A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. – Second Amendment
As debates over firearms simmer and President Obama mulls sweeping firearm restrictions via executive orders,, media personalities like Piers Morgan dismiss guests defending gun rights with contempt. You’d think resistance to disarmament amounts to culpability for the Sandy Hook slaughter.
Yet, as John Lott’s bestseller, More Guns, Less Crime, highlights crime rates have tumbled while gun ownership has soared, including permits to carry concealed weapons. America has more murder than many similarly advanced countries, but overall violent crime, save inner-cities plagued by family breakdown, remains below peer nations. The streets in Mr. Morgan’s England are far more dangerous.
Dr. Lott explained to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that all but one mass shooting in America occurred within “gun-free” areas. For instance, the recent Colorado movie rampage happened in the only theater in the vicinity (of seven) which forbids firearms. Lott observed that Germany, despite draconian gun restrictions has suffered worse mass murders. Criminals don’t follow firearm laws, thus Lott advises eliminating “gun-free” zones.
Ms. O’Brien was dumbfounded.
Most liberals’ only experiences with firearms come via headline instigating crimes, which jade their conception of an armed citizenry. Homeowners defending the hearth rarely attract much media notice; nor will many liberals be found frequenting shooting ranges or hunting. Rather than familiarize themselves with firearms, it’s apparently more rewarding to delight in self-righteous approbation by restricting rights for those who haven’t harmed anyone.
An old adage attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes warns, “Hard cases make bad laws.” The Left milks tragedy trying to radically diminish longstanding rights. The forces seeking to confiscate firearms strike, using grief for license. Rahm Emmanuel promised, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Team Obama, which previously stooped to Fast and Furious in an attempt to discredit gun ownership, now shamelessly leverages Sandy Hook to tighten federal control.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell let slip the gun-control crowd’s desperation, “The good thing about Newtown is, it was so horrific that I think it galvanized Americans” potentially into rallying for more rigid gun laws. Americans ought to be very circumspect before succumbing to more stringent firearm qualifications. Restricting guns from people with mental problems sounds logical, but forces adamantly opposed to firearms find even patriots similarly suspicious. Likewise, gun registration could segue into a roadmap for disarmament.
At its core, gun-control is about submission, not crime.
The Missouri Information Analysis Center, a federal organ of Department of Homeland Security, included veterans, pro-life advocates, gun enthusiasts, Ron Paul supporters, and those who disdain the Fed or UN as potential terrorists. Essentially anyone who dreads untrammeled central authority was suspect. Could unfashionable political stands ultimately be deemed mental disorders or national threats in a bid to disarm dissent?
MIAC backtracked, but it’s likely there remain those with a similar outlook merely lying dormant until an opportunity arises. Piers Morgan’s insult-laden tirades against gun advocates conjure Josef Stalin’s infamous, “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?” Morgan and many liberals can tolerate no ideas, no life-saving solutions short of severe strictures on “assault weapons.”
No controls on guns, school security or other changes will deter a deranged murderer. Good Samaritans toting guns can minimize the carnage; reason enough for an armed populace, but the Second Amendment doesn’t pertain to self-defense, hunting or sport shooting. We have an obvious right – nay duty – to defend our families and neighbors, which are covered under the catchalls of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, but the Second Amendment concerns resistance to federal hegemony.
Disarmament is the necessary precursor to tyranny. History’s most lethal mass murderers have been dictators presiding over unarmed subjects. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot never faced significant civilian resistance. Oh that the Jews had been better armed. The Warsaw uprising began with one small pistol.
George Mason, principle author behind the Bill of Rights, advised, “What is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.” Later Mason clarified, “A well-regulated militia, composed of the Gentlemen, Freeholders, and other Freemen was necessary to protect our ancient laws and liberty from the standing army.” Bearing arms remains an inalienable “right of the people.” Mason wanted each man to suitably furnish for himself weaponry, supplies and training.
James Madison articulated a foundational principle informing our Constitution, “All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.” Proper suspicion of political authority remains pivotal to America’s lasting liberty. Madison later noted in Federalist 46, “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, …” Madison considered decentralized government and gun rights as the essential checks against despotic rulers.
Many European nations whose gun laws the Left wants to emulate here have endured murderous dictators. America has yet to suffer such subjugation.To wit, the most jealous guardian of liberty throughout the founding generation, Patrick Henry advanced, “[My] great object is that every man be armed.”
Washington has gradually eroded our unalienable rights while centralizing control. The Second Amendment provides a final redoubt guarding what remains of the other freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Or, as Harald Zieger, an émigré from behind the Iron Curtain, neatly summarizes, “America is the greatest nation on earth because it’s the only one with a First Amendment. We’re the only nation with a First Amendment because we’re the only one with a Second Amendment.”
A well-armed citizenry erects a necessary buttress against tyranny.