Today we have a guest editorial from a friend from The New Rifleman. He has a gun blog/ website well worth checking out.
As gun owners, we face a litany of ignorant arguments that try to justify a better world sans guns. We all scratch our heads at the reverse logic, double-speak, and misinformation spread by our opponents. On a personal level, I try to be a good steward and representative of our lifestyle. I argue politely and educate people when I can.
Lately one argument in particular has made me cringe. Tyranny in America. Oil and water. It will never happen here. Who could forget Piers Morgan’s incredulity when Ben Shapiro brought up tyranny as justification for the existence of the 2nd Amendment?
“Do you understand how absurd you sound?… Do you believe your own government is going to turn on you in a way that you require an AR-15 to challenge them? … In modern day America, is that what you think?” – Piers Morgan
I stared at my computer screen. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was for Piers Morgan to digest the logic of Shapiro’s argument. Yes Piers… Tyranny is a constant threat. When it comes again to our American soil, it will be the majority who supports it.
The most important resource a tyrant has is that of a majority of the populace that supports his or her ambitions. Such support is often created during the height of a national calamity or tragedy, and many of the supporters will accept the plans of the tyrant… no matter how inhuman or despicable in action.
It was Hitler’s Nazi party that obtained a paltry 3% of the vote during the 1928 German election: 12 seats of parliament. By 1933 the same party occupied 288 seats of parliament. All it took was a distressed German state and a master orator to convince voters that the Nazi party should hold the majority of seats.
We all know about him… you know, Hitler. We all know of Stalin, Mussolini and various other tyrants that can be spat off by anyone with a clue. They all had their supporters. Times long ago, countries on the other side of the world. We forget that a tyrant has occupied the White House before, and will possibly do so again.
The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was signed by Andrew Jackson. Of 130,000 who were forced to march West, 60,000 died of exposure, disease, and starvation… over a law passed by a Congressional majority and a President’s signature. Many of *our* ancestors were able to obtain new land during this push. It was popular with a thin majority of voters. A majority of voters.
Executive Order 9066. 110,000 of Japanese Ancestry placed into internment camps. Some sixty percent of these “Japs” were American born with Constitutionally protected rights. While the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (comprised primarily of Japanese-Americans) fought in Europe with distinction, their families were herded into camps back home on the whim of a hysterical war-time populace. Our grandparents. Congress. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Even the “greatest generation” can forget about the Constitution when crisis strikes.
The japanese in those camps lost lives, farms, property. On October 1st 1993 President Bill Clinton issued a formal apology to accompany reparation checks:
“Today, on behalf of your fellow Americans, I offer a sincere apology to you for
the actions that unfairly denied Japanese Americans and their families fundamental liberties during World War II.”
What was the cost of the businesses that failed, the land that was lost, and the property that was forfeited? What was the cost of being herded into cattle cars with your family into unsanitary holding areas? The loss of Liberty cannot be compensated with a check and an apology.
Resistance Comes in Few Flavors
It was the the Jewish people of the Warsaw Ghetto that resisted the Nazi’s attempts to ship them off to die at a concentration camp. History remember’s their last stand with favor and dignity.
It was members of the Seminole tribe of Florida that said no to the U.S. Government’s proposals. The Everglades were their home and they would fight to keep it. The last of the Florida Seminoles could not be routed by the U.S. Government.
The Japanese-Americans attempted to take their plight to the courts. During war-time the courts, including the Supreme Court, found it justifiable to keep them in place. In these camps they were subjects and not citizens. 50 Years later Bill Clinton gives the surviving Japanese-Americans a check and a written apology as restitution for their crushed lives.
The Constitution and our Bill of Rights attempt to place the inalienable rights of man into words. The framers developed these documents as a safeguard our individual rights against what the majority wants. When we begin to ignore the Constitution’s protections or diminish it’s ideals… then we turn the sacred document into what it really is: an old, parched, piece of paper covered with worthless signatures. Trash.
In Modern Times
As we have faced our own modern crises, the War on Terror, we have let our better sense and judgement lapse to favor protectionist laws. Lately, our apathy to examine these laws has culminated in the exposure of the largest surveillance program the world has ever seen. So vast is the power of this information at the Government’s fingertips…equally endless are the possibilities for abuse. The Constitution’s protections have once again been reduced by a crisis. It has yet again been turned into old, meaningless paper.
This time… shame on us.
When the constitution becomes worthless to our government, when your right to “free speech” can be used against you, and your liberty is threatened at every stroke of a legislature’s pen… then we can see with clear vision the importance of our Second Amendment in modern times. It is in place to protect the smallest minority, the individual, you, from the Tyranny of the Majority.
If that terrible day should come… where the law of the land is against your livelihood, your freedom, and your liberty…
“How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun?” – The Clash
When someone blathers on about how tyranny won’t happen here… remind them that it has happened here before, it could possibly happen again, and if tyranny comes back to put the minority in its sights… remind them that you will kindly reserve the option to place tyranny back in its rightful place under your sights. 30 round magazine an all.
History shows the majority will not be on your side. Prepare accordingly.