama, it seems, does.

He has just passed a bill that extends to him and his family protection, around the clock and for life, by the Secret Service. He, evidently, feels that he is best qualified to determine his needs, and, of course, he is. As I am best qualified todetermine mine.

For it is, again, only the Marxists who assert that the government, which is to say the busy, corrupted, and hypocritical fools most elected officials are (have you ever had lunch with one?) should regulate gun ownership based on its assessment of needs.

Q. Who “needs” an assault rifle?

A. No one outside the military and the police. I concur.

An assault weapon is that which used to be called a “submachine gun.” That is, a handheld long gun that will fire continuously as long as the trigger is held down.

These have been illegal in private hands (barring those collectors who have passed the stringent scrutiny of the Federal Government) since 1934. Outside these few legal possessors, there are none in private hands. They may be found in the hands of criminals. But criminals, let us reflect, by definition, are those who will not abide by the laws. What purpose will passing more laws serve?

My grandmother came from Russian Poland, near the Polish city of Chelm. Chelm was celebrated, by the Ashkenazi Jews, as the place where the fools dwelt. And my grandmother loved to tell the traditional stories of Chelm.

Its residents, for example, once decided that there was no point in having the sun shine during the day, when it was light out—it would be better should it shine at night, when it was dark. Similarly, we modern Solons delight in passing gun laws that, in their entirety, amount to “making crime illegal.”

What possible purpose in declaring schools “gun-free zones”? Who bringing a gun, with evil intent, into a school would be deterred by the sign?

Ah, but perhaps one, legally carrying a gun, might bring it into the school.
Obama family
            attending Easter church service
If President Obama determines a need to defend his family, why can’t we defend our own? (Jonathan Ernst, Reuters/Landov)


We need more armed citizens in the schools.

Walk down Madison Avenue in New York. Many posh stores have, on view, or behind a two-way mirror, an armed guard. Walk into most any pawnshop, jewelry story, currency exchange, gold store in the country, and there will be an armed guard nearby. Why? As currency, jewelry, gold are precious. Who complains about the presence of these armed guards? And is this wealth more precious than our children?

Apparently it is: for the Left adduces arguments against armed presence in the school but not in the wristwatch stores. Q. How many accidental shootings occurred last year in jewelry stores, or on any premises with armed security guards?

Why not then, for the love of God, have an armed presence in the schools? It could be done at the cost of a pistol (several hundred dollars), and a few hours of training (that’s all the security guards get). Why not offer teachers, administrators, custodians, a small extra stipend for completing a firearms-safety course and carrying a concealed weapon to school? The arguments to the contrary escape me.

Why do I specify concealed carry? As if the weapons are concealed, any potential malefactor must assume that anyone on the premises he means to disrupt may be armed—a deterrent of even attempted violence.

Yes, but we should check all applicants for firearms for a criminal record?

Anyone applying to purchase a handgun has, since 1968, filled out a form certifying he is not a fugitive from justice, a convicted criminal, or mentally deficient. These forms, tens and tens of millions of them, rest, conceivably, somewhere in the vast repository. How are they checked? Are they checked? By what agency, with what monies? The country is broke. Do we actually want another agency staffed by bureaucrats for whom there is no funding?

The police do not exist to protect the individual. They exist to cordon off the crime scene and attempt to apprehend the criminal. We individuals are guaranteed by the Constitution the right to self-defense. This right is not the Government’s to “award” us. They have never been granted it.

The so-called assault weapons ban is a hoax. It is a political appeal to the ignorant. The guns it supposedly banned have been illegal (as above) for 78 years. Did the ban make them “more” illegal? The ban addresses only theappearance of weapons, not their operation.

Will increased cosmetic measures make anyone safer? They, like all efforts at disarmament, will put the citizenry more at risk. Disarmament rests on the assumption that all people are good, and, basically, want the same things.

But if all people were basically good, why would we, increasingly, pass more and more elaborate laws?

The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so: and his right to do so is guaranteed by the Constitution.

President Obama seems to understand the Constitution as a “set of suggestions.” I cannot endorse his performance in office, but he wins my respect for taking those steps he deems necessary to ensure the safety of his family. Why would he want to prohibit me from doing the same?


  1. Very well-thought-out argument. I agree with all of it. It makes me so happy to know that people still exist today that know the whole truth and aren't afraid to express it. If we had a less secular news media that would spread these things around instead of heaping masses of opinion, we might not be so far down the gutter as we are now.

  2. Thank you, Jon, for very eloguently, and clearly stating yours, and my reasons to protect our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. I couldn't agree with you more.
    Thank you too, for being a voice that expresses the views of so many of us citizens in this country. We will all stand together to protect our rights, despite Obama's attempts to destroy this country.
    Thank you.

  3. I love so much of your work Jon and stand by you in your efforts.

    I believe differently than you, however, when it comes to ownership of sub-machine guns. There are actually several hundred legal owners of these firearms and I believe that it is critical that Americans are prepared to fight against that which they are likely to encounter. Surely you would not attempt to use a small .22 caliber Derringer pistol to take down a bear. And yet a corrupt government, attempting to use our own military against us, is indeed a bear. Then why isn't it O.K. for Americans to have access to the same firearms that are likely to be used upon them??

    "shall not be infringed" means exactly that. No infringements of any kind.

    Kellene--Director for Women of Caliber

    1. I actually agree with you on that point. I don't think there should be any gun restrictions except for those with felony records or history of mental illness as currently defined in the code. The author, I think, was simply stating that the current law already restricts sub machine guns and that assault rifle bans are merely cosmetic.

    2. I agree with everything except the no guns for felons part. Felons who have no history of violence And have paid their debt to society Should have every right to defend themselves and their families. I for instance am a convicted felon for non payment of child support. I had what to me were very good reasons for not paying child support The safety of my children just 1. I have paid my debt to society and I have paid the child support but per the law today I cannot own a firearm to protect myself and my new family. You are guilty of making the same mistake as the government By grouping all felons together. I'm not saying that not paying child support on my part was right but it had nothing to do with guns or violence or being a danger to society. I'm not asking for special treatment But that's just it I don't deserve special treatment. I agree with you completely or at least mostly on your point of view and I applaud you for speaking out.. I absolutely love your paintings And wish I could afford 1 if they are even for sale. Thank you for taking the time to do this and thank you for posting it to Facebook so I could see it. For those that see this and wonder Due to the non violent nature of my crime What's the debt to society and back child support paid I was allowed to petition the court and be granted my right to vote.

    3. Bill, you make a good point. I had not thought about that. Thank you for the comment.

  4. Wonderfully written and correct in every way. I, however, have to say that we all miss the point over and over again. Being kind, God fearing, law abiding people, we are misjudging both the nature and the intent of our president. We should not be confused that he in fact does desire to bankrupt this country and that he has made it his priority to usurp the 2nd amendment and take our guns. He (and they) wishes to 'fundamentally change this country' into a Marxist/Islamic domain.
    Mr Obama was born into and trained in the hatred of all things U.S.A., especially the foundation of what makes us American, the Constitution.It is not by accident or love of our God given mandates in the Constitution that he majored in Constitutional law. He studied what he always intended to disregard and destroy. As you know, God is still on the throne! Those that work ardently towards the end and destruction of all we hold dear, will not have their way. It wont be easy, but it will take prayer and a good fight!
    For one, they completely misunderstand the freedom minded men and women of our country and for two this country was founded in covenant with God. God does not forget covenant, we do. So, as we the people turn from our evil ways and humble ourselves to Him then He will save us.He will give us the way out. The light will shine on the dark and secret things will be uncovered. God will not be mocked, regardless of how many Bibles one takes an oath upon.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful article and for your art. You inspire us towards God! In the end we win, if we read the end of the Book!

  5. Very well written and certainly a very logical argument. I couldn't agree more. Guns are the easiest to use of all lethal weapons and thus are a favorite for criminals. There's an old say "Never bring a knife to a gun fight" and sadly it seems as though this is what our president is trying to force on us. If a person breaks in to your house or holds you up in an alley trying to get your wallet and they have a gun, what kind of protection would you have if you had a knife? A taser? A bat? With these weapons, you would only have adequate protection if the person was extremely stupid. If you take our only means of protecting ourselves away from us then the only choices we have are to give everything we have to those who don't follow the laws or become a "criminal" ourselves in order to keep ourselves, our families and our property safe. If you really want to make this a safe country, impose stiffer penalties for violent crimes, arm everyone so we're all on equal playing fields and stop letting money hungry lawyers get criminals off because we're too cheap to pay District Attorneys what they deserve. The best lawyers in the country should be representing the public, not the accused. Or eliminate lawyers all together. Both sides get public defenders. When criminals can pay a law firm hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and have a dozen or so lawyers on their side and the public gets a small three or four person crew who is overworked trying to prosecute you get a system that is biased towards whoever has the most money. You want a lower crime rate, discourage the criminals from committing crimes, don't make it easier for them.

  6. It seems Jon is on a rant with this post.

    There is the typical lack of research surrounding numerous statements (especially our founding fathers). For example, the framers of our Constitution were all politicians; and yes, they were businessmen as well. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#Political_experience

    And there is the typical vilification of government and the Left.

    The notion that government is inherently corrupt could be applied to any institution, public or private (including corporations). Institutions are manned by people, and people are corruptible. The hierarchy of any organization can and do make poor policy decisions. And here is a recent example of a Catholic Hospital making poor decisions that cost the lives of unborn twins when the mother suffered a heart attack. See http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/130125

    Should we ban all institutions? Of course not. My perspective on government is that it should work for the people, which is why we have representative government. If it's not, then correct the problems thru legal means.

    But the crux of this post is to suggest that we should not implement any gun control; not even 100% background checks, which could be far stricter than what is currently being done. Btw, Jon, you do realize that over 40% of gun sales avoid a background check, and closing this loophole alone would go a long way to reducing guns in the wrong hands (including gun traffickers).

    Jon's argument against universal background checks seems to fall on two points: first, it hasn't been very effective todate; and second, our government is broke and can't afford it.

    To the first point, putting aside that 40% of sales are not background checked, if our checks are not effective then the response should be: how could we make them more effective? Australia, Japan, and many other free nations conduct universal background checks that are far more comprehensive than ours. If we have a right to life (and many people do NOT want to carry a gun), then we should certainly attempt to improve our background checks. To coin your phrase, Jon, one solution does not fit all, and universal background checks (one component of gun control) provides a far better solution for all than your one-fits-all solution of a "call to arms".

    And to the second point, our government is not broke; our GDP is positive, and big corporations are doing quite well (which brings in more tax revenue). If you think this assessment is incorrect, then provide support for your opinion.

    Jon, you're on the wrong side of this issue of universal background checks, with an overwhelming majority of the country favoring it. See http://www.wral.com/wral-poll-north-carolinians-favor-background-checks-for-guns/11987403/

    As the debate on gun control continues, and the public starts discussing the alternatives, we will see restrictions enacted. It just seems that America is always late to the game on most social issues compared to other free nations.

  7. Btw, I stand corrected on the author. It's not Jon, but David Mamet (a Libertarian).

    Just when I thought Jon was actually starting to do some research; oh well.