On April 16, 2007, a psychotic student traversed the Virginia Tech campus, gunned down 32 innocent people, and then shot himself. The college had a policy in place making their campus a gun-free zone. With no one allowed to possess a firearm on campus to stop him, the killer was knowingly “safe” to commit his evil as easily as shooting fish in a barrel.
Many liberals mis-applied this tragedy to call for more big government control – gun control. Constitutionalists and many conservatives opposed it as infringement of Individual Rights.
Yet, most of those same would-be conservatives had already justified identical big government control – marriage control. Similarly, constitutionalists and many liberals also opposed it as infringement of Individual Rights.
In both debates, supporters of big government control use exactly identical arguments: “society’s rights,” “democracy,” and re-defining “the People” as “the collective.” Likewise, opponents in both debates use the very same arguments: Individual Rights.
Gun controllers assert that “society has a right” to control guns, that “democracy” justifies infringing Individuals’ rights for the supposed good of the people. They frantically purport that society is imperiled without gun control. Yet the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment expressly declares that “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” So, gun controllers re-define the meaning of “the People,” asserting that it only means “the collective.” Thereby, “the collective” is represented by the government. Hence, their re-definition of “the People” means a constitutional absurdity that the government – not the Individuals - has the supposed right to keep and bear arms.
Marriage controllers assert that “society has a right” to control marriage, that “democracy” justifies infringing Individuals’ rights for the supposed good of the people. They frantically purport that society is imperiled without marriage control. Yet the Constitution’s Ninth and Tenth Amendments say that, unless any authority is specifically delegated to the federal government in the Constitution itself, the right is always reserved to the States or to “the People” (codified or not). Marriage is – appropriately – nowhere in the Constitution. Thereby, government is banned from marriage. Moreover, both federal and state governments are additionally prohibited by the First Amendment (freedoms of assembly, religion, and speech). Yet marriage controllers cry, “Let the People choose” the re-definition of marriage through majoritiarian collectivism. Hence, their re-definition of “the People” means a constitutional absurdity that the government – not the Individuals - has the supposed right to determine marriage.
But there is no such thing as “society’s rights” – a collectivist idea premised in Marxism. America is not a “democracy.” And constitutionally, “the People” only means the Individuals. America is a Constitutional Republic of limited government to protect Individuals’ rights. The founding principle is that Individuals are endowed by their Creator with inalienable God-given rights. Accordingly, Individual Rights are neither “granted” nor overturnable by government – precisely because they are God-given.
Gun control infringes the God-given right of the Individuals. The issue is not about the guns, hunting, or sports. It is about the Individuals’ God-given right to protect themselves – from psychotic murderers to even a tyrannical government gone amok (as was necessary in America’s Revolutionary War for Independence).
Marriage control equally infringes the God-given right of the Individuals. Marriage pre-dates the invention of government. Ironically, marriage controllers cite Adam and Eve from the Biblical book of Genesis. Yet that very story never involved government. In fact, no one in the Bible was ever married “by government.” Plus, the author of that Genesis story married two wives himself. Yes, polygamy - Moses was a polygamist. Therefore, even the Adam and Eve account proves that marriage is an inalienable God-given right of the Individuals. This is true even if the godless choose it or otherwise personally invent foolish re-definitions for their own imaginations.
Gun controllers believe that “society has a right” as a “democracy” to protect “the (collective) People” from the supposed dangers of law-abiding citizens choosing responsible firearm ownership. And marriage controllers believe that “society has a right” as a “democracy” to protect “the (collective) People” from the supposed dangers of law-abiding citizens choosing real or imaginary marriage.
In both debates, it comes down to big government control versus Individual Rights.
Because gun controllers argue Individuals Rights during the marriage control debates, and because marriage controllers argue Individual Rights during the gun control debates, the solution is to mutually embrace the Constitutionalism of Individual Rights.
Constitutionalists have always known this answer. But will gun controllers and marriage controllers honor the Virginia Tech victims and now apply this solution together?
[Reviewed for publication - Pro-Polygamy.com Review Board.]