I think this is a great time to look at the gun ownership debate from a different and very instructive angle – it plays out on TV every evening from North Africa.
When the endless gun debate resurfaces as it does every few months, both sides make silly comments often far divorced from reality.
There is a famous quote, “God made man, Samuel Colt made them equal.” Another version puts Lincoln in the first part. What it meant, of course is that while the meek may inherit the earth, it might be just a six foot deep hole.
When the Constitution of the United States was written and adopted it was quickly realized some basic rights had been left out, possibly because they seemed to be only common sense.
What was added in 1789 and ratified in 1791 was, of course, what is commonly known as The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments.
At the time most people wanted those guaranteed in writing because they set forth the limits of what the government could do to the people.
When thinking about that it is useful to remember that if the first Americans hadn’t had guns and a free press we would still be a British colony.
Ultimately weapons in the hands of the people are the only real limits on any government. You can see this play out on the TV news right now.
You can’t be free if a government can just arbitrarily decide you aren’t.
Unless, as the people in the Mid-East have recently discovered, as a last resort you can fight a corrupt government. Trying to dictate to an armed populace usually isn’t a good idea.
In the case of Egypt the people were lucky because the military was on their side. Not every country is that lucky and we really don’t know how that is going to work out in the end anyway.
In Libya the story is different.
How quickly people in America forget that we were once the rebels. How did we get free? Anybody, anybody? I seem to recall something about Lexington and Concord and such. I don’t think they called the police.
I find it really strange that many journalists conveniently forget that the first amendment (free press) is meaningless if you don’t also have the second (right to own and carry a gun) and fourth (search and seizure) simply because without them a government can take away the first.
What, you say the second amendment refers to a “Militia”? OK, now quick, what government organized the militia which Washington turned into an army?
Perhaps the people who had just been through a revolution thought you could have a “well regulated militia” not run by a government; after all, many of them had been members of one.
One of the reporters in Libya should ask the “rebels” how they feel about the right of civilians to keep and bear arms.
Now, of course, in America we don’t have an oppressive dictator, we have a pretty good government, the kind which many other people envy, but I am always amazed at the people who forget that we also still have the right to keep and bear arms. That might not just be a coincidence.
People who say violence never decided anything obviously haven’t studied any history. Unfortunately, far too often it decides everything. If it didn’t, why do we have a military?