(Please ignore my horrible grip on that Ruger, this is an old photo. I swear to you I do NOT teacup any more.)
When I wrote “I’m With Stupid” this weekend, I assumed that my usual handful of readers would see it and go about their day. I thought one or two might comment and that would be that. I had no idea that it would be so well received by so very many people.
More than 1,000 people read that post, which astonishes me. Thank you for that. You read what was essentially an open letter to my friends and family and progressives everywhere, written out of frustration and exasperation, and you said “Hell yeah!” And that is awesome.
I’m not really a gun blogger, though the topic certainly comes up here. I am not a gun expert. I don’t even get to the range as often as I’d like, and that’s sad, since my range is literally in my back yard. But I am a fierce advocate for the right to self defense – everyone’s right. And thank God I’m not alone in my advocacy. It shouldn’t matter what weapon I choose to defend myself and my family. And yet it somehow does.
The bigger problem, the problem that goes well beyond the debate over gun control, is the steady erosion of our civil rights and liberties. A couple of Random Wednesdays ago I said this:
“What becomes of our individual consciences? Why do we not stand up for what we feel? … Very simply, we are programmed to obey authority even against our own consciences. [Martha Stout, The Sociopath Next Door]“ And that right there, is why we see all these stories about lemonade stand busts, or not being allowed to serve venison at a homeless shelter, and there is this quiet outrage, Fox News reports on it once or twice, and then everyone settles right back down into complacency. This is how we have gotten to where we are in this country. Over-regulated, over-mandated, our civil rights and liberties, our constitutional rights, slowly whittled away. And what do we do? We fucking acquiesce. Everyone says “Come and take them” and “They’ll take my guns from my cold dead hands”, but when Big Brother comes knocking at your door what will you really do? You’ll hand over your armory just like everyone else. This is who we are. This is what terrifies me. This is the agonizing irony of a country that fought so hard and so long to be free.
What too many of us fail to see, the thing that is slapping us all in the face, is that once you give up any one of your rights, they’re gone. You will not get them back. This is how dictatorships are born. This is how millions of people lose not only their freedom, but their very lives. It has happened time and again throughout history. It’s happening today. The dictionary’s word of the day today is “wrest”, particularly fitting for this topic, with a government and a population swarming with progressives intent on knowing what’s best for us to death.
I’m hoping that I’m wrong, that when the feds come to our doors demanding our weapons, we don’t hand them over. I’m hoping that it never comes to that at all, and it likely won’t. No, it will be a far more subtle attack. It will be one small law here, one minor regulation there. Limits on magazine capacities, bans on types of weapons based on appearance, restrictions on where and how we’re allowed to carry, all lead gradually, slowly, subtly, to the total erosion of our freedom. And every last piece of legislation will be done “in our best interests”.
I want to believe that our country will not allow this to happen, that we will not be another Australia, for instance, where their guns were taken and their crime rates sky rocketed. I want to believe that the lessons of our Revolution are not lost, and that we will be strong enough to stop this decline. From the response that my humble post received, I’m heartened and a little reassured, that there are enough of us to ensure that we can. But if we continue to acquiesce to this steady erosion, if we roll over on gun control, the rest will fall. The 2nd Amendment is the safeguard of all other rights. Without it, we’re just sitting ducks.
This isn’t crazy talk, this isn’t “gun zealotry”, this isn’t even paranoia. This is a history lesson. Pay attention.