Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gun Control Advocates do Not Care About Poor People

I am usually not one to demagogue, but after careful contemplation there really is just no way around it. Firearm restrictions disproportionately hurt the poor, while being more of a nuisance to the middle and upper classes. As someone who is not poor, while I find overbearing restrictions on firearms repugnant as a clear violation of both the letter and intent of the Constitution, my life will really not be impacted as negatively*.

My immediate family, as well as my extended family, are middle to upper-middle class. I am well on my way to being in that same spot as well, if I am not there already. There is no reason to think that my future children, and those of my extended family, will not be similarly situated in life, so the potential impact is unlikely to change.

What does it mean to be in that upper-middle class? It means I live in a nice relatively crime free area, work in a nice relatively crime free area, and travel through nice relatively crime free areas to get to and from work. If that stops being the case and crime takes hold where I work, live, or travel, I can move with relative ease. That means the bulk of my life will be spent where crime is relatively scarce.

What does it mean to be in that upper-middle class? It means that unless the laws become so draconian that all future firearm sales are banned and all current firearms are illegal and must be turned in and destroyed, I have the means to either acquire new firearms and/or keep any firearms that I may have/get. What ever the hoops that must be jumped through, whatever the added fees and taxes, any extra piles of paperwork, ultimately those hurtles are not insurmountable. I can afford to pay them, as well as any people that are needed to act as guides to cut through the red tape.

What does it mean to be in that upper-middle class? It means that even if those draconian laws are passed, if I felt it absolutely necessary, I have the means and connections to acquire and hide an illegal firearm. I may not have David Gregory (NBC) level clout, but I would have enough to ensure I would be apologizing to a judge about my gun law ignorance instead of hearing my future wife give a description to the police of the man who raped her and murdered our children.

What does it mean to be in that upper-middle class? It means that I can afford an alarm system and safe room, and I/we have the political connections to make sure that the state allocates disproportionate resources protecting our neighborhoods and keeping us safe [to the extent police can actually protect anyone or keep anyone safe] relative to the poor. If you are 'upper' enough, it also means that you can afford to hire private security guards.

What does it mean to be in that upper-middle class? It means that if the government ever starts turning tyrannical, or starts showing signs that it thinks the world would be a better place if my ethnicity or religion were purged from humanity, I have the means to get out of Dodge in a hurry. Not only could I leave if I had to, but I could bring enough and have enough in the financial cloud that I would not be destitute when I got to my destination. It would be a hit, obviously, but I would have enough of a cushion to reestablish myself in my new home.

What does it mean to be poor? It means you are trapped living and working in crime ridden areas with no way of escaping. It means that even the most cursory firearm restrictions will disproportionately prevent you from having legal access to the weapons you need to defend yourself and your family (which, given where you live and work, you may arguably have a more pressing need for than the upper-middle class). It means that you may not have the means to acquire an illegal firearm, even if you desperately need it. It means you probably do not have an alarm system or a safe room, and you are unable to convince the government to increase police patrols in your neighborhood (as they are busy patrolling the relatively crime free affluent neighborhoods). It means that if the government turns tyrannical your choice is to become a subject to the ruler or spend the rest of your life as a political prisoner in a windowless cell; and that is if you are lucky. If you are unlucky and you belong to the ethnic or religious group that the government wants to purge you have a one way ticket to the ovens, and with no effective means to fight back your only real choice is to decide which family member you want to say goodbye to first.

When you stop to think about it, the disproportionate impact of firearm restrictions on the poor is clear as day. These restrictions render the poor unable to acquire and possess the means to adequately defend themselves and their families, while being more of a irritant or nuisance to those of means. Fight for the right the Second Amendment guarantees because it is the right thing to do in the name of liberty, but also do it for the poor.

*Just to be clear, if the government decides to shred the Constitution and in the process trample on our basic freedoms my life will impacted negatively. The poor however, will feel that pain much more acutely than I will.

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