The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, thinks he knows the American people pretty well. His latest omniscient statement boldly claims that the results of the presidential election “proved that the NRA is dying and that Americans want more gun control.” Hardly.
Note that this is coming from the man (affectionately dubbed by many as “Nanny” Bloomberg for he unabashedly feeds into the nanny-state agenda of many liberals, though he somehow calls himself an independent) who literally thinks its government’s job to dictate what size soda is acceptable for New Yorkers to buy. He enforced strict dietary requirements (specific salt, fat, calorie contents, etc.) for government-run homeless shelters and therefore private donors are turned away because the nutritional value of donated food cannot easily be determined. Bloomberg also audaciously banned baby formula in New York City hospitals to encourage more mothers to breastfeed. I don’t even want to know the motive for that one.
And now the champion of micromanaging American’s private lives says the latest election proves Americans want more gun control. First, the mayor must have missed a few key indicators that Americans are actually becoming more and more interested in legally arming themselves:
• Before the election, gun sales were skyrocketing, and firearm companies are flourishing. Smith & Wesson’s shares alone have increased 125% since 2011.
• After the election, on Black Friday, gun sales broke 2011’s record. The number of background checks requested on Black Friday 2012 increased 20% from 2011.
• More specifically, the state of Louisiana passed a constitutional amendment that “made the right to keep and bear arms a ‘fundamental right’ and… eliminat[ed] language within the Louisiana Constitution that would allow the passage of laws prohibiting concealed weapons.”
The last election proved something about Americans and firearms—but it certainly wasn’t a widespread desire for more gun control.
We are endowed by our Creator—not by government—with the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In that our Creator gives our lives to us, the right to defend our lives is a fundamental right. The right to keep and bear arms, then, is not a right given to us by government, so it is not the government’s right to take away—or to give away to an international entity such as the United Nations.
Mayor Bloomberg’s assumption is nothing new, though. This stems from the idea that government is the answer. Got a problem with obesity? Pass a law. More government! Got a problem with violence? Pass another law for more government control upon the innocent people who want to defend themselves against those perpetrating violence. Instead of encouraging and promoting personal responsibility, today’s political and cultural spheres automatically look to the authority of government to regulate or legislate a solution. This doesn’t solve problems, though. It only adds more layers to bureaucratic government, led by individuals who believe themselves worthy of making even the most detailed and delicate of decisions for the American people.
I’d wager that there exists a decent number of people who do want more government control over the miniscule details of their lives. And to those people I give this warning in the words of George Washington:
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.”
When one says more government is the answer to our problems—violence, obesity, etc.—consider that humans run government, and humans, throughout world history, have shown us that when given too much power, corruption reigns. We must be vigilant and beware of putting so many of our own personal decisions into the hands of government.
The drastic increase in gun sales and the growing interest in the 2nd Amendment paint a very different picture than the one most pro-gun control politicians would have us believe. I can’t speak for all Americans, but let me tell you what this American—and most who love the ideas of freedom and liberty—want. We don’t want more gun control, nor do we want government to tell us what we should be eating and drinking. We don’t want government creeping its way further into private life. We want imbecile bureaucrats to stop regulating and taxing and dictating, and start acknowledging the rights protected by, and the limits on government outlined in a certain document called the Constitution.
I have complete faith that the United States Constitution outlines an ingenius system of governing, one that protects and preserves freedom unlike any other in history or in the world. As a nation, we need to shake the dust of party politics from our feet and turn back to this document. Let us not seek a Republican answer, a Democrat answer, or an answer that gives the government more intrusive reign over private life, but let us look for the constitutional answer, and one that keeps government limited and conducive to personal freedom. Stop diluting and circumventing the Constitution, but rather start abiding by it, and government will start functioning efficiently.
Sarah Hinds | Webster University | @Sarah_Hinds76