What Is American? 3 - 2nd Amendment

Our freedoms are guaranteed by the right to bear arms.

Unlike every other nation on Earth, America is and has always been based on an idea - the idea of freedom, of liberty, of individuality, and of the right to be left alone to the maximum extent possible.  By definition, this is the opposite of all forms of tyranny and oppression; as Thomas Jefferson said, in immortal words engraved in his Memorial today:

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. [emphasis added]

 - Thomas Jefferson

In the last article in this series, we looked at how our modern Left is working hard to take this foundational American belief and flush it down the toilet.  It is the express purpose of our modern leftists and Democrats to use the force of government to establish, as Jefferson put it, tyranny over the mind of man - to force people to stop thinking "badthink" and certainly to stop talking about anything that disagrees with the politically correct leftist party line.

In reality, one modern working definition of fascism is precisely the concept of using violence to shut someone else up.  So, as Gavin McInnes astutely put it:

You shouldn't be allowed to say, "No free speech for fascists" because that's fascist and there's no free speech for fascists.

Yet they continue saying so, increasingly loudly, and with force.  As every leftist ought to know, though, force begets force, which is why we are seeing an increasing number of violent confrontations between Left and Right as in Charlottesville and Berkeley.

Which brings us to the next fundamental American value that is anathema to our modern Left - the right to keep and bear arms.

How to Stop You Stopping Me?

For most of human history, just about everybody had no right to say anything that parted from the party line.  Only in the last few centuries has the idea of free speech had any relevance in the real world.

What brought this about?  Ronald Reagan explained thus:

The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed. When the British forgot that they got a revolution. And, as a result, we Americans got a Constitution; a Constitution that, as those who wrote it were determined, would keep men free. If we give up part of that Constitution we give up part of our freedom and increase the chance that we will lose it all.

If you were a medieval peasant, you might live in filth and starvation - and there wasn't a darn thing you could do about it, because you had no chance going up against a trained, armored knight.

Then firearms were invented.  It took a while for there to be enough of them around to make a difference, but eventually people figured out that a knight in armor is no match for a bullet.  And it doesn't take years of training to learn how to kill someone with a gun, the way it does with a sword.

Interestingly, exactly one dictatorship on the planet figured this out in time: the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, which basically banned guns while there were still very few of them around, and also banned just about any foreign trade whereby people might get their hands on them.  This kept Japan in statis, securely under the thumb of the shoguns, until Western technology became so overpowering that a handful of modern ships were able to force Japan open to the world.  All except the last shogun would think that banning guns was a wonderful idea because it worked so well; the rest of the Japanese people, perhaps not so much.

Everywhere else, though, governments gleefully equipped their armies with the new technology - and individual soldiers just as gleefully equipped themselves with the ability to fight back against oppressive rulers.  The gun was the great equalizer of small vs large, men vs women, and weak vs powerful, because a bullet doesn't care who you are or who fired it.  It only needs to hit you in the right spot.

And thus, thanks specifically to this invention's widespread use, individual freedoms came to have a meaning and a reality.  Free speech is the first freedom, because if you can't speak you can't persuade others that you're right and they should join you - but it's your right to bear a firearm that prevents the local lord from shutting you up permanently.

We refer to the "right to keep and bear arms," but the right enshrined in our Second Amendment is far more fundamental than that.  It is the natural right every living being is born with - animals as well as humans: the right to defend yourself against attack.

Can guns be used for evil?  Of course - just like knives, clubs, teeth, and fingernails.  Where guns differ from other weapons is that they can be wielded by anyone, as even the New York Times dared to admit in a stunning recent article:

Right around when my dad left, when I was 3 years old, our neighborhood on Long Island experienced a crime wave of burglaries, which led my mother to keep guns in various parts of the house in case she needed one at a moment’s notice. That decision turned a story with a potentially tragic ending into one about a heroic single mother and her young daughter. Our incident won’t show up in the statistics about gun use in self-defense scenarios.

The author is otherwise a standard-issue doctrinaire far-lefty, both female and of color, which no doubt is the only reason she was permitted to submit such a subversive point of view.  But she's absolutely right: as a woman in a dangerous world, and as a writer of controversial opinions, her life could very easily be threatened, and every idea of natural justice demands that she be allowed to defend it.

Yet as far back as we can recall, the Left has wanted firearms out of the hands of everyone - other than agents of the government controlled by themselves, of course.  Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia loved all the weapons they could get their hands on, the bigger the better - but perish the thought of anyone not in uniform ever possessing one!  Closer to home, the racist Jim Crow Democrats made every attempt to strip free blacks of their Second Amendment rights; fortunately, they were unsuccessful, and there are many examples of black men defending their families from attacking KKK thugs.

When literally every single crime involving a gun, regardless of the circumstances, results in cries from the Left to ban guns, it's unsurprising that conservatives detect bad faith.  The Washington Post reports a speech by Virginia Delegate Nick Freitas:

Why do Republicans resist debating a ban on bump stocks? “Because quite frankly, I don’t think any of us on this side of the aisle believe you when you say that’s all you want to do,” Freitas said.

Instead, Democrats just want to demonize their opponents, “comparing members on this side of the aisle to Nazis,” he said, referring to an email Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria) sent out to supporters last month that slammed Republicans for supporting assault weapons similar to those “created by Nazi Germany.”

Yes, the Nazis sure loved their firearms - and even more, they loved to make sure Jews and other undesireables didn't have any.

Today's gun "control" advocates, who more truthfully be called advocates of gun bans, openly reject one of the ten articles of our Bill of Rights.  They aren't even shy about it - last October, the New York Times published an editorial bluntly titled "Repeal The Second Amendment" - whose most striking sentence openly admits that Democrats claiming all they want are commonsense rules are arguing in bad faith, when their true desire is what the title says. Lest you think of this as an aberration, the Times editorial page revisited the matter last month: "To Repeat: Repeal the Second Amendment."

The Second Amendment has been an American right since long before there was an America - indeed, it's because of this natural right that there is a United States of America.  Our Founders were crystal clear as to why they considered it of paramount importance; history has proven them correct, all around the world, in the centuries both before and since.

Yet we have a large number of very loud voices stridently arguing for this fundamental right to be ripped out of the fabric of America.  Indeed, for a select few unfortunate owners of legal guns who are under 21 in the state of Illinois, the government is - yes - requiring them to turn in or otherwise dispose of their legally-acquired firearms.  Illinois passed a law banning people under 21 from buying certain firearms that they previously were allowed to; rather than simply wait three years for the anomaly to go away, the Democrats who wrote the legislation made sure to enforce it promptly.

There can be no clearer proof that gun confiscation is what the Left truly wants - and in Illinois, targets at the very small number of legal gun-owners between 18 and 21, they'll probably get away with it.  To make any serious difference, though, they would have to confiscate guns from nearly everybody, but that would almost certainly result in a low-grade civil war.  Haven't they ever seen those "You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers" bumper stickers?

So the Left is willing, nay eager, to risk a civil war, in order to deprive Americans of a fundamental Constitutional right their forefathers fought and died to preserve.  Can such a person be truly called an American?

And speaking of people, in the next article we'll explore the lessons of history illustrating how rights can be applied to people - and denied to them.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
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