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Is it better to #DoNothing on gun control than #DoSomething that weakens our rights?

(Mr.TinDC/Flicker)

 

(Opinion) It was a difficult scene to watch.

The mother of a student killed in Wednesday’s school shooting in Florida pleaded on television for the president to “please do something” about gun violence.

Her anger, her grief, and her heart-felt pleas moved me to tears. Others felt the same, and the #DoSomething hashtag went viral on Twitter, echoing her call for action.

But, as persuasive as that mother was, we must remember exactly what the larger anti-gun lobby is trying to “do something” about.

It’s not crime.

It’s not mental health.

It’s the Second Amendment.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Why are gun rights advocates like me so concerned with protecting those 27 brilliantly arranged words?

It’s been said that democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch, while liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

That’s the essence of what the amendment means to us.  

It’s not hunting, which is so acceptable that our founders never dreamed of having to enshrine its legality in our constitution.

It’s not personal protection, which is already a natural right that should be recognized everywhere, and certainly in the “land of the free.”

And it’s not the shooting sports, which even subjects in authoritarian states can enjoy.

The amendment is about the preservation of our liberty, by and for individual Americans, not just our government.

Sometimes, too frequently it seems, the cost of such a right seems unbearable, especially when a psychopath who any reasonable society would have never allowed near a firearm walks onto a school campus and kills 17 kids.

And during those awful times, when we hear a grieving mother of a slain student cry out “please do something,” we’re inclined to, indeed, do something.

But what, exactly?

The cleverer gun control advocates will use this opportunity to take small steps rather than going directly after the Second Amendment, appealing to reasonable and sympathetic Americans who may favor moderate reforms.

A small change here. Weakening a right there. All well and sensible, so our fears of them coming after the Second Amendment seems irrational and baseless.

But when one considers how the left usually spends decades slowly, incrementally, and then finally monumentally changing our society, it should give Americans reason to pause.

It has happened elsewhere, hasn’t it?

Decades ago the left said they only wanted government-run healthcare for seniors, but then they enacted Obamacare.

They once said they only wanted abortion to be safe, legal, and rare, but then the government sued a group of nuns for refusing to carry insurance that offers abortion.

They once said civil unions weren’t a challenge to traditional marriage, but now the government will destroy a baker for refusing to participate in a gay wedding.

Give gun control advocates an inch and they’ll take … inch by inch … a mile.

They may try to use this opportunity to get Americans to “do something” about gun control, even something small.

But don’t be fooled – the long-term goal of the left isn’t simply to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or psychopaths.

It’s to keep them out of the hands of everyone else.

(J. Pepper Bryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of “American Warfighter.”)