Fayetteville, AR –-(Ammoland.com)- Kellie Collins, a former candidate to represent Georgia’s Tenth Congressional District, who ran on a platform that included more restrictions on gun rights, has been arrested in the shooting homicide of Curtis Jason Cain, her husband, and one-time campaign treasurer. Her Twitter account has disappeared, and her campaign materials don’t appear to be available, either, but WSB-TV in Atlanta reports that she ran on “responsible gun regulation to protect the community,” whatever all that may mean.
It’s easy to be snarky here, though we must remember that someone has been killed. This incident is illustrative of the hypocrisy of many advocates of gun control, however, and that’s worth sorting out.
Must an advocate of gun control refrain from exercising gun rights? No. And yes.
Rights are inherent in each of us, regardless of whatever political, philosophical, or religious position we take. That is a necessary stance in a free society, and we test our commitment to freedom by how we treat people we disagree with, no matter what degree of vehemence that disagreement takes. This is hard to remember when I’ve demolished an opponent’s argument to my satisfaction, but rights aren’t conditioned on what I think is intellectually consistent.
It is fair to say that when someone wants to restrict my gun rights, while owning and using guns herself, that is an act of hypocrisy. California Senator Dianne Feinstein had a carry license, for example, a license that she got when her life was threatened, saying that “I know the urge to arm yourself, because that’s what I did.” She “made the determination that if somebody was going to try to take me out I was going to take them with me.” And then there’s Michael Bloomberg, infamous for his hatred of private gun ownership and carry, who understands that being armed against a threat is a good idea. He’d just prefer that it’s his people who are the only ones who have the guns. A pacifist who argues that violence of any kind is always wrong is one thing, but that is rarely the position of people who advocate for gun control.
Acknowledging that rights aren’t dependent on one’s political beliefs, we can also say that to be honest, anyone—and especially any politician—who wants to make ownership and carry of firearms more difficult should comply with that burden. Collins is by no means alone as a poster child for the “rules for thee, but not for me” attitude. In 2012, Donne Trotter, an Illinois state senator who had a long record of voting against legal concealed carry in that state, was arrested when he was found to have a handgun in his bag while trying to board a plane. California state senator, Leland Yee, worked to worsen his state’s onerous list of infringements on gun rights while trying to sell guns to an FBI agent who posed as an international arms trafficker. And on and on.
This is about much more than gun rights. It reveals a mindset among too many politicians that they are above the rest of us. A practical effect of exercising gun rights is to test the understanding of public officials, elected or otherwise, that the people loan them power for a set period, that this power belongs to the people.
Murder has many motivations, and anyone is capable of it, but it’s hard to be shocked when someone who works to curtail the rights of others commits the ultimate infringement. We voters have the duty to vote out and vote against candidates who declare themselves willing to start down the path of restricting our rights, especially when we find that they are hypocrites about those rights.
About Greg Camp
Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.