Regarding Drs. James I. Ausman’s and Miguel A. Faria’s article “Is gun control about people control?” published in Surgical Neurology International (SNI), we received the following critical letter from a reader:
“Is gun control about people control?” No, it’s about having regulations over a tool that is easily gotten and easily kills. Why do you think we have speed limits? Drunk driving laws? Because in a modern, civil society we at least ATTEMPT to make things like driving safer. Why can’t we do the same with guns? With your argument there should be every reason to let felons have guns. If anyone needs family and self-protection it’s a guy who has been involved in the crime world or just let out of prison. If anyone needs protection from the government it is those who are wrapped up in our punitive justice system run by vendictive prosecutors and revengeful, trigger happy cops. Why aren’t you fighting for them to have guns? Why can’t I own a nuclear weapon? That actually makes more sense if I’m going to need to fight the government one day as you propose.
We don’t do any of those things because we are a civilized people who value living in as safe a city as we can make it. Repealing the 2nd Ammendment only makes sense. None of the school shooters in our country would have had guns had they been illegal and my morals tend to slant more towards wanting all those kids alive over you needing to feel safe over the remote chance that you will someday need a gun to protect yourself.—Thanks, R.S., Albuquerque, NM
Dr. Faria responds: Good Morning, R.S. Regarding your letter to Dr. Ausman, which he forwarded to me for a response, let me answer you as follows, point by point.
Is gun control about people control? The reader is to make up his/her mind given the facts in the article, which you may have not assimilated in its totality, commensurate with his/her knowledge of civics and historical experience.
R.S. wrote: “No, it’s about having regulations over a tool that is easily gotten and easily kills. Why do you think we have speed limits? Drunk driving laws? Because in a modern, civil society we at least ATTEMPT to make things like driving safer. Why can’t we do the same with guns?”
Dr. Faria responds: We still live in a Constitutional Republic under the rule of law, which means that the right to keep and bear arms is protected by the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Cars are not protected and driving is a privilege, conferred by following rules and regulations of driving on public roads — driving licenses. Guns are protected not only as a Natural right but also as constitutional right, like it or not a civil right. This is the short answer. Several other scholars have given different replies to your argument. This is mine. Guns are a constitutionally protected right so argued by the vast majority of legal scholars and supported by SCOTUS in three major decisions.
R.S. wrote: “With your argument there should be every reason to let felons have guns. If anyone needs family and self-protection it’s a guy who has been involved in the crime world or just let out of prison.”
Dr. Faria responds: Felons have forfeited their right to own and carry guns because they have become a menace to their fellow man. FBI statistics reveal that 75 percent of all violent crimes for any locality are committed by six percent of hardened criminals and repeat offenders; and the typical murderer has had a prior criminal history of at least six years with four felony arrests in his record before he finally commits murder. So felons must follow the rules of the states in which they live and follow the law, reject their criminal past and become productive citizens.
R.S. wrote: “If anyone needs protection from the government it is those who are wrapped up in our punitive justice system run by vindictive prosecutors and revengeful, trigger happy cops. Why aren’t you fighting for them to have guns?”
Dr. Faria responds: With what I said previously, I have been very critical of vindictive prosecutors and rogue police. Please read my article on the subject here.(1) Not stated in the article but stated elsewhere: Non-violent offenders should be allowed to have guns and have their constitutional rights restored. Judges should be more restricted in issuing warrants of any type. Prosecutors should be held accountable for prosecutorial misconduct. As you can read, I supported the prosecution of the cops who killed Breonna Taylor and wounded her boyfriend, who had every right to fire at the rogue police. As I wrote elsewhere: “There is a solid line in my mind between good and bad cops. Cops who risk their lives to protect good citizens, save lives and protect property, and abide by the Constitution are good cops. I support the “back the blues” in its original and full intent…On the other hand, cops who follow orders blindly, like the Gestapo or KGB, who work at the pleasure of their State superiors, violate citizens’ rights and the Constitution, who carry out dynamic entries or “no-knock raids” on citizens in their home — except to apprehend extremely dangerous criminals or to save lives of hostages in imminent danger— are not cops but jack-booted thugs. Armed citizens have the right to protect themselves in those situations, as cops cannot be distinguished from thugs (and even if they identify themselves as police, one cannot be sure). And so tyranny must be opposed, especially from rogue federal police.”
R.S. wrote: “Why can’t I own a nuclear weapon? That actually makes more sense if I’m going to need to fight the government one day as you propose.”
Dr. Faria responds: Your statement actually does not make common sense, so my response will be short and limited. Nuclear weapons would kill a lot of innocent people. In another article, I stated, “In the US v. Miller (1938) decision, the Second Amendment was interpreted as protecting an individual’s right “to keep and bear arms,” especially and explicitly, the ownership of military-style weapons, as “part of the ordinary military equipment.” And yet before he dropped out of the circus of Democrat candidates for President, Beto O’Rourke claimed, “there is no right to own a weapon of war.” He went on to say, “We wouldn’t allow you to have a bazooka or drive a tank down the street because those rightly belong in the battlefield and do not belong in our communities.”
In fact, in the US v. Verdugo-Urquidez decision of 1990, the Supreme Court held that when the phrase “the people” is used in the context of the Second Amendment, it means “individuals,” which of course implies individuals possessing and carrying small arms. Tanks and bazookas are not the small arms that citizens, as part of the militia (every citizen capable of bearing arms), would keep and bear for personal or collective defense. It can then be argued that while artillery and heavy ordnance are not protected by the Second Amendment, small arms — from handguns to military-style firearms, including “assault weapons” — certainly are. So much for Beto’s straw man fallacious comparison.(2)
R.S. wrote: “We don’t do any of those things because we are a civilized people who value living in as safe a city as we can make it. Repealing the 2nd Ammendment [sic] only makes sense. None of the school shooters in our country would have had guns had they been illegal and my morals tend to slant more towards wanting all those kids alive over you needing to feel safe over the remote chance that you will someday need a gun to protect yourself.”
Dr. Faria responds: I cannot disagree with your first sentence. As for your next statement, it is naive at best and at worst a deliberate mendacity and a lack of historical perspective. Today the lessons in Ukraine clearly denote the importance of the 2nd Amendment in collective defense, and one only needs to look at the lessons of history for the greater importance of self and, family defense, and protection against tyrannical government,(3) which I can personally testify as a refuge from Cuba and now an American citizen.(4) As to the mass shooters, they would have gotten guns illegally, and that is well known even by school children. As for the rest of your paragraph it is inane, given all the crime in our society and the inability of the government to protect citizens and businesses during the pandemic. I have given you extreme courtesy in these replies despite the superficiality of your arguments, taking your letter at face value and good faith. I hope you read my latest book for a more comprehensive answer.
Dr. Miguel A. Faria
1. Faria MA. Criminals, Guns, and the Right to Self-Defense. GOPUSA.com, December 9, 2021.
2. Faria MA. So You Think Tyranny Can’t Happen Here? HaciendaPublishing.com, May 23, 2020.
3. Faria MA. Civilian disarmament & tyranny — A historic tale of three cities. HaciendaPublishing.com, October 16, 2019.
4. Blaylock RL. Review of Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise. HaciendaPublishing.com, January 11, 2002.
Miguel A. Faria, M.D., is Associate Editor in Chief in neuropsychiatry; history of medicine; and socioeconomics, politics, and world affairs of Surgical Neurology International (SNI). He was appointed and served at the behest of President George W. Bush as member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2002-2005. Dr. Faria is a Board Certified Neurological Surgeon (American Association of Neurological Surgeons; retired); Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.) Mercer University School of Medicine. He is the author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995); Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997); and Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). His most recently released book is America, Guns, and Freedom: A Journey Into Politics and the Public Health & Gun Control Movements (2019). His website is https://haciendapublishing.com. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_A._Faria_Jr.
This article may be cited as: Faria MA. Is Gun Control About People Control? Answering a critical letter from a reader. HaciendaPublishing.com, June 21, 2022. Available from: https://haciendapublishing.com/is-gun-control-about-people-control-answering-a-critical-letter-from-a-reader-by-miguel-a-faria-md/.
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