Rights and Responsibilities
“Mr. Lieberman, would you be willing to handle a lawsuit?”
“Why don’t you tell me the facts.”
“I want to challenge the law.”
“Always encouraged to hear that… what law?”
“The law requiring me to get a CCW to carry a gun.”
“Ahhh… you think we should be Constitutional Carry?”
“I do… and even if they mandate a CCW, there should be no fee, and no training requirement. I should not have to spend any money to exercise a fundamental right!”
“Just out of curiosity… do you train regularly?”
“I don’t need to train! I already own guns!”
He has a point, you know.
I had this conversation with a retiree last week here at Artemis. He’s not one of our Artemis clients, mind you, just an individual who has seen some of my videos and decided to see if I would be interested in handling a case pro-bono as a civil rights issue.
Let us begin with my philosophical underpinnings; I am somewhat of an absolutist on this front.
1) I believe you own your body. You are not the property of the State. Your corporal “self” is not on lease to you by some government agency.
2) Since you own your body, you can choose to do what you want with your body, including what you put into it, and denying others the ability to put stuff into it. Like I said, it is yours and you have complete sovereign ownership of it.
3) This also means you are free to contract the use of your body in whatever manner you see fit. If you want to sell your physical labor, you can. If you want to sell your mental labor, you can. Licensing, guilds / unions, etc. are wonderful things to join that may very well make you more valuable to your customers and, therefore, give you the ability to command a higher price for your service… but I am antagonistic to mandating licensing in general. (Remember… I am a purist… this incidentally also includes being against mandatory membership in the bar, of which I am a member for both California and the District of Columbia.)
4) Rights preexist the Constitution and were granted to us by God. The Constitution does not grant rights… it recognizes rights. Rights, incidentally, are not geographically dependent; they are universal and exist everywhere. Many, if not most, other countries are not enlightened enough to recognize these preexisting rights… but they do exist even in their own jurisdictions. We are blessed that our Framers did recognize them and codified them in our Constitution.
5) All rights come with responsibilities. This unique right we exercise, the bearing of arms, comes with more than a simple responsibility… it comes with a moral mandate, as you have heard me say countless times. You need to be training constantly, consistently, repetitively, and with purpose.
So… back to the concept of fees / costs and the bearing of arms. Am I against it? Yes… I am philosophically consistent in that aspect. Just like I believe there should be no financial restrictions on exercising your First or Fourth Amendment rights, there should be no governmental restrictions on exercising your Second Amendment rights. That said, refusal to do so makes you a pariah and a danger to society. Those who believe simply owning a gun or occasionally going to the range and punching paper or pinging steel makes them a gunfighter are sorely mistaken.
The fact they are so cavalier in their own safety is troubling. The fact their irresponsible behavior can affect innocent bystanders is unacceptable.
One of my heroes, LTC Jeff Cooper, famously stated, “Owning a gun and considering yourself a shooter is the equivalent of owning a piano and considering yourself a concert pianist.”
I think this sums up my feelings nicely.
Do I think there should be restrictions on this person’s ability to carry a gun?
Do I think there should be restrictions on my ability to chastise this way of thinking by exercising my First Amendment rights?