Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’

Bumping Down the Slippery Slope

Thursday, October 12th, 2017



In the wake of the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, various parties have latched onto bump-stocks as the means to launch a new round of gun-control, and foolish Republicans, eager to avoid any negative press, have seemingly surrendered the ground. Legislation has been introduced that will retroactively(!) ban bump-stocks, and due to its wording, potentially criminalize simple improved triggers. Given the over-broad wording, this legislation could be taken to ban all sorts of things.  This should terrify every gun owner, as we see the NRA going wobbly on the issue, and as leftists pounce like hyenas to finish the job. We can always rely on leftists to be insanely, obsessively intent upon exploiting any mass shooting to serve their political aims, but the truth is that it is the people on our side who need the most thorough kick in the pants.  Listening to the parade of Republican politicians who are willing to ban an item the existence of which they were blissfully unaware less than two weeks ago is worse than disheartening, as it speaks to the tendency of politicians to surrender in fear an any issue in which they are unsure.  All of this is bad enough, but as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi(D-CA) made plain on the Thursday following the shooting, a ban on bump-stocks is not the end-game, and will only be used as an opening gambit in a larger grab of gun rights. She wants this to become the slippery slope, as some alleged ‘conservatives’ join with Democrats in desiring an end to the Second Amendment.  Cooler, rational heads must prevail and stop this whole process in its tracks.

Before discussing the politics of bump-stocks, it would seem practical to dispense with some of the disinformation about them. Listening to some of the nonsense going on in the media, and having heard such lunacy as ammunition described as “automatic” over the past week, I think it’s time for some education. My readers are likely aware of these matters, but I think I ought to cover the subject for the sake of those who may go in search of the answer to the questions: “What is a bump-stock” or “What is bump-fire?” To answer these questions, let’s first be sure that we understand some firearms basics, because if I hear one more stupid, ignorant, never-held-a-gun-in-my-life ignoramus-posing-as-journalist misreport this information, my head may well explode.

Since the AR-15 family of weapons is in question in the Las Vegas incident, let us restrain ourselves to that family of weapons, although the basic concepts extend to many other families of weapons, such as the AK-47 and so on.  Automatic weapons are those that permit the firer to depress/squeeze the trigger, hold it in that depressed/squeezed position, and continuously discharge the weapon. In short, “one squeeze, many bullets.” In stark contrast, a semi-automatic weapon requires the firer to squeeze the trigger for each round to be discharged.  In short, “one squeeze, one bullet.” Military rifles like the M16A1, a weapon with which I first became intimately familiar in 1983, have select fire, meaning you can rotate a selector lever from safe to semi to auto.  This permits the firer to decide for the sake of the mission or the exigencies of the moment to fire one round at a time, or many rounds at a time. In training doctrine, we were repeatedly instructed that even on automatic, we should only ever squeeze off “3-5 round bursts” in order to control our fire and to limit overheating associated with firing a member of this family of rifles at cyclic rate. (The “cyclic rate” is an optimistic rate of fire stating the maximum theoretical number of rounds that can be discharged assuming you could feed it enough ammunition continuously, and that the weapon weren’t suffering from overheating. The cyclic rate quoted to we basic trainees back in 1983 was 700 rounds per minute.) The M16 was theoretically capable of emptying an entire 30-round magazine in something around 2.5 seconds.  That’s extraordinarily fast, and if you attempted to sustain that rate of fire, for instance with drum magazines holding 100 rounds, you’d quickly overheat and damage your barrel, and you’d likely wind up with a misfire and jam at some point. All of this addresses the M16, a weapon that was designed and able to select automatic fire from the factory floor.

It is a felony offense to convert a standard semi-automatic AR-15 to select fire or automatic fire.  By the letter of the law, this means that any modification to the weapon that permits the firer to squeeze the trigger and hold it squeezed resulting in multiple rounds being fire is an offense that can and will land you in serious legal jeopardy.  We’re talking federal prison, folks, and not the resort style facility for you, should you do this.  There are many cases of people accidentally causing a material change in the operation of their AR-15 that caused it to fire multiple rounds on a single trigger squeeze that have resulted in successful prosecutions.  In short, the BATFE has no patience for excuses and claims of “I didn’t mean to…” They want people to understand that this is a serious offense and that they will hammer you for transgressions, and they want the broader public to be aware that such violations, even allegedly innocent ones, will be pursued with the full prosecutorial force of the federal government.  This is why it’s always best to leave weapons customization to professionals except for perhaps purely superficial aspects of the weapon in question.

A bump stock does not, I repeat, **DOES NOT** convert a semi-automatic rifle to fully automatic or select fire capability.

This cannot be stated often enough, loudly enough, or with enough vigor.  Under the definition outlined above, the bump stock does not materially change the fact that one squeeze of the trigger results in the discharge of a single bullet.  What a bump stock does do is to permit the user, with a little practice and coordination, to effectively depress the trigger much faster than normal.  This is because a forward force is applied to the handguard/forearm of the rifle in continuous fashion.  Essentially, what is happening is that the weapon is being pulled continuously forward so that the trigger is bumped(thus the term “bump-fire”) by the finger(or thumb) and you can effectively depress the trigger much more rapidly this way than by repeated squeezing in the standard fashion.  Watch this video for a primer on the technique. Note that no special device or parts are needed or employed.  The bump stock works to facilitate this, making it somewhat easier to accomplish because the pistol grip and butt-stock of the rifle are sliding and thus can move back and forth.  In NO WAY does it change the mechanical function of the rifle or its action. However, as the linked video clearly shows, you do not need a bump-fire stock to accomplish this. Bump-firing has been going on for many years before the widespread sale of the various brands of bump-fire stocks. It’s actually very simple to accomplish as the novice shooter in this video shows, in this case using her belt-loop to turn her semi-automatic rifle into an exercise in “spray and pray.” Here‘s the most popular model of a bump-stock.

Understanding all of this, you may now understand my bafflement at the stupidity going on in media and among politicians.  It also makes plain the reason I have advocated ditching the ban on fully automatic weapons all along: If one is willing to forgo any accuracy, any shooter equipped with a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun can produce similar results WITHOUT BUYING ANYTHING.  In fact, it can be accomplished with a semi-automatic handgun too. (See video of a standard Glock 26 being bump-fired here.)

Knowing this, you could immediately ask the rather obvious question: Does bump-firing have drawbacks? The answer is a decisive and emphatic “YES!” You see, one of the problems with bump-firing is that in order to make it work, you have to have some lack of control.  In the case of the bump-stocks like the ones sold by Slide-Fire or FosTech you accept a certain amount of slop in the firing of the weapon.  Also, a semi-automatic weapon fired at this rate becomes terribly inaccurate. As you will notice when you watch any of the videos linked above, there’s not a great deal of control. More, this is wasteful of ammunition. Most of the rounds fired this way won’t strike an intended target as this video demonstrates, and while bump-fire stocks do improve this somewhat, one has to admit that it takes a fair amount of practice to gain much control even at short ranges. Striking point targets consistently at a distance is terribly difficult, if not strictly “impossible.” (Of course, if you’re aiming at a distant area target, like a crowd, or what we in the military would have called a “gaggle,” that’s another matter, but more about that shortly.) Lastly, any time you cycle a weapon this rapidly, even a purpose-built fully automatic machine gun, you invite two troubles, and they are jamming/misfire, and [over]heating. The killer in Las Vegas apparently knew this, which is why he had nearly two dozen weapons in the hotel.  He knew in advance that he’d only be able to fire a limited number of rounds in this fashion per gun, because as the barrel heats up(and this happens amazingly quickly,) the weapons would become less and less useful, accurate, and simultaneously, would become more prone to failures and jams of various descriptions.  Under certain circumstances, this could even lead to catastrophic failure of the weapon resulting in injury to the firer.

One might ask what this all means, particularly with respect to the various gun-control advocates and the advocates of the Second Amendment.  To be perfectly unambiguous, and to remove all doubt from the situation, let me state categorically that there is no way to avoid this as a consequence of the function of semi-automatic firearms.  Semi-automatic firearms are inherently able to produce the “bump-fire” results with or without any particular parts or attachments to facilitate it.  The choice is clear, and you should understand it: If you accept that there’s nothing wrong with semi-automatic weapons, then you accept bump-firing as a consequence.  Period.  Don’t let any politician or advocacy group tell you otherwise. You might ask what my opinion is on this matter, and again, I’ll be only too happy to explain my position: The Second Amendment says(from memory):

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.

It doesn’t say “lever action.” It doesn’t say “firearms.” It says “arms.” The current bans on automatic weapons, accepted and enforced by the courts, are actually entirely unconstitutional in any strict constructionist’s view of the Second Amendment. There is no set-aside for this one or that one.  The Second Amendment says “arms.”

In truth, if honestly applied, the Second Amendment does not permit the Federal Government to restrict any type of “arms,” neither “small arms,” nor even “nuclear arms.” You can expect to hear some howls on this basis, but a clear and concise reading of the Second Amendment leaves the Federal Government no such authority with respect to US citizens. What individual states may do is another matter, although since the courts adopted the [fraudulent]theory of incorporation with rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, one could argue that the statists have screwed themselves.  After all, it was big government types who insisted that the rights protected in the Federal Bill of Rights be taken to extend to the state and local level.  It’s always been a matter of curiosity(actually, simple hypocrisy) that while statists hate the concept of federalism in virtually all other instances, they have long advocated the notion of federalism when it comes to the Second Amendment as they attempt to apply local or state gun control ordinances and statutes.  Then, and only then, federalism is a good thing!  This philosophical inconsistency reveals the absolute hypocrisy of the statists, and reveals that what they really desire is whatever they may desire from time to time, and that should serve as full justification from prohibiting to them any power of any sort.  In short, they want what they want when they want it, logic and reason be damned, and with them, your liberties and rights be damned.

With respect to the situation in Las Vegas, let us discuss the specifics of this case.  Here you had a madman of some sort, whether politically motivated, or simply crazy beyond all repair, who decided for whatever reasons or none at all that he ought to kill as many people as possible.  Let’s look at this closely, to discover what makes this situation somewhat unique.  First, he was in a fixed position.  Essentially, he created for himself a veritable sniper’s nest on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort.  He didn’t need to move, and he didn’t need to seek additional cover.  He was going to be virtually untouchable for some number of minutes, because the concrete platform that comprises each floor of the hotel meant that returning fire at him from anywhere on or near ground level was going to be ineffective, and perhaps dangerous inasmuch as people in rooms in the vicinity would likewise have been endangered.  The angles were all on his side, at least for the initial portion of his attack.  As time went on, and better information was derived about his precise whereabouts, and as forced marshaled to confront him, his long-term odds of escape began to rapidly diminish.  He had almost no chance of hitting a particular target. If his intention had been to kill a particular person, his chances of success while employing a bump-stock at that range were vanishingly small, but since his aim was clearly mass murder, he had no particular target, so that indiscriminate killing was the object but not a detriment to his plan.  These factors made his attack very easy to carry out. There was nothing particularly skilled or clever about this attack.  The most skillful part of his operation was clearly his ability to prepare for the attack, transporting his arsenal of arms and ammunition to the site, and keeping his motives hidden until he pulled the trigger.  In short, he doesn’t seem to have involved others, claims of ISIS notwithstanding, and to date, it hasn’t been shown that any other person had any foreknowledge of the coming attack, apart from reports of a woman at the concert screaming to attendees that they were “all going to die,” and this has not been reliably linked to the attack as of this writing, although there’s something somewhat eerily disciplined that tells me there’s more involved than has so far met the eye.  He was not a military veteran, and as of this writing, there is no indication that he had any military/paramilitary training of any sort, but he had clearly acquainted himself with the performance parameters of the weapons he intended to use.  He knew that he would need multiple weapons for this attack, since no single weapon was likely to remain effective for long at the intended rate of fire.  He apparently understood that he would have a limited time in which to do damage.  There has been speculation that he had an escape plan, but I’m not convinced of that.  From the moment he broke out the windows and commenced fire, his timer was running, and he must have known that his options would come down to:

  1. Attempt to escape
  2. Fight a standoff with SWAT team(s) and/or counter-snipers
  3. Suicide
  4. Surrender

Virtually none of these rotten dirtbags ever surrender, so you can knock #4 off the list.  He had to know that he was likely to face a miserable death if he opted to stick it out and try to hold off or combat a SWAT team.  They would have ended his miserable existence almost as quickly as he did, but his odds of suffering for a time with grievous wounds increased, as did the possibility of his apprehension, which, for all intents and purposes equates to #4, and that outcome was to be avoided at any cost.   Escape was not likely the moment the security guard identified his exact location only 7-8 minutes into the event.  Egress would be virtually impossible.  It’s been noted that he had explosives in his vehicle, and perhaps he intended something more.  The explosives may have been intended for some diversionary purpose, to help make his escape.  That’s all possible, but the truth is that this was likely to end with him dead with a bullet through his brain, one way or another, on the 32nd floor of the hotel.  He must have known this, and whether it ended by SWAT or by his own hand, the probability was that the moment he broke those windows, his life was forfeit.  Even if he had changed his mind about attacking the concert, those broken windows would have resulted in a security response at some point.  It might have resulted in a shoot-out with security at that point, but the moment he broke those windows, there was almost no way for him to go back.  More, he did nothing to conceal his identity, and so even if he had changed his mind and simply run out of the room, hoping to be miles away by the time security discovered his sniper’s nest, they were going to discover it, and then the pursuit would be on.  No, he knew that once he broke those windows, there was no longer an out, and no longer much chance that he would survive the night, apart from immediate surrender, which, as I’ve mentioned, these madmen nearly never do. In a sense, it’s like the 9/11 hijackers: The moment they stood up, box-cutters in hand, and began to attack the crew, making themselves and their intentions known, there was virtually no way to stop it. For this reason, the last moment to stop would have been prior to breaking the windows.  After that, this attack was inevitable, and in fact, should mark its beginning.

The concert goers had no warning, and no chance.  It was merely a matter of where he turned his weapon at any particular moment.  This makes it all the harder for the victims, but also the survivors who emerged essentially unscathed in a physical sense, because many will experience survivors’ guilt.  We should all grieve for the fallen, lend comfort and assistance to the wounded and injured, as well as the families of those struck down, and we must also bear in mind that those who survived this shooting will need us to listen, and need us to remain steadfast in our support of them.

Mass killings are a result of our wretched moral decay.  By this, I mean the propagating view of the lives and liberties of one’s fellow man as a disposable quantity.  This brings me to the current political uproar ongoing in Washington DC and in the media at large, with renewed vociferous demands to dispose of our liberties.  It is asserted by some that what is needed is to immediately ban bump-stocks.  As the linked videos above should make perfectly plain, that’s not going to change anything in any material way. The truth is what Nancy Pelosi has already revealed: They want bump-stocks to be the vehicle used as the barrier-buster by which they will attack ownership of every form of semi-automatic weapon, and ultimately now, fake ‘conservatives’ are seemingly happy to go along with a repeal of the Second Amendment.

What makes this all the more sickening is the position stated on Thursday by the NRA. Apparently, Wayne LaPierre thinks “regulating” bump-stocks is a fine idea.  Wayne had better pull his head out of his duffel-bag.  If the left succeeds in banning bump-fire stocks, how long do you suppose it will be before they make the following argument: “Well, but you can still bump-fire virtually any semi-automatic with or without the bump-fire stock, so let’s ban semi-automatics!” From the videos to which I’ve linked above, you know that argument to be true inasmuch as the bump-stock is largely irrelevant.  The nature of semi-automatic weapons is such that given just a bit of practice, they can be made to approximate the rate of fire of a fully automatic weapon.  With this known, you’re now faced with asking yourself whether you’re ready to surrender all your semi-automatic weapons, the possession of which, by the way, the leftists are only to happy to relieve you.

The truth of this and every previous gun-control debate is the same it has always been: They don’t believe in your basic human right to protect yourself, your liberties, and your families against all comers.  Now we see that the Republicans in Washington DC seem willing to drop your liberties like a hot rock too, and unsurprisingly to some, it appears that President Trump may be poised to side with the gun-grabbers.  Those of you who value the Second Amendment had better prepare for one of the greatest onslaughts of gun control fever in a generation.  The last time politicians in Washington DC had this much impetus in the direction of gun control was with the last foolish “assault weapons” ban. In this country is that 65% of gun deaths are suicides, and of the remainder, once you remove self-defense shootings and police shootings, the vast bulk are committed by young men killing one another in just a handful of our largest and most violent cities.  More, only a tiny fraction are accomplished with anything other than a handgun.  The “assault weapons” ban did nothing to curb killings, because killings with so-called “assault weapons” were never a significant portion of the gun deaths in this country anyway.

There can be no simple ban of “bump-stocks,” because it wouldn’t be anything beyond symbolic in any event, as I’ve explained ad nauseum above. As the article in Reason makes plain, the proposed legislation is monstrously generalized, and as they conclude rightly, will only serve to ensnare otherwise law-abiding Americans. Make no mistake: This is a all-out attack on the Second Amendment disguised as something more innocuous. This is about confiscation of all weapons, starting with semi-automatics, with bump-stocks as the first step. The problem starts with the concession that there is something inherently wrong with the higher rate of fire, and once that’s established, given the fact that nearly all semi-automatics are capable of some form of this manipulation, how long before they simply demand the surrender of them?  What’s coming is not merely the nose of the camel under the tent-flap, but the whole bloody herd, and they have blood in their eyes… Yours.


Ban Down Under: What Happens When a Nation Surrenders Guns – Video

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Liberty Crushed Down Under

If you’re still on the fence about gun control, or you know somebody who is, it may be time to acquaint yourselves with the recent  experiences of the Australian people, who in 1996 enacted a ban on all semi-automatic and pump-action weapons in private possession. While the murder rate from guns has diminished in very small ways, their overall crime problem has since gone through the roof. It’s really no surprise that the results have been exactly opposite of what was promised, and contrary to all of the alleged “good intentions.”  As Aussies have discovered, now that the gun ban has made things worse in the aggregate, reclaiming their gun rights will be nigh on impossible.  Once liberties are taken away, they’re seldom returned, and if it’s your right to keep and bear arms you’ve surrendered, you won’t even be able to fight for them. The Australian experience should serve as a warning to every American.

Take a look at this video and acquaint yourself with what Obama and his ilk are really after:


Knowing that the overall crime statistics have worsened, you might be surprised to find that even the Chicago Tribune acknowledges that in Australia, since the ban, deaths by firearms haven’t diminished at a rate faster than they were already falling prior to the ban.  As they suggest, while mass shootings have dropped to zero, this may owe more to random chance than to any effects of the gun ban.  Considering the UK as another example, overall violent murders have increased despite the all-out ban on guns, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that once you remove the great equalizer, those who are the traditional targets of villainous scum would have a lesser chance of surviving an attack in a world in which they are legally disarmed, and by definition of their physical stature and condition, less able to defend against brutal attackers.

David Plouffe has been running his mouth, and he has stated that he thinks the President may have the votes in Congress for some sort of gun control action. If this is the case, it comes down to a bunch of sell-out Republican moderates in the House, never mind the Senate, where McConnell ought to be able to filibuster the thing to death provided Reid and the Democrats don’t employ the nuclear option.  Once again, as the tide is shifting against the President and his leftist agenda, Republicans in Congress are contemplating surrender.  If the Republicans go along with gun control, they will lose the House in the Senate and they will face a complete revolt by 2016.

The Real Motive For Going After “Assault Weapons”

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

For Your Own Good?

I’d like to discuss this subject rationally with my readers, and that means we must dismiss emotion from the subject.  The passions inflamed by discussions of gun bans, as well as the debate over their legitimacy and purpose are sure to take any debate to the brink, so rather than fill volumes with useless rhetoric, I’d like to cover a bit of ground most of the media, even conservative outlets, won’t touch with a ten-foot pole.  People on the pro-Second Amendment side of this argument are quick to point out the very real statistics that demonstrate fewer people in the United States are murdered in a given year with all rifles, including the subset consisting of so-called assault weapons, than are killed in the city of Chicago with handguns in that same year.  This statistic should be stunning to those who had swallowed the media hype about so-called “assault weapons,” but the simple fact of the matter is that such weapons account for a statistically insignificant number of murders in the US, according to the FBI’s own crime figures.  Knowing this, it is reasonable to ask why it would be that the gun-grabbers would focus on this contrived class of weapons for their immediate gun-ban agenda.  There are just a few reasons, and they’re all important to understanding their agenda, but one is absolutely critical.

The first thing to understand is that by simple appearance, and since cosmetics largely define the classification, so-called “assault weapons” look mean.  Despite the fact that Grandpappy’s old-school Browning BAR in .30-06(7.62×63,) another semi-automatic rifle that is much more lethal, given the higher energy of its round versus an AR-15 in .223 or an AK-47  in 7.62×39, the Browning merely looks relatively innocuous compared to the menacing AR-15.  The truth is that a single round from any of the three could be lethal, but if I had to bet on which would cause more damage, I would put my money on the .30-06.  The .30-06 was the standard round the Army employed in its Springfield M1 Garand rifle, from the period covering the Second World War until its ultimate replacement with the M14 (.308) and the M16(the fully automatic cousin of the AR-15.)  The projectile of a .30-06 is an awesome round, and as George S. Patton observed, the Garand rifle was at the time what he considered to be “the greatest battle implement ever devised.”  Let us therefore conclude that there are indeed rifles with far more lethal capability that would not be considered “assault weapons” for the purposes of this ban.  It is therefore an obvious conclusion that this classification of weapons, defined almost entirely by cosmetic characteristics, was created entirely because they look more threatening than Grandpappy’s BAR and therefore make for better propaganda.

This is the classification of weapons that constitutes the most rapid growth in gun ownership in the country, excepting one:  Handguns. There are many more handguns in circulation than there are so-called “assault weapons,” meaning that as a purely political exercise, it will be easier to drum up some majority willing to ban “assault weapons.”  This political calculation is why the focus is on so-called “assault weapons:”  If the gun-grabbing camel is to get its nose under the tent-flap that is the Second Amendment, it must start with something that is owned by a relatively smaller albeit rapidly growing segment of the populace. If too many obtain weapons in this class, it will be more difficult to ban them, and so the gun-grabbers must act now to the extent they are able.

So-called “assault weapons” generally share another characteristic that gives them broad appeal both among civilian sportsmen and police or paramilitary organizations:  Compared with many of the rifles that look  more innocuous, they can be mastered and handled by a much larger segment of the population, because felt recoil is reduced to levels that do not jar one’s bones, and they are typically light enough that the do not cause extensive fatigue for the shooter. Because of their relatively simplified design, they are easily maintained by even an inexperienced novice.  Most of them share various types of ammunition that are lightweight and inexpensive, giving them broad appeal.  Since the expiration of the 1994 “Assault Weapons” ban in 2004, millions or even tens of millions of this type of firearm have been produced or imported into the United States, although most of the imports have been “sporterized” (removing many of the cosmetic features defining them as “assault weapons”) in order to comply with US Customs restrictions and regulations imposed by the BATFE. What this means to statist gun-grabbers is that so-called “assault weapons” are the most effective weapons with which to stave off any tyrannical moves by the government.

Their low recoil, easy portability, durability, weather and dirt resistance are all features common to their military cousins.  The ease of maintenance, the high capacity magazines, and the relatively inexpensive ammunition mean that these weapons would be of indispensable use to those who comprise “the militia” as defined by our founders, who were not discussing and did not intend “The National Guard” by their description.  The founders of our country and the framers of our constitution envisioned a militia made up of every able-bodied male, able to bear arms in defense not only of the country in time of invasion or insurrection, but in defense of liberty if the source of insurrection were to become the legalized sort characterizing every despotic form of government the world has ever known.  Knowing this, it’s important to realize that so-called “assault weapons” are the focus of fear among the anointed who may have other plans for our republic.  It is for this reason that they seek to ban them, because this is the sole weapon classification in broad distribution among the American people that makes a meaningful resistance to arbitrary governmental actions possible.

It is for this reason that the gun-grabbing left wishes to deprive you of so-called “assault weapons,” knowing that they resemble in many respects their military cousins, minus the ability to operate in fully-automatic mode.  In truth, a well-skilled group of veterans, or average citizens could hold off a similarly sized military force for some time unless heavier weapons were brought to bear against them.  From the moment the ATF carried out its botched raid on the Branch Davidians at Mt. Carmel, TX, it was clear to all who watched that a superior force of government agents could be held at bay indefinitely until there was an application of larger, military class weaponry.  So-called “assault weapons” have no application in defense against tanks.  It was in response to this raid that the assault weapons ban of 1994 was crafted.  It’s also worth noting that as much as the broad-based backlash against Hillary-care, the AWB of 1994, passed by Congress in September, was instrumental in fueling the “Republican revolution” in November that year.

What the events in Waco made plain to the elites is that armed resistance is possible, and while it would be relatively easy to contain small enclaves of resisters in compounds simply by the application of superior firepower and military equipment, putting down a wider resistance might prove difficult. On a broader scale, with a resistance across the entire population, perhaps even on the offensive rather than hunkered in bunkers awaiting the end of the world, such a resistance might well overturn a runaway government despite its advantage in heavy weapons and military equipment.  This was a shock to the powers-that-were, and it posed to them a new danger that spoke to a future moment when they might face justice for treason rather than a few dozens or hundreds of isolated radicals being dealt with in swift and severe fashion.

This may sound fantastic at first blush, but I beg you consider it if only to recognize the reasons why despite all of the illogical arguments made against “assault weapons,”  the political class in our nation’s capital have a very strong reason to see the citizenry of the nation deprived of “assault weapons.”  In their jaded but pragmatic view, citizens may use their shotguns, their handguns, and even Grandpappy’s old-style Browning rifle, to kill a deer, or even one another, but politicians are largely protected from these, and more importantly, they represent no meaningful offensive capacity in a theoretical war against the aggressions of government. Not since the advent of modern military weapons have the American people had at their disposal so effective a means by which to resist arbitrary government, and you had better believe that the government knows it.  Whatever doubts they may have had evaporated during a morning raid in 1993 at the door of a religious enclave that had been obsessed with the end of the world.  From that moment forward, it was realized and understood by the political ruling class that they must relieve the American people of that capacity.  In 1994, they made the first attempt to do so.

In the eights years since the expiration of that law in 2004, many on the radical left have thought of little else but reinstating it, and you can bet that if they get it back in place, there will be no expiration this time, and no means save one by which to undo it.  There’s a widespread understanding in Washington DC that on our current fiscal and monetary path, massive civil unrest is virtually inevitable, but if it should eventuate while the American people retain the capacity for mass armed resistance, the eventual clean-up may not look quite like the anointed class had hoped.  It is for this reason that we must not permit them to ban our guns, and our “assault weapons” most of all, because the fact of their existence may constitute the only implement of detente in a cold war now waged by the forces of statism against the greater body of the American people.

Now you must understand why despite the illogical basis for the arguments, and in spite of crime statistics that demonstrate the irrational course of going after them, the statist gun-grabbers must act to deprive you first of so-called “assault weapons.”  Once deprived of these, you will maintain no other for long.   This concept was well understood by our founders, though in interceding generations, it has been neglected and white-washed by the statist intelligentsia.  In that vein, I offer you a few pointed reminders you should take care never to forget:

“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, during Virginia’s ratification convention, 1788.

“The power of the Sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress. My friends, and countrymen, it is not so for the powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The militia of these commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. The unlimited power of the sword, is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” – Tench Coxe, Penn Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

“…but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights…” – Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist Papers 29

“There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; as a disingenuous artifice to instill prejudices at any price; or as the serious offspring of political fanaticism. Where in the name of common sense are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits, and interests?” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers 29

“A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms…To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…” –
Richard Henry Lee, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights. Additional Letters From the Federal Farmer 53, 1788.

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.” – Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution(1787)

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, …” – Alexander Hamilton Federalist Papers 28.

Convicting the Innocent in Lieu of the Guilty

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Franklin’s Proposal

Barack Obama and the forces of the left want to deprive me of my rights.  Naturally, they want to strip you of your as well.  In that sense, let us admit that they are equal opportunity despots.  There’s a problem, however, and it’s simply this: I have committed no crime and no tort, and I have harmed no other living person, and after nearly half a century on the planet, and with nearly thirty years bearing arms, both privately and on behalf of my country, there are no innocent victims littering a bloody trail behind me.  Obama and his minions would have you believe that their intention is to reduce gun violence, but that’s simply not true.  The real intention is to punish the innocent, and to reward the guilty, but decent Americans who abide the law should have the clarity of conscience to reject the charge and to demand that the Obama administration prove our guilt before depriving us of our liberties.  You see, that’s how it is supposed to work:  The Constitution accords us each due process of law before our rights may be suspended, violated or infringed. Rather than confront the real problem, the gun-grabbers are building sentiment for punishing the innocent in lieu of the guilty.

There is no such notion in American law as a collectivized guilt to be shared between the innocent as well as the guilty.  Both our civil and criminal legal systems are based in individualized concepts of justice. The Fifth Amendment as well as the Second guarantee that neither Obama nor Congress can take our guns simply because they concoct a figment of law in order to compel you. The Fifth Amendment’s text explains the context in which your rights may be suspended or violated:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.(Emphasis added)

The relevant portions of this amendment make it plain that I am entitled to due process of law, and that due process is every bit as much an individual right as any other guaranteed by the constitution, although the government has gotten in the habit of pretending otherwise.  I have a right to my arms, to bear them, and to maintain them in perpetuity without governmental interference, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.  So long as that Amendment remains in force, in order to strip me of that right, the government must first accuse me of a crime, convince a jury of my guilt, and sentence me accordingly.  I have the right to have my day in court, present a defense, and provide exculpatory evidence on my behalf.  Leftists like to pretend that when Congress passes a law and the President signs it, or he enacts new regulations or dicta, this is all the due process to which individuals are entitled, but this is not the case particularly when we are talking about rights explicitly enumerated in the Constitution.   The due process clause clearly applies to individuals.  The text makes that fact plain, since it is written with a singular pronoun:  In describing the “person” who shall have due process of law,  it says: “himself.” One needn’t be a constitutional attorney or a Supreme Court justice to recognize the plain language of the constitution and to understand its meaning.

On this basis, I wish then to know when each of us will be charged in some manner, according to some law, on the basis of which Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and their host of Marxist brethren will present indictments against each of us.  I want to know the charges against me.  I want to know what is my alleged guilt so that I may be deprived of my explicit liberties guaranteed by the US Constitution.  Passing a law to outlaw this gun or that magazine, subsequently accusing me of violating it, does not pass the constitutional stricture against post facto law, in the first instance, nor is such a law an individualized process.  It is instead mass punishment.  Mass punishment of any sort violates all the principles of the constitution, and yet what Obama and his goons would have you believe is that we must be deprived of so-called “Assault Weapons” on the basis of a collective guilt for the actions of a few criminals who have committed horrendous acts, to which we have no relationship.

Still others like Governor Cuomo pretend that the number of rounds we can have ought to be limited, but as one combat veteran explained to me when I was a young private in the Army, “You won’t know how much ammunition you’ll need until the firefight is over.”  This is undeniably true, and I was reminded of it when a caller to Mark Levin’s show made much the same point.  You don’t know how many bad guys you’ll face, or how they will be armed.  Andrew Cuomo screaming at the top of his lungs about whether hunters have a legitimate need for magazines that hold more than ten rounds is a farce, because the Second amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting.  Do hunters enjoy the protections of the Second Amendment?  Certainly, but they are not the object of the Second Amendment, otherwise we would see an amendment elsewhere defining a “right to hunt.”  This illusion the gun-grabbers want you to stumble over is a nonsensical argument because the founders did not enshrine the right to keep and bear arms in the US Constitution so their heirs could shoot deer, or wild turkeys, or ducks.  They ratified it as a protection against governmental tyranny.

Now we are confronted with a President who wishes to deprive us of our right to keep and bear arms.  He presents no charges against any of us, and he offers no evidence in substantiation of the non-existent charges.  Instead, he plans to act with despotic discretion in the matter.  I have been charged with no crime, and knowing the character of my average reader, they haven’t been charged with a crime, yet this President intends to punish us just as surely as any convicted felon in acting to deprive us of our rights.  This is the sort of thing one sees in any growing tyranny, where laws and dicta are written to prevent crimes that may well never be committed by people who may well never have conceived of committing them.  Vice President Biden offered that if so few as one life is saved by the actions they will take, it will have been worth it.  If that is now to be the argument in favor of banning guns, let us apply it equally to every issue.  How many lives will be needlessly ended under Obamacare?  How many children are aborted each day?  How many doctors make errors each day?  How many people are killed in motor vehicle accidents, or are trampled by cattle, or are struck by lightning?  Using such a fraudulent rationale, one must construct an endless list of things to be banned.

We must ban knives because if only one life is saved, it is worth it.  We must ban doctors, because if even one life is saved, we have done something heroic.  We must ban cars altogether, because if even one life is saved…  We can go on ad nauseum, but ultimately, what the left will reveal if they don’t know you’re paying attention is that if it were up to them, they would ban people.  The left now enacts laws, and too often, the so-called moderate Republicans go along, and the object of these laws is inevitably to punish you for being alive.  If you use gasoline, you must be punished.  If you use paper, you must be punished. If you use water, air, or anything at all, you must be punished.  Only when you are reduced to the level of a slave does the punishment diminish in its frequency and severity.

The entire argument being advanced by leftists is that all we who own weapons are guilty each and every time some lunatic commits a heinous act of violence against his fellow men.  It’s largely based on a fear-mongering argument contrived to make people believe that there is something inherently evil about the instrument, and therefore necessarily evil about all those who would possess them.  This is roughly as sensible an argument as the idea that because some people drive drunk, we should therefore do away with the motor vehicle, or because some Islamic supremacist nuts flew four airplanes into buildings and a fourth into the ground, jetliners should now be banned in the name of the public safety.  By this sort of disconnected anti-reasoning, we should blame Wilbur and Orville Wright for 9/11.

I reject such reasoning, as I reject the authority of all those who would advance it.  Law-abiding Americans are not even distantly responsible for the actions of the shooters who perpetrate these crimes, any more than they are responsible for the hundreds of murders on the streets of Chicago.  Taking away my guns or the guns of other law-abiding Americans will do nothing to reduce the actions of murderous predators, but more than that, nobody has made a valid charge against them.  What is being done in this instance is a travesty, with leftist activists making sure the crisis presented by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut doesn’t “go to waste.”  Americans should incensed at the notion that the actions of a handful of monsters somehow conveys guilt upon the rest of us, yet that is the basis of the emotionalized appeal being pushed by the anti-Second Amendment crowd.

The left pretends to adore the first Amendment, particularly those parts pertaining to freedom of speech, yet they would insist, one mustn’t permit people to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, and to that extent we are able to agree.  For reasons entirely their own, they are unable to see that in order to prevent the yelling of “fire” in a crowded theater, we do not gag people before they enter.  We do not place this prior restraint upon speech because there is a presumption of innocence, and yet this is precisely the thing they refuse to presume on the part of law-abiding citizens who own guns.  Just as with the First Amendment, we do not punish or impede people in advance, but instead seek justice when they commit such a crime, so should it be for every other right of free people that might be abused.  I will not accept a guilt I had not earned, and neither should any other American.

It is for these reasons that I have resolved that neither Barack Obama nor future politicians shall be permitted to have my guns.  If they insist, I will resist them, and they will be compelled to choose whether to murder me, or to relent in their outrageous punishment levied against a man who is peaceful, and who had committed no crime, or otherwise harmed another soul.  Benjamin Franklin had wanted the Great Seal of the United States to include the motto: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”  If we are to be confronted with tyrants, may we be faithfully obedient to Franklin’s proposition.

The Natural Right to Self-Defense

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Stand for Liberty

Our founders had the wisdom to recognize that rights are a fact of man’s nature.  They held that rights come from a Divine Creator, and that these rights cannot be nullified by governments.  They fought a bloody revolution to sustain their noble argument, but they also assumed there would be those who would claim to know the mind of Divine authority, and inasmuch as they knew this, they sought even to place rights outside the realm of religion, lest another would-be king decide he spoke with Divine endorsement, or some ruler might arise who held no respect for the Divine.  Knowing this, the founders laid the basis for our constitutional, representative republic on the foundation of an underlying philosophy that had no need of a claim to the Divine, though they claimed it nonetheless.

Consider the full meaning our founders authored, and together through the able pen of Thomas Jefferson declared:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”-Declaration of Independence

These opening line in the Declaration of Independence set the stage for all that is to follow.  Here, the founders introduced many to the formalized concept of Natural Law.  Here, they laid the basis of our rights, and they pointed to the “…Laws of Nature, and of Nature’s God…” as the source.  Think about what they directly implied with this choice of terminology.  Whether or not you accept the existence of a Creator, the Laws of Nature dictate that mankind has rights that are a precondition of his existence.  They endorsed God as the author of Nature, but irrespective of whether you share that view, they were laying down a clear marker:  These rights exist, as a fact of Nature.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” -Declaration of Independence

They held these truths to be “self-evident” because every person is able to clearly discern the great natural law of cause and effect, action and reaction, and because every person can plainly see the necessary logic of the matter.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” -Declaration of Independence

Notice what government’s proper role is to be: “To secure these right…”  There is no rationalization for the basis of government to create these rights, or even to endorse these rights, but merely to secure them.  This is because the government cannot create what pre-exists government, and whether its agents endorse these rights, they must nevertheless secure them.  This was intended to show not only the failures of the King against whom their revolt had been levied, but also against tyrants who might rise in some remote future.

They made plain that if a government becomes destructive of these liberties, it is the “right of the people to alter or abolish it,” and this is the statement of their motive and cause in having declared their independence. For those who will refute statists of the left by saying that rights are a gift from God, they find that they are immediately subject to the retort: “God?  What God?”  This has been the left’s basic approach to this argument for generations, and over time, it explains their desire to secularize our culture.  After all, if some larger portion of the people come to believe there is no God, so much easier will it be to disclaim the entire matter of rights.  Our founders were brilliant men, and they were ready for this argument, so the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence were designed to clarify the matter for all times.

Who can dispute that the laws of nature exist, and that  they are immutable?  We have no capacity to amend the Laws of Nature, and if Nature is the source of our rights as people, then no man can abolish them.  They affirmed and endorsed in full the belief that a Divine Creator was the author of Nature, and therefore its law, but their construction was intended to make the argument over the existence of God irrelevant to the matter of the existence of rights.  These were brilliant men, so they understood fully what sort of monstrous concepts would be used to attack their declaration, and all to which it would give rise.  They were also offering an invitation of sorts:  You needn’t have accepted their particular belief in God to be the beneficiary of these rights.  The Laws of Nature are universal irrespective of one’s religious beliefs.

Consider that a right of the people to alter or abolish a government means that such a right  pre-exists governments.  Naturally, and in all logic, this is the self-evident truth, since individual men form a government, they can alter or abolish it at will, or even decide never to form it at all.  If this is the right of individual people, banded together in common cause, needing only their mutual consent to do so, there must be some means by which to carry out such a necessity.  If such a necessity were to arise that the people would decide to abolish a government, it would only be so because they could not simply alter it.  After all, when your car becomes inoperative, you do not take it immediately to the wrecking yard.  You will naturally try first to repair(alter) it, and even if it is operable, you might find it no longer complies with your needs.  You might try to alter it so that it better-suited your purposes.  Our founders and the framers of our Constitution recognized this inasmuch as they built in the means by which to amend(alter) our law or to scrap it altogether and start over(constitutional convention.)

They also recognized that a time might arise when a government might become so large and powerful as to prohibit the peaceful measures to alter or abolish it, and in such cases, they would ultimately write down yet another measure that would become our second amendment, providing a protection for the natural right of man to defend his life, liberty and property.  This is the right we find under assault even now, as in the wake of the fiendish shooting in Aurora Colorado, no shortage of would-be tyrants have risen to decry the right to keep and bear arms.

We must never, under any circumstance, and by any diversion or claim of exigency yield any more ground on these rights.  We have already given far too much ground, always in the name of a civil society, and yet with each step in the limitation of gun rights, our culture becomes more stricken with violence, and less safe for every person.  Our founders understood that just as every government is made up of men, and as every man possesses a vast capacity for evil, every other person must maintain the ability, both in fact and in law, to defend against any device or practice of man, be they individuals, hordes, or governments.

They viewed this through the lens of Natural Law, in the same way they viewed all other laws given rise through the clear example of nature.  You might make a law that prohibits in words the act of a lion to defend itself.  Your law might demand in reckless disregard of the facts that a lion ought to lie down and surrender upon the approach of any man, and were he to resist the man, to restrain himself from making use of his fangs,claws, and superior dexterity.  Assuming there could be a lion who could understand such a dictum, what would any suppose might be the reaction of the lion to such a farcical notion? Who suspects a lion would comply?

None would make such a fanciful law, because no lion would understand it, but more, none could be expected to comply in any way with it.  That is the nature of a lion, and this self-evident truth is all one needs to understand the basic premise underlying the entire construct of natural law, upon which our founders relied in the formulation of our Declaration of Independence, but also in their laying down of our guaranteed liberties in the Bill of Rights.

Some will believe that such laws are not made merely because the lion cannot understand them, and therefore could not be expected to comply.  The simpler truth is that a lion must not be expected to act contrary to his own nature.  What John Locke explained, being perhaps the greatest enlightened political philosopher upon whom our founders had relied, is that no law ought to be erected that supposes man can be compelled to live contrary to his nature as man.

“Thus the ‘Law of Nature’ stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men’s actions, must, as well as their own and other men’s actions, be conformable to the ‘Law of Nature’, i.e. to the will of God, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it.” – John Locke, “Second Treatise in Civil Government”, Chapter-11, Section 134

Here is the evidence of Locke’s influence on the founders, and it is once again exhibited within this statement, that while Locke believed firmly in a Divine Creator, he nevertheless points out that God is the source of the Law of Nature.  Were you to reject even the belief in God, you may not pretend that nature has no laws.  You can credit the Law of Nature to anything you like, but what Locke made plain is that the Laws of Nature are not to be ignored or suspended, and that in fact, no law erected against the Laws of Nature can stand as valid.

Man’s greatest natural gift is not a claw or a fang, or the dexterity to employ them, but an agile mind, able to remember, and to correlate, and to associate cause with effect; to understand the relationship between action and reaction.  Man furthers his life not through violent assault, even if such may on occasion be necessary, but by utilizing the best fruits of his mind. Just as one must not expect a lion to suspend the use of his claws or his gaping, fanged jaw, it is ridiculous on its face to expect man to suspend the use of his mind.

If it is foolishness to expect a man to suspend the use of his mind, it is equal foolishness to expect that he would abstain from the use of its products.  A gun is an instrument, but like any other, it is incapable of thought, and incapable of self-determined action.  It is a tool, and as such, having being created and reproduced by the minds of men, to expect men to abstain from using such a simple instrument is in every way as fundamentally bankrupt a notion as demanding a lion forgo the use of his claws.  Just as a lion has every natural right to fight for the defense of his existence by all the means with which he is equipped, so too is man entitled by nature to fight for his own defense to the same degree of effort.

When a governmental lunatic, or mindless politician approaches you to demand that you lay down the means of your own defense, though you had wronged nobody, and threatened no one, you are right to look at that person as quizzically as the lion would look at the author of a claw-control law.  What you are faced with is a person who has suspended reality to the degree that he no longer sees a toothed lion or an armed freeman before him, but instead a potential slave, and one who will subserviently yield the means of his own defense despite the warnings screaming in his brain that no good can come of yielding one’s rights.

Like the founders, conservatives respect the Laws of Nature, in part because most hold due reverence for their Author, but more fundamentally because they respect the self-evident truth the universe makes plain all about them. The right to self-defense is plainly a fundamental right that government may not abolish or suspend without consent of all those it governs.  Were I the last individual person on the Earth to retain arms, even would the whole of humanity demand I relinquish them, I would maintain my right to them, and I would sustain that right by the ferocity of my defense of it, even if it were to be my last, and I would abolish so much of the attacking throngs as I might be able before I would be overwhelmed.

My right to keep and bear arms is non-negotiable, and my right to self-defense is identically sacred.  So too is yours.  Any person who would yield it is either a fool or a knave, and I say this with all due respect to all the brilliant masterminds who believe otherwise, which is little, or none.  We who understand the implications of the founders must endeavor to see the full wisdom of their declaration, for it is our declaration too.  They have gifted to us this legacy of superior reasoning, and we must guard not only the document, but the meaning of the words upon it.  When dim-witted politicians descend upon every available microphone, and fill the frames of every available camera, all in a display of posturing for the sake of their fraudulent agenda the object of which is to protect themselves while enslaving you.  What other reason can there be for their delusion?  In what other purpose could their actions be intended? They wish only to urge the lions to de-fang and de-claw themselves.

This terrible tragedy must not be permitted to become the next excuse in pursuit of that end.  For once, let us see the wisdom of our founders and let the lions defend themselves from the rabid dogs.  The fools and knaves who mouth their slogans are accessories to such tragedies before-the-fact, having prohibited honest men and women from their own defense.  Our founders knew with the certitude provided by their combined experiences and lifetimes spent in study by candlelight and lantern that man is the possessor of unalienable rights, that are the product of the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” and that none can make a rightful claim to nullify them among the innocent.  We, who were born to the electric light-bulb, now banned, and who read by the light even of the devices on which the text is itself imaged should think long and hard before we too easily yield these rights.  No other men before them had conceived of a country in which people might be guaranteed the full complement of their natural liberties, and if we let their light be extinguished, we may never see its kind again, instead condemned to languish in perpetual darkness.


Gingrich Speaks to the NRA – He Gets It

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Newt on the 2nd Amendment

If you missed Newt Gingrich when he addressed the National Rifle Association in mid-February, you missed a great speech.  He referenced history extensively, and explained the real meaning of the Second Amendment and its critical importance as a political right.  Gingrich did not mince words about the reason for the right to keep and bear arms, its origin, and its continuing relevance and application in our modern world.  It was encouraging to hear a politician say that he understands the new direction of the attacks on the Second Amendment being levied by the Obama administration and the institutional right.

This speech is a classic:


The idea that the Second Amendment is about hunting and target practice ignores the fact that the first purpose of the right to keep and bear arms is a political right, meant to keep government in check.  Yes, that’s right.  The idea of the founders is that by the guarantee of the Second Amendment, the American people ultimately retain the right to throw off a tyrant.  This is why every socialist on the planet, or in the history of the planet, eventually gets around to banning firearms: It’s easy to rule over disarmed peasants.  I am gratified to see that Gingrich has a thorough understanding of this aspect of our constitutional system of government.  His knowledge of history helps explain why this context is not lost on Gingrich, and it’s one of the many particulars of his candidacy that exhibits his qualifications for the job he’s seeking.