Gun Rights in America: The Heart of Liberty
The United States of America was founded by a group of people unwilling to further
tolerate tyranny and who were willing to give their very lives to establish freedom.
More importantly, and equally difficult, these people were willing to take the lives of
others to seize their freedom by force. Once this freedom was won, its concept was
carefully embodied in the United States Constitution, and became a complex and elegant set
of governmental checks and balances that became the law of our land.
Foremost in the constitution was the concept of limiting government in order to protect
the individual rights of the people and leave them with sufficient freedom and power so
that they could once again successfully revolt against oppression should our government
ever become tyrannical or undesirable to the people.
Although the carefully worded constitution, complete with nearly 300 specifically
documented rights, was designed to safeguard liberty, many states were willing to ratify
it only on the condition that a more explicit set of rules be added to clearly and
specifically limit the government's power and protect the rights of the individual.
These rules became the ten articles of the Bill of Rights, which most people think of as
the first ten amendments to the US Constitution.
Most people believe that the Bill of Rights is a list of rights that we citizens
are entitled to. This is NOT the case. In reality, it is a list of things that
the US government is forbidden to do. The end result is the same, but this method of
protecting individual rights clearly shows that the founders correctly realized that
individual rights stem from denying the government power over its citizens rather than
tritely granting them rights that could one day be revoked. The preamble
to the bill of rights includes the following words:
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at
the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent
misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses
should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will
best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
This clearly shows how critical it was to the founders of our nation that the bill of
rights be held absolutely inviolate, and is utterly essential to maintaining the freedom
they fought for. Always keep this in mind when reading the
bill of rights, and any piece of legislation.
Although all 10
articles of the Bill of Rights are worthy of attention and should be well known to all
US citizens, this treatise will focus on the one that makes all of the other rights
possible and meaningful: Article II, also known as the second amendment. It
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.
This should be easy to understand, but many people ignore or misinterpret it.
Simply put, it says an armed citizenry is essential to the existence of freedom and the
government has no right whatsoever to prevent citizens from keeping and even carrying or
transporting weapons. For those of you who do not realize it, YOU are part of that
"well regulated Militia" as defined under Title 10, section 31 of the U.S.
The militia of each state includes "all able-bodied
males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age who are or have [made] a
declaration of intent to become citizens."
All American men are REQUIRED to register for the draft upon turning 18 because we
are legally part of a well regulated militia. This doesn't mean just gun nuts, right
wing extremists, etc., but all able bodied males, be they pacifists, liberals,
conservatives or whatever.
Unfortunately, most Americans don't understand the value of the average citizen keeping
and maintaining arms to defend themselves. They fear all guns and don't believe that
most people can use and keep them responsibly. Thus they vote for truly stupid and
difficult to enforce laws that keep our citizenry from obtaining and bearing arms.
This is unfortunate because the second amendment is literally the power that backs up,
supports and enforces the remainder of the constitution.
Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao Tse
Tung, the Taliban and
nearly any other tyrannical and despotic government you can name disarmed their people as
the first serious step towards enslaving and/or killing them.
This is not a bunch of right wing gun nut rhetoric. It is basic history that I
strongly encourage you to research and verify. Don't take my word for it. Do a
search on the internet (go to any search engine, such as dogpile, and type
"genocide and gun control" in the search field) or visit a library.
For those of you who believe that it is safer for your neighbors to be unarmed so that
they cannot hurt you, take a moment and carefully analyze those thoughts and apply some
logic. First of all, do you truly believe that the average person is out to get you
and is more likely to harm you than help defend you? Do you believe that your
trusted friend, colleague or loved one should not be permitted a weapon for self defense
because they may one day use it against you?
If so, let's pretend for the sake of argument that you are right. Out of all the
people that you believe are out to hurt you, how many do you think own deadly weapons
other than guns? Do any by chance have kitchen knives that they could stab you with?
Could they use a can of gasoline to burn down your house while you sleep? What
about their son's baseball bat or their daughter's bike chain to cave in your skull?
Do they have a car they could run over you with? Chainsaw? Axe? Crowbar? What about
a big rock?
Now, take the above list of possible murder weapons, and assume we outlaw big rocks.
After all, big rocks don't really serve a purpose, so why should anybody have one,
right? Now pretend that this person who you think is out to get you lives next door
to you and has been denied access to big rocks. He still has his chainsaw, baseball
bat, gasoline, knives, car, etc. etc. and still is bent on harming you. Do you feel
safer? Do you really think he won't come for you now that you took away his
rock? Why not invite him over to dinner or ask him to watch your kids, as after all,
what harm could he do without his big rock?
If it seems silly to use "outlawing big rocks" as an analogy to gun control,
think of how much sillier it would be to outlaw guns when there are countless statistics
showing how good, honest
people stop crimes over SIX THOUSAND TIMES PER DAY throughout our nation by simply
pointing a gun at would-be rapists, thieves, car jackers, kidnappers and murders.
They rarely ever have to shoot. It is estimated
that there are between 25 and 75 lives saved by guns for every life taken with a gun.
According to the Department of Justice's National Crime Victimazation Survey, a
passive and non-resisting women is 2.5 times more
likely to be seriously harmed by an attacker than a women with a gun. CRIME HAS GONE
UP dramatically in countries that have recently outlawed guns. Guns remain easily
available to criminals in spite of restrictive laws and criminals disregard weapon bans
(after all, they ARE criminals and by definition don't respect the laws of the
land). Gun control limits good people's ability to defend themselves, empowers
criminals and increases crime. Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are two great
examples of places where guns are mostly outlawed and yet violent crime is increasing.
Case in point:
The Assault Weapons Ban was supposedly needed to take away a single person's
ability to massacre a lot of people at one time using high capacity weapons.
In March, 1999, the National Institute of Justice issued the report
''Impacts of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban: 1994-1996.'' Here's an excerpt:
''The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder
incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.'' If outlawing them
doesn't help, why do it at all? If banning them doesn't work, why not
spend the vast amount of money wasted on gun control on something more useful
Countries that have tried gun control have experienced a severe increase in
crime. There is not exaggeration. Look it up. Research crime in England and Australia, since they outlawed guns a few
years ago. You will find that crime went WAY up. In the US, most home
robberies occur while people are out of the house. In England, 50% of the robberies
happen while people are home! Doesn't that scare you? It makes sense. A
robber can confidently walk into a home he knows will contain unarmed people, hold a knife
or gun to the head of child and say, "Mommy, put $10,000 worth of stuff in a pile in
front of me or I'll stab/shoot your kid". Wouldn't you at least like a chance
to shoot the burglar before he does that? Or far better, wouldn't you like the
burglar to be afraid that you are armed and either skip over your house, wait until your
family is out of the house, or best of all, quit breaking into houses altogether because
too many of his friends got shot while attempting to steal?
For those who have qualms about the morality of using a firearm to take the life of an
attacker, do you really think it better that you or your loved one should die at the hands
of a malicious attacker when you might have the power to prevent it? Would you
rather let a David Westerfield (convicted kidnapper, brutal molester and murderer) run off
with your child and commit rape, torture or worse when all you had to do is scare him off
with a gun? For that matter, would you really prefer someone to be able to rob you
of valued possessions, family heirlooms, and more with impunity? If so, you not
only let yourself and loved ones become victims, you also embolden and encourage
criminals because you show them just how easy it can be to get away with
crime. Even the Dali Lama
once stated that it is reasonable to shoot someone who is trying to kill you.
The most essential component to personal liberty, safety and security is the ability to
defend yourself and the will to fight for survival and freedom. A government should
rule with the willing tolerance of citizens who have the power to remove the government
should it ever become oppressive. Imagine if 10% of the Jews were armed, organized
and had a will to fight at the time Adolf was building crematoriums. Sure, the Nazis
could have sent tanks and machine guns, but they would have had a hard time convincing
their troops to engage in a shooting war in the middle of German cities against German
citizens. Even if such a ploy succeeded, Germany would not have been in an economic
or military position to attempt world domination as it would have been dealing with the
brutal losses caused by a civil war. It was far simpler to disarm Germany and
then slowly isolate Jews and transport them out of the public eye where they could be
"disposed of". Can any of you even conceive of the heavily armed and
alert citizens of Israel being made to quietly disappear? I think not.
(Note: The author is aware that guns were first outlawed in Germany in 1928,
long before the Nazi's were legally elected to power and that the Jews were already for
the most part unarmed. Also, the Jews were loyal German citizens and did not resist
in the beginning probably because they did not wish to betray their lawfully elected
government. Nevertheless, the Nazis DID feel it necessary to further disarm the Jews
in 1938 and IF a significant number of Jews had been both armed and willing to resist,
things would have turned out much differently.)
There are countless examples in today's news on how guns could be used for a good
cause. Every time you wince at a story of a criminal using a gun for crime, don't
react by wishing away guns but rather think of how different the crime may have turned out
if the VICTIM had been armed. I could go on indefinitely at the risk of loosing your
interest, but I think I've proven my point. Armed citizens are free whereas unarmed
people are victims waiting to happen. Safe, reasonable and responsible gun ownership
is a good thing. It reduces and prevents
crime and provides the ultimate check against tyranny. I beseech you to really
research this issue and support pro-gun groups and politicians. Below are a list of
links to some organizations that will keep you informed on gun related issues and help you
fight to preserve your second amendment rights, which in turn protects you and your
children from both crime and tyranny. Please do not sit by and watch while our
essential rights are
Why not just outlaw "the bad ones"
and make us all safer?
Because it's unconstitutional and because it doesn't work.
Also, it doesn't ever stop with just outlawing "the bad" ones. Here's the typical evolution of gun control:
Registration and Impediments:
Gun control starts out as
"registration" programs, where the government keeps tabs on who has what
kind of guns. Emboldened by this success, the anti-gun crowd then
moves to make it more difficult to buy guns.
Example: I have to wait 10 days for
the "cooling off" period before I can take possession of a gun I buy.
Even though I have passed a background check many times, have taken a
shooting safety course, am a certified firearms instructor and range safety
officer and already own several other guns, supposedly this
10 day waiting period will keep me from committing a crime of passion with
the new gun. If a gang member threatens my family, I still have to
wait 10 days before I can buy a gun to defend them from within my own home!
If a woman narrowly beats off a rapist outside of her home, it's still 10
days before she can have a gun, so she better hope the attacker waits 10
days before his next attempt. (Besides, even if she could get a gun
that same day, it would be against the law for her to carry it unless she
had gone through 6 months or so of paperwork and classes and was able to
convince her county sheriff she had a valid reason for carrying one.)
Next comes selective banning. In my state I can't buy
a rifle with a pistol grip, though it is ok to have a pistol or a shotgun
with a pistol grip. I can't have a thumb hole in a rifle stock.
I can't buy a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds. I think this is
supposed to slow me down if I go on a killing spree, though it only
takes me 1.5 seconds to switch magazines so it wouldn't slow me down much.
I can only buy one new hand gun per month, but I can buy as many as I want
from a private party and as many long barreled rifles or shotguns as like.
How does any of this make sense or increase public safety? It just
makes it more annoying when a person tries to buy a gun and it means many of
the guns that a person legally bought and registered now have to be given
back to the government at a huge financial loss to the lawful owner.
The banning gets more and more aggressive until they are all banned.
England and Australia have both done this, starting with a registration program
in early 1990's and ending with gun bans. Canada is trying this, but the
people thankfully aren't cooperating and many provinces have announced that they
will not enforce these laws.
Banning of New Things:
Now that Australia ran out of guns to ban,
they've moved onto
What's next? Hammers? Cricket Bats? England has made most
forms of self defense illegal and only the government has the right to use force
as a defense. You can't carry anything specifically for the purpose
of self defense as that implies the intent to cause a crime. Example:
It is legal to carry a hefty flashlight in order to light your path and if you
are attacked, you can probably get away with using it as an impromptu club,
providing you can convince the police/court it was a spontaneous weapon of the
moment. If you admit that you were carrying a big
MagLite to beat off
attackers and not just to light your path, your act of carrying a flash light
was a crime.)