a right, not a privilegeNeil Krug/foter.comDianne Feinstein’s ill-fated assault weapons ban included an exemption for government officials, law enforcement and former law enforcement. Few (if any) gun control advocates support getting guns out of the hand of government, and no anti-gun celebrity that I know of has publicly eschewed armed guards. Gun control laws are almost always discriminatory; in New Jersey, where I live, a grocery store can hire an armed guard who can open-carry to protect the store, but I’m not allowed to open-carry to protect my family at the store, or anywhere else for that matter. These kind of laws arguably transform the right to bear arms into a privilege.  Those who advocate gun control but believe in a well-armed government (most of them) and those who push to restrict private gun ownership while enjoying private armed security themselves (like Jim Carrey or Piers Morgan) are promoting a profoundly unequal system, one that subordinates the autonomy and rights of the people in favor of the whims of an elite.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul hit the nail on the head last night on Fox News’ Hannity show. Via Politico:

Sen. Rand Paul says there’s “a certain amount of hypocrisy” that the same Hollywood celebrities and prominent politicians — including President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who are calling for gun control are also benefiting from armed protection themselves.

“I don’t begrudge any famous person like Mayor Bloomberg, or the president or the president’s family for having protection — I think they all should. There’s enough crazy people out there that would attack on the right or the left. But I think when you are being protected by people who have weapons by responsible people, I can’t see why you would be opposed to that for other people,” Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said Thursday on Fox News’s “Hannity” to guest-host Eric Bolling.

He continued: “Many rich Hollywood celebrities have armed guards with them at all times and many regular people who live in a poor neighborhood, who have a business in a poor neighborhood and a neighborhood that may have higher crime — those people have to suffer the vicissitudes of violent crime without protection sometimes because of gun control laws. So, yes, I think there is a certain amount of hypocrisy.”

Opposing for other people what you enjoy yourself is elitism and anathema to American principles of equality under the law, something the left tries at least to pay lip service to on other issues.