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March 28, 2018

Liberty v. Tyranny of the Anti-2A Leftists

The stark contrast between our visits to the historic centers of Washington, Madison and Jefferson, versus the hordes of anti-2A adolescents in DC.

“The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” —James Madison (1788)

I just returned from a long weekend away — a fitting break from my Liberty book project last week — to revisit the intellectual repositories of the three most influential men in the history of Liberty v. tyranny — the American triumvirate, Washington, Madison and Jefferson.

Traveling with my wife, Ann, our first stop was Charlottesville, Virginia, where protesters are still endeavoring to tear down historic war monuments. Last year, privileged students at the University of Virginia displayed their monumental ignorance by desecrating and shrouding a statue of UVA’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, at the university’s famous Rotunda.

That notwithstanding, our return to Jefferson’s Monticello was, as always, inspiring.

Next, we traveled north to James Madison’s Montpelier, an equally inspiring historical visit.

From there it was, of course, on to the Mount Vernon home and library of George Washington. In addition to a docent tour with an outstanding historian, we were also given access to Washington’s archive collection, and the curator showed us the surveying compass my ancestor produced in 1795 for Washington as a gift for his nephew. (Some of you may recall that Washington was a surveyor prior to becoming The Indispensable Man.)

Our Saturday destination was Marine Corps Base Quantico, where our son and 63 other young Marines graduated from the Infantry Officer School — the first graduation I have attended anywhere, which occurred before dawn!

After celebrating these young men, we met with other friends and headed for the swamp — Washington, DC.

I know you will be SHOCKED to learn that we were annually not going there to join the hordes of adolescents (of all ages) gathered on the Mall, pleading for the incremental revocation of the “palladium of the Liberties of the republic,” our nation’s Second Amendment.

It’s no small irony that our destination was actually the NRA’s National Firearms Museum, where we spent the afternoon with its senior curator and historian, for a review of an amazing collection of the weapons that have aided in the defense of Liberty, foreign and domestic. I figured it was the most antithetical thing we could do in DC in contrast to the anti-2A protests. We were amused at the greeting we received from a few aging hippies holding “shame” placards across the street from NRA headquarters.

So, from Jefferson, Madison and Washington to the tyranny of the marching mall masses in DC.

Allow me to offer a few observations about the so-called “March for Our Lives” and all the “little Barack” brown shirts in attendance there, and in a few other urban centers.

First, as for those leftists who pretend that repeal of the Second Amendment is not their objective — that they’re only advocating for “commonsense gun safety legislation,” that pretense was dealt a blow this week. The New York Times published this blunt argument for repeal from former Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, a Gerald Ford appointee who finally retired from the bench in 2010. (Memo to Ginsburg…)

According to Stevens’ badly flawed logic, “Demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment. … [It] is a relic of the 18th century. … A constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple. … [It] would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform.”

Is that clear enough? Stevens effectively betrayed the Left’s hand by revealing the gun confiscators real legislative goals. In doing so, he also tipped the Leftmedia’s hand regarding their aligned objectives.

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake lamented, “Rarely do we see such an unhelpful, untimely and fanciful idea as the one put forward by retired Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens. … The move might as well be considered an in-kind contribution to the National Rifle Association, to Republicans’ efforts to keep the House and Senate in 2018, and to President Trump’s 2020 reelection bid. In one fell swoop, Stevens has lent credence to the talking point that the left really just wants to get rid of gun ownership and reasserted the need for gun-rights supporters to prevent his ilk from ever being appointed again (with the most obvious answer being: Vote Republican).”

In other words, the Left’s “boiled frog” approach to repealing the Second Amendment is undermined when a despotic judicial supremacist leapfrogs over that ruse and reveals the ultimate objective — an especially terrible thing to do in a midterm election year.

Second, let’s consider who are the actual “survivors” of the tragic Parkland school attack versus those who have now become enthusiastic political pawns for the Left.

When I think of “survivors,” what comes to mind would be the people who exited the twin 110-story World Trade Center towers on 9/11 before they collapse, or the 23 individuals who survived after the collapse.

In the Parkland context, as with other rare mass acts of violence, a survivor would be someone who was wounded and did not die. Perhaps that word could be extended to those who were in the immediate line of fire but escaped injury, as was the case with many people in Las Vegas last year.

But the threat at Parkland was terminated, and the hundreds of students who were on the Parkland campus that day are not “survivors” by virtue of being on campus, as the Demo-gogue Left and their sympathetic Leftmedia propagandists insist. That moniker is purely for emotive optics and political theater.

In keeping with that fake narrative, The Washington Post claims there are now 187,000 survivors of sociopathic attacks on schools — the three most referenced of those being Columbine in Colorado (1999), Sandy Hook in Connecticut (2012) and Stoneman Douglas in Florida this year.

That phony assessment degrades the struggle of those who are actual survivors of such tragedies.

Of course, most of the students at these schools experienced differing degrees of trauma during those terrible moments, but their distress has been amplified by classifying them as “survivors.” As intended, that has generated a lot of consternation among parents and kids nationwide, but in reality, there is not an epidemic of school shootings across our nation.

Yes, the parents of young people on the few school campuses where attacks have occurred were rightfully worried about their children, as I would have been. But being on or near a campus during an assault on other students doesn’t make one a “survivor” — except for political expedience.

Third, regarding the number of Mall marchers, while initial media reports on attendance were based on event-organizer estimates of 800,000, in fact, according to CBS and other networks, there were, at most, only 25% of that number. That turnout is astoundingly low given that 91% of DC’s voters cast ballots for Hillary Clinton and that the surrounding Virginia and Maryland suburbs are infested with statist bureaucrats.

As for those who were in attendance, our friends at The Daily Signal offered a few takeaways from ground zero, as did The Washington Free Beacon — if you are interested.

Suffice it to say that many of the marchers, however well-intentioned, exuded a sense of moral panic wrapped in their abject ignorance of the Second Amendment that, ironically, is our Republic’s foundational assurance of their First Amendment rights to march and protest. But they won’t recognize that until those liberties are lost — should those of us who steadfastly defend our liberties, and their own, fail to do so.

Fourth, the leftists at the helm of the Democrat Party have based their future political fortunes and statist objectives on the propagation of such ignorance, which they have institutionalized in government schools — the pool from whence came many of Saturday’s march attendees.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.”

But as socialist protagonist Vladimir Lenin declared, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” For decades, the Left has been infusing America’s young minds with statist indoctrination, preparing them to sow those seeds.

The unifying characteristic of these uninformed leftist lemmings is that they have a pathological dependence for statism and its false promise of nanny-state security.

Essentially, they fear Liberty and loathe those who defend it. And rich suburban liberals really fear grassroots gun-owning Americans. The notion that the Second Amendment provides a check on the usurpations of individual rights is anathema to them, as is the thought that the government on which they depend might devolve into tyranny.

And finally, let’s review the most pertinent facts about violence in America:

  1. If you don’t have a violent criminal record, and/or are not associated with the violent thug, drug or gang subcultures, who commit the vast majority of crimes in America, your chances of being shot or killed by an assailant with a gun are almost as low as murder rates in Western Europe where gun ownership is outlawed. Oh, and in Switzerland, which has a higher concentration of “assault weapons” per capita than any nation in the world, the murder rate is one of the lowest in the world.

  2. If you’re not involved in criminal activity, your statistical probability of being killed by a drunk driver is much higher than being murdered. (Oddly, no one is organizing marches to ban alcohol or automobiles.)

  3. Despite all the “assault weapon” hysterics, according to the FBI’s latest annual crime statistics, rifles were used in 374 homicides, while knives were used in 1,604 homicides. But the rare high-profile attack at a school by a sociopath with a gun is a much more politically attractive anti-2A rallying point than gang-bangers murdering other gang-bangers in our inner cities.

  4. In their zeal for deconstruction and repeal of the Second Amendment, Democrat Party leftists don’t want to discuss is that the deadliest ground in America are inner cities – those urban poverty centers which are Democrat-controlled strongholds, and have been for generations. The vast majority of those murders are black-on-black or black-on-hispanic. According to the latest FBI statistics, there are 46 people murdered in the U.S. every day – though it is notable that since Trump’s election, the murder rate is declining.

  5. Violence is a cultural problem. “Gun control” is not the solution for ending systemic violence, but it most assuredly advances the Left’s insatiable quest for power and control. In fact, many urban Democrats have become gun owners, and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey found that Americans have an increasingly favorable view toward legal firearms for self-defense.

Until Democrats join Republicans in a unified effort to reverse the policies that have devastated our families and communities, violence will continue to rule the day. Violence in America is the direct result of failed statist policies, the effluent of their so-called centralized social programs, which have enslaved generations of poor Americans on urban poverty plantations in every major city nationwide.

Fact is, Democrats don’t care about children unless they can use their caskets as political props. If they did care about children, they wouldn’t promote the culture of death that each day kills 2,446 of the most vulnerable among us before birth.

It’s tragically evident that our nation has reached the pinnacle of privilege and complacent ignorance when some of its citizens demand that the Constitutional right which assures all others, be revoked.

When debating the Second Amendment, there are three points that are often neglected.

First, possession of firearms is a deterrent against countless millions of crimes, as made clear in studies of convicted felons, who tell researchers that they choose victims who are least likely to be able to defend themselves. Second, there are more than a million crimes thwarted every year by those who defend themselves with a firearm.

And finally, the Second Amendment is, first and foremost, about protection of our Constitution and the Liberty it enshrines. As I have oft noted, handguns are for personal and home defense. But semi-automatic rifles, mislabeled by Democrats and their Leftmedia propagandists as “assault rifles,” are for protection of those who would infringe on the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” If you find that notion unsettling, then you need to learn more about the history the constant assault of statist tyranny on Liberty.

And for the record, despite claims to the contrary, banning the sale of those guns has had dubious results in terms of reducing the rare but sensational use of such firearms by mass murderers.

“The ultimate authority … resides in the people alone. [T]he advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any…” –James Madison (1788)

BOTTOM LINE: The First Civil Right is To Keep and Bear Arms. It is the “the palladium of the liberties of the republic,” as it is the ultimate assurance of all other rights.

FOOTNOTE: Regarding so-called “gun violence” and “mass shootings”: For the record, murders of multiple people, particularly mass murders, are very rare in our nation of 330 million people. There were approximately 25,000 homicides in the U.S. in the latest year of record, which you can view state by state, and fortunately there are indications that homicides may be declining after the surge in violence unleashed by Joe Biden and his Democrat agitators in 2020.

The Demos ubiquitously and falsely label the generational murderous contagion they have seeded, “gun violence,” and focus exclusively on the infrequent high-profile “mass shootings,” which account for only a tiny fraction of all homicides. More than 99% of murders in the U.S. are not the result of mass attacks. (Notably, guns don’t commit violence, thugs and sociopaths commit violence.) The oft-cited Gun Violence Archive defines a “mass shooting” as any incident that involves a “minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed.” The vast majority of those violent attacks are the result of drug and gang violence committed on Democrat-controlled urban centers.

In a country and culture that ignores the rising generation of sociopathic murderers – thugs in violent urban centers who are saturated with cultural violence to the point of glorifying it, it is fortunate that the incidence of mass murder is not ten times higher. Arguably, the only thing keeping that number from being higher is that 125 million Americans are legal and responsible gun owners.

Democrats don’t focus on the vast majority of murders, particularly the epidemic of black-on-black murders on their degraded urban poverty plantations because they want to avoid at all cost, the “inconvenient truth” about race and violence, which is the direct result of failed Democrat social programs. Those murders aren’t useful for the gun control narrative they invoke to evoke emotional reaction from mostly wealthy white suburban women, whom form the Demos’ largest voter constituency.

As for actual mass murders, that is detailed in the FBI’s data on “active shooter incidents” – which it defines as “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area” – in 2022 the FBI reported 50 incidents resulting in 313 casualties (100 killed and 213 wounded). That number was up significantly from 2020, when the FBI reported 40 incidents resulting in 164 casualties (38 killed and 126 wounded). A more relevant record of “mass shooting” data is maintained by the Associated Press and Northeastern University, which uses the Department of Justice definition of mass public shooting: “A multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms.” These numbers fluctuate significantly year over year, and range between 20 and 40 incidents.

FOOTNOTE 2: Regarding why Democrats only focus on less than 1% of murders nationwide – they are intentionally using these rare high-profile tragedies to foment fear – most notably their oft-repeated but erroneous claim that “gun violence is the leading cause of death for children.” If by “children” they mean gang and drug associated murders of those primarily between the ages of 16 and 21, then yes. Democrats are experts at fomenting fear and division.

The fear and angst Demos are intentionally propagating is taking a toll on Americans’ mental health. Psychological researcher Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson observes: “Watching it time and time again on your phone or on the headlines can really impact you in ways that I don’t think we knew before to be as impactful. It’s so ‘in our face’ all the time and we have access to so much footage, so many pictures, so many videos, so many accounts that we’re ingesting it in ways that’s really unhealthy for us.” The result for many mothers is an irrational fear that their children will be shot. That is precisely the fear that Democrats want to perpetuate, especially among their female constituents, in order to advance their gun control agenda.

FOOTNOTE 3: Regarding those so-called “assault weapons,” for much the same reason Democrats focus only on the rare high-profile attacks to generate fear and angst, some of those attacks involve semi-automatic rifles versus pistols, thus the calls to ban them. However, rifles and shotguns of combined are used in less than 3% of all homicides, but Democrats never let facts get in the way of their political agenda.

FOOTNOTE 4: Regarding firearms and violent crime, researcher John Lott reports, “Over 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms.” Again, the only thing keeping that number from being much higher is that 125 million Americans are legal and responsible gun owners.

FOOTNOTE 5: Regarding firearms and suicide, 54% of all deaths involving firearms are suicide, most also involving drugs or alcohol abuse, but the big numbers in “gun violence” reports often do not distinguish between murder and suicide. It would seem that the Demos’ support for assisted suicide is in conflict with their support for gun control.

FOOTNOTE 6: Regarding alcohol v firearm deaths, Demos should ban alcohol because alcohol abuse is far more deadly than firearm abuse. More than 140,000 people died from alcohol abuse last year – that’s SEVEN times the number homicides associate with fire arms. Drunk drivers are responsible for 28 deaths per day. And notably, it is estimated that alcohol is also a key factor in at least 30% of homicides involving a firearm. (Include illegal drug use and that number jumps to about 60%.)

If Democrats are serious about homicides, they should outlaw alcohol. Problem is, the vast majority of alcohol users possess and use it legally and responsibly. Likewise, the vast majority of firearm owners possess and use them legally and responsibly. Enacting a prohibition on firearms is tantamount to enacting a prohibition on alcohol. In both cases, only law-abiding users obey the laws, while lawless users don’t.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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