By Dean Weingarten
Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- How does the United States pass good gun laws and prevent bad ones? President Trump had the best response.
“We'll talk about that later,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about gun reform Tuesday morning.
A nation has to have good laws if it is to survive and thrive. Since nations came into existence, it has become obvious that a ruling authority, or government, is necessary for people to survive and thrive. Without a ruling authority, force becomes the only law.
The strongest, the best with weapons, survive as long as they can fight, defend, or subjugate others. Mankind has painfully learned a central authority is necessary to reduce internal violence and to defend against external threats.
But, the government itself becomes a means to prey upon people, both internally and externally. The central dilemma of good government is to find a way to optimize the level of government power. Enough for internal peace (domestic tranquility) and to prevent invasion (provide for the common defense), but not so much as to become oppressive (secure the blessings of liberty) while promoting the general welfare.
The genius of the United States was in recognizing the dilemma and designing a system to accomplish those objectives. Most governments in the world do not acknowledge the problem.
Democracy was an early approach to prevent government from becoming tyrannical. But democracies have severe disadvantages. One of these is that they are subject to emotional crises. Groups of people are subject to making, or of being convinced, in the heat of the moment, of doing things they never would do if they took the time to coolly consider the problem, or legislation to solve it.
To prevent that problem in the United States, the government was specifically designed to prevent legislation from passing quickly, in the heat of the moment. Passing laws in the heat of the moment is bad policy, and almost always results in bad law. James Madison wrote about democracies in Federalist #10.
A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
Madison explained in Federalist #62, that the Senate was designed, in part to prevent the quick and intemperate passage of laws.
Good gun law, as with good law in general, should not be passed quickly, in the heat of the moment. When reason and facts are carefully considered, most gun laws fail. It is why most bills fail to become law. It is why most bad gun laws are passed in response to specific, isolated, incidents. Bad gun laws pass when politicians use an emotional crises as cover to pass bad legislation.
Most people understand the consequences of impulsive action. To prevent bad gun law, appeal to people to slow down the process until emotions have cooled. Explain to them that they are being played by power brokers who use crises to pass laws long ago formulated in anticipation of a crisis.
“Progressives” want no limits on government power. The history of the movement is rife with examples of “progressives” who rail against Constitutional constraints as being “outdated” and preventing “progress”. “Progressives” disdain the ordinary man and call for a rule by the elite, which they conveniently identify as themselves.
There are good gun laws that should be passed. Several have been introduced in the Congress this session. Two stand out: a national reciprocity law, which would defend the exercise of Second Amendment rights across the United States, and a reform of the antiquated and unreasonable restrictions on the sale of gun silencers or gun mufflers. Logic, reason, and facts support both of those laws. There is considerable support for both laws in the legislature and among the population. Most opposition comes from the establishment media.
These laws will be passed by steady pressure brought over time. The approach has been used in most states to reform gun laws into a closer alignment with the Second Amendment.
Progressives found a way to bypass many of the checks and balance protections of the Constitution. They took over the mass media. How it happened is detailed nicely in Partisan Journalism, by Jim A. Kuypers.
The media became a way for leftists (progressives) to bypass the protections of the Constitution with emotional crises. Rahm Emanual quoted the radical Saul Alynsky when he said “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Proponents of good government need to fight that effect. Government by crises only “works” on the assumption that elites cynically use crises for the improvement of everyone.
History has shown the assumption to be false.
Slow down the process. Call for reasoned discourse. Decry emotional responses. Passing laws during a time of crises is bad political theory. It makes for bad law.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.