There are those who believe that the Second Amendment is an antiquated and outdated relic of an era long since gone. After all, the Founding Fathers were just a bunch of rich men. Who cares what they thought, right?
Unfortunately for those folks, they’re quite wrong. While it’s the product of a long-ago era, its relevance is still quite modern.
The purpose of the Second Amendment was to provide for the protection of this great nation, not just from outside threats but also internal ones. Like it or not, our Founding Fathers figured we would probably need to overthrow our government at some point in time. After all, they’d just thrown off their tyrannical masters and fully believed that the time would come when they would need to do so yet again.
Delusional about human nature, the Founding Fathers weren’t. They understood that power and corruption went hand in hand. Whether they saw it as power corrupting or that power was enticing to the corruptible, I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. Those who wish to impose their will on others are going to seek out power.
So far, we’ve been pretty fortunate. Except for that unpleasantness in the 1860s, we’ve been remarkably stable. There hasn’t been a whole lot of need to overthrow much of anyone, with a couple of notable exceptions. While we’ve had plenty of corruptible people in power, it’s typically taken the form of gaining wealth rather than imposing wills.
Tyranny, however, isn’t something Americans should ever believe won’t come to our shores.
Right now, a large number of Americans believe that it’s here. They look at Donald Trump and his boisterous rhetoric and his general lack of “give a damn” and say that he’s a tyrant.
Whether they’re right or not is irrelevant. He’s right there.
Yet, oddly, these same people want to restrict firearm ownership to just the people who work for the government. They want police–who they think are gunning down black people for sport–and the military–who answers to President Trump–to be the only ones with guns.
I can’t help but believe that this is because they don’t understand the fundamental nature of how our rights are protected.
The First Amendment protects our ability to criticize the government as well as making it clear that our government can’t use religion to control our daily lives. We can criticize our government in person or through the media. We can gather together to scream our displeasure.
It’s designed to prevent tyranny in the first place.
The Second Amendment is the Founding Fathers’ insurance policy on liberty in this nation. It’s the threat hanging over every would-be tyrant’s head. Sure, they can try and bring tyranny to our shores, but they’ll be hard-pressed to pull it off.
However, this isn’t all the Second Amendment is about.
You see, there’s also an idea I like to call the Tyranny of the Criminal.
All violent crimes are ultimately about power. No one fears the pickpocket or the cybercriminal. They may have concerns about becoming a victim, but no one has a real fear of them. No one wakes up in the middle of the night, scared they’re going to die because a hacker emptied their bank account.
But they do have that reaction to the violent predators that stalk our nation’s streets.
This is a form of tyranny as well. Criminals capitalize on fear to impose their wills on the innocent. If you’re lucky, they just want money. If you’re unlucky, they want more.
Luckily, the Second Amendment makes no distinction against the kinds of tyranny it’s meant to oppose. It merely reads, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the People’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Security of a nation could easily be debated to also include the security of the individuals within it.
Now, I get that not everyone wants to carry a gun, and I don’t want to make anyone have a gun who doesn’t want one. But the Second Amendment means those of us who wish to should be free to do so as well.
The Second Amendment is anything but a relic of a bygone era. It’s an integral part of the American fabric, one that should be embraced because it serves no master. Preserving it shouldn’t be a conservative or libertarian issue, but an American one. Yes, liberals should support and embrace it as well. Feminists should see the armed woman as empowered and the equal of any male predator. Those who think Trump is “literally Hitler” should embrace the Second Amendment as their great hope, their way to make sure he doesn’t create death camps or whatever.
It should be a universally supported position. More than that, it should be considered a national treasure, the ultimate insurance policy for liberty anywhere in the world.
The fact that it’s not is beyond comprehension.