President Obama and his progressive allies have recently told us that even the most draconian of gun laws must be passed because “If we save even one life from gun violence, it’s worth it.” While that’s an amazingly ignorant, infantile, and even downright silly statement, it does neatly sum up a nanny-state philosophy that is fueling a nationwide assault on the second “shall not be infringed” amendment as well as law-abiding gun owners across the nation.
By such simplistic liberal logic, the printed word is far too dangerous to be allowed outside the hands of a privileged few or the auspices of government control. In fact, entire cultures, nations, and peoples have been persuaded to commit atrocious acts of aggression and even genocide by simple concepts spread by the printed word and other mass message distribution devices. If you are going to start banning guns, then you better start banning ideas and the ways they are disseminated. And remember, if only one life is saved by such extreme actions “at least we did something.”
Simple words printed on pieces of paper have indeed shown themselves to be far more dangerous than the mere possession of firearms by a certain percentage of a population.
The advent of the printing press, and the technologies that evolved from it, facilitated the widespread distribution of controversial, violent, and often hateful concepts and ideologies. In the last century alone approximately 170 million people were killed because of the ideas outlined within just three books.* The contents of Mao’s “Little Red Book,” Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and Marx and Engel’s The Communist Manifesto have been responsible for more repression, massacres, genocide, and cataclysmic warfare than all other theologies and ideologies from the beginning of time until now.
In addition to the poison spread by the likes of Marx and Hitler, many other books and writings have also contributed to the deaths of countless human beings and to the rise of myriads of twisted cults and movements. The plethora of gullible, uneducated, mentally ill, opportunistic, and extremists among the general population has shown us that average citizens cannot be trusted with the often dangerous ideas that a book can provide without strict government regulation and control.
One has to wonder if the time has come to call for the registration of books deemed potentially dangerous and perhaps even the banning of exceptional powerful ones like the Bible that, when misused, could theoretically cause harm to innocents. Book buybacks, book-free zones, waiting periods, restrictions on internet book purchases, and requiring doctors to report to authorities the existence of such possibly mind-damaging materials in the home should all be explored. The safety of the public at large, no matter what the cost, must trump any outdated notions of personal liberty or constitutional “rights.”
Book registration and book-free zones make about as much sense as gun registration and gun-free zones. Both are equally ineffective deterrents when it comes to stopping psychopaths, violent criminals, and mass murderers. But such policies have shown themselves to be powerful weapons for governments to use against civilian populations. Especially when a government decides to start massively increasing its own power and control while at the same time restricting previously protected natural and constitutional rights. Registration inevitably leads to confiscation and that formula has been played out time after time in nation after nation. To pretend otherwise is mere historical ignorance or purposeful misdirection.
For, in the end, if it’s truly just about “saving lives” with no consideration for liberty and individual rights then you might as well start by banning books as well as guns. For the 1st and 2nd amendments go hand in hand. The contents of each are equally potentially dangerous, and at the same time equally precious and important. And each relies upon the other for its existence in a truly free society. Such was the design incorporated into the foundation of our nation by the Founding Fathers.
It is absolutely no business of the government what constitutionally protected rights a citizen chooses to engage in. That’s part of the beauty of being a free and sovereign citizen in a Constitutional Republic. You have the right to be left alone and to live your life free from undue government interference and regulation. Infringing on those rights is not the proper role of government. Instead, it is the government’s role to protect and preserve those rights.
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.” -Noah Webster
Crossposted from The Constitution Club