Up to now, I have avoided writing about politics in our Guns for Beginners Series. And I may pull or rename this post to maintain this editorial distance from political considerations. But a twenty-something contemplating buying a gun posed a simple question the other day, one which I tried to answer as simply as possible: “Why would anyone want to disarm law-abiding Americans?” Now there’s a question . . .
“Progressives see civilian firearms ownership as dangerously irresponsible,” I said. “It doesn’t matter how safe or law-abiding an individual gun owner may be, they believe gun ownership in general victimizes innocent people. That’s why they want to disarm all Americans.”
I didn’t go into any more detail with the young lady, but I want to expand on that a bit….
When Progressives deny Americans their gun rights, citizens have to rely on the police for their protection – as they do in places where gun rights are severely curtailed (e.g. New Jersey and urban areas of California). Progressives are OK with this. They’re OK with forcing Americans to live in a state where the rule of law is protected by the police and the police alone – what’s called a police state.
Not all police states are fascist dictatorships. At least not yet. For example, the U.K. has banned civilian firearms ownership The Land of Hope and Glory maintains a semblance of democracy. But once a state deprives its citizens of their natural right to self-defense against criminal predation and government tyranny, it’s headed down the road to fascism. The fact that the UK is now the most surveilled country on planet earth indicates the trend of ever-increasing government command and control.
Progressives who acknowledge this possibility of a disarmed populace leading to an all-powerful state – and there are some who do – are not bothered by the prospect. That’s because they believe it will be their police state. It will be run by a well-meaning government for the benefit of all the people. People like them, who know what’s best for people who don’t know what’s best for themselves. People who can’t know what’s best for themselves because they’re uneducated or just plain wrong (i.e. conservatives).
What they fail to grasp: absolute power corrupts absolutely. Or, if you prefer, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. No matter how you look at it – providing you’re looking at it objectively – it’s only a matter of time before a happy-faced police state turns into something far darker. A place where all civil liberties go to die.
TTAG commentators get it. They regularly point out that a police state’s well-meaning founders are quickly and sometimes violently replaced by power mongers who care nothing for the rights of the average citizen. It happened in France, Russia and China. Make no mistake: it could happen here. Which is why the Founding Fathers enacted the Second Amendment: as personal and collective protection against government tyranny.
America is a nation of immigrants, created and populated by people who fled their native countries for the freedoms and opportunities protected by the Constitution. Some have forgotten the tyranny, criminality, corruption and deprivation their predecessors left behind. Many haven’t. They know they can’t trust the government — any government — to protect them, never mind curb its inherent desire to rule every aspect of its citizens’ lives.
Bottom line: Americans want firepower to protect themselves. One way or another, Progressives who would deny them their gun rights want to leave them defenseless. When you get right down to it, and I hope we never do, a gun is a free citizen’s best friend. And that’s the truth about guns.
[For more information on this subject, I recommend the book Liberal Fascism]