The Second Amendment
By T. F. Williams
I was reading an article the other day from an Australian gentleman commenting on the protests and violence currently taking place in our country with a rather condescending tone about our beliefs, political system, and hold to traditional values. Somehow, in all this, the strict adherence to the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution was brought up to be shown as an example of our lack of enlightenment in his perception. He doesn't understand our history. As David Chapelle has said in his stand up routine, "The Second Amendment is there to guarantee the First".
A gun of any type is an inanimate object. It has no motive force of its own. It is neither good nor bad. The person who takes the weapon in their hands determines the way in which it is used. I have heard this termed as "republican" logic; no, it is just a statement of fact. It just is. It is no different than a screwdriver or saw or hammer. Each tool/object can be used in a variety of ways; the user determines how the tool/object is used. A nail gun can have just as deadly an effect as a gun and holds more projectiles. It is all in how it is used.
Government has proven it is not my friend, and in most cases, it isn’t my enemy. I also know what government can become from observing the world around me. I look at China, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea, and even some of the laws regarding speech in other countries and their regulations and know it can quickly become my enemy.
I look at this current pandemic and see governors banning church services in which the participants are practicing the recommended social distancing; yet, mass protests of hundreds and thousands of people are allowed to occur. I see the rise of speech codes and “hate speech” laws and see the censoring inherent in them all. We are going down the role of reversing the freedoms we have long enjoyed.
The Second Amendment is very short and to the point: “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 is unambiguous and very clear; yet, lawyers and judges have found a way to mitigate and change the meaning of “shall not be infringed”. It is a typical politician activity. Someone uses a tool in the wrong way, causes mayhem, people get scared of something they do not think through, and to appear relevant politicians demagogue an inanimate object which cannot have possibly been the actual perpetrator of the crime. London, UK banned guns and saw knives being used and now are banning knives. Banning tools will not help when the perpetrator is intent on committing his crime. It is the heart of the perpetrator, not the tool they use.
Thomas Jefferson (I know a politically incorrect person to use) said, "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have." A very true and insightful quote. Benjamin Franklin said,"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." We cannot compromise our freedoms as guaranteed in the Constitutio. We are allowing elected leaders, bureaucrats, and those occupying the bench to ignore those codified rights, we have only ourselves to blame when we no longer have them.
The only way we can ultimately protect ourselves against tyranny is to use and exercise, to the fullest extent, every right which is ours. Protest without violence, write and express yourself on any and every issue of importance to you, vote in every election, do not avoid jury duty, and arm yourself. Remember to motivate your friends, relatives, and neighbors to be active participants in our constitutional republic. All of us must afford ourselves of every right which is inherently ours as human beings.
By T. F. Williams
I have been watching everything going on with the protests and intermingled riots/violence; I am asking what are the changes the protestors want? I haven’t heard a clear call for any change which I could accept save for a way to change police training to do a better job of de-escalation of the situations to which they respond. Nothing else passes the logic test, though I understand logic isn’t the basis for their issues. The basis for their issues is emotion, which they have been ill trained to parse as either legitimate or illegitimate. And yes, right or wrong. All emotions are not valid for a given situation.
For example, if a friend and you are having a private conversation about real issues in each of your lives (as friends are wont to do) and your friend points out an issue you are having and how a decision you made either led to or exacerbated the issue and you become offended your friend would even point that out. Well, the problem is yours and your emotional response. Inherent in the friend relationship and your participation in the conversation is the premise truth will be told to each participant. If that truth is causing you pain then you need to have a very straight conversation with the individual in the mirror. Your emotional, vice intellectual response, is not a legitimate response as a friend will tell you when you are making bad choices and decisions for your own benefit. It is called maturing.
We don’t let people do that anymore; we want to wrap them in a protective bubble so their feelings don’t get hurt. We are reaping the results of those wrong headed decisions with the rise of the “cancel culture”. Art, no matter the medium, is an expression of speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution and is supposed to make you feel something and explore those feelings in a way which leads to personal growth. When you want to destroy or hide a work of art, as Christians did with “Piss Christ” or those removing statues now, you are displaying your lack of emotional control and maturity.
Those statues you are tearing down are of fallible human beings who accomplished some great and not so great things. Some even committed what we today would term as atrocities or attempted genocide; in their time they were at the forefront of world events and political discussions. We are judging people from another time, another culture, and a whole different paradigm of thought by our mores, ethics and paradigm of thought. We are not contextualizing their deeds. Slavery, as an example, is abhorrent today but is still being practiced in parts of the world. You are concerned about a statue of a dead person as opposed to the actual deeds of those presently living?
Why not take the chance to stand in front of that statue and use it as a teaching tool of the history of the time and the lessons we learned from the decisions, good and bad, and how they shaped the time in which we now live. Why not tell of the poor decisions the person portrayed by the statue made and the results of those decisions? Why not put them in the context of the time which they lived and how their thought reflected the culture in which they lived? Why not explain how their lives reflected the competing ideologies present in the world they lived and juxtapose them with our world now? You know, as mature adults would do.
We fault the colonists for not standing up to slave owners or those who practiced indentured servitude; yet, we do not recognize the courage and bravery it took for them to stand up to the strongest empire of their day to demand and fight for their independence and freedom. Yes, it was hypocritical to allow slavery to exist; but, what would you and I have done in their place when trying to ensure a strong enough force to gain independence? What would we have compromised to ensure we could fight and have a chance to win?
I would hope I could have stood against slavery, as many abolitionists at the time did, but I am honest enough to say I don’t know that I would. I would have fought for independence no matter what, but would I be of strong enough moral fiber to risk not having the force necessary to carry the day against the British to fight slavery? I know where I have compromised in the past and made poor decisions; so, I have to acknowledge I wouldn’t know until placed in that situation. It is easy to stand in moral superiority after the passage of over 200 years while enjoying the liberty to express those ideas with the rights won by those we are judging.
Now, before I start this next part I will state for the record I am of Native American descent. Native Americans at the time the first Europeans set foot on this continent were nomadic, raided fellow Native American tribes, took slaves in those raids, counted coup, scalped their victims, took women to be their wives as part of the raids. They were not these “noble savages” so often written of in novels. They arrived here by crossing the land bridge between what is today Russia and Alaska.
There is no ethnic group better than another, all have committed what we today would consider atrocities. I am not here to pass judgement on any of them, just making a point we cannot start coming up with a “this atrocity is better than that atrocity so you are the worse ethnic group and must carry the blame for those previous generations” type of mindset. I refuse to take part in that type of discussion. I am not responsible for anything I personally did not do. I will not apologize for the misdeeds of previous generations. I will not pay for the misdeeds of previous generations.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Are you really born with certain inalienable rights? Do you really believe in freedom of expression? Freedom of speech? Freedom of assembly? Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure? Freedom to keep and bear arms? Freedom of religion? Do you?
Which ones are you really willing to compromise or give up all together for safety and security? These are questions we are having to ponder more frequently with the stay at home orders which have been issued and how some governors and other elected officials are interpreting and enforcing them. I, for one, am not at all pleased or optimistic about our future if left in the hands of some who have certain ideologies.
The first amendment to the Constitution (yes I put that in capital letters) ensures freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly. There are very few limits to these freedoms. How I worship, whom I spend time with, and how I express myself are my choices and can not be inhibited by the State. None of my rights can be suspended even in a time such as is occurring with the Coronavirus/COVID-19. My rights do not have an expiration date. Ever. I have seen too many people, during this pandemic, be willing to give up those rights without so much as a whimper.
I am not opposed to willingly take precautions to mitigate the spread of the virus. I am not willing for the government to take away those rights with the stroke of a pen. Nothing like this should be done with a signature from a Governor or a President under our Constitution. There was no discussion. There was no debate. It was decided by bureaucrats and technocrats. This describes the actions of a dictatorship. We are not a dictatorship but a constitutional republic. My rights are mine by birth as a human being and not subject to the whims of any individual. I have no issue willingly following a set of guidelines which will protect my fellows, but I will not be dictated to by anyone but God.
When a governor becomes iron-fisted and prevents people from going to a remote property they own, that is the road to a dictatorship. The remote property would fit within the guidelines and help with the social distancing everyone is trying to follow. When said governor then responds to protests against her dictatorial edicts with a threat of more dictatorial edicts her actions say everything, words aren't needed. Such is the way of socialists.
When a mayor or governor tells citizens to spy and report on each other; well, such were the tactics of the KGB and Stasi. Trying to restrict the expressions of faith which are the hallmark of a truly free society, such are the tactics of dictators throughout history (you know like China is actually doing). Using a short term crisis to further restrict freedom and liberty, such are the tactics of fascists.
In a free society you have every right to be selfish; you shouldn't, but you have the right. In a free society you have the right to be greedy; you shouldn't, but you have the right. In a free society you have the right to be rude; you shouldn't, but you have the right. You have the right to put yourself at risk; you shouldn't, but you have the right. You have the right to put yourself at risk, you do not have the right to put others at risk which is why you follow the guidelines. Willingly, without government edicts.
Every morning I spend some time reading a website which constitutes a series of sections. I start with RealClearDefense and then go on to other sections. I also always read the religion section as that is of importance to me and today it featured an article from Mr. David French who made some real good points about White Evangelical support for President Donald Trump.