An English reader of my blog picked up a post from last November called “Gun control is using two hands.” It depicted a series of posters explaining why the Second Amendment has practical safety applications for American citizens. This reader took exception to how enthusiastically Americans embrace our God-given right to defend our persons and our property from those who would do us harm. “The American love affair with guns is indeed strange to an outsider,” she wrote. “Though one can understand the historical imperative, some of the arguments used to justify gun ownership in the 21st century seem to border on the religious and can be just as irrational.”
I found this to be a fascinating perspective. So gun ownership is no longer justified in the 21st century? Those of us who believe the Second Amendment is more critical than ever border on the “religious” in our beliefs and are “just as irrational”?
I don’t believe this is necessarily an English perspective; I believe it is a liberal perspective since, frankly, I hear this viewpoint just as often from Americans.
Progressives who believe gun ownership is no longer “justified” have not studied history. Those who refuse to learn from history – duh – are doomed to repeat it. And I can guarantee with absolute certainty that if the Second Amendment were struck down tomorrow, certain people within our government would happily seize that opportunity to do things they knew they couldn’t get away with before. Like become despots. (Aesop said it best: “Any excuse will serve a tyrant.”)
Human nature hasn’t changed just because it’s the 21st century. There are still people who want to increase their power and control over others. There is never a point where historical precedent is unimportant. What has happened in the past can (and always does) happen again – hence our “irrational” American insistence in keeping the Second Amendment intact and unaltered.
Every generation says, “It can’t happen here.” Every single generation. When China fell to communism, the despots went door to door. When Russia fell to communism, they went door to door. When Hitler took over, his minions went door to door. No one ever thought they could or would do it, but they did.
Throughout history, foolish and trusting people the world over have ceded their guns to their government and were slaughtered for their efforts. Remember, when you remove peoples’ right to bear arms, you create slaves.
I know Progressives look at things with an entirely different point of view than Constitutionalists. They have such a lovely naïve and touching faith in human nature. Really they do. But such childlike wonder and trust does not translate well into national policy and the assurance of continued liberty. Progressives might be able to claim with calm assurance, “It can never happen here,” or that gun ownership is no longer “justified” in the 21st century, but I for one don’t have the shining optimism liberals apparently hold about the flawlessness of human nature. I will continue to bitterly cling to my God-given right to protect myself, my family and my property with firearms from those who would steal my possessions (thieves) or my freedoms (government).
Those who express bafflement at our “obsession” with guns misunderstand our concerns about losing the right to stay armed. Sure, guns are great for hunting and darned nice if they can stop a crime. But that is not why the Second Amendment was put in place. The Second Amendment has never been about hunting or crime protection; it’s about keeping our government in check. Why oh why can’t Progressives understand this? (Oh yeah. It’s because they see nothing wrong with rampant government. Got it.)
This battle between government power and an armed citizenry was recognized as far back as 600 B.C. when Aesop said, “Those who voluntarily put power into the hands of a tyrant or an enemy must not be surprised if it is turned against themselves.” If the government somehow managed to banish all guns tomorrow, how long do you think before we’d be laboring under tyranny?
The surge in gun sales when Obama came into office was not the result of a sudden and passionate love of hunting; it was because people instinctively recognized that our government is becoming a larger threat to our personal liberties. Gun ownership is a tool to keep that threat in check.
Quite simply, the Second Amendment has become a power struggle between the government and the people. The government wants more power over the people. The people want more power over the government. No surprise there.
But we have to look back in history (no matter how irrelevant that may seem to Progressives) and judge what the original overall intent was of the Founding Fathers. Was their original intent to create a massive and tyrannical government? Or was their original intent to create a constrained government that would guard people’s God-given rights? C’mon, ‘fess up. You know which one is true.
So, since Progressives cannot simply eliminate gun ownership overnight, they’ve taken a far more insidious and cowardly course, which is a refusal to educate the nation’s children about their heritage. The founding documents are seldom if ever studied in public schools and, if they are, they’re invariably given the obligatory liberal interpretation.
I’ll close with a few quotes that are circulating around the Internet in the vain hope that the Progressives among us will recognize their truth:
- Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
- An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
- Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.
- Gun control is not about guns; it’s about control.
- You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.
- The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.
- Guns have only two enemies; rust and politicians.
And finally: A free man cannot be defeated. He can only be killed. That becomes a much easier task if you’ve disarmed him first.