By Indri Schaelicke | United States
The controversy around the case of Alfie Evans has been well reported on and many have come out against the government’s near detainment of the child. Prayers and messages of support have poured in from around the world, with many openly wondering how a government could grow to a place where they are the sole arbiter of what a child’s “best interest” is, and what the parents are able to do to with their child. Private possession of firearms would have prevented the government from ever coming to a point where they could control a child’s life.
Alfie Evans was a twenty three month old boy who suffered from an undiagnosed neurodegenerative disease. Alder Hey, the hospital he was being treated at, removed him from life support, against the parents will, because they believed that further keeping him alive was inhumane and causing him suffering. The parents had sought second and third opinions from Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome and another hospital in Munich, Germany. Both offered alternative treatment plans. However, the hospital, backed by British Courts, argued that transporting him to receive alternative treatments was not in his best interest. Instead, letting him die was better for him.
One of the great differences between the United States and the UK is that it is much easier to own firearms here in the US than in the UK. A citizen in the UK wishing to own a firearm must complete a multi step process. First, they must join a shooting club or document that they hunt. Second, they must receive a character reference (sort of like a letter of recommendation) from a trusted source. They must then arrange proper firearm storage that satisfies local police upon inspection. The final step is to pass a background check, which includes a police interview at the candidate’s residence. Only then may they purchase a firearm- but their options are limited as many are banned, including most handguns and semi automatics.
These steps are designed to limit the amount of firearms in the hands of the public, and have succeeded in doing so. According to data compiled by GunPolicy.org, the UK has a firearms per capita rate of 6.2 guns per 100 people, while the US, with its comparatively fewer restrictions, has a rate of 101 guns per 100 people.
In the absence of an armed populace, the government in the UK was free to grow enormously without threat of revolt by displeased people. British citizens stood by and watched the erosion of their personal liberties and allowed themselves to come to a place where the government is able to dictate what parents are allowed to do when seeking to better the well being of their child.
Barring Alfie’s parents from removing him from the hospital to seek alternative treatments shows that the government feels that they have a more legitimate claim over the child’s well being than the parents, which is obviously not true. Bureaucrats, which is what hospital staff are in socialized healthcare, will never have the same bond with Alfie that his parents had. Parents should always be allowed the full range of options with how to handle a case where their child has little chance of survival and they seek to improve the child’s chances. The parents of Alfie Evans were not seeking to harm their child, but rather, to give him a better chance of survival and eventually regaining health. The bureaucrats of Britain’s socialized healthcare system essentially held Alfie hostage and condemned him to die, punishing the parents for seeking to help their baby.
The citizens of the US must fight to have their right to bear arms remain intact, otherwise the state will grow in size to a level similar to the UK, where bureaucrats get to choose if a baby is allowed to be given a fighting chance or not. An armed populace is the only deterrent of massive government overreach. Once the government is able to decide whether a patient should be allowed to continue to fight against their horrible affliction or to force them to give up and die, we very quickly move towards a state where the government is able to determine what lives are worth living and which are not. Does this sound crazy to you? Maybe because it is/ Bureaucrats deciding the value of a person’s life is eugenics in its natural form.
Americans should view this as a wake up call as to why the second amendment is so crucial to protecting us from an unimaginably dystopian government structure.