On this memorial day, let us remember that despite what we may wish, our nation is not particularly special or unique in the grand scope of empires of the past several millennia. America, the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, et al, have risen and declined in essentially the exact same way…and any variations are minor and unimportant. Political principles, ideals, technology, intellect, racial pedigree…none of this, though as diverse between nations as possible, makes any difference at all. Our Constitution, Bill of Rights, Suffrage….unique perhaps in their own narrow context, but they matter not in altering the inevitable course of great nations and empires. America is, unfortunately, a re-running of the Matrix, doing what the program always does and always must do. There is nothing new under the sun.
“It is, therefore, interesting to note that the life-expectation of a great nation does not appear to be in any way affected by the nature of its [political] institutions. Past empires show almost every possible variation of political system, but all go through the same procedure from the Age of Pioneers through Conquest, Commerce, Affluence to decline and collapse.”
-Sir John Glubb, “The Fate of Empires”
Though I do understand why we are concerned that America’s second amendment may be suspended by an increasingly overt form of government autocracy, what we should not be is surprised. Once morality—moral ethics—has been replaced by legality—legal ethics—then we must understand that what is legal may be rendered illegal at any moment and for any reason without any hypocrisy nor rational violation on the part of the Authority (the State, in this case), which exists as the practical and necessary manifestation of the Law.
Why is this?
Well, legality itself is the problem. You see, legality makes all men criminals because it criminalizes will. Our (mine and yours) own choice to act on our own behalf is subordinated to the Law….indeed, that’s the whole point of law—we may act only insofar as we are allowed to act. Our individual wills then are not free…they are hedged in by the law, and guided necessarily to their eventual and inevitable complete nullification, which the Law implies according to its philosophical premises. This nullification of will by law grows more overt and obvious over time by nature and necessity, regardless of what kind of political officials are put in charge of the law’s carrying out. The pebble which is dropped will fall, no matter the character of the man who lets it go. This is why all governments must and do eventually snap the bloody trap of collectivist despotism…government, ironically, is the trap which becomes trapped. It’s in the premises. That is, it’s the nature of government. Government by its very root philosophical purpose and meaning is independent of man’s will. That’s the whole idea. Under law, which means under authority, which means under government, it’s not about will and choice, it’s about obedience. This is obvious and I hope needs no explanation…legal dictums are commands, they are not suggestions. And the most benevolent ruler of all cannot change this fact, because if he did, he would not be a ruler in the first place. A contradiction in terms—e.g. a ruler who does not RULE, for example—cannot be made manifest. It cannot be made real.
To summarize the above, man’s will is nullified by law. Obedience to the law is the ethical standard, not morality, which has to do with will…with choice. And obedience to the law really means obedience to the Authority, without which the law has no practical relevancy and thus no functional existence.
So now to guns, specifically.
The problem is not that guns may be made illegal (and almost certainly will be), the problem is that some ruling class of political elites think that they have the right to subordinate man’s will to that which they decide to allow…by law. The problem is not that guns (or anything else for that matter) may be deemed illegal, it’s that we accept that our lives are futile absent an Authority (government) which claims for itself the right to allow man to act—which means to exist, at root, once the logic is teased out—by placing him under law, and thus which subordinates his will entirely by making it subject to an external ethical standard (the Law) utterly in the hands of this Authority. So, while it’s technically correct to state that it’s wrong to make guns illegal, the bigger issue is that we accept that they should be subject to legality at all.
My overarching message here is that you cannot synthesize morality and legality. They are completely antipodal ethical premises. If we accept that guns are properly subject to the law, then why do we cry foul when the Authority makes them illegal? To accept legal ethics is accept that the Authority—which IS the practical incarnation of Law—knows what should and should not be allowed at any given moment. What you want became irrelevant the moment you agreed that the Law was good and by extension that government was good and by extension that your existence should be ruled, not chosen by you. So to say that guns should be legal and not illegal is some very, very fine hypocrisy, quite frankly.
Unless you happen to be one of the ruling elite.