By Chris H.
I knew this feeling. The rush of blood, the tingle of adrenaline surge and the clenching of my jaw. I was headed for a fight, though not a physical altercation; an argument. This is a place I have been many times before as an extroverted (read: loudmouthed) 2A defender. This time was different though, as my opponent wasn’t a gun-grabber or Bloomberg supporter, but a fellow firearm enthusiast. The topic at hand this time was the National Firearms Act and the “necessity” of automatic weapons . . .
I doubt he realized how much he parroted the same talking points and catch phrases our friends at Everytown for Gun Safety have been spouting for years: “No one needs an automatic weapon”. At least he didn’t realize until I pointed it out to him. I find it hard to resist pointing out hypocrisy. It was in this moment I had an epiphany: The disarmament movement is a strong and resolute one. They’re fervent and unified in their objective and we must strive to be as well if we are to cease the erosion of our rights. Divisiveness is a fissure that grows until it breaks under the unending pounding of a sea of opposition.
They aren’t coming for your guns and they likely won’t. Not now. They aren’t really gun grabbers in the sense that they’re snatching them in a quick action. Rather the disarmament movement has taken the time-tested route of rights restriction: gradual erosion. With very few exceptions the rights of any group aren’t taken in one fell swoop but rather worn away through “common sense” measures or under the guise of being for the “greater good.” Unfortunately these concepts and ideas have burrowed into our own ranks as I discovered in my recent discussion.
This erosion is how we have gradually lost our 2A rights. The NFA of 1934 started the modern gun control restrictions by levying a prohibitively high tax ($200 was a huge sum in 1934) on automatic weapons which effectively banned them by means of financial exclusion. This came on the heels of organized crime-caused by Prohibition.
Next came the licensing of interstate dealers and recording sales. The Safe Streets Act (you have to love the names politicians come up with, as if not supporting this meant you wanted dangerous streets) and the Gun Control Act further restricting firearm sales and increasing the age to purchase and own handguns. These restrictions were brought on by the assassinations of President Kennedy, Senator Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. The list goes on, but the theme is always the same. Little restrictions here and there brought on right after a tragic event. Waves crashing against boulders crack and break.
‘No one needs a FILL IN THE BLANK, therefore they should be banned/regulated/taxed etc.’ The blank can be used for open carry, silencers/suppressors, automatic weapons, or “high capacity” magazines. We’ve all heard them ad nauseam. But the Second Amendment has nothing to do with need or want; it’s all about natural rights and freedom. The freedom to defend life, liberty and property. If you are going to support your own 2A freedom, you better well be prepared to support the rights of your fellow Americans whether you agree with them or not. Pieces of those once-strong boulders will break into sand and cease to exist.
We aren’t likely to retain public support by winning over the hearts and minds of the gun grabbers. Rather we must retain as much of our own and gain new supporters from the ranks of the undecided. Admittedly this is a daunting task, but one that’s been at the forefront because of issues like open carry. Open carry has been a divisive topic, even for 2A supporters, but again we gain support for our cause when we support open carry even if we choose not to do so. Open carry has forced many people to recognize that firearms are all around them and have been for a long time, albeit concealed. Now they can see that the presence of a firearm doesn’t create an unsafe environment or dangerous situation. We now are able to erode the fear that gun grabbers use on the masses.
We must stand together and draw a line in the sand if we are to retain the rights we have left. We can then move to retake what we’ve lost by, for instance, introducing legislation like the Hearing Protection Act. “Shall not be infringed” wasn’t chosen by accident. Rights that are given up are not easily recovered. I am not saying you must change your beliefs or opinions, far from it, but remember this: When we advocate or allow the limiting of a right because we don’t agree with it or see the need, we are ultimately restricting our own rights as well and inviting further restriction.
First they came for the automatic weapons, and I did not speak out-
Because no one needs an automatic weapon.
Then they came for the high capacity magazines, and I did not speak out-
Because no one needs 30 rounds.
Then they came for the guns, and I did not speak out-
Because no one needs a gun.
Then they came for our rights, and I did not speak out-
Because I was no longer free.