Scorpions or Sheep?
The Second Amendment to the Constitution is all about defense, not assault. It places into law the right to defend one’s self, family and country through the force of arms. The type of arms is not defined. The original language of the Second discusses an armed militia to protect a free State. The Supreme Court ruled that the Second included an individual right to bear arms in defense. The complicating factor is the term “firearms”. Firearms equalize the forces of defense and assault to some extent. The right to defend oneself and home is obvious. To bear arms in a militia or in a national army to defend the country is not just a right, it is a necessity and a patriotic duty. To bear arms against an oppressive State is the original intent of the Second. It is “free” State versus “oppressive” State. The Founding Fathers knew first hand the danger of an oppressive State, a ruling class in a far off land with their loyal, local lieutenants and administrators. They had a superior force of arms. The Founders constructed the Second to offset that force. They knew that an armed citizenry would be a strong deterrent to invaders and an oppressive government controlled by elites, dictators or oligarchs. So Americans have a right that most other countries don’t have. It is a source of ridicule. We are labeled a bunch of gun slingers and gangsters by the world at large. Hollywood makes money by marketing that image then in hypocritical fashion, condemns it. Shame on them. But what about the NRA? It says it’s Freedom’s safest place. Some say it’s a male empowerment thing. Could be. But, the NRA is a marketing machine, both in membership growth and retention, lobbying, and advertising for arms dealers and service providers. If there is a negative event, they prepare for the anti-gun onslaught by cooking up membership upgrades. Even Life Members can upgrade. The NRA endorsed magazines have features on firearm history including military, hunting weapons and handguns. But the advertisers are selling semi-automatic hand guns and rifles. Sales go up with each heartbreaking assault on innocents, not down. It’s a “they’re gonna take our guns” reaction. And it’s not about the sport of hunting. It’s deeper than that. A weapon that started its life as an Air Force survival rifle, a bolt action chambered for a 22 Hornet cartridge with 5 round magazine, evolved into our military’s main battle rifle, the M-16, and is now the tool of choice for mentally-ill mass murderers of innocents. The civilian semi-automatic version, the AR-15 is not a hunting rifle. It is theoretically a personal defense weapon that can also be used as a limited assault rifle. In the hands of a mentally deranged individual, it is extremely dangerous. So is an 18 wheeler semi driven down the sidewalk by a terrorist. The focus needs to be on the trigger puller and the driver, not the rifle or the truck. The laws already address this, but pro-active enforcement will always be difficult. The problem is the line between individual freedom and public safety. Keeping weapons, any weapons, out of the hands of the mentally ill, psychopaths, criminals and terrorists requires pro-active law enforcement, not more laws. Listen to law enforcement, not politicians or activists. There have been failures on the enforcement side. Ask them why. It’s not going to be lack of laws. Increase the age to purchase a firearm to 21. Then along comes a dad who says “ if my 18 year daughter needs a handgun for protection on the college campus, then, by golly, she can have one”. So, the Heartland exists. It is not populated by herds of defenseless sheep. There is a scorpion under every rock and behind every tree. Hence the warning “Don’t Tread on Me”. And that includes Putin, Kim Jung Crazy,