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“Here, sir, the people govern.” —Alexander Hamilton
“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” —Ayn Rand
Imagine a World Where People Are Free
Imagine a world where people are free to do whatever they please, so long as they do not harm others—even nonconformists who are in the minority. Imagine a world where it is illegal for the government to make rules that interfere with the individual’s right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Imagine a world where freedom to pursue a better life or more wealth—even in a way not approved by the majority—is guaranteed, as long as every individual is willing to allow others the same freedom of opportunity. In this world, the role of the government is only to protect people from being physically harmed or otherwise bullied or victimized by others. In this world, it is not the proper role of government to protect people from themselves—from their own mistakes or their own risk-taking.
The Golden Rule: Everyone Has Equal Rights under the Law
Free individuals are at liberty to say whatever they please, as long as they are willing to bear the social consequences. And everyone is allowed the same right enjoyed by every animal on the planet to defend him- or herself from harm; for, without the ability to defend one’s safety or liberty, one cannot be free from the predatory practices of criminals or of tyrants. A world of individual rights and responsibilities is a world where the Golden Rule holds sway and where the government works for the people, not the other way around. So, the government must enforce Due Process and Equal Protection rights as an agent of the people and does not have the right to do anything that the people themselves cannot do. The people can hire a sheriff to help defend their property and their lives, because the people already have the right to defend their property and their lives. But government agents cannot wield any power or weaponry that the people themselves are not allowed to utilize.
“Where the Government Fears the People, You Have Liberty”
A society without the right to bear arms is an unfree society ultimately ruled by government caprice, not a society wherein the people rule and the government can be held accountable. Once the government can do things that the people are prohibited from doing, what exists is no longer a free republic but a police state—an oligarchy, where a few elites can turn the people’s rights into privileges, where the government possesses total control over what people can and cannot say or do in daily life; it is a dictatorship, plain and simple. John Basil Barnhill, during a series of debates on socialism, in 1914, (https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/when-government-fears-people-there-liberty-spurious-quotation) said, “Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.” No truer words were ever spoken.
Hitler’s Nazi Party Was Democratically Elected
Socialism is what democracy ultimately devolves into, unless the power of the majority over the individual is curbed constitutionally; for socialism is, at its root, nothing less than the cancelation of all individual rights in favor of giving power to an oligarchy that rules in the name of the collective majority. Must we be reminded that Germany’s National Socialist oligarchy, with Hitler as party front-man, and eventually dictator, was democratically elected? Gun confiscation, followed by the revocation of all human rights, became the new order of things, in the end. After Hitler’s gun confiscation, all undesirable minorities and individuals fell victim to mass extermination and forced labor.
The Right That Protects All the Other Rights
The government will only concern itself with manipulating the opinion of the collective against the minority, once individual rights have been eliminated. The most important right of the individual is the civil right to defend him- or herself against oppression by other individuals or by the government. The choice of defensive weaponry is up to the individual, because he or she is free from the prescriptions and opinions of government. In a free country, the government is limited from interference in the decision-making and problem-solving that occurs within the private sphere. A constitutional framework that makes certain kinds of laws illegal to make is necessary to protect the interests of individuals and minorities from the whims of the majority. The Bill of Rights of the US Constitution prohibits government rulemaking with regard to the right to bear arms, the freedom of expression, and the right to be left to one’s own devices in one’s own home (lest there be probable cause to believe activities are transpiring that might endanger the safety or lives of others).
Charlton Heston has called the Second Amendment “America’s First Freedom,” the amendment to the Constitution that protects all the other amendments; for, without arms to enforce the people’s will to freedom, all the other human rights enshrined in the Constitution—as well as many natural rights “retained by the people,” per the Ninth Amendment, or “reserved to the states respectively, or to the people,” per the Tenth—would eventually be wiped out by a form of national socialism in the national government’s demagogic zeal to get its way across states, townships, communities, and individuals. This is what Hitler’s left-of-center National Socialists did in Germany in the 1930s, after confiscating the German people’s guns. Hitler’s party was literally called the National Socialist German Workers’ Party—the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei—and was merely a form of socialism where the state did not own the property (as in Communism) but regulated its use instead (which is called Fascism).
Rewarding Criminal Predators by Handicapping Their Prey
The American Founders did not mention the word “democracy” a single time in the text of the US Constitution. The reason is because they believed that freedom was more important than democracy, so they wrote rules where the democratic processes of the republic were limited in the kinds of laws they are permitted to create that might interfere with individual liberty. The Founders knew that pure democracy would eventually devolve to rule by the mob and the possibility of unwise political decisions being made in the heat of emotion during a tragic moment. This could easily end the right of all individuals to armed defense against assailants, because an emotional event—say, a mass shooting—might easily win enough support during the emotional aftermath to cancel the right of self-defense for good. This would put criminals in the position of having the power to punish the law-abiding by creating emotionally tragic events in an effort to get the right to bear arms revoked, an action that would benefit criminals to no end; for criminals will always find guns for themselves, and victim-disarmament laws will always render the law-abiding helpless to fight back against predators. Victim-disarmament laws reward the criminals for their evil behavior, while banning for all time the means by which good people might defend innocent life.
The Worst Criminal of All Is Big Government
The precursor to genocide—by the likes of Hitler in Germany, Stalin in Russia, Mao in China, Castro in Cuba, and Maduro in Venezuela—has always been the passing of measures by the state that have led to the elimination of firearm ownership among the people. Worse than being at the mercy of criminals is being at the mercy of a big government that has disarmed the people. The disarmed populace has always proven to be the fertile soil out of which government-sponsored genocide grows. It was socialist big government—from Hitler’s National Socialism to Mao’s Communism—that caused at least 74 million deaths by government-sponsored genocide, during the 20thcentury (https://politicalvelcraft.org/2013/01/24/gun-control-extremists-are-pandering-to-hitler-ideology-and-attacking-your-constitutional-rights/).
An Armed Populace Is Not Toothless
To the naysayers who do not believe that taking up arms against a tyrannical government can have an impact, history is rife with examples of asymmetric warfare in which a well-armed insurgency has successfully opposed and, yes, toppled a tyrannical regime. For a prime example of this, Americans need go no further than an American history book, in which the history of a rag-tag outfit of insurgents fought against the most powerful military in the world, ultimately toppling the tyrannical government by force of arms. This was a conflict in which 1/3 of the population was loyalist in its leaning, another 1/3 was unsure about independence, and 1/3 of the people supported the uprising. General Gage attempted to confiscate the guns of the colonists before matters could get serious, but he failed. Without the retention of their arms, the American people would have been rendered toothless in the face of British brutality. Indeed, the battles at Lexington and Concord were fought over the issue of the Crown’s attempts to confiscate the colonists’ guns and ammunition (https://www.academia.edu/10621580/How_the_British_Gun_Control_Program_Precipitated_the_American_Revolution). Disarmament was the one thing the colonists knew would have foreclosed all other options, turning them into permanent slaves to the state, with no voice of their own, ever.
The British government knew the importance of disarming the populace, if the people were to be easily controlled. Modern-day Thailand is experiencing problems with an ongoing armed insurgency. And, in California, as recently as February 2013 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Dorner_shootings_and_manhunt#Suspect), a single man—Christopher Dorner—proved just how troublesome only one armed man can be; although he was a criminal, to be sure, he easily proved the effectiveness of taking up arms against the government. Serious people are hard to defeat, even by the forces of a well-organized government, when they are armed and willing to fight.
A Great Patriot’s Wisdom & a Great Nation’s Fall
Charlton Heston, a famous movie actor as well as a great American patriot, once said, “There can be no free speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom to protest, no freedom to worship your god, no freedom to speak your mind, no freedom from fear, no freedom for your children and for theirs, for anybody, anywhere, without the Second Amendment freedom to fight for it.” And, indeed, every individual in America possesses the right, according to the US Constitution, to bear arms in his or her defense against an evil aggressor, whether that be a predatory criminal or a genocidal government. In England, on the other hand, the British government, having disarmed its own people in 1997, has since decided to cancel the right to free speech. In England, people are now being investigated and arrested for politically-incorrect comments posted online, in the papers, or in advertisements (https://reason.com/archives/2015/04/26/the-slow-death-of-free-speech-in-britain).
With no right to self-defense and no right to self-expression, how long can the English people hold out against a big government that has all the signs of becoming a major totalitarian regime? It is likely the last vestiges of freedom will soon no longer be in evidence anywhere in the British Isles—a shame for the land that gave the world the Magna Carta, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill. It was James Madison who once said, “Oppressors can tyrannize only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace.” The British government has achieved all three—the unmistakable result of the people placing their trust in government, rather than putting trust in God and in each other. We can only pray that victim disarmament and the state authoritarianism that comes with it never visit American shores. May God bless America and keep her free.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com