Bill O’Reilly is not alone in his confusion over the role that government plays in the gun debate. There has been a lot said about his heated debate with Rep Chaffetz over stricter gun laws. Bill O’Reilly the popular author and TV reporter on Fox News is typically a conservative leaning investigator, but due to his roots in working class Levittown, New York, he has a soft spot for labor unions, and due to the fact that he’s lived and worked around New York City for a good part of his life, where they have banned guns completely, his view of the outside world is somewhat tainted.
O’Reilly blew up recently on the air with Chaffetz stating that while he did support American ownership of firearms, O’Reilly thought that the FBI should be contacted when heavy weapons or ammo are purchased. On the surface, what O’Reilly says makes sense; law enforcement should know what’s going on and what they are getting involved with if they are required to apprehend a suspect like James Holmes who has been stockpiling assault rifles and ammunition ahead of an intended shooting spree. O’Reilly’s reasoning is that if the FBI had the ability to know that James Holmes was buying large amounts of ammunition that law enforcement might have been triggered to watch Holmes more closely and therefore might have stopped the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting before it happened.
People who live in gun banning cities like Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York share with people who live in gun banning countries such as Canada and England the naïve assumption that law enforcement is always on the side of the people they are sworn to protect. These people believe that law enforcement should have 100% of community cooperation yielding all freedoms to the scrutiny of those law enforcement officers. Typically the people who are worst in this complete yielding of their personal freedoms to government authority have lived in the coastal cities at some point in their life and already had to face the concessions of living in those gun banning zones, so the premise of their argument is corrupted by their experience.
In the fly over states, gun ownership is a fact of life. Virtually everyone I know who does not live in a metropolitan area treasures their guns. Many own 3 to 5 per household, and these are typically very intelligent people who have very good jobs, raise very good families, and are overall good citizens. There are probably as many guns within 10 miles of my home as there are on a small military base, and that’s good. That’s exactly how it should be. In my community there isn’t much for police to do except break up domestic violence situations and petty theft. People in my community do not shoot each other when someone cuts the grass over on the property of their neighbor. Generally, people get along nicely, even when some of those people support school levies and others do not. We take our differences out at the ballot box, but generally are kind to each other while in public. Part of the reason for the peace and prosperity in rural areas are because of the large amounts of guns.
Cops are not shot when they come to our doors in suburbia. They are respected even when all they really have to do is sit on the side of the road and give us traffic tickets. There is a respectful tension between the general public and law enforcement. But there is not fear, because we are armed, and so are they.
But law enforcement by its title takes their orders from the political system that is in place, and if the political system is corrupt, like we all know it is abuses are bound to occur. In areas where guns are confiscated, stories of police violence against citizens goes up dramatically. Now, in my family there are several members who are cops, and one of my nephews who I have always been close to wants to be a cop. So what I say is taken in context and from experience. I have personally employed cops, and have known some of them as good friends, and with all that said I would not surrender my life completely to them under any circumstance. I do not trust them to make decisions on my behalf that will dictate the direction of my life, the lives of my family, and my property. I respect them and the danger of their job, but that is also what they are being paid for. I don’t give them a right to my life and property in the name of safety, I don’t give them the right to molest my wife and daughters, and I certainly don’t give them the right to draw a gun on me because they have a tendency to overact with grand theatrics when danger is present. I’ve seen this kind of behavior in more than one fight outside of bars where they show up on the scene and see a person laying face down in a pool of blood and assume the guy still standing did something wrong. Cops just like most people panic at the site of blood and guns, and they let their fears get away from them often. Cops are dangerous under this condition. Many of the gun laws created have been created under the pretense of panic where law makers have pandered to police officer’s fears.
Before the baby shower that my wife and daughter where holding for my youngest daughter over the previous weekend they sent me up to the local convenient store to purchase ice for the multiple coolers that were to be filled with drinks. I found myself in line behind a derelict of a man who was buying lottery tickets. Once he had his tickets he left and I was able to pay for my ice and get the key from the attendant. I went outside to get my ice out of the freezer and found that the man with the lottery tickets was sitting in his car scratching off the numbers. As I pulled out my bags of ice, the man cried out in glee from his car. “I won—I won!”
He jumped out of his car as though he had just won a million dollars and held the tickets up for me to see. “It won me some big money today! I won twenty dollars! I was afraid I was going to have to borrow money from my brother-in-law for cigarettes, but now I don’t have to!” As I loaded up my ice I couldn’t help but smile at the man who wasn’t any older than I was. “Now, if that happened every day, you’d never have to work another day in your life,” I said. He looked at me with confused attempts to connect neurons in his brain and relate something in his life that would help him understand my context. But my comment was completely foreign to him. I might as well have spoken a foreign language to him, because his lifestyle and mine are so far apart they might as well be from different countries. As I watched him run in to cash out his lottery tickets and come back out with a box of cigarettes and a toothless smile from ear to ear I thought—that was a guy I don’t want to have a gun—because he’s not smart enough to carry one.
It is people like that guy who police worry about when they have to arrest them for domestic violence because they beat the hell out of their bother-in-law over cigarette money, or had sex with their wife’s sister because they were all drunk and passed out on the floor of their smoke infested trailer. The wife erupts into a violent range wanting to kill the man for his reckless sexual exploits. It is often the poor and destitute who have trouble with guns, just like they have trouble with money. I have tried to employee such people for years, and they often lose their jobs because of attendance—they just don’t have the ambition to get out of bed. Many of them would rather use government regulation and unemployment benefits to keep from having to show up for a job, and because they are essentially lazy, they have low quality people in their lives and a low quality life style, and it’s there choice.
I should not be restricted from owning military grade weapons because of people like that lottery ticket guy. I should be able to have the guns of my choice in case politics fail completely and I need an equalizer against tyranny. Hopefully, just by having the gun, it will mean I never have to use it. But in not having it, police abuse and political cover-ups will occur, because they do now—and always have. My life is more important than the collective sum of the lottery ticket guy, or the nature of a politician’s congressional district, or presidential reign. All those kinds of things are just blips on the radar screen and don’t mean much in the scheme of things.
The FBI, the CIA, the ATF, the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA and our local police officers cannot be trusted to do the right thing 100% of the time. The need for the gun is for the 1% of the time that humans fail their fellow-man with the knowledge that one group has power over another. When the officer cuffs a man for a traffic warrant late on a Saturday night and discover his wife is in a compromised position and is quite attractive and unprotected, they may offer to turn the man loose if the woman has sex with them. Yes it does happen. The wife may want not want her husband arrested, or maybe going to jail will bankrupt them so she might be inclined to do as the officers suggest. I know of cops who have sat in my backyard and bragged about this kind of stuff. The arrested man at that point should have the right to defend his wife, and is property from intruders. But because the man is handcuffed in the back of a patrol car and the law has taken possession of his home, the police are in complete command to dictate the terms of release or apprehension. If the police know that the man is not a registered gun owner who might seek revenge for the indiscretion, they are much more inclined to abuse their power and take advantage of the wife.
If the man is a gun owner, the police will treat the man with much more respect. They’ll be much more careful with any suggestions that man might interpret as threatening because after the court hearings are over, they don’t want that man to come after them for revenge. So they treat everyone with more respect. That respect comes because of the gun.
The bottom line is no government agency needs to know any more about our lives than they need for basic government operation. They do not need to have the ability to have complete control over the American population in times of martial law. The President of the United States does not have the right to impede our rights over some political panic. And the weakest links of our society cannot be allowed to create legislation to keep certain guns out of their hands which punishes all of society. If we allow the weak links of our culture to determine the levels of our freedoms then we might as well consider ourselves a conquered civilization.
People like Bill O’Reilly are well-intentioned, but they are corrupted with the gradual erosion of progressive politics that have made such slight indiscretions seem minor and reasonable. When gun grabbers suggest that the Constitution was written in a time when the only guns were balls of lead and single shot muskets they are missing the point. America is not a land of law run by lawyers, and the Constitution is not a legal document as typical lawyers might consider it. It’s a political philosophy that has law draped from it as decoration. The decorations can all be removed yet the structure is still intact. It does not matter if the gun is a single shot musket, or an automatic machine gun, the need for guns in society are to equalize all participants with the ability to wipe temptation from the minds of the would-be thief, the looting politicians, and the ruthless dictator.
The government does not need to know what, or when we buy something or what we intend to do with it. It’s none of their business. Having more law enforcement officers does not make me feel safe. Only a gun at my own hip, or the guns next to my bed, or in my garage make me feel safe, and the need for them is an acknowledgment of human philosophy that understands the true nature of people. Gun control is social engineering that assumes that the people who look over our records, and monitor our activities are superior in their decision-making skills to society in general, and that just isn’t the case. In fact, it couldn’t be further from the truth. For those who assume that dangerous weapons are OK to ban from the public the meaning of the weapons are lost in the discussion. No—we do not need an AK47 to shoot a deer. But we may need it if a major storm comes through and knocks out power for days on end and bands of looters roam from house to house to rape, pillage, and destroy the property and lives of the inhabitants while the police are overwhelmed with the emergency. That is the time when all you have is yourself, and your guns to keep tragedy from making another victim of a family that trusted the law completely even though all the rules of society changed the moment the power went out. In times like that, more than a .22 six shot rim fire will be needed. That’s when the big guns come out, and the threat of those guns becomes the true “Thin Blue Line,” that was always the reality but never acknowledged.