The European political establishment hates the Second Amendment for its ultimate repudiation of big government.
To understand the European viewpoint, consider the debate on Britain's Sky News channel, Tuesday evening, between liberal columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and libertarian editor Brendan O'Neill.
As O'Neill calmly outlined why gun ownership represents positive individual freedom, Alibhai-Brown quickly lost her cool, "That is not a moral position!" she shouted, adding that the Second Amendment was designed for a time "When [Americans] were massacring Native Americans ... hundreds of thousands of people were being killed." The journalist, who was "really depressed" when Bin Laden was killed, then delivered her punch line, "Change your mind, you'll still be a man."
Sorry, Yasmin, but 19th century Native American history is more complicated than genocide, and penis size has nothing to do with gun ownership. (Indeed, that's an insult to the tens of thousands of British vacationers who see gun ranges as required stops!)
Alibhai-Brown continued her tirade: "Don't put the shine of morality on your position!" she told O'Neill, "It is a deeply immoral position. To be so brainwashed about the Second Amendment that you don't see what you need to see!"
Note the Orwellian history-purge quality of Alibhai-Brown's words: "You don't see what you need to see." Alibhai-Brown has no interest in persuasion, only in re-education. The columnist then emphasized her point, stating, "No other western democracy feels the need to have the arming of its citizens."
Remember, this notion of "need" sits at the heart of left-wing ideology. Karl Marx explained that government must allocate power to individuals, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." Alibhai-Brown cannot fathom that the individual choice of using guns to hunt, protect one's family, and guard against tyranny represents freedom. Indeed, she believes that government, not individuals, must shape what is and what is not freedom. And be under no illusions, this European perspective applies equally to speech as it does to guns.
Nevertheless, there's an insipid quality to this overconfidence in government. Consider the 2011 London riots, where, for three days, thousands of criminals ran rampant through the streets, stores, and gardens of the British capital. Families were abandoned to mob rule and, if only for a moment, British society flirted with anarchy.
While Americans should not ignore gun violence problems, gun control won't balance freedom with greater security. Instead, we must address the outsized proportion of gun violence attributable to young minority men, and the roots of that violence in collapsing families.