By Martin J. Kidston
Ever hear the story of the tribe? It goes something like this: Picture a tribe. For survival, it depends on fish. One day, a member of the tribe goes fishing down by the river. The tribesman makes the catch, cleans it, and heads back to the village with the prize. However, on his way back to the village, he gets thumped over the head and the fish gets stolen. The next day, another member of the tribe goes fishing down by the river. He too makes the catch, cleans it and heads up to the village. However, on his way back to the village, like his predecessor and fellow tribesman, he also gets thumped over the head and the fish gets stolen.
Enough is enough, says the tribe. Our hard work is going freely to the hands of another. The tribe is also growing hungry and will surely perish unless it can somehow keep the fish from being stolen. Consequently, to protect themselves from the unknown perpetrators, who are surely larger and stronger and more cunning, the tribe creates a law: It is illegal to steal fish.
The law, it is illegal to steal fish, is a means for the tribe to protect itself under the unity of law from the larger, stronger, and more cunning perpetrators. By unifying under the law, the weaker tribe has compensated for its frailty by becoming the majority a majority formed by cooperation and the subscription to a single belief.
Enter the Constitution and its array of laws, amendments and articles. Let the Constitution be the epitome of law. And let the law be our societys need to band together under the cooperation and subscription to a single belief.
We as a nation are that tribe. We are unified under the law for no other reason than to protect ourselves from ourselves. The very necessity of law represents a deep distrust between the members of the tribe whom the law protects.
Within the law, our right to bear arms is protected so that we may arm ourselves in our own defense. The law, right to bear arms, is a means to protect ourselves from ourselves. And though it may be true, and though it may be the NRA and every gun-buffs claim to fame, the very notion of arming ourselves in our own defense is inherently flawed.
He with the biggest club wins; the last man standing wins; he who can put the most rounds down range wins; and to the loser I'm sorry, I just had a bigger gun.
In the first book of Platos Republic, Thrasymachus and Socrates are in debate, and through their philosophical candor they conclude that might rules by nature.
The meaning of might, however, is misleading. Though it could mean those larger, stronger and more cunning, like our fish-stealers, it may also mean, and more appropriately the weak, like our tribe, who are protected under the unity of a single belief. Might is the whole of a group or society the weak that band together to protect itself from the strong.
Might does not necessarily dictate right, as the once-weak minority can confess. A look at history and its easy to see where the mighty majority was deathly wrong. In our own country, there are numerous representations of the majority might in numbers and belief being in the wrong. Because they were wrong, the minority banded together to topple the majority and its belief.
The right to bear arms is protected under the constitution. It is a majority belief which is vehemently protected under the guise that might makes right. But just because gun ownership is supported by the majority, does not necessarily say that its right.
The minority, the dead, the maimed and wounded, the grieving families and scared citizens, are tired of the argument that we should bear arms for our own defense to protect ourselves from ourselves. Thus, instead of taking up arms, the minority should become the tribe, tired of having its fish stolen by the larger, stronger and more cunning gun owners. The minority should topple that majority through unity and common belief. That common belief was best said by Ernest Hemingway Farewell to Arms.