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Reader Denny Y. writes:

Prior to the recent attacks in Paris, most of the public discussion surrounding guns has had to do with lone, deranged shooters. The post-event analyses have focused on how the killers obtained their guns and what motivated their actions. Then there have been the knee-jerk attempts to propose legislative solutions that purport to prevent future occurrences by restricting access to guns. The Paris attacks, however, exposed the flaw in this narrow way of thinking. They were carried out by trained, determined foreign fighters with complete disregard for France’s strict anti-gun laws. It was an act of war, not “gun violence” . . .

The framers of the Constitution wrote the Second Amendment after winning a war against a foreign army. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, there was no American army. There were just farmers, doctors, blacksmiths, teachers, carpenters, and other professionals and tradespeople – most of whom owned guns. In writing the Second Amendment, the framers codified the importance of an armed and well-trained (that’s what “well-regulated” meant in the 18th century) populace as a means of defense against enemies on American soil.

In contrast, the Paris attacks illustrate the vulnerability of a people who have been disarmed by their government and stripped of their right to self-defense. None of the victims in Paris had firearms or the ability to use them effectively. And none of the attackers was the least bit hindered by France’s anti-gun laws.

As we think about how to prevent a Paris-style attack here in the U.S., it would behoove us to remember and appreciate the wisdom of the Founders. Armed and capable citizens present a much less attractive target to terrorists intent on inflicting maximum casualties. We can be quite certain that any terrorist attacks currently being planned do not have as their targets places such as gun shows, shooting competitions, or parts of the country where citizens take responsibility for their own armed defense. There will be more attacks, and it’s a safe bet that they will occur in places where the intended victims are legally prohibited from fighting back with the most effective means of self-defense.

The Second Amendment states that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. It’s time we took that admonition seriously. For those of us who already own guns and who accept our responsibility as defenders of our families and our communities, that means investing in the tools and training to be “well-regulated.” For those who think that the right to keep and bear arms is vulgar or obsolete, it’s time to wake up to the reality that the Second Amendment has never been as precious and as necessary as it is now.

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  1. Boiled down to the simplest argument. It doesn’t matter if armed gun men are out to (or managed to) kill the rest of you, I still reserve the right to do it, and don’t deny you the same. It may sound inflammatory, but that’s how we get along. Before you decide that you need to conterdict me, I’ll prevent you and yours. We have no king, we are only fellow citizens. We get along only by the Second Amedment, and it ain’t only about guns. It’s to promise you a short remainder to a life you wasted on trying to be king (Citizen+).

  2. Well said Denny.
    Governors could start by calling out the militia to guard schools. A couple parents inside each school with concealed hand guns and a couple outside with rifles should have the proper deterrent effect. I think their would be lots of Dad’s ( myself included) who would volunteer. Probably enough that you wouldn’t have to stand duty more than once a month. This would “normalize” the 2d Amendment a lot faster than just open carry. Militia could be excused by state law from work with pay, a la jury duty, maybe even with a little jury duty token gas money. Local LE could provide radios and comm training.
    It’s time to resurrect the Militia.

    • My last grandchild graduates this year, but I would still give a day or 2 a month, no problem, inside or outside by your rules. Coms from cops is a good idea, also possibly coordination/scheduling, really it would be just too easy.

  3. That’s why, God forbid, any attack here on the homeland will be studied by the enemy for a location of maximum effectiveness. Uber gun control states and cities, guess what, go to the top of the short list where maximum damage and the casualty count can be most effective simply because the citizenry will be unable to be armed. We all know what cities and states those are.

    The 911 calls will be played a few days later, the stupid and futile “shelter in place” orders will be given, and the MRAP/SWAT DHS FBI alphabet depts will be minutes away.

    Sound planning.

  4. Let’s also address the elephant in the room – terrorists have been Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, ISIS, ISIL, and Al Shabaab. If you are a Christian, Jewish, gay or otherwise an infidel who refuses to bow to Allah, then you may be murdered by being shot, burned alive or beheaded. The video of that gruesome death may be posted to terrorize others and garner new recruits to the Jihad.

    Our president refuses to even to speak the term “Islamic Terrorists.” The Democratic Party has no will to secure our southern border or even to ask voters for ID cards. “Gun Free” zones continue to exist in most of our schools and government buildings that have less security than the jewelry store at the local mall. It’s patently obvious that responsible gun owners are responsible for their own protection.

  5. I find it odd that every time there is an “active shooting” or some other BS label, the Antis aren’t in the front lines with their gun free zone signs and feelings putting a swift end to the evil doer(s). After all, their magic feelings are all that it takes to stop criminals in their tracks, right?

    Where are all the wonders and miracles that prove what the Antis want actually works? Surely, if so many people believe in their BS, there has to be something to it. Instead, the strictest gun controlled cities are cesspools of crime. Gun free zones are locations of opportunity with longer response times (where ironically, those businesses that comply with 30.06 signage are not liable for protecting their clientele yet they are free to disarm them).

    The Anti agenda is so moronic that it’s leaders freely admit their most current plans will do nothing to stop criminals from committing crimes.

    How is being an Anti-gun person still even an acceptable viewpoint? The notion is so wildly idiotic, that it’s today’s scarlet letter. I mean, they can’t even hold rallies without some really shoddy and laughable photoshop to make their numbers seem greater than they are.

    If you are an imbecile, best to remain quiet, or declare yourself an Anti and remove all doubt. Anti-gun should just be renamed Anti-American or Anti-Constitution.

  6. The American Revolution never would have succeeded without France. Hell, it wouldn’t have happened at all. 85% of the blackpowder used by the Continentals was smuggled in from France. The French provided uniforms. Oh, yeah, and a NAVY.

    We can return the favor to France now with ideas about our second amendment and the black rifle culture that now exists in America. Maybe someday we’ll even be able to provide material support for their people. We can hope.

      • France lost 100,000 persons trying to defend the country in 1940. The battle was lost because the Germans introduced new war tacics that were previously unknown. Up until that time defence was seen as the best method – as had been the way in WW1.

        It was therefore an impossible war to win and France was forced to sue for peace to an efficent yet murderous enemy.

        It is undisputed that the USA, UK, Canadians and Free-French did fight a brave and successful war starting at Normandy. That was somewhat helped by having a much superior force against by 1944 a severely weakened German force.

        Despite what people will say the French have never forgot how they were helped and stupid politicians who report otherwise are wrong. It would be easy to return your comment and state that the US had their asses kicked out of Vietnam but that would be an insult to the guys who lost their lives and not the politicians who planned things wrong.

        Not a clever idea to divide allies in these times when the fight should be turned towards the terrorists and those who who unwisely wish to unarm the population.

        • It would also be inaccurate to say that the US had “their asses kicked out of Vietnam” as we slaughtered the North Vietnamese and VC like cattle. We withdrew from Vietnam at the behest of the unhappy US civilian population.

    • “We can return the favor to France now with ideas about our second amendment and the black rifle culture that now exists in America.”

      The concept of self-defense as an individual right is not new, and the French are not ignorant of it. They have simply rejected it, as a culture, as has most of Europe. Perhaps the tide is turning now, but these are determinations that they’ll have to make for themselves. You can’t change someone else’s culture from the outside.

      Maybe a second French Revolution is coming, or maybe they will hold some candlelight vigils, shout “Plus jamais!”, give their government even more power in exchange for the illusion of safety, and bury their heads back in the sand.

      If I were a betting man, I know where I’d put my money.

    • Assuming it’s a bunch, the media won’t report it and the administration won’t acknowledge it. Lie, lie, and then lie some more, for the CHILDREN!!

  7. The dusty extinguisher hung on the wall near the door for years, but I knew it was there and I knew how to operate it. After literally a lifetime, without warning, I needed the old extinguisher, pulled the pin and squeezed. I could not have predicted I’d need to put out a fire this day but was glad when the situation presented itself I had a defense in place to put out the fire.

  8. The only question now concerning 2A/CCW is should it be obligatory for any and all “capable” Citizens to carry in this time of chaos and or war?

  9. Denny

    Very, VERY well said.

    You manage to write what i have been thinking for days. Thanks for putting it in very well chosen words

  10. Well I agree with the sentiment expressed and most of the content of this article, it is dead wrong about the greatest threat we face. The Second Amendment was not included to protect us primarily from terrorists, muggers, or home invaders – but to protect us from a government run rampant. The White House is currently occupied by a president who routinely violates the law, ignores the Supreme Court, flouts the house and the Senate, and has turned the Department of Justice into a weapon against his political adversaries. While I fully expect a Paris style attack to be conducted in the United States in the near future, the greater threat to America- and the one we best be prepared for – is living in luxury in Washington DC.

    • Well said, but I would change “currently occupied” to “has been occupied for most of the past century”.

      The real threat isn’t a terrorist attack, it’s what our government will do after the attack.

  11. While this was very well written, I think the bigger picture shows this isn’t about “Gun Control” but power. The Progressives and their subgroups are out to “Fundamentally Transform” this country and you can’t do that with a ” Well Regulated Militia ” in the way. It’s not about Terrorist attacks or defense from them – that is just a convenient excuse to push disarmament for the larger goals aid out by Mr. Alinsky.

    • Exactly. They want the whole pie and are willing to lie, cheat, and steal to get as many slices as possible.

  12. What bothers me about anti-gunners is that they ignore the effect of deterrence. Armed citizens can stop robberies, muggings, assaults and mass shootings without ever having to unholster.

  13. During the Mau-Mau terror threat, British law had some strict rules about civilian gun possession.

    IIRC, no British settler under the age of 13 was to be out of his home unless accompanied by someone 13 or older, who carried a firearm. Natives were forbidden guns, and if memory serves, a grandmother found to be in possession of 3 rounds of ammunition in a street sweep was executed on the spot.
    It was reported that it became customary for colonial women who bought a new dress to receive an additional swatch of matching cloth. She would then paste that matching cloth over her holster.
    We can only speculate on how bad Jihadist terror will get in this country, and what legal measures will be taken to combat it. Personally, I would expect more “gun control laws” to be the original reaction, followed by outrage at the abject failure of that approach.

  14. Thanks for all the positive and thoughtful comments.

    Bigdiogi – I’m not suggesting that the right to resist a tyrannical, oppressive government isn’t one of the objectives of the 2A. On the contrary, it is front and center. However, it seems to me that a lot of people have a hard time imagining that scenario playing out in the US, despite the lessons of Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and modern Mexico.

    On the other hand, terrorist attacks have happened on US soil, and I bet most people believe we haven’t seen the last of them. In our efforts to persuade fence-sitters, I think our best strategy is to focus on dangers that they perceive as clear and present, for which an armed citizenry is the best defense. That’s what turned the lights on for me.

    Carry on!

    • Ruby Ridge and Waco happened on US soil. While I was always a gun fancier, it was those two events that turned me into a 2A militant.

    • The problem with that approach is that it leaves open a huge hole for infringement. If you convince people that the 2A is primarily about self-defense, they might still accept “common sense” measures like gun registration. After all, if you’re a law-abiding citizen who’s just looking to protect his or her family, why would you care if the government knows all about your guns?

      If people don’t understand and approach the RKBA from Jefferson’s “tree of Liberty” point of view, they’re far more likely to accept incremental restrictions and government oversight, which is a far greater threat than a few jihadis with AKs.

      • “if you’re a law-abiding citizen who’s just looking to protect his or her family, why would you care if the government knows all about your guns?”

        The answer to all “why would you care …” questions has to be an instant “what would it accomplish?” Followed by such as “would it prevent a gun from firing?”, “Would it keep a bullet hole from hurting?”, and finally “If you cannot name one thing such a system would accomplish, why do you want to pay for it? Because I know it will accomplish nothing, and I do NOT want to pay for it.”

        • That’s a pretty logical response, which highlights why it’s not ideal to use emotional appeals like a fear of terrorism to draw people to the RKBA side. If they’re using emotion, not reason, registration might seem like a good idea. After all, it’ll keep the terrorists from buying guns, right? Of course it won’t, but just look at the debates we have about background checks. Plenty of otherwise pro-2A people on TTAG say they don’t mind them, since they might keep a jihadi or criminal from buying a gun. Never mind that there’s almost no evidence to support that belief, and criminals and terrorists seem to have no trouble at all obtaining guns through straw purchases, theft, and other black-market means.

          Emotional appeals might draw some folks into the shallow end of the RKBA pool, but reason and facts (which, fortunately, are on our side) will be necessary to get them into the deep water.

  15. “Armed and capable citizens present a much less attractive target to terrorists intent on inflicting maximum casualties. We can be quite certain that any terrorist attacks currently being planned do not have as their targets places such as gun shows, shooting competitions, or parts of the country where citizens take responsibility for their own armed defense. There will be more attacks, and it’s a safe bet that they will occur in places where the intended victims are legally prohibited from fighting back with the most effective means of self-defense.”

    Because there is no such thing, as a van full of explosives…

  16. “well-trained (that’s what “well-regulated” meant in the 18th century)”

    Is there a citation for this? It makes sense, but it would be nice to be able to reference it in the future.

    • This explanation (with citation) should solve the problem. The general concept expressed by “well regulated”, or the hyphenated form “well-regulated”, was that of “properly functioning”, “performing as expected”. In reference to a militia, “well trained” in military discipline would be an apt interpretation. In no case would the modern connotations of “well regulated” — lots of regulations, rules, and restrictions, apply to the usage of the term at the time the 2nd Amendment was written.

      From: Brian T. Halonen

      The following are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, and bracket in time the writing of the 2nd amendment:

      1709: “If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations.”

      1714: “The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world.”

      1812: “The equation of time … is the adjustment of the difference of time as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial.”

      1848: “A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Mayor.”

      1862: “It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding.”

      1894: “The newspaper, a never wanting adjunct to every well-regulated American embryo city.”

      The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people’s arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.

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