In response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, McDonald vs. City of Chicago, Chicago Mayor Daley made this profoundly ignorant remark: “We are a country of laws not a nation of guns.” Mayor Daley is in need of a good schooling in the history of the American Founding.
America is indeed a “nation of guns,” or rather, a nation of arms. As rightly pointed out by Phyllis Schlafly in the June 2000 Phyllis Schalfly Report (vol. 33, no. 11): “Individual ownership of guns made the American Revolution possible.” Also:
The chief reason America has remained a free country is the widespread private ownership of firearms…The principal purpose of the Second Amendment was to maintain our freedom from government. It is an insult to our heritage to imply that the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment just to protect deer hunters.”
Note to Mayor Daley: We are a “country of laws,” but the first and most fundamental law of this land is the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln said, “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” In his press conference, the mayor said: “As a city we must continue to stand up ..and fight for a ban on assault weapons ..as well as a crackdown on gun shops,” then he added, “We are a country of laws not a nation of guns.” Mayor Daley, the supreme LAW of the land is that we are indeed, have always been and shall continue to be, a “nation of guns,” whether you like it or not.
[W]hereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…”
—Richard Henry Lee, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788
Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”
—Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788
More from the Phyllis Schalfly Report, concerning lessons from history on why the individual right to bear arms is essential to maintaining our freedom:
My good friend, the late Reverend Stephen Dunker, C.M., was a missionary in China who was imprisoned by the Communists during the early 1950s. I heard him tell of his experiences many times. When the Communists first took over the area where he lived, they appeared to be good rulers. They established law and order and cleaned up the traffic in drugs and prostitutes. Then one day the Communist bosses announced, “You can see that we have established a good society and you have no need for your guns. Everyone must come in the night and dump all guns in the town square.” The people believed and obeyed. The next day, the reign of terror began, with public executions and cruel imprisonments. Everyone accused of being a “landlord” was dragged through the streets and executed; a “landlord” was anyone who farmed his little plot of ground with two water buffalo instead of one.
Gun confiscation leads to a loss of freedom, increased crime, and the government moving to the left. This has already happened in England and Australia. After Great Britain banned most guns in 1997, making armed self-defense punishable as murder, violence skyrocketed because criminals know that law abiding citizens have been disarmed. Armed crime rose 10% in 1998. The Sunday Times of London reported on the new black market in guns: “Up to 3 million illegal guns are in circulation in Britain, leading to a rise in drive-by shootings and gangland-style execution.” There has been such a heavy increase in the use of knives for violent attacks that new laws have been passed giving police the power to search anyone for knives in designated areas.
In 1996 Australia banned 60% of all firearms and required registration of all guns and the licensing of gun owners. Police confiscated 640,381 firearms, going door to door without search warrants. Two years later, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that all crime had risen and armed robberies were up 44%.
Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D., described his first-hand experience in Cuba. Before 1958, Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista had all citizens register their firearms. After the revolution, Raul and Fidel Castro had their Communist thugs go door to door and, using the registration lists, confiscate all firearms. As soon as the Cubans were disarmed, that was the end of their freedom.
Tyrannical governments kill far more people than private criminals. The Nazis conducted a massive search-and-seizure operation in 1933 to disarm their political opponents, in 1938 to disarm the Jews, and when they occupied Europe in 1939-41 they proclaimed the death penalty for anyone who failed to surrender all guns within 24 hours.”
A young man I know recently said that he is a pacifist and doubts he will ever own a gun or knife because he “just hate[s] what they symbolize.” I am guessing that in his mind guns symbolize violence, death and oppression, or something to that effect. But the same object can mean entirely different things to different people. You see, in my mind, guns symbolize self-reliance, self-preservation, protection of life, family, property and liberty…ultimately, from my personal American perspective, guns represent freedom. We are and must always be the protectors of our own freedom. And as Dwight Eisenhower said:
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid.”
Thomas Jefferson, writing to George Washington in 1796, said: “One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.” My sentiments exactly, excepting for target practice, of course….
*This post is part of my week-long Independence Day series.