Please read this entire article. David Mamet is a really good writer, and stating that fact is sort of like saying that Mozart was a really good composer. Mamet brings his writing brilliance to the topic of gun rights versus gun control policy and ties it philosophically to the big picture of individual rights and freedoms versus overbearing government. I'm merely going to excerpt highlights here with short commentary.
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.
Any one using the phrase "one-size-fits-all" to describe wrongheaded, liberal, big-government policy immediately scores check marks on the good rhetoric clipboard. People who switch from being on the left to being on the right, like Mamet and others such as David Horowitz, realize that the enshrinement of egalitarianism eventually hurts everyone, even those they claim to be trying to help. As soon as you realize that one size does not fit all, you are on your way toward the individual rights camp.
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.”
accidental features. Diversity based on viewpoints and knowledge and reasoning capabilities—in other words, diversity based on essential human qualities—is the only really interesting kind to people interested in fixing real societal problems. One person likes the city, another likes the country, one likes to work outdoors, another prefers office work, one likes a steady paycheck, another likes to trade options, etc. Is there any way for democratic society to deal with such diversity of opinions other than absolute freedom on these non-moral issues? Of course we have seen the left espouse intolerance of actual diversity of thought for years now—one quick example. Mamet includes churches as beneficiaries of this type of essential diversity; St. Paul appears to concur.
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 dependent 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.”
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 will default to dictatorship, absent the constant unflagging scrutiny of the governed, and their severe untempered insistence upon compliance with law.
I don't have much to add to this observation. Except maybe... BOOM.
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.
Two good points. These 2 million instances of good news gun stories are pretty much unreported unless you read NRA magazines and other pro-gun publications. One reason has to do with the liberal agenda of the media, but another I believe is the non-newsworthiness of the "incidents" to the reporting industry. For example, something like a burglar hears a shotgun pump action and falls out of the first floor window and runs usually doesn't make for good copy, especially if the would-have-been victim isn't photogenic. Whereas an accomplished athlete named Plaxico has a gun accident and it's national news. It's what they can use to sell soap and underwear that creates newsworthiness. "If it bleeds it leads" explains why normal excessive drinking and idiocy on the part of celebrities doesn't make headlines as well as the effective defensive use of firearms which doesn't produce a corpse or a drastic injury of some sort.
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.
We are all for that.
Don't forget to take the snap poll while you're reading Mamet's piece. It was 84-16, in the right direction, last time I checked. That's encouraging.