Plaxico, gun laws and natural rights

Plaxico Burress is out of
prison and he came out wearing a Philadelphia Phillies baseball cap. Does that
indicate the former New York Giant wide receiver wants to be a Philadelphia
Eagle whenever the National Football League and NFL Players Association get
their act together?

That’s the speculation. What’s
more important than who might sign him, however, is that his release from
prison after 18 months has resurrected the debate over private gun ownership.

For those who don’t recall, Mr.
Burress was sent to jail for violating a New York weapons law. He had a weapon
and that was against the law.

What gave things away was that
he accidentally shot himself when the pistol slipped from the waistband of his
jeans as he walked up a flight of stairs at a New York nightclub. He felt it
slip, reached quickly so that it wouldn’t hit the floor, but caught it on the
trigger and shot himself in the leg.

He deserved a Darwin Award for
stupidity maybe—he should have used a holster—but not jail time. That New York
law violates a natural right to self-defense as well as the Second Amendment
guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms.

There are those who think
private citizens should not be allowed to own firearms. Some are true believers
that guns cause crime. That, however, is not the case.

Are there accidents with
firearms? Yes, of course. The Burress case proves just that. There may be other
more severe accidents as well, including accidental death. But weapons also
stop crime, though the mainstream media wants to overlook such things.

FBI figures
show a 5.5 percent drop in violent crime from 2009 and 2010. That includes a
4.4 percent drop in murders—and that during a period of time when private gun ownership
increased, and that includes ownership of weapons using multi-round magazines.

Household burglaries happen all
over the world. Yet, in places such as Canada and Britain where gun control
laws are strict, homeowners are present 50 percent of the time, while U.S.
homeowners are present only 13 percent of the time. Burglars here are more
aware of the chance of finding an armed resident willing to defend himself or

Burglaries, murders and other
violent crimes are more apt to happen where there are more gun restrictions.

Statistics are only one part of
the issue, however. At the heart of the right to keep and bear arms is that
right to defend one’s self and family. Indeed, we have the right to defend
life, liberty and property and that right includes the use of lethal force if need

Self-defense is a basic human
right. The operative word, though, is defense. People may use force to protect
themselves and their families against anyone initiating an act of force against
them. There is no right to initiate force.

The right to be armed is
individual in nature. The Supreme Court affirmed that in two decisions last
year. Even had the court ruled otherwise, it would not change the fact there
can only be individual rights. There can be no group rights, not without
individuals having that right in the first place, be it speech, religion or bearing

No rational, healthy individual
wants to be in a position where he or she would be forced to take the life of
another, but sometimes such action becomes necessary.

Having a
firearm doesn’t mean it will be misused.

Plaxico Burress is out of jail,
but the fight for rights—including the right to keep and bear arms—continues.

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One Response to “Plaxico, gun laws and natural rights”

  1. Eric L. Adams says:

    That was a refreshing article, to the point and honost.

    I am a leader in a local Boy Scout Troop, and the trained firearms instructor.

    Each year we train age appropriate scouts how to use and respect firearms, in the field, and exspecially around the home.

    I wonder if Plaxico was ever a Boy Scout.


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