Guns and Gear

Legal Expert: Gun Rights Are Human Rights

PG Veer Contributor
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By controlling the guns, you can easily control your opponents. This is the core argument Stephen Halbrook, an attorney and expert on gun laws, delivered before the eighth Students for Liberty Conference. “Although it may not be the explicit intent of governments at the time gun registration is enacted that it will be used against the people, history shows otherwise.”

The law professor, who’s authored several books and articles defending gun rights, gave the easy example of gun registration in Germany in the early 1930s. “In 1931, there was a lot of political instability, with governments changing every few months. Intercepted Nazi documents showed that Hitler’s party had an insurrection plan that included executing anyone that had a firearm. So government decreed that everyone had to register their firearms. The Interior minister said it was a security measure.”

“Hitler started repressing all his opponents, simply labeled as ‘communist’, using these registries,” Halbrook continued. “And starting in 1935, the Gestapo ordered police stations to stop issuing guns to Jews, even though they were well-respected citizens that fought during the Great War.”

This sounds eerily familiar to the law professor. “Following the end of the Civil War, southern states issued Black Codes, which gave discretionary powers to authorities to issue guns to newly-freed slaves,” stated Halbrook. “Local militias even stole weapons to make sure African Americans were disarmed. This is one of the main reasons the Fourteenth Amendment was passed: so states wouldn’t violate people’s constitutional rights.”

Even though those rights can be misinterpreted, they still serve a purpose. “Supreme Court justices who dissent that gun rights do apply on the local level claim that guns can kill people,” Halbrook said. “But they seem to forget that free speech can sometimes lead to people saying things we might find offensive like the Communist Manifesto of Hitler’s infamous book Mein Kempf.”

Besides, gun restriction defenders have facts stacked against them. “They claim that gun laws are necessary to lower crime. And yet, crime kept decreasing in 2004 after the assault weapon ban didn’t get renewed. Also, Washington D.C. had more gun crime despite much stiffer gun laws than Virginia or Maryland.”

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