As we near the Presidential election, I'd like to point out the one litmus test I rely upon in choosing a candidate. I'll give you a hint: it's not abortion, immigration, or even taxes.
As my regulars may have guessed, my test of a candidate's integrity is the ever-present gun issue. A candidate who won't trust me with my own defense won't trust me to make any of my own decisions. A candidate who would disarm me would control me.
By controlling the means to self-defense, you create a world in which you can control everyone via your monopoly on force.
"But wait," you say, "there have to be other issues you care about!" Sure, I'd prefer not to be taxed too thoroughly, and I have my preferences when it comes to foreign policy. The problem is that these are secondary concerns, at best, and very much influenced by my right to bear arms.
In a gun-free society, the monopoly on force allows the government to demand whatever portion of your wealth they'd like. In a society where free men might stand up to the threats of the government, there are limits to what can be accomplished by threat of force.
A society that is truly free has the tools to remain free. A "free" society that removes these tools from the reach of the public removes the safeguards of freedom.
I vote based on freedom. The right to bear arms is the right to remain free.