Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959
July 22, 2005
You may have seen an article that's been making the rounds of the Internet:
"The Second Amendment is Already Dead"
By David Brownlow
Although we think it's an interesting article, worth reading and discussing, The Liberty Crew respectfully begs to differ.
Mr. Brownlow makes two main points. First, he says that the Second Amendment is dead because government dares to tell us what arms we can and cannot own. Next, he claims that since the weaponry possessed b today's U.S. government is so much more powerful than the weaponry in citizens' hands that citizens no longer have any hope of protecting themselves against another "long train of abuses" like the one the American colonists rebelled against.
Wrong on both counts. And here's why.
A RIGHT DOESN'T DISAPPEAR SO EASILY
A right remains a right, no matter what any government says or does. Rights are G-d-given.* Rights are inborn.
It is certainly true that governments ride rough-shod over rights. But to say that right is dead because a government abuses it is rather like saying that the sky is red with purple polka-dots just because some legislature says so.
Many people mistake the Bill of Rights for a contract. Contracts can be altered at will by the parties involved. The Bill of Rights is NOT a contract. It is an acknowledgment of pre-existing conditions.
When the government violates any of the Bill's provisions, then that government may cease to be worthy of our respect or obedience, but the rights remain. The damage can be undone. If someone tries to kill you, you still have the right to defend yourself with the best weaponry for the job. If a government tries to tyrannize you, you still have the right to arm yourself against it.
Still doubt that? Then ask yourself this: If you had to sit down and negotiate today, would YOU make YOUR right of self-defense conditional on contract law?
No, we didn't think so. And the Founders didn't, either.
IT'S NOT THE WEAPONRY, IT'S THE WILL
Anyone who has studied history -- or even lived through the last 30 or 40 years -- should recognize the fallacy in Mr. Brownlow's other point -- that because we are drastically outgunned, we have no hope of ever rebelling against government, should conditions get that bad.
No long arguments are needed -- just a few words: the Warsaw Ghetto, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. In each of these places, local people, sometimes with crude and improvised weapons, fought (or are fighting) global powers to a standstill. Guerrilla fighters in Afghanistan not only drove out the Soviet army; they triggered the downfall of the Soviet empire. And before that, they broke the will of the British empire. Likewise, the Vietnamese stopped both the French and the Americans.
Here's another two-word phrase that demonstrates why Mr. Brownlow is wrong: The Liberator.
The Liberator was a crude, cheap, American-made pistol, used in France, the Philippines, and China during World War II. It fired just one shot and had just one purpose: to enable local partisans to kill occupying soldiers and seize their -- far superior -- weapons. (Here's an article with photos: http://www.nfa.ca/nfafiles/cfjarchive/firearms/liberator.html.)
Crude weapons obtain better ones. Simple weapons obtain sophisticated ones. And every abusive government also ends up training soldiers who later may have both the will and the skill to turn its own weapons against it.
History everywhere shows that a fire in the belly -- the will to be free -- triumphs over superior weaponry.
So read Mr. Brownlow's article and consider its arguments. But never despair. The Second Amendment is alive and well and will remain so as long as armed Americans possess the will to defend their own homes, neighborhoods, and families against some future tyranny.
- The Liberty Crew
* We spell G-d this way because in Judiasm it is considered disrespectful to utter the name of the Creator outside of sacred settings.
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