7. December 2007 17:30
Newsweek recently did an interview with Presidential candidate Ron Paul. Of all the Republicans, Ron Paul is certainly my favorite (although that's not saying much), but this interview made me like him just a little bit less.
Part of the interview dealt with gun control, something that Ron Paul is very much against. His position on gun control isn't why I like him less. It's that I don't see Ron Paul's stance on gun control as logically consistent.
In the interview, he suggests that virtually all "arms" should be allowed. When pressed, he says that if his neighbor were building a 500 pound bomb, then that would cross the line. His answers suggest that a 500 pound bomb should not be allowed because it can't be reasonably used for self defense.
But the Constitution says nothing about the 2nd Amendment being restricted for self defense only. It says: "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."
So Ron Paul's reason must be "extra-Constitutional". That's fine, but that's not logically consistent. If you oppose restrictions to the 2nd Amendment because they are not in the Constitution, why do you get to impose your own set of seemingly arbitrary restrictions simply because they seem reasonable to you? Last I checked, a 500 pound bomb would be very useful to a militia.
Furthermore, the interviewer asks Ron Paul if machine guns are OK, and he says yes. So there is some a distinction between machine gun, which is OK as long as you don't threaten anybody, and a 500 pound bomb, which isn't OK no matter what. Why?
If we allow the non-Constitutional restriction of arms to defense related weapons only, then what about land minds? Those can be very useful for defense. Indeed, there are many examples of "defensive weapons" that most reasonable people would not want to be unregulated. Not only that, but the term "defense" is extremely ambiguous as well. After all, the best defense is a good offense, right?
Ron Paul's defense of the 2nd Amendment against restrictions is not consistent and includes seemingly arbitrary allowances and restrictions, just like the stance of gun control advocates.
I'm not advocating gun control, nor am I advocating no restrictions whatsoever. I'm just saying that your position should be consistent and unambiguous, especially if you're running for President.