To Defringe the Infringed
By Larry Ball
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
"Shall not be infringed," is what the Bill of Rights says about
our right to carry arms. But we have seen this right constantly and
gradually infringed since 1934. Not only this, but now gun owners
have been moved to the radical fringe. How did this happen? What can
we do to reverse our plight?
The enemies of freedom have successfully infringed our right by
converting it to a fear. While doing so they have also infringed
many other rights, thus beginning the conversion of the citizen into a
How do we defringe our infringement? We must move ourselves from
the fringe of society and move our radical enemies -- who pretend to
be mainstream -- back to the fringes where they belong. How?
On an internet discussion group, one person has written that there
are two basic methods of argument in defending guns. One is
Constitutional and the other is practical. One proclaims Right, the
other proclaims Utility. Which is the best argument to develop?
The successful argument will be based upon the Constitution. The
Constitutional argument is that which proclaims the timeless Right.
Properly understood, Right is immutable. Right is incapable of
regulation because it is Right.
Right has no need of regulation for it has no flaws. If Right is
yoked to regulation, even "reasonable" regulation, it is to say that
Right is Wrong. If Right is regulated, the perception that it is
wrong will grow and grow until it is finally done away with. We see
that happening with guns and citizenship.
This is such an obvious truth that it is inconceivable to me that
it is missed. Perhaps the problem is that no one still believes in
bed rock Truth. For America, our Constitution must be bedrock Truth.
Our eyes and reason must focus upon the liberties enshrined in our
Constitution. We must recognize that our Founders considered these
liberties Right. Such liberties, they believed, are a part of natural
or common law. These liberties were understood to be "untinkerable"
and were naturally possessed by each law-abiding citizen. That means
these rights are beyond the realm of "reasonable" regulation.
Much has been made of the studies of men such as Lott, Kleck,
Kates, and Kopel. Their studies have had great impact on our
movement. Their logic and facts have forced the enemies of freedom
into some very unscholarly activity. But is this the way that we can
win our war?
When we fight the battle using studies by the Lotts, Klecks,
Kateses, and Kopels of this world, we are fighting for the Utility or
Practicality of the gun, we are not fighting for the Right of the gun.
When we push for carry permits we are voluntarily surrendering the
Right of the gun for the Privilege of the gun. We must understand
Arguments from Utility and campaigns for carry permits implicitly
defend the power of society to regulate Right. Such arguments
implicitly state that because of the Utility of the gun, we should be
allowed to keep it. This is begging. It is not defending Right. It
Instead of engaging our opposition with a war of statistics, how
about shifting to a war of ideals, of dreams of freedom, of dreams of
social cohesiveness through liberty, of Americans and America walking
erect, proud and free? How about a vision of a determined Uncle Sam
accompanied by fife and drum forging forward to the future?
Dreams drive people. Dreams of greatness and freedom can drive
forward our society to defringe the infringed. Dreams of greatness
and freedom are necessary to win wars.
Wars are seldom won by utilitarian or practical means alone.
Consider the two wars that America has lost. In the Korean and
Vietnam wars, such dreams of greatness and right were absent. The
nation, and the men fighting the battles, had a constant refrain;
"What are we doing here?" There was no moral conviction to carry us
through the tough times.
Where was the great vision that what we were doing was right? It
did not exist. Consider the battle that we, the gun owners won, but
as the result of which, we are again losing our war.
We worked and effectively to elect a Republican Congress in 1994.
Our demand to our elected champions was to repeal the Brady law and
the infamous assault weapons ban. Where is the repeal, or even any
serious effort at repeal of the Brady Bill? We won the election but
we lost the elected!
Why? Bcause the elected believe that the while majority of the
people support the Second Amendment, this same group of people support
Brady and the AW ban and see gun rights people as part of the radical
fringe. Both the Right of the gun and its proponents have been placed
on the fringe of society. We have been successfully "infringed."
Re-election is foremost on the minds of our champions. They know
that "gun" people must support them because they are better for us
than the other choices. But they also know that if they vote against
popular laws, the mutated majority will vote for the others. They, too,
have no choice.
We have lost Joe and Jane Sixpack and even Joseph and Janet
Champagne. We need them back, but we need them back with moral
conviction. They will only attain to moral conviction through dreams
of Greatness and Right. Dry facts and statistics extolling the the
gun's Utility do not produce dreams.
I do not believe that the Lotts, Klecks, Kates, and Kopels, with
all of their sure knowledge, can instill dreams. Can anybody?
Perhaps you can. Can you write, or talk, and spin a yarn enriched
with hope, visions of greatness and the conviction of Right? If so,
you may be just the person America needs this very hour.
America needs dreams, vision, and a return to Right. Citizen,
take out your mighty pen. It is time to defringe the infringed.
Larry Ball is an insurance agent in Lincoln, Nebraska. When serious
crime in his neighborhood threatened his family on several occasions
in 1992, he became active in politics. When the Clintonistas began
pushing socialized medicine and increased gun control, he organized a
group of freedom-loving Nebraskans called the Plainsmen to oppose
them. Larry and his wife are, by the blessing of God, grandparents
seven times over. He is keenly interested in mobilizing visionary
talent to turn America from her path toward tyranny, back to freedom.