Much of the world, in one way or another, finished their celebrations of Christmas recently. Some worshiped God and His descent to the Earth and the story of sacrifice that removed the power of Sin. Some kept Christmas in their hearts by remembering to love all mankind, to remember generosity, and to believe in a spirit of goodness and love and the transformational power that love can have on man. Some practiced Christmas through gift giving and celebrating the Winter Solstice and the closing of the year, welcoming the next with friends and cheer. Those things are good, and are important. But I am not talking about that season. I am talking about the recent development of the gun buying season.
I was recently in a local sports good store/outdoor adventure shop, and as I always do, I wondered into the gun and archery section. A friend of mine has recently started loading his our shells, and I always like to look around and see if there are any good deals to take advantage of or look into; sadly none that day. But I did notice something, a lack of some of the old weapons I was so used to seeing there; old SKSes, Mausers, Enfields, and a goodly store of lower end rifles;. there were also no assault rifles on the walls. The old stuff had all sold out I was told, which did not surprise me due to it being Christmas and all. Now I was not so surprised by the lack of assault rifles for the same reason; and due to the recent tragedy and the legislative scare left in its wake, but I was surprised by a clerks response when I asked how long the back orders were; he told me the management had decided they would no longer be selling assault rifles or the attachments and accessories for the assault rifles.
Now I was only slightly taken-a-back, and my first thought was, “well, the management must be preparing for the future.” Meaning I thought the management must be reading the tea leaves and recognizes that there will be legislation limiting sales of assault rifles. I suppose my initial gut might still be correct, but I am rather more inclined to believe, and fear, that like many others in our nation, the management is losing spine and preemptively preparing to bend to public opinion, and worse giving up on traditional American beliefs and values.
Americans have a love of guns, I myself marvel at the sleek designs and capabilities of firearms around the world, and we have a long tradition of hunting and sport shooting. At the very first “Thanksgiving” feast one of the games was target shooting. Guns were a necessity in our beginnings and that tradition is strongly held and defended. But there is a stronger, more poignant reason for Americans to hold onto their affinity to firearms; Americans like liberty.
It is true that throughout our history the firearm has played a momentous role. We carved out our territories with these tools, protected and provided for our families with them, and through force earned a place on this continent. Some folks are rather apologetic about some of our history, I am not in the least apologetic. We were very often at peace with our Indian neighbors despite our firearms, and we won wars against hostile Indian nations with our firearms. There is also another rather important war that we won with firearms; our American Revolution.
During those early formative years as a nation, or our attempts at becoming one nation and not just a collection of independent states, one very important truth was enshrined in our newly adopted Constitution. Amendments were proposed and some of those amendments were accepted. We call these first ten amendments the Bill of Rights. I could go on and on and explain what a Bill of something means, and some could argue on what Rights actually are, but one truth is easily discerned; Americans affirmed the fact that a free people must have the means to defend their freedom. The Second Amendment states, ” 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.” And throughout our history it has continually been more or less well defended by the court systems. But the education of why it exists has not been well defended, well taught, or well exalted.
Here is the truth, the reason:
Our liberties are defended in the Constitution, and the legal system. But at the end of the day, liberty is defended by one thing and one thing only; the threat and use of force. Remove the means of force and you remove the means of defending liberty.
Americans bear arms to defend themselves against tyranny; against the possibility of a tyrannical government that may attempt to remove their life, liberty, or property. Americans bear arms to remind their government, their governing authorities, that the people hold their own liberty and will defend themselves against any infringement on their personal liberty. The people retain the means to use force to keep the government in a state of healthy caution.
America is founded on the principles of liberty. Americans understand that liberty is something that must be defended; sometimes from foreign invaders, sometimes from internal forces, and sometimes from those in society that would infringe upon your liberty and livelihood. The founders understood that there is a Natural Right to self-defense and the defense of personal freedom, therefore the Right to the means of that defense. The deeply rooted truth underneath all of the other reasons for self-defense is the defense from tyranny. Americans understand that they hold their own liberty in their hands. No government guarantees the Right to life, liberty, and property. At the end of the argument, at the root of the discussion, that is the reason to bear arms.
If ever there comes a time when arms are removed from the people, the foundation of American liberty will have degraded and American will cease to exist as an ideal and be relegated to, as so many other nations before it, nothing more than a political boundary.
So I say,
Long live the freedom of fire arms!
Long live the means to Freedom!
Long live the Ideal of America!