For reasons unbeknownst to me, the Republican establishment seems to hate the Libertarian Party.
I mean, I’m sure I could speculate as to why that is, (a) the Libertarian Party believes in non-interventionism (Republican leaders have a rather aggressive posture when it comes to foreign policy), (b) the LP is for the legalization of marijuana (Those in the GOP with “traditional values” and financial ties to the alcohol industry loathe this idea), (c) LP candidates have a tendency to siphon votes from the GOP’s base (An obvious point of contention), but I don’t know for sure.
In any event, there are probably more (speculative) reasons, but I’ll leave it at that.
Unlike the GOP establishment, gun owners, on the other hand, seem to greatly admire the Libertarian Party (if they don’t already belong to it). And the reason for this is that Libertarian candidates typically have a deep understanding of our Second Amendment rights, its origins during our Founding-Era and the critical roll it plays in keeping the government in check.
Take for instance Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson, who shared his beliefs on guns with WLOX, a news station in Mississippi. Johnson not only said that he opposes calls for an Assault Weapons Ban, but also went one step further and said these high-powered firearms are what keeps domestic tyranny at bay.
“I think [the Second Amendment] was designed to protect us against a government that could be very intrusive.” Johnson said. “And in this country, we have a growing police state – if people can own assault rifles or automatic rifles, I think leads to a more civil government.”
“You can look at the most egregious examples of the war on drugs where federal agents have gone in and killed individuals without there being any justification whatsoever,” Johnson continued. “And if these individuals that were killed were to have known to possess automatic weapons or assault weapons, maybe they would have been more careful and more diligent when it comes to due process.”
Johnson also endorsed the notion that ‘an armed society is a polite society,’ explaining that giving law-abiding citizens the right to protect themselves via concealed carry legislation has the potential to reduce crime.
“But how do you stem gun violence? I think that concealed carry was a way to do that,” he said. “I go back to 1994 when I was running for governor of New Mexico and I believed that supporting conceal and carry would lead to less overall gun violence. And I think that has actually panned itself out.”
Now, can you imagine GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney saying this or President Obama for that matter?
Their respective thoughts on the Second Amendment, by contrast, appear to be canned responses designed to pander to the gun owners within their parties. Both candidates have uttered the following statements repeatedly, “I support the Second Amendment,” “I’m for enforcing existing laws.”
Neither candidate has ever really expounded on the “being necessary to the security of a free State,” aspect of our right to keep and bear arms (Romney obliquely addressed this issue in an interview with the NRA). During this election season, I’ve often wondered what the two men thought about this, but eventually came to the conclusion that we’ll probably never know.
The reality is, either Romney or Obama will win tonight (or tomorrow or sometime this month if there’s issues with counting the votes). Obviously, Gary Johnson has no shot. But whichever candidate wins, I think gun owners will walk away from the election knowing that the man taking the oval office is not really one of us.
Consequently, and in the future, it might be time to start looking elsewhere, outside the GOP and the Democratic Party, to find public servants who truly understand and represent us.