The Right To Feel Safe Doesn't Exist

(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

There are a lot of arguments that can be made in support of gun control. From court rulings to statistics, there are a lot of ways someone can try to justify restricting the right to keep and bear arms. Even emotional arguments have their place, to some degree, if we’re perfectly honest

Yet there are also some arguments that need to end because they’re pure fantasy. One of those is the right to feel safe.

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence founder Judy Sherry is targeting Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s pro-Second Amendment stance and subsequent pro-gun policies.

Sherry founded her Missouri-based group after the December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School attack in Connecticut. Since that time, Sherry admits that Missouri has only increased protections of gun rights, rather than passing “meaningful” gun control, Yahoo News reported.

Sherry responded to SAPA by saying, “It’s hideous. They talk so much about the rights of gun owners, as if non-gun owners and the rest of the population have no right to feel safe.”

Sherry is right. The rest of the population has no right to feel safe. That’s because said right simply doesn’t exist.

In particular, such a right doesn’t exist when it restricts the rights of others.

See, if it did exist, then we can justify all kinds of things. People like Sherry would have no freedom to assemble since assemblies can resemble mobs and mobs are scary. They’d have no right to travel, because vehicles crash, killing people–including people who weren’t in the vehicle in the first place. And don’t even get me started on free speech since we’ve all heard that speech is violence.

In short, you couldn’t do anything because it could make someone else feel unsafe.

“But that’s different!” someone will counter.

No, it’s really not. While gun violence happens, so do all of those other things. They most certainly can and will continue to happen, too.

Further, Sherry’s “right to feel safe” would require heavy gun restrictions, which would make a whole lot of us feel less safe. In other words, she’s arguing her right to feel safe trumps ours.

Except, that’s not really how it works. She’d have the right to tell me I can’t bring my gun on her property, of course, but beyond that, her wishes are largely irrelevant to society as a whole. Her “right to feel safe” is really nothing more than her wish to feel safe.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand such a wish.

However, she also needs to recognize that even if every gun control law she wants were on the books, any feeling of safety would be just that, a feeling. She wouldn’t be any safer. The criminals who prey upon the law-abiding public aren’t going to just roll over and play dead. They’ll still prey on people.

What will Sherry and people like her do when their illusion is shattered? They no longer feel safe, but there are no more guns to take from law-abiding citizens. What then?

A right to feel a certain way, any certain way, is ephemeral. It can evaporate in an instant, which is why no such right exists. The government can’t protect your feelings as it can an actual right.

So please, knock off that “right to feel safe” crap. It’s not a thing and it’s never going to be a thing, so stop it. You’re embarrassing yourself with it.

Oct 21, 2021 9:30 PM ET