My grandparents died in a Nazi death camp. My father barely survived a Nazi labor camp. He was starved, beaten unconscious (several times), worked beyond exhaustion and forced to spend four winters in the Carpathian mountains without shelter or warm clothing. During his ordeal, he ate insects and performed surgery on his leg with a rusty razor blade. When the war ended he had one goal: to become an American. Nothing else mattered. He wanted to live in a country where the government lacked the power to enslave, torture and murder its citizens . . .
When my father achieved his ambition, he was under no illusions. He arrived just as the communist witch hunts of the 1950′s began. He worked at the race track in a state controlled by mobster Raymond Patriarca. He knew about American apartheid. Union thugs targeted his business for extortion. Peter Farago understood that liberty is like good health: a balance between that which would kill you and that which would keep you alive.
My wife, another war survivor, put my father’s philosophy into words: “Life is a bloodsport.” And so it is. Millions of Americans who’ve never had to fight for their freedom don’t understand that it was won at the point of a gun. That their freedoms are maintained at the point of a gun.
I’m not talking about foreign policy. In this age of intercontinental ballistic missiles, our fears of invasion have been reduced to alien attack. It’s hard (but not impossible) to argue that American troops in Afghanistan or Iraq are fighting to protect our Constitutional rights. No, the warriors who safeguard our collective freedoms are the armed Americans on the opposite side of my computer screen.
I lived in the UK for eighteen years. I watched Her Majesty’s Government complete its program of civilian disarmament, and the country’s subsequent slide into proto-fascism. I use the term advisedly. The Land of Hope and Glory’s inhabitants have become the most surveilled people on planet earth. They’ve surrendered the right to remain silent. UK courts now issue Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, prohibiting an entire range of otherwise legal activities, often based on nothing more than hearsay.
The increasingly tyrannical UK government is a stark warning (if one be needed): government seeks to extend its power like a tree “seeks” growth. It’s not a conspiracy; ’tis the nature of the beast. Our freedoms are shielded from government usurpation by the existence of millions of armed Americans. Gun owners ready, willing and able to protect their individual rights against government incursion. The fact that they don’t have to engage in armed conflict with the State indicates nothing more or less than a healthy balance of power between government and governed.
There’s only way to “prove” the truth of this seemingly paranoid analysis: compare America with countries with citizens denied the right to keep and bear arms. Choose any country you like, and analyze this: how free are its people? Meanwhile, know this: @cenksoutfitters‘ Tweet about the “joys” of Cuban socialism was ironic. Kansas hunting guide Jim Stanford was pointing out the discrepancy between gun control advocates’ ambitions and the reality of what they wish for. To wit, this Wikipedia entry:
Human Rights Watch is among international human rights organizations accusing the Cuban government of systematic human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary imprisonment, unfair trials, and extrajudicial execution.
Is it any surprise that Fidel Castro encouraged Cubans to own guns at the beginning of his dictatorship, then forced citizens to register their weapons, then sent his troops to confiscate those guns? Last February, the Cuban government tested its armed citizens’ gullibility again [via cuba.foreignpolicyblogs.com]:
Today, Cuba declared a two-month amnesty for unlicensed gun owners—an implicit acknowledgment of the presence of an illegal underground market in Cuba, since very few individuals beyond active military personnel and state security agents are legally allowed to even possess weapons. As the Associated Press reports:
“Even most police officers are required to leave their pistols at the station or in a regional barracks when on vacation or leave, and young men participating in mandatory military service are given unloaded firearms for most exercises.”
During this “exceptional and one-time only” two-month amnesty, gun owners who come forward and pass aptitude and psychological tests will be allowed to keep their weapons.
Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? It’s the exact same legislative medicine that MikeB30200 and his gun control amigos prescribe to solve America’s gun violence problem: registration and competency tests. It’s the same bitter pill that gun rights advocates rightly condemn as poisonous to the body politic.
I will not forget my father’s struggle to distance himself from fascism and genocide. I will oppose American gun control measures in any way I can: by spreading the pro-gun message here, [holding my nose and] voting for pro-gun candidates when I can and exercising my second amendment right to keep and bear arms. I suggest that all freedom-loving Americans do the same.