– Winning the gun control debate, finally
The Second Amendment is not a quick word about hunting in between nine other rights that limit government powers.
The Second Amendment is about human nature. Power naturally corrupts, and to remedy that, instead of concentrating power with the few in government, it distributes power amongst all the people who have not had the chance to be corrupted. It is “necessary to the security of a ‘free’ state.” As horrific as shooting tragedies are, a well-armed society deters the holocausts, genocides and dictatorships in which millions die, that the rest of the world experiences every few decades, but armed America does not.
Why do we need “assault weapons?” “To protect against the horrors of history’s genocides, dictatorships, and holocausts.” Thomas Jefferson said, “the strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” This answer makes most gun control arguments irrelevant; including the delusion that criminals are not deterred, or cannot be stopped, by armed, trained citizens.
Benjamin Franklin said, “any society that will give up a little freedom to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.”
“Assault” rifles deter and prevent tyranny. They balance the government’s power with the people’s, with similar arms. George Washington said in his State of the Union speech in 1790, ”A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them…” The Second Amendment reads, “Necessary to the security of a free state…” While a strong military is necessary to the security of any state, a “free” state requires a balance to governmental power in the hands of the people. It needs no legal interpretation because it is written for the people. Politicians’ suggestions that “bear” arms doesn’t mean “bear”, or “infringed” doesn’t mean “infringed” are legal gymnastics.
To this, the gun control advocates argue two responses.
First, they say the Second Amendment is outdated as we live in modern times, and the federal government would never become tyrannical. They dismiss our founding fathers’ concerns as right-wing paranoia, but do not explain why history’s string of horrors would magically cease from this point forward. It is a delusion based on the relative peace they have enjoyed in their lifetime of personal experience overriding the history they learn second-hand and believe they are better than. Ironically, some of this delusion also comes from man’s same need for power, and the belief by an empowered-feeling liberal media, that a dictator would not dare try to take power on their watch. The suggestion that a would-be dictator could outsmart, beguile, or win the favor of the liberal media, and that “bible-clinging and gun-toting” republicans would have to step in and save this country offends the liberal view of themselves as being in charge.
The Second Amendment is based on an understanding of human nature, which does not change. The founders set up a living framework to prevent tyranny indefinitely. It was not limited to Britain or the 1700’s, the same as free speech will always be needed, because those in power will always try to silence opposing views. Man’s greed for power, and absolute power’s capacity to corrupt absolutely, will not change. Leaders do whatever they can get away with, 200 years ago, and 200 years from now.
The Holocaust was only 60 years ago in “modern, educated, cultured” Germany. Since then, after we said “never again”, we sat by and watched genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Dharfur. We see this happen elsewhere, and often fail to connect the Second Amendment as the reason why Americans do not suffer the plagues of the rest of the world. We assume we are so brilliant and evolved, that we are naturally and inexplicably the bastion of democratic stability, repeatedly saving the rest of the “civilized” (and disarmed) world from itself. Now, it is ironic that the Second Amendment, the very idea that preserves our democracy, is so effective at making America a keystone of global freedom, that we have the luxury of almost forgetting its purpose as the safety-net for our freedom. We must not forget.
The Second Amendment applies always, everywhere. If the Syrian people had a Second Amendment, Assad might be long gone, and we would not be trying to figure out which terrorist group to avoid arming and empowering. If the Mexican people had a Second Amendment, the politicians would not only fear the cartels, the people’s power relative to criminals and corrupt politicians would increase, and the Mexican people would, in time, reclaim their country, leading to less violence. And, if the Iranian people had a Second Amendment, their 2009 popular revolution might not have been crushed by an armed minority, and they might not have a nuclear weapons program today. The fate of every nation eventually comes down to the weaponry that the common and descent citizens have.
The bad guys are not powerful because they have guns. The bad guys are powerful when ONLY they have guns. Throughout history, the bad guys have always been able to obtain arms. What the Second Amendment says is, the good guys ALSO have them.
The second argument that gun control advocates make is that assault rifles would be useless against a dictator-controlled U.S. military anyway, so why bother to try to fight for freedom. Maybe for an individual yes, but in the aggregate, a society of 100 million armed patriots is a powerful deterrent to any would-be tyrant. Our U.S. military is only 2 million strong, and any dictator’s forces would be outnumbered 50 to 1, not counting those patriots siding with the Constitution. It would not be fought on a battlefield either, but house to house, like Iraq, which the U.S. military could barely control. Such a citizenry is far too powerful for a centralized government to exert absolute local control over. In WWII, if 6 million Jews each had a rifle, the political cost to Hitler would have been too great, for losing soldiers at every house, and the Holocaust could never have happened.
Hitler was smarter though, and is quoted as saying, “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.“ On November 11, 1938, the day after Kristallnacht, Hitler started his genocide campaign by passing the Nazi Weapons Act of 1938, barring Jews from owning firearms or other weapons. After his opposition was disarmed and helpless, he easily changed all the other laws, and then went door to door rounding them up. In theory he couldn’t do that, but in practicality nobody could stop him. Hitler, by the way, was a leftist. He developed the National Socialist German Workers Party Platform, and quoted in 1927 as saying, “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”
Another gun control argument is not really an argument, but a questioning of the limitations of the Second Amendment. Some ask whether civilians should have nuclear weapons, fighter jets and tanks. First, when the Constitution was written, it was not uncommon for colonists to own cannons. But the test, as George Washington laid out, is “sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them.” This, by necessity, means balance of governmental power with “assault weapons.” While the military has fully automatic weapons, the people need at least semi-automatic civilian versions to achieve that Constitutional purpose.
The key component of dictatorship is monopoly on effective force. Without it, dictatorship cannot exist. This is what gun control advocates unknowingly push for. After an assault weapons ban, the government can easily disarm the remaining few with hunting rifles. That is why we can never give up assault weapons. Not just because it is a slippery slope, although it is, but because such laws suggest acceptance of the belief that guns are the enemy, which leads to increasingly easier new gun restrictions every time another crime occurs. Any gun control law will falsely proclaim that the people have determined and accepted that these weapons do more harm than good and have no legitimate purpose, ignoring that assault weapons are necessary for preserving democracy. Because the purpose of the Second Amendment is defense against tyranny, it would be nonsensical to require a potentially tyrannical government’s permission to buy a firearm or ammunition, which it could simply deny. While no Supreme Court opinion is needed to understand any of this, the Court has confirmed that banning an entire class of weapons is suspect.
Britain banned assault weapons, and soon all weapons were confiscated, followed by a ban on public protests in London, followed by a judge’s suggestion that there be a system in place to control the news media. Just like the rich get richer over time, governments get more powerful over time, and with the passage of more laws. Politicians will take more and more power, and in time create a society like George Orwell’s “1984.” The transfer of increasing power to government is the certain and natural result of human nature.
Understanding human nature, Thomas Jefferson said, “those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.” The only solution is an un-“infringed” Second Amendment. It is the most fundamental balance of power that exists in the Constitution. The only solution for limiting human greed for power, is to balance it with another human’s need for power. The Constitution balances power between the three branches of the federal government, and the between the federal government and the states. But even more fundamental is the balance of power between the federal government and the people in the Second Amendment – and the balance must not be tipped.
Chairman Mao Tse Tung said, “all political power comes from the barrel of a gun,” and whether we like it or not, he was correct. Human nature and history show us that gun control will only wet the appetites of those in power. Government can, in small steps, take away the Second Amendment, and then the rest of our freedoms. Activists, politicians, journalists and judges will eventually be threatened with loss of jobs, prosecution or worse, Internet will be monitored, and new detention facilities will one day be set up to house all those who believe in the Constitution. A Homeland Security report by National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism entitled “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States” already reports that potential “terrorists” include those American citizens who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.” One day, a president will cancel or control elections, and the media, and then continue to increase his power to carry out any disturbed agenda he chooses. Without the Second Amendment, the only question is when.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it away.” This means that the time for action is upon attempt to take away the Second Amendment. Thomas Jefferson also said, “Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.” Those who lived through the holocaust know that the time to fight gun control is not when you are disarmed, helpless, and a squad of soldiers come to take you away. The line must be drawn at gun control itself, because we know from history where it leads. Let us not be animals who cannot understand our own natures, learn from our past mistakes, or foresee our own futures. Instead, let us be civilized. Let us understand human nature, and keep the time-tested means of balancing man’s weaknesses that have preserved democracy in this land for 200 years.
Americans should be proud to be a society that cannot be conquered, that cannot be invaded, and that cannot be enslaved or controlled, unlike much of the rest of the world. That is the beauty of our founding fathers’ wisdom that we have inherited. Our nation is armed, and therefore guaranteed free for our children and grandchildren, by our own hands if necessary.
True leadership from the President would be to respond to tragic rare shootings by empowering victims to defend themselves, increasing mental health services, increased training and education, and reminding us of the wisdom of our founders, that freedom is not free.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln.
“Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.” Edmund Burke, the philosophical founder of modern political conservatism.