Should United States Citizens Have the Right to Have Guns for Self-Protection?
Sometimes it seems our government thinks the only weapons it needs to protect the country from what it deems evil or unjust are the pen, the phone, and the pocketbook. None of our rights (or privileges as the President now calls them) are worth anything if we can't exercise them freely without fear. When you walk down the street during the holiday season, if you can't do it safely, do you really care if there is a manger scene in a public place? Or if someone says “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” when you are shopping?
If you have to fear a bomb going off at Farmers Market, does it matter to you if either the atheists or the Jehovah's Witnesses have booths right across from the food vendors? Does the minimum wage matter, or whether you have a labor union, if your workplace is blown up? What good will your gay rights do you if you find yourself living under Sharia law?
I think the right that matters to a lot of Americans right now is the right to have a gun to defend themselves from violence that may be coming across our southern border or flying in with American passports. Those coming across illegally are not all children looking for a better life, and even some of those who are may be carrying dangerous contagious diseases that our legal immigrants are screened for, but not illegal crossers. Gang members, cartel members, and persons from countries that sponsor and train terrorists have also been apprehended by border agents , and we have no way of knowing how many have entered without being apprehended with so little control over who comes across.
All of my rights are important to me as a United States citizen. I cherish the freedom to choose one's religion or to have no religion if that is his choice. I am thankful for a free press, even if they don't always exercise that freedom responsibility. I cherish freedom of speech even as there are efforts to stifle it with political correctness. I am thankful for freedom of assembly that lets me freely gather peaceably with others for social, political, or religious purposes. I'm glad I can't be forced to house soldiers during peacetime. And so on down the Bill of Rights.
However, our Constitution and Bill of Rights stand only as long as our United States government stands. And whether or not it stands depends upon the willingness and ability of the President and Congress to uphold the Constitution and defend it from its enemies, foreign and domestic. Sometimes our military needs to be called on to defend us, and sometimes citizens need to exercise their second amendment rights to defend themselves and their country against terrorism . We fight not regular armies who fight other armies. We fight people who are likely to be civilians organized or unorganized, targeting civilians.
Police and National Guard can't be everywhere. They may not be near when an attack is taking place. But one armed citizen could stop an attack before it's carried out. That's why school shooters pick gun-free zones to do their evil deeds. This is not the time to disarm citizens, but to arm more of them. What we face today is more dangerous than what we faced during World War 2, when all the action was across the ocean.
For seventy years I have led a sheltered and peaceful life in the United States of America. I thank God for every one of those years. They were possible because most of my countrymen were moral people who respected others and did the right thing. The few that broke the law were usually caught and removed from society. Relatively few real monsters dwelt among us. Most people lived by the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. They were, for the most part, self-governed. Social pressure was also brought against those who crossed moral boundaries, illegal or not. That's what helped the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's as citizens of all races united to end segregation and Jim Crow laws.
Since my birth, peace at home was in large part due to the ability of most people to govern themselves. When they couldn't, we had law enforcement to help keep them under control. And only the military who served overseas bore the brunt of keeping foreign enemies from our shores, allowing us to live free from fear at home. It was our military who saw how cruel an enemy can be, who lived terrors we civilians in America did not have to face. It was those military personnel who returned home with unspeakable memories they did not even want to tell their families about. And they did it to protect us.
Up until this time, most of our presidents have used the military only when they saw no other option. Despite what many would have you believe, no president is eager to fight a war. But when it became necessary to defend the country, they did it. And they did not handcuff the military to keep it from winning the war. My husband, who was born in Serbia during World War II, dodged American bombs as well as those from other countries when he was still a toddler. He survived, others didn't. Civilians do get hurt in wars. It's a fact of life.
To fight a war against terrorists who aren't in uniform or part of a real army is even more impossible without civilian casualties. The terrorists themselves have no problem attacking innocent civilians to use as pawns in their quest for power. When is the last time an American army captured an innocent civilian for ransom, threatening to behead him if the ransom wasn't paid?
If we send our military to war , we must not tie their hands to make their job harder. Bombs do blow up everyone, and that includes civilians whom the terrorists keep in their midst to keep us from dropping those bombs. And if we don't drop them? More terrorists remain to behead and crucify innocent civilians, including women and children. They are trusting in our lack of resolve to really fight them until they are defeated.
Meanwhile, here at home nothing is being done to secure our border against foreign enemies. They come across in the same way the children do. There is still a push to disarm citizens and refuse them the right to carry concealed weapons that might save their lives or the lives of others. The second amendment, is one of our rights, along with the other nine, that are spelled out in our Constitution. It is the right that guarantees we will still have the others.
On Constitution Day this year, President Obama made a speech to commemorate it. Here is a quote from that speech: “ Our Constitution reflects the values we cherish as a people and the ideals we strive for as a society. It secures the privileges we enjoy as citizens, but also demands participation, responsibility, and service to our country and to one another.”
The President does not say which ideals our society strives for, but he does say the Constitution secures privileges , not rights. Government can take away privileges. Only a rogue government tries to take away rights. Our founding fathers used their guns not only to hunt, but also to fight for their independence and to defend their families against native tribes and outlaws where the law didn't reach.
Today we also have outlaws where the law doesn't reach, or at least reach in time. People need to keep the right to arm themselves in self defense and in defense of their nations, just as the colonists did so long ago. The colonial militias were simply armed citizens with their own weapons uniting in self-defense. No President who cares about defending his country would disarm its citizens, insinuating that hunting is the only reason for a civilian to have a gun. No state that cares about the safety of its citizens would deny them weapons for self-defense , especially if they live in a border state. The second amendment is a right, not a privilege. It is to be defended, not redefined.
Text is original and may not be used without permission.
B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved
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