Last week, St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner covered the story of Benjamin Srigley, a Washington D.C. resident who saved the life of an eleven-year-old boy by shooting one of the three pit bulls mauling him. Since Mr. Srigley’s firearm was not registered in D.C., he has been assessed a $1,000 fine, and is apparently supposed to be grateful for not having to face jail time for any of the seven charges he could have been subjected to under D.C.’s draconian gun laws.
Since then, by the way, a campaign by gun rights activist Peter Upton to raise the money to cover the fine has, at Mr. Srigley’s request, instead morphed into an effort to raise money for the 11-year-old victim. Classy, indeed.
It has occurred to me since last week’s article that all my references to “vicious pit bulls” might have given the impression that I share the all-too-common hysterical fear and loathing of the breed, which manifests itself in (successful, in some jurisdictions) calls for breed-specific bans, and even death penalties for dogs that have shown no inclination to viciousness. That attitude, come to think of it, has rather a lot in common with the equally hysterical fear and loathing of firearms.
Let me be clear that I most emphatically do not share that attitude about pit bulls. Those I have encountered have invariably been extremely friendly–perhaps a bit exhausting with their boundless energy–but with some training seem most accurately characterized by their overwhelming desire to please.
And then it occurred to me that I am often accused (particularly by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence) of being “anti-government.” That accusation mischaracterizes my position no less completely than an assertion that I am “anti-pit bull” would. But the parallels are only beginning.
Like pit bulls and other powerful breeds of dogs bred for their fighting prowess and combativeness, governments must be made to know who is in charge. They must be constantly reminded that they exist to serve us. They are too dangerous, as President Washington reminds us, for failure to keep them in check to be any more excusable than failing to keep dangerous dogs contained.
They need to be tightly controlled–kept on a short leash, as it were. In the context of the U.S. government, that “short leash” is the Constitution, and the very explicit limits it places on the federal government’s power–power, remember, that is borrowed from We the People. We know the consequences of allowing the government to slip that leash.
And finally, if, despite all our efforts, government does become tyrannical, it must be put down, like a vicious dog. Hence guns, and the Second Amendment. And we must be humane about it–bring enough gun.
- Living for 170,000,000
- Known ‘gun criminal’ David Gregory goes uncharged; life-saving hero may not
- LA pit bull attack shows savage consequences of citizen disarmament
- D.C. prosecutors give hero a break: ‘Only’ $1000 fine for saving child’s life