A good friend, a long-time American by choice, wrote this excellent essay. I post and propagate it because my friend cannot without dire consequences to self and family from state authorities acting as employers, educators and officious busibodies. It’s sad that speaking freely is fraught with danger even in this country, but the points made in this text must be made and popularized far and wide.
I am a proud American, an unhyphenated American. I am the most fortunate type of American, one who has won life’s lottery by escaping communism. My family endured persecution, physical risk, and constant intimidation by the secret police to legally enter the United States.
I am proudly writing this in English, because mastering English opened opportunities that would have been denied to me had I chosen to limit myself to my native language and culture.
What does this have to do with the Second Amendment? I am telling you about my past because I want you to understand who I am. I want you to understand the source of my passion.
The fruits of tyranny are not an abstract topic for me.
I am going to use words like political correctness, slavery, communism, and dystopia and I want you to understand the full measure of my meaning.
I want you to understand why I take my rights and responsibilities as a gun owner so seriously.
I want you to understand the source of my fears and concerns when I equate all the flavors of communism—progressivism, liberalism, statism, and socialism—with the ultimate evil of soul-destroying tyranny.
This is not hyperbole.
I believe him because I’ve lived under his ideology. The country I was born in didn’t call itself the “The Communist Republic of Anything.” It called itself a “socialist republic.”
I’ve lived under communism, rather than merely studied its propaganda.
That is why I teach my children how to safely and properly use firearms so that when they come of age, they too will stand proudly as responsible citizens. Not as vassals mired in the illusion of freedom. Not as persons entrenched in the servitude being imposed by the tyranny of political correctness.
To quote Charlton Heston, “Political correctness is tyranny with manners.” Tyranny can be imposed at gunpoint, as it was in Stalinist Russia and Mao’s China, or it can seep into the fabric of the nation under the guise of good intentions. Good intentions like the “price and wage controls” of the 40s and 70s are just one example of how communism has been advanced in the US.
When I started living under the American Constitution, the yoke of tyranny was swept away. I had never known such freedom. Such prosperity. Everything suddenly became possible. Things I’d never dreamt of.
But communism is persistent, relentless, and devious.
The seemingly innocuous language of political correctness provides the soil for the seeds of this ugliness. Historical revisionism and the insidious intent behind rhetoric designed to elicit emotion and shame feed its roots with rich fertilizer.
Let me give you one very important example.
If I were to say to you, “A well-educated population, being necessary to the productivity of a free state, the right of the people to read and write, shall not be infringed,” would you take that to mean that people can only read and write if doing so is in service of the state? Or only because the State desires a well-educated population?
Would you conclude from this statement that the right of the people to read and write is a collective right, not an individual right?
Would you accept restrictions on your ability to read and write because doing so does not serve the State?
Would you insist that only government employees be allowed to read and write?
These are the very fallacies that you are being told to believe about the Second Amendment. Historical revisionists and enemies of freedom like to assert that the Second Amendment is a collective right, not an individual right.
In order to accept this fallacy, you’d have to believe that a group of people who’d just fought a long arduous war, who’d lost family members, who’d suffered and died for their cause, would immediately give up the rights they’d just won. Including the means to defend those rights.
Historical facts like the ownership of warships and artillery by private citizens, has been all but wiped out of memory, all in service to the lie that the Second Amendment only applies to muskets.
Don’t believe these would-be tyrants who hijack the language, corrupt the meaning of, and twist the very fabric of our words in order to advance their statist agenda.
Amendment Two reads:
“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.”
It is very straight forward.
It uses the words, “right of the people” a term that appears several times in the Bill of Rights. These other appearances of “right of the people” in the Bill of Rights are universally interpreted as protecting individual rights.
The phrase “right of the people” appears in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments.
Yet we are asked to accept the fallacy that only in the Second Amendment, does this phrase mean something completely different than what it means in the First, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth.
There is only one mention of the rights of the states in the Bill of Rights. In the Tenth Amendment the first Congress specifically distinguished “the states” from “the people.” The first Congress failed to invoke this distinction in the Second Amendment because they did not see the right to keep and bear arms as a collective right. [Reynolds, Glenn Harlan “A critical guide to the second amendment” 62 Tenn. L. Rev. 461-511 (1995)]
So, what does “well regulated” really mean and why was it included?
Just like the right to read and write does not depend on a well-educated population, the right to keep and bear arms does not depend on a well regulated militia.
The first clause is a dependent clause which means that a well regulated militia depends on the right to keep and bear arms just like a well-educated population depends on the right to read and write.
According to Alexander Hamilton, “well regulated” means a state of preparedness. “Well regulated” is an acknowledgement that you need to be trained in the use of arms if you intend to use them, and that having a “well regulated militia” was dependent on the people keeping and bearing arms so that they would be familiar enough with them to use them appropriately.
It did not mean “well regulated” in the current revisionist sense of “subjected to numerous government prohibitions and restrictions.” Furthermore, Hamilton intended for this training and familiarity to be an individual responsibility.
In Federalist 29 he wrote that the State keeping a class of citizens under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises would be a “real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss.” This tells us that he most certainly did not consider the Army or the National Guard (an organization that did not exist until 1933) to be the militia.
I continue to be awed by the foresight and genius of the Founding Fathers because it does not take a genius to understand the Bill of Rights. Even someone for whom English is a second language can understand it. Yet millions of Americans are either unwilling or incapable of comprehending it because of the cognitive dissonance created by a progressive, leftist agenda.
In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the need for safety is second only to physiological needs like breathing. We all believe that we have the right to live and to be safe. Deep down we know that in order to live we may need to defend ourselves.
Maslow includes security of body and property in his definition of safety. Yet the Left has created a cognitive dissonance by telling us that we cannot and should not defend ourselves, and that indeed, any desire or willingness to do so is dysfunctional at best, and so dangerous that we must be persecuted and prosecuted should we dare.
Here’s one troubling example of cognitive dissonance: “Rape lasts for minutes. Death is Forever. You don’t need a gun.”
This is the real war on women. It starts with the idea that rape is not a life-altering trauma and ends with a disregard for women’s lives, because tragically, too many rapes do end in death. Keep in mind now, the death they were concerned about in the tweet was the rapist’s death.
Why? Because to some, ideology trumps everything. Their ideology requires you to think that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose is morally superior to a woman explaining how her attacker fell dead from six bullet wounds.
“You don’t need a weapon, I will protect you” is the creed of both individual and institutional domestic abusers. It’s actually a good warning sign and a conclusive litmus test for bad intentions. And should always be viewed as such.
You experience cognitive dissonance when you believe that guns don’t deter crime but see that cops carry them. Apparently cops only carry guns because it makes them look cool, not because guns deter criminals.
You experience cognitive dissonance when you accept that the police need body armor, SWAT teams, fully automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, tear gas, and armored vehicles to protect us from murderers and rapists, but that we should be limited to small capacity magazines, small calibers, and few guns—if any.
I’m not disparaging cops. I have a tremendous respect for anyone who, day in and day out, is willing to put themselves in the path of danger and risk orphaning their children and widowing their spouse for the benefit of persons unwilling to defend themselves.
I am not arrogant enough to demand this sacrifice, because I value their lives as much as I value my own. I cannot in good conscience demand that terrible risk of them without first demanding it of myself, and I’m deeply troubled by the number of people who think nothing of what they’re really asking when they dial 9-1-1.
You experience cognitive dissonance when you’re told that you don’t need guns for protection, but that guns are needed for the protection of the elites.
If guns have no legitimate use, then Hillary Clinton would give up her Secret Service protection.
Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and the Hollywood elites would give up their armed bodyguards.
Armed police officers and bodyguards would never be used to provide security at Hollywood premieres, galas, and events. These elites should be willing to lead by example. In fact, we should be out there demanding it every time they demand we give up our guns.
Cognitive dissonance occurs when we are told that we can’t judge Muslims by the actions of a few Jihadists. But we can not only judge, but punish, gun owners because of the actions of a few psychos.
All of these examples are trumped, however, by the most insidious cognitive dissonance that the progressive Left has engineered. It is the lie that a right you cannot exercise is still a right.
They’ve been extremely successful in regards to the Second Amendment. We are now a nation where a breakfast pastry chewed into the shape of a gun incites panic and results in the suspension of an 8-year-old boy, but an act of terrorism on a military base is called “workplace violence.”
This kind of cognitive dissonance is being used to purposely engineer a society where people can no longer assess threats accurately. When we become unable to tell the difference between the danger presented by a breakfast pastry and the danger presented by a terrorist shouting “Allahu Akbar,” we empower the State to think for us.
As you become less responsive to the cognitive dissonance that surrounds you, it becomes easier and easier to believe anything and everything that the statists want you to believe. Things that include the lie that you have rights when in reality all of your rights are being eroded. You buy into the idea that you have a right to “birth control,” a right to “healthcare,” a right not to work, a right not to be offended, a right to the fruits of another person’s labor.
I am profoundly troubled by the parallels I see every day between my life under communism and the progressive agenda of the Left.
I hear people speak of socialism with reverence because all the promises of socialism sound so great.
Who doesn’t want to be taken care of?
Who doesn’t want free stuff?
You don’t have to get up early and work hard.
You don’t have to struggle or take risks.
You can gorge yourself on the basest of distractions all day long and have the government take care of you.
All you have to do is give up a little bit of your freedom every day. It won’t hurt. You won’t even feel it.
During the nascent stages of this promised Utopia—a utopia that inevitably leads to dystopia—things look pretty good. We all still have stuff. We can keep living our lives pretty much the way we have been.
But it’s an illusion. A dangerous, unsustainable illusion.
Why? Because as Margaret Thatcher said “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
It’s not just money that runs out. Eventually you run out of the things that free, productive people make. Little things like food, water, energy, clothing, and medicine. Look at Venezuela as the latest example of life under socialism/communism.
You too are being led down this road to serfdom—this road already paved by the ghosts of 100 million dead.
You’re being manipulated into surrendering your freedoms by statists who sell you a vision composed of noble-sounding ideas like equality, equity, and fairness. These bureaucrats, experts, and mandarins promise you a Utopia. They promise you hope and change and convince you that they are well-meaning idealists who just need a little more power, a few more regulations, a few reasonable concessions.
They convince you to surrender your rights bit by bit for the greater good. They convince you that the free market and capitalism are inefficient and evil. For an equitable society, everything–from how much water flushes your toilet, to the light bulb you use, to what you eat and drink, to how much you exercise–must be regulated.
Their need to control and regulate everything in your life is insatiable. Eventually, everything you do, use, or own becomes a matter of great concern to the State, so no aspect of your life is off limits. It’s for your own good!
How can you possibly be anything but a slave under these conditions?
This is why gun control is so important to statists and tyrants of all stripes. Not because they are afraid of any one individual who might resist and have the means to do so, but because they are afraid of the kind of individual who has the audacity to think that he is free, that he has rights, and that those rights don’t come from the State or from words on a piece of parchment.
It is not guns that tyrants fear.
It is gun owners.
It is people willing to take on the burdens and responsibilities of gun ownership. It is people willing to exert themselves to secure the blessings of liberty. It is people who do not believe the government is always a benevolent force.
It is a fact that no matter how reasonable, calm, or logical you are, the statists will portray you in the most negative light possible. Fair play is not one of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. The cultural changes needed to bring about your surrender are all around you, and not just being shouted by a few loud-mouthed radicals, leftist politicians, or well-meaning but misguided average people.
Have you noticed how hard Hollywood is trying to convince us that the tiniest woman can not only defeat a man twice her size, but several men twice her size … with her bare hands?
Only in fairytales, Hollywood, and radical feminist theory is a woman the physical equal of a man. Likewise, only in fairytales does good triumph over evil by being nice and playing fair, whatever “fair” means.
Here in the real world, the side that plays nice finds itself in a perpetual retreat towards a precipice where the statists have dug us a nice, deep grave.
The first people that will be shoved into that grave are our young women, who are being conditioned to think that they shouldn’t defend themselves—at least not with a gun. They believe in a non-existent reality where that rapist is going to spar with them just like the guys in karate class, or that mace or a whistle will end the assault. Or that a murderer will wait for the 9-1-1 response out of a sense of fair play.
Don’t buy into these myths and outright lies.
Among women and minorities, gun ownership has been surging. And for good reason. We don’t want to be victims.
And we want to spend our money at a business where we not only feel safe, but are safe. A place where we can carry, so if need be, we can defend ourselves.
We know that the few minutes it takes for a security guard or the police to get to us might as well be an eternity. We know that the average response to a 9-1-1 call is four minutes, but that the average interaction time between a criminal and his victim is ninety seconds.
Would the clerks and managers in gun-free stores take a bullet for us? Why should they have to? So that ownership can feel sanctimoniously smug about their progressive ideology? We know that, unfortunately, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
This is why we must oppose legislation that limits, taxes, or restricts gun ownership in any form. And why we must support repealing existing laws designed to reduce gun ownership. There’s already plenty of laws on the books to prosecute criminals for crimes. Criminals will pay just as much attention to additional laws as they do to current ones—NONE.
Additional laws, by design, only limit the law abiding.
We must support gun-friendly businesses and refuse to patronize businesses that forbid self-defense. We know that we are far safer in a store, restaurant, or movie theater that allows lawfully carried firearms.
This is why we must educate our children about not idolizing the leftist icons in Hollywood. This shameless industry is an appalling example of ultimate hypocrisy. One where they make tremendous fortunes portraying the misuse of guns, yet disparage responsible gun ownership.
We must repeal laws and regulations that turn gun owners into second-class citizens.
Concealed carriers are the sheepdogs in our society, quietly performing a much-needed public service: deterrence. They do this every day with only one expectation—that they be allowed to continue to do so.
Laws and regulations do nothing to protect you but they do encourage the predators.
According to the Cato Institute:
“The 31 states that have “shall issue” laws allowing private citizens to carry concealed weapons have, on average, a 24 percent lower violent crime rate, a 19 percent lower murder rate and a 39 percent lower robbery rate than states that forbid concealed weapons. In fact, the nine states with the lowest violent crime rates are all right-to-carry states. Remarkably, guns are used for self-defense more than 2 million times a year, three to five times the estimated number of violent crimes committed with guns.”
Licensed gun carriers have, at their own expense, paid for background checks, fingerprinting, and training and proven that they’re not criminals. Yet they are persona non-grata in precisely the types of places that terrorists and psychos like to call “soft targets.” Places like hospitals, schools, libraries, and government offices where people gather in large groups and legally-carried guns are not allowed.
How can you tell what a soft target looks like, so you can avoid it?
Well, most of them have conveniently posted a sign that explicitly prohibits entry to the law-abiding gun-carrier.
Yet the gun-grabbers likes to accuse gun owners of being bullies who force our worldview on them.
But just like we are not the dangerous ones, we are not the bullies.
We are not the ones forcing people to give up their rights, or creating a world where their rights only exist as words on a piece of paper.
We are not the ones imposing our beliefs, our worldview, on others. Quite the opposite. We’ve been accommodating the enemies of freedom, the statists and the tyrants who would rather empower criminals than allow us to protect ourselves, for far too long.
That’s why we are at the stage where the Second Amendment has, for millions of law-abiding people, become nothing more than words on a piece of paper. The statists of the progressive Left stand ready to obliterate the words themselves.
Why are these would-be tyrants calling for the repeal of an already much-gutted Second Amendment? Because we’ve been nice. We’ve played “fair.” We’ve compromised. We’ve accepted so much of the progressive/socialist/communist agenda that the statists are salivating at the prospect of using any excuse, any tragedy, to take what’s left of our freedoms and turn us into slaves.
It doesn’t have to happen. I’m not calling for armed rebellion. I’m calling for reciprocity. A tit-for-tat.
This is going to make some of you with a libertarian or a small-government belief system, twitch. But bear with me.
Bear with me because a right you cannot exercise is not a right. Bear with me because I understand your objection, your disdain for more laws.
You and I are a lot alike. In essence, we are practitioners of the Golden Rule, the law of reciprocity, a principle that tells us to “Treat others as we would wish to be treated.”
You aren’t wrong. But you aren’t right either.
Because the Golden Rule has three forms. One of them is the less well-known, but just as important negative (or prohibitive) form. It states that one should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated. For far too long we’ve let ourselves be treated like second-class citizens, accepting more and more restrictions on our rights, for the fallacy of the “greater good.”
Remember, it’s not guns they fear. It’s gun owners.
The statist, the would-be tyrant, whether called Clinton, Obama, Feinstein, Schumer, Bloomberg, or Hogg, all rely on guns for their protection.
But most important of all, there is the Golden Rule’s third form—the empathic (or responsive) form. It’s one that I want all of those who call for infringement of our God-given constitutional rights to learn. It states simply, and powerfully, that “What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself.”
What would the world would look like if we started using leftist tactics, if we applied “what you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself” to those who call for the infringement of our rights while they surround themselves with armed guards?
You, the so-called progressives, have already set the precedent with “Bake My Cake.” If your civil rights don’t end at the business door, neither do my God-given constitutional rights.
Under the Golden Rule, instead of those gun-buster signs you leftists, statists, and progressives-of-all-stripes love so much, business owners would be required to post this instead:
NO WEAPONS ALLOWED. THIS IS A DEFENSE FREE CRIME ZONE. WE EXPRESSLY PROHIBIT ALL LAW ABIDING PATRONS AND EMPLOYEES, CERTIFIED, LICENSED, OR OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY THE STATE, TO CARRY A WEAPON FROM ENTERING OUR PROPERTY WHILE IN POSSESSION OF A LEGAL HANDGUN. ALL OF OUR PATRONS AND EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN DISARMED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE.
It is after all, truth in advertising. This is what a criminal sees when you put up a gun-buster sign of any kind. No criminal ever has said, “Oh no, a sign. I must go rob, rape, or murder somewhere else.”
Under the Golden Rule, instead of the horrid “gun-free school zones” signs that make our children the preferred targets for murderous, psychotic fiends, we would have signs that said:
STAFF HEAVILY ARMED AND TRAINED. ANY ATTEMPT TO HARM CHILDREN WILL BE MET WITH DEADLY FORCE.
We are constantly told that the progressive Left wants to reduce crime. Then we should follow the example of one of the most crime-free places in the United States: Kennesaw, Georgia. In Kennesaw, all homeowners are required by law to have a gun.
Under the Golden Rule, homeowners who refused to arm themselves would be required by law to post this sign in their yard:
GUN-FREE HOME. THERE ARE NO GUNS OR TRAINED SHOOTERS IN THIS HOME AT ANY TIME.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what it looks like when gun owners play by gun-grabber rules. This is the direction in which we are being pushed. Weaponize the law and the courts and reap the whirlwind. Because once you’ve set that precedent what you wished on others, you’ve wished on yourself.
Guns and gun owners are all that stand between slavery and freedom. They are all that stand between our Constitution and its destruction. Between your freedom to decide for yourself what to think, what to say, what to do and slavery.
Don’t allow the United States of America to descend into another failed communist experiment. Far too many have already died, far too many still suffer under its yoke, all over the world.
We remain the last bastion of freedom and liberty on this Earth.
Don’t surrender our freedoms.
For if you do, they will be lost forever, erased from history, just like the meaning of well-regulated, just like the idea of holding individuals responsible for only their own actions. Once the statists and tyrants eliminate the Second Amendment, this last obstacle to their power over you, you too, the well-meaning but ignorant supporter of so many flawed ideas that sound so good on paper but have never worked in the real world, will be held responsible for what you have not done.
Communism didn’t just kill its enemies. It killed millions of its own adherents as well. You, the progressive, the moderate, the leftist, the socialist, are just further down the kill-list, that’s all.