Theodore's World: To Keep and Bear Arms

« ObamaCare & Progressivism Seeks to Control You | Main | Dr. Charles Krauthammer: 'Next Time I Come Out Against ObamaCare I'm Going to Dig Out My White Coat' »

March 05, 2010

To Keep and Bear Arms

To Keep and Bear Arms

by Doctor Zero ( John Hayward)

Twenty-five years ago, a little after sunrise on a Monday morning, the front door of my house was kicked in by a man who had blown his mind with crack cocaine. He marched my family upstairs at gunpoint. When I reached the top of the stairs and turned around, he put the gun in my forehead and pulled the trigger.

I’ve always heard it was good to begin a composition with an arresting opening paragraph. That’s the catchiest one I can offer from an otherwise modest biography. I hope the rest of this essay lives up to the opening. I’ll do my best.

I don’t mind admitting this incident gave me a lifelong aversion to guns. I don’t have any objection to other law-abiding citizens bearing arms – in fact, I’m strongly in favor of it. It’s just not a right I have chosen to exercise, although I’m working on getting over it. I’m fascinated by the beauty and science of firearms. I rarely pass a gun magazine on the stands without flipping it open, and I love attending gun shows. My first close encounter with a gun was rather… intense, so I’m understandably nervous around them. I recently discovered I’m a remarkably good shot with a target rifle, after some friends invited me to shoot with them. I’ve decided twenty-five years is long enough to be uncomfortable around the reality of something I’ve always supported in theory.

The Second Amendment is once again in the news, as the Supreme Court considers a case that would invoke the Fourteenth Amendment to apply it to the states, striking down restrictive state and local gun-control laws… oh, wait. You’re probably wondering why I’m still here, having been shot in the head and all. Well, I got lucky. I was able to knock the gun out of the way just in time, and the bullet wound up in the wall, instead of my brain. I had managed to make a hasty call to the police as the door was being kicked in, and they arrived to find the perp and I wrestling for control of the weapon at the bottom of the stairs. No one died in my house that day.

I wish the Supreme Court would do more than rule the Second Amendment applies to the states. It’s long past time the last, ridiculous cobwebs of ambiguity were cleared away from the right to keep and bear arms. Gun control has been simmering on low heat for a while, after boiling over in the Nineties. We should clear it off the Constitutional stove altogether. We have better things to do than slip into another bitter, tedious argument about whether the government can interfere with our right, and duty, to defend ourselves.

The notion that citizens have no good reason to be armed, because the State can protect them from violent crime, is one of the most dangerous lies Big Government has fed its subjects. The government reduces crime through the police and court systems, but no matter how tirelessly the police work, there is very little chance they can actively defend you from assault. There aren’t enough of them, and there never could be. The very areas of privacy that allow us to relax with our friends and families will always be soft targets for criminals… unless we fortify them ourselves. The police arrived at my house several minutes too late to play a role in my attempted execution. They made excellent time – there happened to be a unit in the area. If things had gone a little different, they might have arrived just in time to avenge me.

Citizen access to firearms has reduced crime rates time and again, but this is more than a matter of practicality. It’s a question of principle. The people of an orderly nation surrender the business of vengeance to the government, replacing it with the rule of law. They cannot be expected to surrender the right of defense. The right to protect yourself, and your family, from injury and death is an essential part of your dignity as a free man or woman. Without the First Amendment, you are a slave. Without the Second, you are a child.

The Western nations which have abandoned this essential understanding of an individual’s right to self-defense have become rotting orphanages filled with dependent children. They’re not dealing very well with the invasion of a determined ideology that has complete confidence in its own righteousness, and few reservations about using violence to assert itself. Losing the dignity of self-defense is part of the degeneration from master of the State to its client. As this dignity fades, the people and their government speak less of responsibilities, and more of entitlements.

The Second Amendment is a concrete expression of the American birthright of independence. With the right of self-defense bargained away, our rights to speak and vote give us modest influence in a collective. The Founders wanted more, and better, for us.

Sometimes liberals sneer at the idea we might keep arms against government tyranny, because a bunch of pistol-packing Tea Party types have no chance of repeating the success of the Revolution against a modern military force. This completely misses the point. A disarmed populace has little choice but to obey orders. If the population is armed, a tyrant’s forces have to do more than just brandish their weapons… they’d have to start pulling triggers. Victory for a righteous populace would come in the military’s refusal to pull those triggers. Tyranny should never be easy. Of course, it should never come to that again, in the United States. As long as the population is armed, this is an understanding, and a duty… not an assumption.

The right to keep and bear arms is a crucial intersection of liberty and obligation. A gun owner is entrusted with the solemn duty to tend his weapons carefully and securely. In accepting this duty, we remove the destiny of our loved ones from the hands of madmen, and it is no longer measured by the distance of a friendly police car from our homes. It would be a mark of our maturity as a nation if we stopped telling ourselves that freedom can exist in the absence of responsibility… or danger. The shards of those illusions carry sharp edges, when they shatter.

The New York Times article about the case before the Supreme Court ends this way:

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority has made clear that it is very concerned about the right to bear arms. There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s guns.

Carefully drawn laws will not protect you from other people’s guns. Believe me. None of the people carefully drawing those laws will rely upon them for their protection.

Wild Thing's comment........

Excellent write up.

The Second Amendment.........America's Original Homeland Security!

Government and liberty are natural adversaries. The founders of our nation understood this. With that understanding in mind they crafted a Constitution and a Bill of Rights designed to limit the power of government and guarantee the rights of the people. The rights that they intended to protect were those written about in the Declaration of Independence and other un-enumerated rights, e.g. the natural, inalienable rights of man.

Be Well ~ Be Armed ~ Be Safe ~ Molon Labe!

......Thank you RAC for sending this to me.

RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company

13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam

Posted by Wild Thing at March 5, 2010 05:50 AM


Not only does the gun control argument draw time away from matters truly needing government attention, it is the most foolish of arguments ever. This nation of appeasers, of pathetic sorts who delusionally believe the government can "do for them", of people who would legislate based on passion rather than fact; has turned around completely from a time when a Man could be fined for not having his weapon/gun with him. This great country had a military to protect against foreign invaders, (as it well should), but personal defense was expected to be handled by the individual, and if necessary by a private collection of concerned individuals. At best the police can take a report and look around for the guilty party. They cannot, (thankfully), be proactive. We have limited them by law to being a reactive force. We did that to protect individual liberty, but we did it at a time that Americans, by and large, (there've always been pussified sorts that abhor guns, violence and personal safety), had the common sense to know that it was up to themselves to protect themselves and their neighbor.
When we hand over our right to keep and bear arms, we will have given up our right to self-protection, our right to keep congress in line, and our right to the basic freedom of living in relative safety.
There is no valid argument for disarming the law abiding public- NONE!
And if any narcissic dumbass cares to argue any of the points above, just bring it on.

Nuf Sed

Posted by: Frankly Opinionated at March 5, 2010 07:34 AM

If a person reads the Bill or Rights in context, they will see it was put in the Constitution to protect the people from their own government. Since the beginning of history, men have sought to rule other men through government. Our system of government was designed to have leaders, not rulers. Unfortunately that has started to change with the career politician and lately we've witnessed a government willfully going against the will of its people. Our government leaders are becoming our rulers. The Bill of Rights was designed to prevent that and its Second Amendment was the insurance policy in case all others failed.

The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed are words directly written in the Bill of Rights. The words "Separation of Church and State" and "Abortion" are no where found anywhere in the Constitution. Interesting how the actual written words are the target of the left and those wanting more government control over the people.

Posted by: BobF at March 5, 2010 09:48 AM

"Carefully drawn laws will not protect you from other people’s guns"

Nor will they protect us from Blowbamas (SEIU) thugs and brownshirts. That is why we have shotguns and handguns. "Don't Tread On Me" Eric (Stedman) Holder.

Posted by: Eddie (Enemy of the State) at March 5, 2010 10:59 AM

An excellent article and excellent comments above mine. The Second Amendment was written to protect the others in the Bill of Rights. I would hate to see the Second Amendment have to be used. Right now we are seeing an intense attack on the Bill of Rights. The 1st Amendment is being attacked as is the Tenth. Some state governors and legislatures are rising up to defend the Tenth Amendment. They are doing so peacefully and via The US Constitution and their state constitutions.

If the Federal politicians continue to shred The Constitution, there are two recourses for we the citizens. The ballot box is preferable. The last resort is the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

Posted by: TomR at March 5, 2010 11:02 AM

These leftist know exactly what they are doing. They also know and understand the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and they understand what Rights we have/had.

Thats why they always refer to gun rights as for hunting. They also know full well what the right to self defense is and that it is written into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Don't be deceived into believing that these are a bunch of 'do gooders' who only have "OUR" best interest in mind. No they want the whole country restarted in their own perverted image of progressivism/communism. These leftist know exactly what they are doing.

This is why they are constantly trying to circumvent the Constitution by packing the courts with judges who will make law from the bench, ala Roe v. Wade.

The founder of the American Civil Liberties Union was a card-carrying communist whose goal was to undermine the Judeo-Christian foundations of America and our beliefs that all Rights come from God and NOT the government.

The goals of the ACLU were clear from the group’s founding, as indicated by the writings of its founder, Roger Baldwin: “I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class… Communism is the goal.”

This is why the ACLU took on the 'Skopes Monkey' Trial in circa 1925 made into a movie 'Inherit the Wind'. The question was teaching of Evolution as opposed to Creationism. They could care less about of the teacher who taught it. No, to the ACLU it was a small step towards their ultimate goal, get God out of our system. Once they accomplish that, then all rights come from the government and not as the Constitution says, God.

Appeasers yes, but very well informed appeasers with a definite agenda and they understand how they are going to get there. That is through a progression of small steps, it doesn't matter if it takes 10 years or in this case over 100 years. They keep progressing toward the left to the furtherest end of the political Spectrum that will be communism or fascisim the name doesn't matter what matters to them is Government running the whole show and granting to the people Rights the government deems we need and not from some esoteric document thats over 200 years old and that claims God is the grantor of all Rights.

This is our enemy. Like the serpent with 7 heads in order to kill it you must cut off all the heads not just one.

Posted by: Mark at March 5, 2010 11:07 AM

Fantastic input and comments. Thank you all so much, you all mean soooo much to me.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 5, 2010 07:15 PM