Richard Shelby, Gun Grabber

by D.V. Bowden
04-13-04

The Colonial Herald

COLONIES INVADED! EVERY ABLE-BODIED MAN CALLED UPON TO DEFEND HIS HOME!

Town Crier BREAKING NEWS....LORD SHELBY SAYS "DISARM AMERICANS"

Shelby: Disarm Americans Going Door-To-Door

London, England, 1776 -- Lord Shelby says it's time for Great Britain to send more troops to disarm the Americans, going door-to-door if necessary.

He made the comments in a speech in north London on Saturday.

Shelby says disarming the Americans is dangerous, but we can't "let them pick us off one by one."

Shelby said he supports the war in the colonies, but the British Empire was unprepared for the guerrilla warfare it now faces. He says British troops fighting there are not police. They're used to fighting soldiers, he says, "not terrorists." Britain needs to dramatically increase the number of troops in the colonies, he said, but this could be accomplished without the draft and without calling up more reserves.

He suggested taking British troops out of the West Indies and other countries where they are not needed and move them to the American colonies.


The above "story" is, of course, fiction. But it is taken nearly word for word from an actual news story, reprinted below, in which Alabama's Senator Richard Shelby advocated gun confiscation in Iraq. Presumably, he feels such action is necessary to ensure U.S. control of the country. That is precisely why it should never occur.

The Bill of Rights lists many of the rights that Americans hold most dear, and is supposed to protect them from government infringement. Americans do not have these rights because the Constitution says so--they are rights deriving from the principles of natural law that pre-exist and supercede any manmade law. The Bill of Rights recognises that such rights exist--it does not grant them. Among the most important of these rights is the right to self-defense, embodied in the Second Amendment. Such a right is meaningless without the ability to enforce it, thus the need to protect the right of every man to keep and bear arms. In the days of the Revolution, this meant flintlock muskets. Today it means machine guns and "assault rifles," and in the future it might mean lasers and ray guns. It is every person's natural right to possess and use such weapons for defense, provided they do not use them to aggress against others.

Shelby is highly rated by the NRA, and regarded as "pro-gun." Thus far, he would probably agree with most of what I said above. Now for the crucial point: Americans do not have a monopoly on natural rights. They extend to every person in existence, even Iraqis. Every Iraqi, whether friend or foe of the U.S., has the right to keep and bear arms, just as they have a natural right to all the other freedoms that Americans typically take for granted (whether Iraqis are able to exercise such freedoms as a practical matter is another question).

Shelby wants to disarm Iraqis to ensure that the U.S. government is able to control them. Another U.S. Senator, Charles Schumer, wants to disarm Americans so that the U.S. government can control us. Why does the NRA villify one man but support the other? Both clearly hold the same bedrock view--government goals take priority over individual rights. Can we really expect a government that is powerful and ruthless enough to invade and conquer foreign countries to respect the rights of its own citizens--especially those such as the right to own weapons that might one day be used to resist that very government?

The Second Amendment isn't about "sporting guns" or hunting. It's about ensuring that the people have the means to resist and overthrow the government if it becomes tyrannical and abusive of their liberties.

Shelby might respond to this criticism by saying that he only wants to disarm those who are fighting against the U.S. These days, that seems to be most Iraqis. Do they get Due Process and a hearing to determine their loyalties? I didn't think so. If the Iraqis are disarmed (something that even Saddam didn't try to do), at what point does Shelby think a future U.S. or Iraqi-controlled government will let them own weapons again? Can he cite even one instance of a government which has disarmed its citizens letting them exercise that right again? There is an old saying: "An armed man is a citizen; an unarmed one is a subject." That is true in America as well as in Iraq.

The Iraqis possess every natural right that Americans possess. If they are using their rights in a way that conflicts with U.S. foreign policy, I'd suggest that Shelby consider that the problem may lie with the foreign policy, and not with the Iraqis.

The Iraqis are proving that all the skeptics of private initiative were wrong. The skeptics said that national defense was a public good, something that can't be provided by individuals. They said that modern technology is so overpowering and destructive that militiamen with rifles can't hope to win against a modern army. They said that the Second Amendment is a useless relic, of interest only to ignorant backwoodsmen and those who live in the past. The Iraqis are proving that no nation, however powerful and technologically advanced, can conquer and hold a well-armed populace against their will. (For more information, read William Lind's piece on Fourth Generation Warfare).

Thomas Jefferson said, "A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference." The Iraqis have Second Amendment rights as well. Only a would-be tyrant would deny it.


Here is the part of the original report on Shelby's speech which dealt with gun confiscation:

http://www.nbc13.com/politics/2975362/detail.html

Shelby: Disarm Iraqis Going Door-To-Door

April 5, 2004

TROY, Ala. -- Sen. Richard Shelby says it's time for the United States to send more troops to disarm the Iraqis, going door-to-door if necessary.

He made the comments in a speech in north Alabama on Saturday.

Shelby says disarming the Iraqis is dangerous, but we can't "let them pick us off one by one".

Shelby said he supports the war in Iraq, but the United States was unprepared for the guerrilla warfare it now faces. He says U.S. troops fighting there are not police. They're used to fighting soldiers, he says, "not terrorists." He says the United States needs to dramatically increase the number of troops in Iraq, he said, but this could be accomplished without the draft and without calling up more reserves.

He suggested taking U.S. troops out of Germany and other countries where they are not needed and move them to Iraq.





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