You can’t take them, because I can’t give them

So much of what the Left regurgitates regarding firearms and liberty is so completely devoid of not only facts (AR-15s are a threat to public safety), but basic common sense (the NRA sells AR-15s in hopes that they’ll be used to kill people), that addressing them seems like a bigger waste of time than drawing up a fitness plan for elite gun-grabber Michael Moore. People who believe AR-15s are sentient beings capable of supernatural acts of violence aren’t likely to sit quietly in Constitution class. And if talking to them is a waste of time, listening to them is like expecting Moore to run a marathon.

Thus, I seldom give liberals what they would consider a satisfactory answer when they issue some version of an overheated plea like “how many children need to die for you to give up your guns?” They aren’t going to listen, and even if they did, they wouldn’t understand. However, there is an answer. It has very little to do with firearms and everything to do with liberty.

My firearms, moreover my liberties, do not come at the expense of children’s lives. Were anti-liberty activists right about their assertion that guns kill kids, then my guns would have killed kids by now. The same is true for tens of millions of law-abiding American firearm owners and their hundreds of millions of firearms. There would be more bodies in the streets than Nancy Pelosi’s worst tax reform nightmares. But the guns themselves are just things, stand-ins for much greater stakes. If I accept the ludicrous notion that American children can’t survive citizens with semi-automatic firearms, then I accept the notion that American children can’t survive citizens with the 2nd Amendment. And once I give up the one right which allows me to protect the others, I’m at the mercy of the same people who — as we have already established — understand neither firearms nor liberty.

But there’s another, and even more important, reason I won’t give up my civil rights: They’re not mine to give. Sure, a tyrant might try to take them from me, but even if I was inclined to give it up to Big Brother, I couldn’t. My rights, your rights, our rights, do not exist merely on paper. They’re a gift from the Almighty. In the Declaration of Independence, the Framers made kind of a thing about it, in fact: “…endowed by their Creator,” and all that.

And for you atheists out there: Even if I denied Him, “unalienable rights” are hardly a gift I can return to sender, unless I was willing to track down a dozen or so generations of Framers’ offspring and personally tell them to get bent. In either case, I can no more give up my rights than I can deny the existence of gravity.

With the news Wednesday that President Donald Trump might be wandering a little too close to the median when it comes to future firearms legislation, now is as good a time as any to point out that I won’t be giving up my guns. I’m not saying that because I have some weird attachment to them, the Left’s heavy breathing about “gun culture” and “fetishization of firearms” notwithstanding. I say that because my guns are the moral equivalent of my voice, itself the manifestation of my liberty. And that’s not only not anyone’s to take, it’s not mine to give.

— Ben Crystal

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