The pen is mightier than the gun.

One of the common arguments used by those who support “reasonable” restrictions on the right to bear arms is that our forefathers could not have imagined the types of guns and armaments that exist today compared to the firearms of their day. They say that the second amendment was never meant to cover machine guns or other modern weapons and restricting ownership of certain guns is acceptable under this presumption. It is often members of the press who advocate such a view and utilize their freedom of speech and the press to spread their opinion on the subject.

Well, my dear members of the fourth pillar…people who live in glass houses should refrain from throwing stones. To quote a phrase frequently referenced by you and your peers, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” and not only mightier but far more dangerous than any gun in the hands of a citizen.

Where it is argued that guns today do not fall under the intent of the 2nd amendment one might make a similar argument for mediums that are used for the expression of the 1st amendment. At the time of the founding the only implements for expressing speech were written or printed word. There was no way our forefathers could have imagined a media that could broadcast instantly to any home across the country. There is also no manner by which we could assume that they would have considered the invention of radio, television, or the internet.

For a perfect example of the dangerous power wielded by such mediums we needn’t look far. In 1938, Orson Wells produced a radio dramatization which convinced some people that we were in the midst of an invasion. As a result of the ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast several people committed suicide while others fled in panic causing mass hysteria. All of this because someone expressed their first amendment rights; surely this type of broadcast is something that was not covered under the original intent of those who drafted our Constitution and should be an example of why reasonable restrictions on free speech should be considered.

The modern media holds great influence over the public and can be misused in the wrong hands to do great harm. The power still exists to spread misinformation and with the ability to disseminate information so quickly wouldn’t it be rational to place restrictions on these mediums that could never have been imagined by men who lived over 200 years ago?

If you think my analogy is completely off base then perhaps you need a reminder of events in the immediate past. Following the recent shooting in Arizona there was blame placed upon talk radio and members of the media accompanied by calls for restrictions on speech by public officials. Speech, not just guns was blamed for the actions of a lone criminal. Are you still inclined to make arguments about “reasonable” restrictions for firearms?

My point in all this is to show those of you who think going after one essential liberty can be done with out opening the door to assault other freedoms is a grave error in judgment. You are playing with fire. The 2nd amendment is not something you can apply a subjective filter to without setting a precedent for the same arguments to be used against your treasured rights.

Pragmatic justifications for restrictions on Constitutional liberty seems like such a wonderful idea until it makes sense for someone to come after your rights.

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11 Responses to The pen is mightier than the gun.

  1. Vernon Etzel says:

    I still think bazookas and Stinger missiles should be “well regulated” :)

    • Andrew Dymond says:

      They would be well regulated by the free market. Neither of them would be cheap which would greatly limit accessibility.

      Then again with some steel tubing and a few electrical switches one can make a bazooka if one is really inclined to.

      • Vernon Etzel says:

        Seriously? Is the free market regulating North Korea’s nuclear program right now?

        Mortars, bazookas, 105mm howitzers… these should be well regulated. With that in mind, I see no reason we shouldn’t be allowed to go out and fire a few rounds on a range. But to own a loaded 12-lb cannon aimed at my neighbors house, while humorous at first, might be considered a dangerous threat to life and liberty.

        Defensive weapons are no issue, and I’m 100% behind Tim when it comes to handguns and rifles. Price certainly doesn’t limit anything. Watch Lord of War for an example.

    • sam says:

      fuck you dum mother fucker

  2. Bill Tsafa says:

    The Drafters of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights knew that the average citizen could purchase any firearm that was available to the government. They were very comfortable with this. The only thing that seemed to make them somewhat uncomfortable is that a strong centralized government might still have too much of an advantage over average citizens.

    If the Founding Fathers did have a better foresight into the future, the only limitations in arms they would have imposed would be on the Federal Government so that the Individual was better armed.

    • Vernon Etzel says:

      I recall that artillery and other combat supplies were held in Magazines, not by individual citizens. These were controlled by local militias and masonic lodges. What’s the 2nd amendment actually SAY regarding militias? What does “well regulated” mean?

      Tim has a good point in the article. Chomsky argued that if you don’t allow freedom of speech for people you disagree with, then you don’t have freedom of speech. The right of one is the right of all. This applies to defensive weapons quite well.

      But not to private armies or C4.

  3. Andrew Shemo says:

    Vernon,

    I think you have a confused idea of what “well regulated” means within the 2nd amendment. The “well regulated” part was referring to the proper regulation (i.e., the training & formation) of the militia.

    What we SHOULD regulate is weapons that are purely offensive like chemical and biological weapons.

    Furthermore, trying to regulate weapons would require an expansive government which is TOTALLY opposite of the stance libertarians take. I find it appalling that this is coming from someone who is in a committee within the LPPA. This is taken right from the state platform of the libertarian party:

    4) self-protection:
    Libertarian Solution: We support each individual’s right to protect his life and property. Thus we oppose registration and all laws restricting the manufacture, sale, ownership, or transfer of firearms and non-firearm protective devices. Also, each individual should have the option not to protect himself, such as requesting that no action be taken against violators of his rights; in capital cases, if the victim opposed capital punishment, then the state must not carry it out.
    Libertarian Action/Transition: We oppose concealed carrying laws and waiting period laws. Individuals convicted of such laws should be issued pardons. Each individual should also be able choose to commit suicide or assent to euthanasia, with proper safeguards to ensure intent.

    http://lppa.org/about/issues/state-platform.html

    We, as Pennsylvanians, DO NOT apologize for owning firearms, defending the right to keep and bear arms, and advocating for less restrictions. If you’re not aware, firearms are literally what keeps America a semi-free nation; what allowed the colonies to break free from the tyranny of Great Britain, and what keeps government(s) from a total control of individuals around the globe.

  4. Timothy Havener says:

    Any weapon short of a WMD can be used for self defense. WMD’s are weapons of pure offense…I agree that the market would regulate the ownership of more costly ordinance, however, the “well regulated” part of the 2nd amendment has been improperly construed to mean something not originally intended by limiting the ownership of types of weapons rather than the militias themselves which was the original intent. It was meant to protect us from the threat of private armies.

  5. Pingback: A Landlord is a Government: The Libertarian Basis for Land Rights | Frank Talk

  6. Boooooooo………….

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