“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have government without newspapers or newspapers without government,” Thomas Jefferson opined, “I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Agreed. A free press protects all our liberties—including the right to keep and bear arms. Which returns the favor. If Americans didn’t have gun rights we wouldn’t have freedom of speech. This isn’t idle speculation. Mexico offers us a real world example of what happens to the independent press in a country when the government disarms the populace. laht.com reports . . .
Raul Regulo Garza Quirino, a reporter for the La Ultima Palabra newspaper, was shot dead by several gunmen while driving in Cadereyta, a city in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. Garza Quirino was chased by several armed men. The gunmen caught up with Garza Quirino in downtown Cadereyta, a city located about 37 kilometers (23 miles) west of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon’s capital, and opened fire on him.
With the rise of the narco-terrorists, Mexico has become a killing field for journalists. Since the turn of the century, the cartels have murdered some 75 journalists. Thousands more have been intimidated into silence and/or obedience.
And that’s just the bad guys’ handiwork. Now that it’s open season on reporters, editors and photographers, the Mexican government’s relations with “uncooperative” journalists are a little . . . sticky.
No coincidence that. Mexico is locked into a spiral of propaganda, violence, intimidation, torture and murder. If not for the internet and a few brave souls, Mexico would be a black hole, its terrorized citizenry stumbling around in the democracy-destroying darkness of information isolation.
Would that still be the case if government regulations hadn’t strangled their citizens’ right to keep and bear arms? Let’s return to Raul Regulo Garza Quirino’s death for a moment . . .
The Mexican government no more allows a journalist to carry a concealed weapon than an average citizen. Which is to say not at all. Which is to say it’s highly probable that Raul Regulo Garza Quirino was unarmed at the time of his assassination.
If Quirino had been packing heat, he would have had a chance—if only a chance—of living to report another day. Without armed self-defense, who in their right mind would write about Mexico’s criminals and corruption? Fewer and fewer people, of course.
Zooming out, I wonder if Mexican society would have devolved to the point where journalists are routinely threatened, kidnapped, tortured, shot and dismembered (and not necessarily in that order) if the average Mexican was armed.
Perhaps Mexico’s judiciary, electoral and law enforcement systems wouldn’t have crumbled under the cartels’ violence. Or at least crumbled as quickly and completely. Mexico’s free press may have had a fighting chance. Literally.
Needless to say, American journalists don’t get it. Quite the opposite. In my thirty years in the media I’ve never met a single mainstream journalist carrying a concealed weapon (admittedly that I know about).
Worse, the vast majority of writers, editors and publishers are actively anti-gun for everyone else, too. They singularly, spectacularly fail to see the connection between their occupation’s ongoing existence and their readers’ right to keep and bear arms.
As stated at the beginning of this piece, America’s free press owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the Second Amendment. Not to state the blindingly obvious (for some), freedom is always achieved at the point of a gun.
Peace through strength—or mutually assured destruction—applies equally to nations, communities and individuals. To quote Japanese military strategist Yukichi Fukuzawa (above) . . .
A hundred volumes of international law are no match for a few cannon. A handful of friendly treaties cannot compete with a little gunpowder. Cannons and gunpowder are machines that can make principles where there were none.
If America wants to remain a free society informed by a free press living according to democratic principles we must never forget that our guns—as puny as they may seem against our government’s might and ruthless criminals—are all that stand between us and chaos. And worse. Much, much worse.