By in Politics

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 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 . We fight not regular armies who fight other armies. We fight people who are likely to be 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 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 , 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 , 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

Image Credit » NONE CCO public domain

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AbbyBiha wrote on September 21, 2014, 11:11 PM

Living our everyday life these days isn't easy anymore, we are in constant threat from both inside and outside the country.

BarbRad wrote on September 21, 2014, 11:23 PM

That's true. I don't remember such anxiety about actual safety on the streets or in our homes before in my lifetime.

JanetJenson wrote on September 22, 2014, 1:14 AM

I don't normally enter into discussions involving politics or religion, but I would add that some families in the US live in areas where a weapon is needed for defense against wild animals, not just the two legged kind. Snakes, mountain lions, bears, coyotes, that sort of thing. We sometimes anthropomorphize those creatures into cute friendlies, but in certain circumstances any of them could pose a serious threat.

BarbRad wrote on September 22, 2014, 3:18 AM

That's true. But it's generally the people who live in cities that make our laws, and they don't know much about sharing their land with those wild critters, or else they think the rights of the wild critters surpass yours.

suffolkjason wrote on September 22, 2014, 4:51 AM

I'm going to pass on this subject. I think you have to be an American to fully appreciate the history and culture.

BarbRad wrote on September 22, 2014, 12:41 PM

True. Our country is very young still, as countries grow. It had to pioneer into the wilderness all the way west, making trails and roads and finally railroads. Guns were important tools in supplying both food and clothing, as well as protection where there was no one to enforce laws.

Scorpie wrote on September 22, 2014, 1:19 PM

At this point it would not be possible to disarm Americans. We won this country down the barrel of a gun and that's how we will keep it.

BarbRad wrote on September 22, 2014, 1:33 PM

I think that's about right. Wherever people have been disarmed, they have later lost their liberties. WE have friends who escaped from the old Soviet Union. One of them had a grandfather who didn't turn in his gun and so was shot.

Scorpie wrote on September 22, 2014, 2:33 PM

Our state had a recent law change where you had to register your high capacity weapons by a certain date. It is estimated only about five percent actually complied. I forgot to register mine.

melody23 wrote on September 22, 2014, 4:11 PM

As a Brit I find it odd that so many Americans have guns and its totally legal for them to do so. over here you cant even carry a pen knife over an inch in length without getting arrested. I am not necessarily saying you guys shouldn't be allowed to have them, just that it is odd to those of us who come from countries with no right to carry a weapon.

Kasman wrote on September 22, 2014, 7:05 PM

I think the genie is out of the bottle on this particular subject. From what I know of it the gun lobby in the US is very powerful and there is no way they will accept restrictions without a fight.

LeslieAdrienne wrote on September 22, 2014, 10:14 PM

Isn't that the way it is with everything that is different? I remember that I marveled at the knowledge that the Bobbies did not carry guns....

But, as for us, you have to look at our history to understand why it is so "normal" to our thinking. We are a really, young country in comparison to others and when we broke away from England, we were determined not to be at the mercy of any government which held all of the fire power. Hence, the right to bear arms is vital to us.

We advanced through this land, from sea to shining sea using guns. We moved across dangerous terrain into territories which housed unknown dangers from both man and beast, we needed guns.

We used guns to protect ourselves from wild animals and violent perpetrators. We used them to defend our homes, defend our property and to defend our families. We hunted for food using guns, fought street battles with guns, and protected our territories using guns.

The kids learned how to shoot as soon as they could hold a gun as a matter of survival. So, guns are as much a part of our cultural rights as freedom of speech. Which, incidentally is also being threatened.....

JanetJenson wrote on September 23, 2014, 12:27 AM

Right, they do think the rights of the wild critters surpass our own, and with that attitudezI think they never would have survived outside of cities.

BarbRad wrote on September 23, 2014, 2:21 AM

My, my. Why does this memory lapse not surprise me?

BarbRad wrote on September 23, 2014, 2:23 AM

Wow! You said it so well. This could have been a post in itself.

BarbRad wrote on September 23, 2014, 2:24 AM

I have certainly heard people say they are not giving up their guns.

LeslieAdrienne wrote on September 24, 2014, 4:47 AM

I am not giving up mine, and, I haven't even looked at it this year...

LeslieAdrienne wrote on September 24, 2014, 4:53 AM

We are in the South and our county just passed legislation allowing the carrying of guns... I guess I should find myself a cute holster....
One thing about it, if I have a gun and you have a gun, we are going to be thoughtful about how we interact with one another....

LeslieAdrienne wrote on September 24, 2014, 4:54 AM

Do you think I would get in trouble if I copied it and pasted it into a new article post????? LOL Thank you for the compliment.

LeslieAdrienne wrote on September 24, 2014, 4:56 AM

There was this "dummy" who chained himself to a tree to protest cutting it down, and, a Grizzley bear came up and ate him.

LeslieAdrienne wrote on September 24, 2014, 4:59 AM

I don't think it was ever really easy. There has always been "stranger danger", and crimes against persons.... I just thing the media puts things in our faces more quickly and, the isolation that we experience now gives us a feeling of aloneness.... hence a heightened sense of danger.

BarbRad wrote on September 24, 2014, 11:50 AM

I never heard about that one. But that may have dissuaded a few others from chaining themselves to trees.

BarbRad wrote on September 24, 2014, 11:53 AM

Yes, I think that would get you into trouble. But you could write the same ideas in different words and embellish them a bit. I may do that with a comment I made on another post.

paigea wrote on October 5, 2014, 5:41 PM

I am not American so won't have an opinion about what Americans should do. I am a constant advocate for stricter gun control in Canada. I am never going to carry a gun and don't want those around me to be free to do so at all times either.

BarbRad wrote on October 5, 2014, 5:54 PM

Can your police get to you immediately if you are attacked by a criminal? We don't have enough in many of our communities, especially the rural ones, for a quick response. It can take them up to 45 minutes to arrive. By that time, it's often too late. I wouldn't ever want to have to shoot a gun, but if I had one, and the courage to go with it, I would not hesitate to shoot someone who was attacking a woman or child or anyone else if no other help was available.

paigea wrote on October 5, 2014, 6:01 PM

I live 50 km from the closest RCMP detachment, so, no. But in 58 years I've never needed a gun. I'm not willing to consider having one to deal with such a remote possibility. Plus, if I had one, it would just be another weapon for the criminal really since I have no shooting skill or desire to learn.
Now there are hunting guns in a cabinet. Once my husband no longer hunts he will get rid of those. I have no idea where the key is or where the ammunition is. So, whatever happens, I won't be shooting anyone.
I preferred the cabinet at our old house that was hidden in such a way in the wall, that no one would even know we had a gun cabinet.