I have seen, in a few on-line forums variations on a theme – “how do you, as a gun owner, justify owning an AR-15?” The question is posed in slightly different forms but all basically written from the view that owning a gun is something that is not a natural thing, or is somehow a dangerous thing or a threatening one.
It is the question which is wrong. It is based upon a false premise.
A person owns himself or herself. The right to your own life is the building block of a free society. The right to the rewards of your own thoughts and work is a logical extension of the right of personal ownership and follows from it. This is what turns a country from slavery to a recognition of the personal rights of every citizen.
This is a right that the US Constitution embodies. It is NOT a right that a government gives – it is a right that belongs to the basic building block of the society that creates the laws that we live by.
My right to own my life gives me the responsibility to take care of it and to protect it. I am the one who gets to decide which means I employ to do that. However my right does not extend to forcing another person to do what I wish, merely to make me feel secure. Once we move into the realm of ME deciding what YOU must do in order to give me something, moves us back to the realm of slavery. We can agree between us on a code to enable us to live in harmony but the code must enshrine the principle that the rights of one cannot infringe the rights of the other.
In a society that recognizes individual rights the right to bear arms is a logical right. It does not require any other person to “give” me that right. I can choose to bear arms or I can decide not to. What I cannot do is decide YOUR choice in the matter. And you cannot decide mine.
The decision to be responsible for my survival is the moral stance to take. Trying to force me to comply with your wishes and feelings against my own rights is the immoral stance to take.