Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A gun magazine and one of its writers betray gun rights!

Count me among those who are disgusted by Dick Metcalf's recent essay supporting gun control. It reads like what I'd expect from the Brady Bunch, Eric Holder, the New York Times, or a middle-school student writing assignment. It appears that Metcalf has spent too much time rubbing elbows with Leftist so-called "journalists".

Unfortunately, I must remind Guns & Ammo and Metcalf of a key phrase used by the Founders when speaking of rights: "...all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

If, as the Guns & Ammo staff apparently believes, rights come from government, then those rights certainly are alienable and can be manipulated at will by government. These rights are known as "positive rights." What could be wrong with "positive"? Because "positive" rights are found in a list of rights a benevolent government chooses to endow -- until they are rescinded. Beyond that list, you have no rights.
,br> However, if rights come from the Creator (God or nature, take your pick) as the Founders understood, then government has no authority to list, manipulate, or rescind those rights. You see, our rights come from our divine status as as children of God -- not as subjects of the state. That's why the founders used the word "unalienable"! These rights are generally known as "natural rights" and no list of God's gift of natural rights can possibly be complete, hence the Ninth Amendment.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. — Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution.

A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate. — Thomas Jefferson (A Summary View of the Rights of British America)

The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God. — John F Kennedy
The fact that American voters have unwisely elected politicians who infringe on our God-given rights does not mean that those rights should be infringed. The fact that politicians and judges unlawfully (the Constitution is the "supreme law of the land") persistently and often successfully usurp power to alienate our "unalienable rights" does not mean that they have legitimate power to do so. It only means that we have too many unwise and ignorant voters.

Nearly every voter, nearly every politician, and nearly every judge thinks that he or she has all the answers to solve all the problems of the world and should therefore have power to impose their presumed perfect solutions upon the People. The Constitution is written specifically to limit the power of such well-intended and self-presumed wise people. That document is designed to limit their intrusion in, and power over, the lives of responsible people to the absolute minimum -- to leave us alone!

Metcalf's argument regarding shouting fire in a crowded theater and human sacrifice are silly. Those acts are not protected by the First Amendment because they are inherently evil, irresponsible assaults (malum in se) on the rights of others -- not because some group of politicians chose to outlaw them (malum prohibitum).

Metcalf argues that since driving is a "privilege" and since drivers must be trained and licensed, it is appropriate to impose similar limits on gun owners implying that firearm ownership is a "privilege". I must remind Metcalf and his fellow staff at Guns & Ammo that driver education and licensing came several years after our grandparents started owning and driving cars. Yes, owning and using a motor vehicle used to be a right -- not a privilege -- just as riding a horse or driving a buggy was a right before the advent of the horseless carriage (and still is in most jurisdictions). That right was converted to a privilege only because Americans elected politicians who were eager to manipulate the right to move freely around the land.

Metcalf and those at Guns & Ammo who approved the publishing of his essay clearly do not understand that the clear and unmistakable wording of the Constitution must be interpreted as it was understood by those who wrote and ratified it -- not according to modern understanding of the words they used. The plain wording or the Bill of Rights make it obvious that none of the first ten amendments grant any rights -- they simply acknowledge those God-given rights and prohibit government from interfering with them.

For example use of the words "well-regulated militia" were not used in the Second Amendment to stipulate that the ownership and use of arms (the Second Amendment addresses "arms" -- all weapons -- not just firearms) was to be regulated by government or that the ownership and use of arms was limited to military forces. Instead, the founders understood that a "well-regulated militia" is one which is disciplined. Remember that, according to the law and tradition, the militia is the People -- not merely the National Guard or any other formal military force.
A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of carrying arms....To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms....The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle. — Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer, 1788

I ask, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officials. — George Mason at Virginia's US Constitution ratification convention, 1788
I challenge Dick Metcalf and the entire staff at Guns & Ammo to study the Constitution (I suspect none of you have ever even read it from start to finish) -- especially the Bill of Rights. Note how the Constitution was carefully written to limit the central government's power over our lives. Note how the Bill of Rights was carefully written to tell the government to keep its hands entirely off our God-given rights. Note that there is absolutely no room in the wording of the Bill of Rights for compromise or arbitrary "regulation."

I also challenge Metcalf to identify at least one gun restriction that has been effective in achieving its purported objective. He surely must recognize that the primary impact of all gun control has been on those who are not a criminal threat.
Gun control shifts the equation in favor of the criminal. — Judge Robert Bork

If gun control worked, the District of Columbia would have no violence and yet it is the murder capitol of the planet. — Phil Graham, US Senator
If, as Metcalf claims, government has authority to restrict the ownership and use of arms, where would Metcalf like to draw the line on that authority and how would he propose to force government to honor that limit? That said, know that the Founders already drew the line: "The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American. — Tench Coxe

The right is absolute...government has no authority to forbid me from owning a firearm...the debate is not about guns. It is about freedom. — Tom McClintock, California State Senator, 9 Jun 2001

A free man must have unrestricted rights to own and use personal weapons, in the defense of his family, his home, and his own person, against any kind of marauder -- whether the marauder be a soldier of an invading army, or an agent of an internal political conspiracy, or a criminal. — (Dan Smoot Report, 16 Mar 1964)
Guns & Ammo and Dick Metcalf have shown to the world that they are not worthy of being spokesmen for the shooting community or of a freedom-loving people. I will allow my Guns & Ammo subscription to expire unless the entire Guns & Ammo staff makes appropriate corrections in its poor understanding of rights and issues a full and sincere apology. Metcalf, in particular, owes the world a full-page apology for his misguided full-page essay. I won't go as far as demanding Metcalf's head or termination. I hate to see him scapegoated. The fact that his essay was published indicates there is deep-rooted ignorance regarding the Constitution among multiple high-level people at Guns & Ammo.
If the price I must pay for my freedom is to acknowledge that the government was granted the power to infringe on them, then I am not free. — Pol Anderson


  1. It looks like Dick Metcalf was scapegoated. His boss accepts a bit of responsibility for printing Metcalf's essay in favor of gun control. But only one head rolled -- Metcalf's. I hope there will be much more introspection at Guns & Ammo regarding the Constitution and the God-given rights it would protect if followed.

  2. After being fired, Dick Metcalf tried to justify his comments (

    Among his defiant statements is the claim that we Guns & Ammo subscribers reject his First Amendment right to say whatever he wants. First, Dick, the First Amendment prohibits government -- not readers or employers -- from abridging your right to say whatever you want -- there is no First Amendment right to for you to force anyone to read what you have to say. There is no First Amendment right for your employer to keep paying you to write trash that Guns & Ammo readers don't want to see and which they know to be damaging to the cause of Liberty.

    Metcalf reportedly has a PhD in something or other, but he sure seems to be slow at learning from this experience. Actually, I think its an elitist refusal to learn. How dare you inferior Guns & Ammo challenge what a PhD says!

    My concern about him being scapegoated have thoroughly dissipated.