Essential Liberty | The Right To Bear Arms

The right to be armed is the right to be free, which is why everyone should be pro-gun.  Breach-Bang-Clear

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The Right to be Armed is the Ultimate Expression of Freedom

We are all aware of the rhetoric surrounding guns and gun control these days. It has become so predictable, I often think certain members of Congress, and their media mouthpieces should adopt a certain Whitesnake song as their theme.

Cue hot chick with big hair writhing on the car hood.

Look, I get that we have a problem. I really do. No one likes seeing innocents gunned down by publicity-seeking malcontents. I don’t claim to have the answer since this is a multifaceted problem if there ever was one. Any solution will have to share that characteristic, thereby making it a long and complex process. To hear certain bad actors tell it, however, if we could only ban guns, all would be right with the world, the unicorns would come back, and everyone could go to San Francisco with flowers in their hair.

This is exacerbated by ongoing, willful social contradictions. For instance, in this world, sixteen and seventeen-year-olds should not be allowed to touch anything dangerous, or even look at it. But they are simultaneously lauded as the end-all authority on policy regarding those dangerous things.

Michael Bloomberg
Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg

Grunts: exacerate.

In my mind, the right to be armed as I see fit is the ultimate expression of freedom.

I’ve always believed that the right to arms, and the exercise of that right, is as symbolic of a truly free society as is free speech. Some may argue that we have passed being a free society, but that’s a discussion for another day. I damn sure wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, so that’s that. The weapons in my safe, or carried on my person, represent the fact that I am nobody’s subject, nor will I ever be.

Not because I want to use them. I don’t. But because I have the power to make that decision for myself. Like many of you, I chafe under the unnecessary restrictions which needlessly target good people who have done nothing wrong. The older I get, the less I understand how anyone would willingly place themselves under the control of someone else.

Homeowners associations come to mind. I just don’t get it. I suppose there is a certain sense of security in relinquishing control to something larger, but, in my mind, it’s an artificial state of affairs that comes at an unacceptable cost. I’d like to think that in another age I would have been a mountain man or pioneer. I prefer to call my own shots as much as possible within the society in which I live.

What’s not to like about Jeremiah Johnson?

Dianne Feinstein Press Conference
Dianne Feinstein Holding an AK-47 Automatic Rifle in 2013

I recognize the need for a civil authority in the spirit of the social contract, but I believe that the exercise of that authority should be minimalist in nature to provide as much personal freedom as possible. Such a position puts me at odds with gun control advocates who seek to curtail individual liberty, supposedly for the greater good.

The price for that, however, is unacceptable.

I believe in the concept of the greater good, but I also believe that each should accept his responsibility to adhere to it or maintain it on his own terms —as opposed to that acceptance being coerced. I’m sorely tempted here to go on about the entitlement mentality and the seemingly-increased tendency to rely on Big Brother, but I shall refrain.

Also like most of the B-B-C crowd, I am very much a “live and let live” kind of guy. Do your thing, man, just don’t hurt anyone else or infringe on their ability to do the same. Try to force your views on me, however, or society, then get ready for a fight.

That goes for people everywhere on the political, social, and ideological spectrum.

I probably have authority issues, but hell, that just makes me an American.

My freedom to have my political, social, and ideological positions is represented by my right to bear those arms. Possessing arms, and knowing that millions of others do too, ensures that my rights cannot be arbitrarily taken away, including for some high-sounding idea like “public safety.”

Remember, the tyrannical situation in the wake of the French Revolution was carried out in the name of public safety.

“Off with his head, his ideas of freedom don’t mesh with ours!”

Sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it? So, what is the point of all this? The tradition of the armed citizen is strong here in the United States, and rightfully so.

Throwing aside all the Bubba-centric rhetoric you’ll hear from the left, one of the foundations of our nation is the concept that our we have the right to arms is not granted by the government, but protected by it.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution is often misunderstood. In fact, it is willfully misunderstood.

Every other part of the Bill of Rights is accepted as a statement regarding what the governing authority may NOT do. There’s just no question about it.

The Second Amendment, however, is approached from the opposite direction.

It’s always presented by certain lawmakers, activists, and their PR firm known as the news media as what the government CAN do. As in, “we CAN ban the AR-15 because the Second Amendment only applies to muskets.”

Please. Look up the definition of “arms” in the dictionaries and lexicons on the mid-to-late 18th Century.

When reminded that the basis for the Bill of Rights was the idea of natural rights of man, we are told that there is no such thing. But try saying that about the First Amendment to those same people. So, one is an essential liberty and one is not?

I was recently told that Constitutional protections are irrelevant when faced with dead kids. Really? I would argue that the Bill of Rights was intended specfically for times just like this, when out of control emotions threaten basic liberty in the mad rush to “do something.”

Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, during the French and Indian War, that “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

The quote is often used to defend privacy rights, but it was made in direct reference to a community’s ability to defend itself. Many argue that communities were defended by the militia, which no longer exists. But who makes up the “militia?” According to George Mason, my favorite Framer, the militia consists of “everyone.” Mason understood that communities, and people, are ultimately responsible for their own defense, hence his support for the Second Amendment.

Make no mistake, the sacrifice of liberty in the name of safety is just as perilous in 2018 as it was in the 18th Century. I would absolutely welcome an open debate on the veracity of the Second Amendment. Such a debate would necessarily draw attention to the Bill of Rights as a whole. That can only be a good thing, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, the only way I see to make that happen is in another propagandizing attempt by gun control advocates to repeal the Second. The nature of such an exercise would necessitate a drawn-out debate, not only in Congress but in the legislatures of all fifty states. In such a debate, rampant emotions would not be the order of the day.

For all their rhetoric, the gun control people don’t want a reasoned debate. They fear a process they cannot manage through shocking imagery. Because, when you get down to it, the operative word in gun control is control. A deep examination of the nature of the Bill of Rights would be anathema to such an agenda.

Grunts: anathema.

No, the tactic will continue to be a chipping away, a little at a time, as opportunities for emotional exploitation present themselves. Regulation is the preferred method. It’s quieter. Legislation will only come when public outrage can be steered by the gullible “journalists” on the 24-hour news channels.

Honestly, do I need most of the weapons I have? Probably not, but need has nothing whatsoever to do with it. The fact that I can choose to have them makes all the difference in the world. Franklin’s example of the well-armed sheep contesting the vote of the wolves comes to mind. The patriots at Lexington and Concord didn’t decide to protect their weapons from the Redcoats just so a bunch of protectionist politicians can decide what I need and what I don’t.

Maybe that sounds rhetorical, but it’s heartfelt. I’m a history nerd, as more people should be. I’ll spare everyone the overused quote from Leonidas, but he isn’t the only one who said it. Look up the response to Santa Anna given by the citizens of Gonzales, Texas when told to surrender their cannon

 

Chipotle Boys
Chipotle Boys

So, we fight.

We call BS when we can and ring the bell of personal essential liberty by being positive ambassadors for our community. There will always be Bubbas carrying their rifles into Chipotle, but those are the exception. We must be the norm.

If we don’t who will? If we don’t, I fear our grandkids will be limited to hearing grandpa talk about the good ol’ days.

Gonzalez Mug
Gonzalez: “Come and Take It.”

Contact your Congressman (or woman) and Senators. Even if they are anti-freedom protectionists. HR 5087, the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2018” (currently the protectionist flavor-of-the-month) has already been referred to committee and has 173 co-sponsors.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, go read the contents of this draconian bill here.

Some will describe this column as alarmist. So be it. I won’t apologize for sounding the alarm on a threat to essential liberty — and as long as I’m armed, you can’t make me.

BL

The Minute Man of Concorde and Lexington.

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