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Why We Should Have the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Our Forefathers, the drafters of the Constitution, had a certain perspective that can only be imagined in todayís society. They risked all to escape an oppressive tyranny (as if there were any other kind), in search of freedom and opportunity. These two words, freedom and opportunity, are buzz words nowadays, without much meaning or emotional attachment, because we all take the two concepts for granted, but to them, these words were worth dying for.

Risking all, they rebelled, starting the First Revolutionary War. They eventually won, and then began the long process of creating the foundation for our new nation. Imagine being in that position, having a blank template before you, the lessons of the history of the world to draw upon, and the harsh memories of recent oppression still fresh in your mind.

How would you start?
What would be most important to you?

To make a long story short, our founders eventually drafted the Constitution of The United States of America, a document that detailed how the government would look and act and what the breadth of its power would be. It was born out of heated discussion, over many months, by the greatest minds of the time. These men that were tested and tried during some of the most difficult times of modern civilization, and knew firsthand how bad life could be under the wrong kind of leadership or rule. Therefore, it was not enough for them to just create a government with checks and balances. For fear that this government could eventually mutate back into an oppressive power, it was demanded that the people of the nation be guaranteed certain rights. These are the amendments to the Constitution, the first ten known as The Bill of Rights.

Again, keep in mind that these rights were written in order to avoid the possibility of the people of this country being oppressed by the government they created.

The First Amendment is the right to free speech. We should be able to peaceably assemble, to practice whatever religion we choose and to speak our mind and publish written criticisms about the actions and policies of our government without fear of reprisal.

Would you have it any other way?

The Second Amendment is not as widely accepted as necessary these days. Why would the creators of our government feel it so important that the people of this nation be allowed to own guns, so important even that this right is second only to the right of free speech?

Sure, there are the usual answers:

• We should have the ability to hunt and provide food for ourselves
• We should have the ability to protect ourselves from those who seek to commit violence against us
• We should be able to all stand up in defense of our nation in the event that a foreign entity attacks us.

But is that all? Why else should a nation of people be guaranteed the right to own guns? What place does this Right have in the company of Rights meant to protect us from oppression?

To answer that question, I would like to pose a hypothetical situation, with two possible outcomes:

The First. We elect a president, who turns out to be lunatic. After several years in office, he succeeds in creating a general atmosphere throughout the nation and amongst the House of Congress and the Senate where the notion that allowing people to speak out against the government is dangerous to the security of our nation. Through propaganda and political maneuvering, this atmosphere takes hold and becomes a fervent belief amongst the majority of our leaders, and an exercise in lip service to the few who secretly disagree. Legislation is passed that allows the president to deploy the military throughout the country, with the sole purpose of arresting and detaining for an indefinite amount of time, without a speedy trial, anyone who speaks out against the United States Government. Some rabble rousers who say things that are especially treacherous might even be shot on sight, for treason against the government. (By the way, this scenario would mean that every Amendment in the Bill of Rights, except for the Second, had been thrown out the window).

Think itís an impossible situation? Look back to the days of McCarthy, when saying certain things or associating with certain ďtroublemakersĒ got a person put on ďBlack ListĒ and labeled a Communist. Lives were ruined and lost. More recently, I recall a brief period of time when a certain president managed to create an atmosphere in this country in which, no matter how strongly one felt, one would not dare speak out publicly against the War on Terror, for fear of being labeled Un-Patriotic, Anti-American and unsupportive of our troops.

Of course, in both cases The People eventually came to their senses and told the powers that be to go to hell, We are Free and are going to say whatever we want. But you see the possibility exists, and is more and more probable as this nation becomes more and more apathetic.

So letís say this scenario actually happens. And letís also say that by this time, the government had already succeeded in convincing most of the nation (at least enough to get the popular vote) that we donít really need the right to own guns, that guns are evil and dangerous and create too many problems, that too many of our children are dying, and we should just give up that Right for the good of the Country, turn all our guns in and let the government protect us from all of the evil out there. (Oops, there goes the Second Amendment too, the Bill of Rights is now HISTORY, and most likely not remembered in the NEW history books, as our Beloved Protectors wouldnít want to remind the people of the silly and dangerous things they used to believe in).

So we do that, and we become a nation of unarmed people, relying on the Government to protect us. After all, we elected them into power and they are smarter than us, right? They know better, and have access to more information than we do. We, as a people, cannot be trusted to do what needs to be done to protect this wonderful nation. I mean, Jeez, we canít even be trusted to wear seatbelts or put our kids in car seats, there have to be laws in order for us to even do that! ďItís all for the better, my beloved constituents, put yourselves in my hands and I will guarantee your success, happiness and satisfaction!Ē the president says. And, he says, in order to protect us he has to stop all the people who are causing problems and dissension, speaking out against the Great Protector, Our Government.

So the military forces arrive in our towns and cities, and those of us dumb enough to raise our voices in protest are arrested and never seen again.

The rest just stand there picking lint out of their navels. Silenced and neutered, we watch our freedom slip through our fingers like sand and we become slaves to a tyranny, or a Fascist regime, or whatever Our Government decides to become, all the while presenting itself as the Beloved Protectors. But hey, we are protected right? We donít even have to worry about what to think, because the propaganda machine, excuse me Ė Ministry of Information kicks into high gear and tells us everything we need to know. But life is much easier this way, right? Very soon, there arenít even any rich people to be jealous of (or aspire to) anymore; we are all on the same level, except for The Leaders of course. But that is only fair, as they are the Ones protecting us from evil, they deserve every possible luxury and benefit.

Think it canít happen? It has happened to more nations of people on this planet than I care to think about, it is even happening right now. Thatís right, there are millions of people out just as smart and savvy as you and I, living under this kind of control, accepting it, even after enough brainwashing embracing it! DONíT consider our nation immune to this possibility!

So whatís the second possible scenario? Ahh yes Ė a nation armed and fervently passionate about its freedoms:

The military, normally about 1,000,000 strong (including clerks and cooks and corpsman), rolls into town. Of course, a good percentage of them would have already gone AWOL, and for good reason Ė the 40 MILLION or so American gun owners (plus MILLIONS more of their previously anti-gun friends and neighbors) march out and stare down the camouflaged Humvees. They rack their shotguns, pistols and AR-15ís and say-

"Mr. President, kiss my ass!"

And thus the Second Revolution begins and ends, probably without a shot ever being fired.

My friends and neighbors, we have these rights for a reason, and that reason is so that we can collectively defend our freedoms from all enemies, foreign AND domestic. Remember that next time you hear arguments geared toward giving up those rights, and remember this too Ė

"Creating MORE gun control laws only makes life harder for the responsible, law-abiding gun owner;
the criminals who perpetrate crimes using guns donít obey the laws in the first place!
Letís ENFORCE the laws that already exist!"

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"People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments; Governments should be afraid of their people."
V for Vendetta

"If you really treasure something you have to be involved in it, you have to keep an eye on it, forevermore."
George Schaller

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin, 1759

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