There’s an ancient Chinese curse that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” It sounds like an odd blessing, but in those days life was pretty mundane except for episodes of horrendous famine, pestilence and war. Well, we’ve got some interesting times, don’t we?
The slaughter of schoolchildren in Connecticut was for all of us a grievous tragedy; another instance of a “gun-free zone” becoming a killing-ground, safe only for the madman. For some though, it was a political opportunity to energize a failing campaign. Sandy Hook provided would-be tyrants and blue-sky believers the catalyzing event they had waited for. Government and media massaged the message so that for millions of well intended if uninformed people, implements — semiautomatic rifles and so-called “high-capacity” magazines — were responsible, not a depraved shooter. That fit the political agenda. Never mind the almost universal factors of “gun-free zones,” powerful psychotropic drugs affecting mass shooters and blazing warning signs that these are dangerous people! Why such intense focus on rifles, despite their miniscule use in violent crimes?
I think an acquaintance, a former Soviet Army soldier — now a US citizen — explained it best: “The nation is like a huge sponge which routinely refreshes itself with blood, sweat and treasure. All governments squeeze out what they dare. The citizens’ rifles are like needles hidden in that sponge. You can only be squeezed so much; never squeezed dry. This is why first they want the rifles. Then, all other guns. Then, everything.” He added something more foreboding.
“It seems in every century,” he sighed, “there must be a Soviet Union. Is it America’s turn?”
As I write this in February, the federal government is engaged in unabashed assault on our derided Constitution. New York, California, Colorado and other states compete to see which can create more “instant felons” and ban more guns. Other states are moving legislation to defy anticipated federal laws, which violate the Second Amendment. Hundreds of sheriffs have pledged not to enforce such laws. DOJ is in a curious position. They demand states not enforce federal immigration laws, refuse to address cities and states contravening federal drug laws, but insist any federal gun laws be stringently enforced. Lady Justice, with her scales, is supposed to be blindfolded, not bipolar.
Firearm, magazine and ammo companies prepare to leave their home states. Others will not sell to agencies or even individual officers of “oppressive states.” Millions of citizens have pledged resistance and non-compliance. People are buying guns every 1.5 seconds. Some historians whisper the country is more divided, socially and politically, than it was on the eve of the Civil War. It ain’t a pretty picture.
Cutting Through The Fog
If the fog is thick enough, not only can’t you see your enemies, you can’t even see where to draw your line in the sand. That’s fine with our foes. Debate, division, disputation and confusion favor them. Their advice is “Don’t get excited (until it’s too late).” We’re drawn into endless debate over magazine capacity, background checks, nonexistent loopholes and meaningless cosmetics, the question becoming how much we will give up; what losses we’ll tolerate. There are, I believe, few certainties, among them: registration means ultimate confiscation, period, and nothing surrendered will ever be enough.
So you’re feeling outnumbered? You’re in good company! So were those who founded this nation. Take heart, friends; the Constitution was written precisely to protect the rights of a minority from the tyranny of a majority. That’s why our much-maligned founding fathers constructed not a true “democracy,” but a constitutional republic. They knew the paroxysms, chaos and failures of the Greek models, and wisely selected the best features to form an imperfect — but exemplary — form of government. And if no one else will defend the Constitution, the people must. It’s ours.
When it comes to Second Amendment arguments, we need to get beyond the endless bickering about left and right, liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, and especially personalizations of the issue, like Obama versus whoever. It makes no difference whether you’re disarmed and your rights trampled by Marxists or Martians, rightists or Rastafarians. Our Constitution’s framers were not only smart but also wise. They recognized any person or element seeking to enslave the free citizens of the new Republic must first disarm them of effective weaponry. The Second Amendment was written to safeguard against tyranny — not against any particular polity or person. Someone who favors a “progressive socialist” government should be just as vehemently opposed to infringement of their right to bear arms as one who might favor government by military junta.
The Line In The Sand
The core issue — for all humans who wish to live free of domination by totalitarian force — is retention of the ability to resist oppression; to fight tyranny in any form. Would you rather be disarmed by a right-wing ruler than a leftist?
There is nothing more iconically American than resisting overreaching government. With great reservations we consent to be governed, not ruled, by our Constitution, not by imperial edict.
I don’t ask anyone to adopt my stance; only to cut the fog, define your position, and know where your line is. My line in the sand is here. My answer is NO to all of the above, communicated to every official from my county sheriff to the president. I don’t care if I stand with three, 300, 30 million … or alone. But I wouldn’t mind some good company. Connor OUT
By John Connor