The following is a reposting from the web site of the College Republicans of Arizona State University of 03 February 2009. Your humble scribbler is categorizing it under "gun control" for reasons which should become obvious to his readers. The date of the incident, 19 April 1775 is important to ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ as it is not only the anniversary of his birth but the opening shots of the American Revolution which was triggered by an effort of King George III to disarm his subjects in the American colonies.
In the early morning hours of April 19th, 1775, word spread like wildfire that the British Army had departed Boston, and was preparing to march on the city of Concord. A small contingent of average, run of the mill Americans chose to take a stand in Lexington, Massachusetts. With one shot, the course of American history was forever altered. That single ball of lead sparked a revolution, creating our great country, which has been a beacon of freedom and prosperity for over two centuries. However, why was this shot fired? The answer is simple: gun control.
The reason why the British military was ordered to Concord was to capture and destroy weapons, which they feared would be used to launch a revolution. Well, they were right. If it weren’t for the fact that the colonists owned and were proficient in the use of firearms, it is doubtful that the revolution would have taken place at all.
Our founding fathers, in their infinite wisdom, recognized this fact. With the adoption of our constitution, they knew that the concept of a federal government was new and untested. It was unknown whether our republic would blossom into the world’s first truly free society, or if we would end up with yet another oppressive government. For this reason, the bill of rights was amended into the constitution, to further clarify what the federal government can and cannot do.
In terms of personal liberty, it is widely recognized that the first amendment is by far the most important. It firmly establishes that Americans have the right to say what they think, print what they want, and practice whatever religion they wish to without fear of persecution. These are fundamental freedoms which every American cherishes. However, what Americans today seem to have forgotten, is that this document is just that, a document. It is an old piece of parchment. Words printed on a piece of paper are worthless if they are not heeded by the federal government. [or an informed citizenry] And, because the founding fathers recognized this fact, they chose to preserve the power of the average American through the second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms.
Our government was purposely created with a system of checks and balances. Congress has two separate houses, so that both must agree for a bill to be sent to the President. The President has the power to sign or veto bills, and the Supreme Court has the power to review laws to determine constitutionality. However, in the event that our elaborate system of checks and balances were to fail, we have one last check on the power of the government; private ownership of firearms. It was through the force of arms that we became free in the first place, and our founding fathers chose specifically to recognize this freedom, in the event that tyranny and oppression took hold in our government.
Now, I don’t mean to sound like I advocate the use of the second amendment in this way; that couldn’t be father from the truth. However, when we look at countries such as the Soviet Union, China and Nazi Germany, we can clearly see how gun control has historically been used to subdue populations before genocide takes place.
After all, when the Nazis first took power of Germany in 1933, the Jewish population was free. Slowly over time, Jewish freedoms were eroded away. It started with hostile propaganda, which was designed to turn the people of Germany against the Jews. After blaming the Jews for the current economic crisis, the Nazis passed laws requiring them to wear armbands to segregate them. After continued discrimination by both the government and the people of Germany, they were finally relocated to ghettos and from there sent to concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Dachau.
In this story though is one very significant act of resistance. In an event known as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the importance of the second amendment becomes clear. When the Nazi Regime wanted to transport the last of the Warsaw Ghetto Jews to Treblinka, a large number of Jews rose up in a rebellion which lasted from January 18th to May 16th, 1943.
During this rebellion, the Jews used any weapon they could find or improvise to halt the German advance. Despite the fact that they faced the might of the German Army with pistols and molotov cocktails, they were able to successfully hold out for five months. This even was the only large scale uprising launched by the Jews during the holocaust.
Now, imagine that Germany had the same gun culture as the Unite States during World War II. If every German Jew possessed a shotgun or handgun, I would imagine that the holocaust may have turned out different. Even if the SS had been successful in rounding up people for ethnic cleansing, the process for doing so would have been extremely costly.
The Second Amendment has also had a significant role in how foreign powers view us. When Admiral Yamamoto, the man who planned the Pearl Harbor attacks was asked about the feasibility of an invasion of the continental US, his reply was. “You cannot invade the mainland of the United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”
Never before in history has a country been designed with such a failsafe system of government. Our constitution’s checks and balances, along with the Second Amendment, truly is an ingenious way of running a country.
Unfortunately, we have seen our rights erode slowly over time. At one point in our history, there was no gun control in any form whatsoever. In fact, the first significant form of national gun control was the National Firearms Act of 1934. This required national registration of machine guns and short barreled rifles and shotguns. It also imposed a $200 transfer tax when buying such a weapon.
Next came the Gun Control Act of 1968. Within this act, the government required the licensing of gun dealers, and made it illegal to send firearms in the mail unless it was from gun-dealer to gun-dealer. It also included a “sporting-purpose” clause to heavily regulate the importation of military-style firearms.
After that came the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, which changed the law to allow people to mail order ammunition without a gun dealer. Unfortunately, they added an amendment at the last minute to make the manufacture of machine guns illegal.
Up until this point, no one really cared. However, with the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, gun owners finally opened their eyes to the impending erosion of the Second Amendment. In this act, many firearms in common use were banned by name. Most were banned based upon their “scary looks.” Luckily this act of gun control had an expiration date and was allowed to expire. Now that Barack Obama is preparing to take his place as our President, the media has already started its game of writing emotional articles about how AK47s are “flooding the streets.”
The next time liberal politicians propose to ban military-style firearms under the guise of increasing security, I would like to bear in mind a quote from Benjamin Franklin, “Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Is an idle promise of temporary security really worth the erosion of our second amendment rights? I guess that is up to the voters and the Supreme Court. However, I am willing to take that risk in order to preserve my right to defend myself and the freedoms I cherish.
ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ must disagree with the second to last sentence of the quote. It is up to individual free citizens to determine the preservation of the natural right of self defense.