Christopher Hitchens on Gun Control

As of the writing of this article (July 6th, 2020) we’ve found multiple examples, both in print and digitally, of Christopher Hitchens’ opinions on Gun Control. This particular collection and assortment of quotes on the issue of guns includes four quotes in print. However please let us know if there’s any quotes that are longer, more detailed, or more relevant. Additionally, and as always, if we’ve misconstrued Christopher in any way through poor framing, please let us know.

First we’ll start with an article he wrote for Minority Report (his column for The Nation that ran from 1985 to October 14, 2002). These particular set of quotes in question come from the same article, which we are unable to link to because it is behind a paywall and we are limited in how much we can “borrow” from the article by copyright laws (please let us know if we are mistaken here).

Hitchens first goes after the “guns don’t kill people” line of argument: ”Of course guns kill people. That’s why people should take control of the guns.” Next he targets the principle behind the second amendment, with a sympathetic tone: “I have, gradually, come to think that there is something truly admirable in a country that codifies the responsibility for self-defense. Pity it doesn’t make use of it.”

Now we get to the meat of it, where Christopher goes after the general principle and logic of the second amendment. In context, he is speaking about the actual intent of the Second Amendment and why it’s defensible on its merits. 

“If you take the Second Amendment as a whole (which the National Rifle Association and the political conservatives generally do not), it can be understood as enshrining the right, if not indeed the duty, of citizens to defend their country, and themselves, from aggression, including aggression from the government…The time might come when the people might have to muster against the state. Well, what’s wrong with that?” Minority Report 1/24/94

This is opposed to the opinion of someone such as Sam Harris, who takes the reverse position on this particular sub-issue. For example, in his famous Riddle of the Gun essay, Harris reasons that anyone that for anyone that believes that privately owned guns will successfully resist the United States Military “I have a black hawk helicopter to sell you.”

Finally, we have this  final quote from his memoirs Hitch-22 where Christopher argues against the gun control narrative that the second ammendment only protects the right of militas to own weapons (not private citizens). 

“Alas for advocates of ‘gun control,’ the Second Amendment seems to enshrine a ‘right of the people to keep and bear arms’ irrespective of whether they are militia members or not.” Hitch-22, 2010, p. 252

Note that even though the subject of this article is deceased, we still reserve the right to make modifications and changes to the content if we discover that, in his vast appearances on various media outlets, we have ommitted more relevant quotes from the journalist and author about the subject. 

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