On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks, age 42, disobeyed the bus driver’s order and gave up her seat for a white passenger. This woman’s brave stand sparked a 381-day bus boycott, paving the way for the United States Supreme Court to outlaw racial segregation on buses.
Today, that’s history and common knowledge. Most of us know and recognize that Rosa Parks did the right thing and that racial discrimination is wrong under any circumstance. But, back then, racist actions were sometimes socially accepted, practiced and even legal, especially in many parts of the south.
Freedom, once lost, is a very slow train coming home.
Last week I was being interviewed by a radio station on the topic of the Second Amendment March and was asked this question: “When the present Congress and President took office, many gun owners felt certain that their Second Amendment Rights were in trouble, but the opposite has happened. Many states are advancing gun rights and it is now lawful to carry concealed in national parks. Why do you feel Second Amendment activism is still necessary?”
The question gave me cause for pause.
Two days later, after thinking about it, I flew down to Arkansas to speak at a Second Amendment rally, and here is how I answered that question:
“Last week someone asked me why I felt that the Second Amendment still needed defending. He suggested that we had already won the battle and were wasting our time with a Second Amendment March on Washington DC. Let me respond to that by reading the words posted on the outside of this building.”
NOTICE: WEAPONS ARE PROHIBITED ON THE ARKANSAS STATE FAIRGROUNDS COMPLEX. BY ENTERING, ALL PERSONS AGREE TO INSPECTION.
I continue to be amazed at how Americans deceive themselves into thinking they are free. Sure, I understand that freedom isn’t binary, either a 0 or a 1, either ON or OFF. It’s more like a continuum, a range of freedom. But ask yourself this question: Are you freer today than you were five years ago? Are you freer than your parents, or your grandparents? More importantly, if the present course of human events continues to unfold, if the government continues to usurp more and more power, will your children and your grandchildren have any more freedom left to lose?
I think not.
The right to keep and bear arms has been under attack for decades and we’ve managed to accumulate over 20,000 gun laws in this country. Do we really need that many? Should honest, law-abiding citizens (not subjects) need the government’s permission to carry concealed, to carry openly, or to even transport or possess the tool to defend ourselves and our families?
I think not.
But still, those laws are there, and they won’t go away without effort. It’s like Isaac Newton’s first law of motion: “Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.”
And what is the external force?
That’s a good question. And the answer is – you and I. The farmers, the factory workers, the doctors, the rich, the poor, the people who do all the working and living and dying in this country. The external force is applied in the way we vote, the way we get involved, the organizations we join and support, all these external forces join together to put the object in motion in the proper direction. Because we have to remember that there are other external forces also constantly working to further restrict our right to keep and bear arms.
Freedom is not static.
Freedom ebbs and flows, like a pendulum swinging back and forth, waiting patiently to be pulled by whatever gravitational force happens to be strongest. Freedom is always moving, and we are either gaining more of it or losing it.
So, just like Rosa Parks, back in 1955, each of us has a decision to make. Are we going to accept our present level of freedom and hope that the external forces leave us alone? Or are we going to take action to add external force on the government who would bind us?
I have no doubt that Rosa Parks was afraid. But fear has always been the weakest part of a person’s character, while the antidote for fear has always been courage. Rosa Parks conquered her fear when most others wanted her to be happy with her traditional level of freedom.
There is no doubt in my mind that Second Amendment activism is more necessary today than ever before. Our opposition is applying external force, and our own force must be equal to or greater than theirs in order to save the freedoms we have left.
We must learn from our history or we are doomed to repeat it. The Civil war had to be fought because basic human rights were being violated on a massive scale with no end in sight. The wrong had to be made right. It resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead men, women, and children.
Do we really want it to come to that? These days I see many of my fellow gun owners bloviate proudly by saying “They can have my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!” It’s interesting that many of those same people can find thousands of dollars to buy ammo, guns and MREs in preparation for the battle, but can’t even muster a few bucks to join the NRA or Gun Owners of America.
I submit that their own failure to defend the Second Amendment leaves them complicit in the loss of our freedom. Inaction in itself is a decision.
And that’s my case for a march on Washington DC. It’s just my way of adding what external force I can to keep freedom moving in the right direction. Join me at the Second Amendment March in Washington DC on April 19th, 2010, lest we find our children forced to the back of the bus. Go to www.secondamendmentmarch.com for more details.