One of the largest media outlets on this planet, the BBC, recently aired a piece about several “non-traditional” well-armed American self defense groups. They included Armed Equality, the non-partisan group I started.
The BBC tells me the piece was seen by over three hundred million human beings around the world. It will be translated into a number of languages and will air on television, radio, and online. I didn’t think I’d ever get anywhere remotely close to this level of exposure on these incredibly important topics when I started Armed Equality.
The fundamental human right to access the modern tools necessary for effective self defense are well beyond inalienable. There are billions of human beings on this planet who, through no fault of their own, live in regions where this right is denied to them by evil men… men with guns who deny access to those they subjugate.
Regardless of what specific criticisms we have about the final production of the piece, consider the undeniable amount of exposure we’ve gotten for gun rights. Consider the ripples that we have already made, and the ripples that we have yet to cause. From my vantage point these seeds have unquantifiable potential.
I know deep down in my bones that all humans yearn for liberty. I believe many don’t realize it, many are indoctrinated out of it, many are punished when it surfaces, but I believe that it’s always there.
The Second Amendment and the Constitution of the United States really aren’t what truly matters. They are simply a modern incarnation and embodiment of what the American Founders knew was a preexisting fundamental human right required for the preservation of a free society. A free society made up of an almost infinite number of minorities, the smallest and most precious of which is the individual.
Prejudice, hate, bigotry, bullying, and ostracization cause devastating amounts of human suffering. I view this pain and anguish as the root cause of much true evil. I see it as the motivation behind the great horrors and tragedies we’ve seen in the past and continue to experience.
From tyrannical states disarming millions prior to holocausts to spree killers calmly executing children; evil exists in this world. The firearm is a tool. I find it doubtful that any technological invention before it has impacted human history in so many profound ways. Guns are the great and eternal force equalizer.
This tool in the hands of individuals causes governments to hesitate in their thirst for more power. This tool in the hands of a small woman facilitates hesitation and true equality between her and a potentially overpowering aggressor. This tool in the hands of an LGBT individual halts a self-loathing creature seeking satisfaction of their own misdirected pain.
Your right to exist and defend yourself against all threats is eternally inalienable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be restricted or prevented from accessing it. This right should be exercised, protected, examined, and cherished. It’s the fulcrum upon which everything else we hold dear balances upon.
This is why I founded Armed Equality.
This is why I am willing to fight.
Piper Smith is the founder and director of Armed Equality. Armed Equality was founded in response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the deadliest terrorist attack and hate crime on American soil post 9/11.