You Can’t Fight Restrictive Gun Control with Restrictive Gun Control

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The city of Nelson, GA overstepped their authority this past weekend by adopting an ordinance that requires gun ownership. The Family Protection Ordinance states:

“In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.”

If this seems like a bit far-fetched, you’re right – the City Council acknowledges that the ordinance will not be enforced. The Council even included an exemption for those that opposed the measure.

So what’s the point of this document?

Well, the small town (population: 1,300) wanted to make a statement about gun rights. In the wake of some of the most restrictive gun control laws, the city of Nelson found it necessary to make an ordinance that would oppose any attempt by the federal government to tread on their second amendment rights.

But what if this ordinance was strictly enforced?

If the ordinance actually made it mandatory for households to have guns, it would be just as infringing on liberty as a law that denied guns to households; simply because one has the right to bear arms, doesn’t mean that you have to exercise that right. I grew up with guns in my household and I am a big fan of the second amendment, yet no law should make it mandatory that I have them. That completely takes away my liberty to decide what’s best for my home.

I understand that the city of Nelson is trying to make a statement about gun control, yet I don’t see how fighting restrictive laws with restrictive laws necessarily achieves that. If Nelson and other cities are weary of restrictive gun control laws, then of course they should speak out and challenge those laws. Yet, by requiring households to purchase a product (be it guns, healthcare, or even broccoli) you’re taking away an individual’s rights to make decisions they feel are best for their households. While perhaps well-intentioned, the Family Protection Ordinance should not be lauded because it violates personal choice and personal freedom.

  • Glen

    I appreciate and agree with your thought that no one should be coerced into doing something they object to — I’m a full-on abolitionist in regards to coercive government — but the folks in Nelson, GA have done this the right way:
    from a HuffPost article on the new law —

    “The ordinance exempts convicted felons and those who suffer from certain physical or mental disabilities, as well as anyone who objects to gun ownership. The ordinance also doesn’t include any penalty for those who don’t comply.”

  • Andrew

    Sandra, you are completely right, and Glen is completely wrong. Even symbolic and practically unenforced laws mandating gun ownership are immoral, because they’re symbolic of the wrong thing: the government telling you what to do. One could argue that Obamacare is similar, because Obama did grant waivers to certain people. Requiring anyone to own anything is silly and authoritarian. They could have sent a better message by simply passing a resolution that said “we oppose any attempt to restrict gun ownership” or even “we encourage gun ownership” without making it a requirement. Instead, they’re aligning with a subjective moral opinion and removing the distinction between having a disagreeing opinion (which is fine) and imposing that opinion on those around you (which is not).

  • http://profiles.google.com/poconoshootingrange Pocono Shooting Range

    If someone breaks into your home and rapes your kids while you stand there just watching… whose fault is it? It is your fault for not defending your family.

    Of where you planning to blame the government for not showing up on time to defend your family.

    • http://thoughtsonliberty.com/ Gina Luttrell

      I choose to blame the person who did the raping. We are responsible for the actions we commit, no more.