firearms

It’s Time the Government Started Subsidizing Our Constitutional Right to Bear Arms

You hear a lot these days from so-called “progressives” talking about how the “less fortunate” have a “right” to this and that regardless of their ability to pay. You might have noticed “this” and “that” are always somehow rights that liberals like. But people have a right to lots of things, don’t they? Why do liberals get to pick and choose which ones the government pays for? Shouldn’t all of our most sacred rights, those enshrined in the Constitution, be things that everyone has access to in reality and not just in name? Why should someone’s ability to pay affect their ability to exercise the freedoms that make this country great? Liberals will hoot and holler all day long about an indigent defendant’s Constitutional right to a free attorney courtesy of Uncle Sam when that man’s freedom is on the line, but what about when a man’s life is on the line? Should he not be able to defend it with a personal firearm even if he is poor? I say it’s high time the government start subsidizing citizens’ Constitutional right to bear arms.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to bear arms for personal protection, but the sad truth of the matter is that guns are expensive. This is of course in part because of all the ridiculous gun control regulations liberals pass to drive firearm prices up, but there’s also the simple fact that guns are precision tools and stuff like that never comes cheap. The bottom line is that we now live in a world where not every law-abiding, freedom-loving American can afford to purchase a quality firearm. When it’s either buy a gun or put food on the table, people are usually forced to do the best they can in a bad situation. This is an inescapable fact, and it’s not going to change unless we do something about it. How is it that in the richest nation on Earth, we can’t ensure that every man, woman and child has access to quality, affordable firearms to protect themselves, their property and their loved ones?

Some people argue that, as common sensical and even noble as such a policy might be, it’s simply impractical, that the government simply can’t afford to start buying people guns without raising taxes. Let’s set aside the fact that the government already pays for plenty of non-constitutional rights like welfare and food stamps just because they think people “need” them. That doesn’t matter because of the simple fact that providing guns to the less fortunate won’t cost the government money. It will make the government money.

Yes. You read that right. Why? Because of a principle called shoot first economics.

Let’s start with the simple fact that this country spends billions per year in law enforcement and  what I term “domestic defense.” That is, defending law abiding citizens from criminals, vagrants, ruffians and other ne’er-do-wells , as opposed to military defense, which involves protecting us from foreign invaders and secessionists. Much of that domestic defense comes from paying police officers and other law enforcement professionals to patrol the streets of America, protecting innocent victims from predatory criminal elements. These expenses include salary, benefits, overhead in the form of police buildings, support staff, gas to power their cruisers, etc. All of this adds up to a heck of a lot of money.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. We don’t have to be victims. The vast majority of domestic defense spending is only necessary because of the surprisingly large portion of the population that either cannot or will not defend themselves with their own personal firearm. The will nots have chosen their lot, and I can do nothing for them. I assume, I hope, I pray, they are few and far between. But the cannots we absolutely can and should help defend themselves.

This isn’t a matter of charity, remember. The beauty of providing equal access to firearms is that if everyone can get a gun, law enforcement will become largely unnecessary, saving taxpayers countless billions of dollars every year. Like most things, the private sector does it better. Rather than just give a blanket level of protection to everyone, it’s far more efficient to give citizens the right to choose exactly how much protection they think they need. This makes sense both because citizens are usually at the scene of a crime and in a better position to stop it (or can at least leave a shotgun booby trapped behind the door), and because those living in less dangerous neighborhoods can tailor a specific, minimal level of protection more appropriate to their situation, rather than the simplistic “every town gets a full police force” model we have now.

Sounds great, right? But remember, this is only possible if every person in America has access to their own firearm. So yes, buying lots of firearms itself costs money, but it’s an investment, not an expenditure. We won’t have to spend so much (if anything) on law enforcement if people just take a little personal responsibility for their own welfare instead of relying on the nanny state for protection. The costs of the firearm and ammo necessary to defend oneself from typical crimes are far less than the costs of the salary and expenses of the officers who would have dealt with that crime had the citizen had not been a responsible gun owner.

So the domestic defense aspect of shoot first economics is obviously sufficient justification for Second Amendment subsidies, right? But wait, there’s more! See, I contrasted domestic defense from military defense for a reason: because arming your citizenry also has the potential to reduce our nation’s reliance on the military for protection. Believe it or not, the Founding Fathers intended the Second Amendment to provide Americans with military protection as well domestic defense. Just the look at the language: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State….” Admittedly, having 300 million “militiamen” living in every house in this country might not completely cut it military-wise in today’s world. We’ll still need our battleships and stealth fighter jets and nuclear subs and thousands upon thousands of tanks in order to fight the wars of yesterday, today and tomorrow. But you can’t possibly argue that allowing every person in this great land the ability to go full Red Dawn on the ass of any invader isn’t valuable.

The real question is: how valuable? Well, that’s debatable. I think you have to consider their value in terms of the costs our military currently incurs for infantry soldiers, which fill essentially the same role as militiamen. Right now, the average soldier costs the US Army about $850,000 per year.  Our population is about 320 million people and currently only about a third of American households own a firearm. In other words, there are about 214 million people out there without a firearm. Of course, not all of those can wield a firearm in a soldierly manner, but we’ll say half of those could. That leaves us with 107 million potential militiamen our country could take advantage of with free firearms. Now, even if given the opportunity to receive a free firearm, not everyone will take that opportunity. This is sad but true, so taking out the hippies and other peacenik freaks, let’s assume 100 million of that 107 million would sign up. 100 million people multiplied by the Army’s cost per soldier of $850,000 is an $85 trillion value we would be getting by doing this. Heck, that’s more than even Obama could spend in a year! Am I right?  Hold on, though. We still have to subtract the cost of the firearms themselves. Assuming a relatively conservative $300 per firearm multiplied by 100 million, that puts the cost of arming all of America at a mere $30 billion. Small price to pay for $85 trillion, right? Talk about value!

So there you have it. When you subsidize the Second Amendment you ensure equal access to Constitutional rights, you save on almost all of America’s law enforcement costs and you get roughly $84.7 trillion dollars worth of value added to America’s military might. It’s win, win, win. Write your Congressman today, and let him know you support equal access to Second Amendment rights regardless of a citizen’s financial situation.

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