The tragedy in Parkland, Florida has been blamed on, among other things, the FBI, video games, and the Second Amendment. Blaming the Second Amendment for the shooting is like blaming the First Amendment for the New York Times always slanting stories against Trump, as they admitted they do in a James O’Keefe undercover video. The responsibility for how a right is used rests on the person exercising the right, not on the right itself. It would make no more sense to take away everyone’s Second Amendment rights, because of the Parkland shooting, than it would to take away the right to a free press from everyone just because of the despicable acts of the New York Times.
Now is a good time to remember why we have a Second Amendment right to bear arms. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in the Heller case that there is an individual federal constitutional right to have guns for self-defense and other personal purposes.
But the Heller case doesn’t get to the heart of the matter. We have the Second Amendment so the citizens can defend liberty and prevent tyranny. We have the Second Amendment so that, if we ever had a Hitler who tried to impose a dictatorship on us, we could stop that person. That’s the true meaning of the Second Amendment. James Madison wrote about this in the Federalist Papers, No. 46, saying that armed citizens fighting for their liberty are a barrier to “schemes of usurpation”.
Madison was writing in the context of state militias, but the Heller Court found evidence establishing an individual right to bear arms in the historical record, all the way back to 17th–century England. That puts to rest any argument that the Second Amendment is only about arming state militias. Besides, if the Founders had wanted to limit the Second Amendment to militias, they easily could have written ‘the right of the states to arm a militia shall not be infringed.’ Instead, they wrote, ‘the right of the PEOPLE shall not be infringed.’
History proves that guns in the hands of citizens deter would-be dictators and we also know what dictators do when guns are taken away. A friend of mine, who is originally from Ukraine, just sent me a Soviet-era poster urging all Ukranians to turn in their weapons. They did, and this is how 25,000 Bolsheviks with guns were able to subdue 25 million Ukranian peasants who had previously given up their guns. The result was the Holodomor, where a dictatorship deliberately starved 7 to 10 million of those peasants to death.
If Stalin doesn’t do it for you, maybe Hitler will. In a YouTube video, a survivor of the Nazi occupation of Austria talks about how the Germans pointed to accidental shootings and the need to track criminals by the serial number of their guns. So they asked people to register their guns. Before long, the Nazis were saying, ‘that didn’t work, so bring in your guns.’ But they knew who had them because people had already registered them. In other words, they made the same arguments about safety that you hear from the gun control lobby today, and used them to take over a country.
A third example comes from our own American history. You might recall the Zimmerman Telegram from World War I where Germany asked Mexico to invade the United States. Mexico’s leaders asked their generals for an opinion, and the answer came back that invading the U.S. would be a bad idea because it would be too difficult to subdue a population that possessed guns.
The current wave of enthusiasm for gun control may have started with the Parkland students, but it didn’t take long for the organized Left to take over. George Clooney’s publicist arranged media interviews for Parkland students. Michael Bloomberg is funding a new group called Everytown for Gun Safety. The group took out a two-page ad in the New York Times. Big money has also poured into the movement from Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and George Clooney. Organizers are renting 14 Jumbotrons and thousands of chairs for a gun control rally on March 24th in Washington, D.C. The radicals behind the Women’s March are behind a national school walkout scheduled for March 14th. A Democratic political action committee has put up billboards.
Democrats in various states want new laws requiring the licensing of gun stores, and banning AR-15s, high-capacity magazines, and gun assembly kits. Trump himself has called for “comprehensive background checks” and observers are worried that may lead to a gun registry, the first step to confiscation of all guns.
The Second Amendment protects our right to have guns. But we don’t let people have tanks or rocket-propelled grenades. So where do you draw the line? Bump stocks? High-capacity magazines? Reasonable people can differ, but here’s the problem: gun control advocates are not reasonable people. They’re playing for all the marbles. They won’t be satisfied until guns are completely taken away from everyone and the Second Amendment is no more. They’ll keep salami-slicing the issue until there’s no salami left.
I’ve said many times that the rise of the authoritarian Left is the central challenge of our time. The authoritarian Left wants ALL of your freedom. So why should you give them ANY of it? They have made discussion and compromise impossible. They’re not interested in saving lives. If they were, they would be engaging us on ideas like metal detectors, armed security guards and teachers, and police substations in schools. But, no, they have a one-track mind: gun control. It’s their way or the highway.
The only rational response to these budding tyrants is ‘no deal’ – winner take all. If we settle for gun store licenses, universal background checks, and gun registries, it won’t be long before all of our freedoms are gone.
The only reliable guarantee against tyranny in the U.S. is the Second Amendment. It deters wannabe dictators and keeps us free. It’s up to every thinking person in America to keep the Second Amendment top of mind and strong.