In today’s New York Times piece, “Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll”, Michael Luo and Mike McIntire discuss the number of accidental firearm deaths of children under the age of 15 being grossly underestimated. As with most statistics, there is rarely an absolute known truth about the numbers and extent of what you are looking for, since it is impossible to collect all data and account for all contributing variables. That being said, there is truth to the fact that there are tragic and preventable deaths that come from guns.
Luo and McIntire expose several incidents that “are collateral casualties of the accessibility of guns in America, their deaths all the more devastating for being eminently preventable”. This is true. There are huge responsibilities that come with the ownership of guns – any caliber – and those responsibilities rest with the free people who must make choices how they use and protect their gun ownership by protecting the people around them.
But the issue is the accessibility of guns to young people who have no gun safety training (or are too young to be handling a firearm) – not the fact that American people own guns. That accessibility is the responsibility of the individual, the parent, the family, and the America citizen. Not the responsibility of the State or the government – local, State, or federal.
There are even a greater number of cases where there are young people who are properly trained and old enough to be responsible to engage in using firearms for their intended use – self-defense or hunting. These statistics were of course, not sited in the article, and often aren’t, because the article is trying to make a point. And making a point is harder if you decide to use both sides of an argument. Although it is prudent to discuss all sides, when you already know which way you are trying to make people lean, it is easier to just make it sound the way you want to.
Tragedy is unpreventable. There are bad people, stupid people, and irresponsible people – and no law can change this. What is preventable is making rash decisions that affect millions of people because of a few hundred, or a few thousand people – majority rule and minority rule are both bad things for the individual rights of the American people. Responsibility rests in the hands of the individual neither the collective, nor the government – and to enhance the responsibility of the individual, we must have a free people who can protect themselves.
The President and the Sheriffs are the executors of the law. The President signs in laws with his or her pen, and the Sheriffs are the law enforcement body charged with upholding the Constitution and arresting individuals who are outside of “the law” – or more importantly – outside of the Constitution.
But what happens when statutory laws interfere with one’s natural, and individual rights? What happens when statutory laws erode your property rights and eliminate the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution?
At one point in time, the point of having law enforcement, was to protect one’s property and one’s property rights. That includes life and limb – your body and your life are property. But there has been a severe erosion of this concept, as we have more and more agencies, especially at the federal level of government, that seek to take and re-distribute your property and wealth. When law enforcement is used to erode your property, there is a problem.
We have a problem. Why is law enforcement being used to levy fines versus having law enforcement to protect people’s lives and property?
Speeding tickets, parking tickets, tickets for proof of insurance, tickets for expired license plates, tickets for emissions – all of these are examples of law enforcement’s authority and power being used to levy fees and fines (revenue generation for the government) versus to protect people’s property.
The great news is, since sheriffs are a part of the executive branch of government, and executors of the law – they can be petitioned by people living in their county to stand up and protect people’s property and individual, constitutional rights. The county sheriff can be petitioned to protect the Constitutional law instead of the statutory law (because there is a difference). The county sheriff can nullify statutory law that erodes property rights, and the county sheriff can even stop unconstitutional federal agencies if they come to indefinitely detain an individual who they deem a threat.
The word “sheriff” comes from “shire”, meaning county and “reeve” meaning representative. During the 11th century, the King of England would appoint a reeve for the shire to keep the peace in the county. Today, the shire-reeve, or sheriff, is charged with the same task. Sheriffs are popularly elected (unlike the Presidency with the corrupt electoral system), so it is really up to the people who their local executor of the law is. And it is up to the people to elect a sheriff and representatives who are more concerned with keeping the peace, versus using the heavy hand of the law to raise revenue.
There’s always a solution, and it is usually always local. So let’s start there, with our county sheriffs, to protect and defend our individual, natural rights and our property and wealth that we work so hard for. It is up to us to elect peace officers instead of police officers.
– Tisha T. Casida