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July 14, 2015

Evil, Foreign and Domestic

Channeling Rahm Emanuel’s “never let a good crisis go to waste,” and just when you thought a banal presidency could not become more banal, the gun-grab show is back. After every flag is furled, every statue torn down, every gun confiscated, and history sanitized, the hungry Left will remain unsatiated. Such is the nature of the congenitally unhappy.

These people believe in the perfectibility of man and society and deny the existence of evil. Their itch, after suspending reason, discounting facts, and ignoring human nature, is to inflict their projects on other human beings, spreading suffering.

They forget that in the last century various governments, usually run by utopians, slaughtered their own people by the tens of millions, always preceded by disarming them. They forget that mass shootings also occur in countries with strict gun laws, and that other weapons can be used to kill. In Austria, a nation of strict gun laws, a man recently plowed his car into a crowd of people with the intent to kill. ISIS throws men off buildings for the being gay, and it drowns and burns people in cages. Try banning gravity, water, and fire.

The truth is that evil exists and it is a human right to defend oneself against it. It is also true that people trust government to do everything when it can seldom do anything, even to the point of denial at the doors of a cattle car.

Behind the Iron Curtain years ago, a young man once told me: “We may be alive, but we are all dead inside.” A government which promises to provide blanket security by monitoring your phone calls, by manipulating how you can care for your own body, by militarizing local police while musing about a national police force, by groping you before you board a plane, by threatening your savings with money-printing, by ignoring laws on the books, and by vesting judges who deny the simple meaning of simple words with immense and capricious power, is a government to be, well, feared. The citizen’s job is to be vigilant.

The Founders understood all of this. The Second Amendment is not about hunting, and it is not about gun merchants and their lobbyists, as some people have recently suggested. It is about being free and thwarting tyranny. Our leaders and soldiers take an oath to defend the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who spent time in this country before World War II, warned against any attempt to invade America because there would be “a rifle behind every blade of grass.” To require an oath defending the Constitution against domestic enemies is to anticipate domestic enemies.

Freedom is fragile, and widespread gun ownership has a cost. Is the price dear? Ask the people of South Carolina. Is it worth it? Ask the Ukrainians and the Free Syrians who are now begging for weapons to defend themselves. The fool praises and promotes benefits without weighing costs; the wise man considers them together. Rather than run their mouths, and their pens, some people should stop and listen to the living victims in South Carolina — people who are free to practice their religion, who understand the infirmities of the human heart, and who know that evil cannot be legislated away to create utopia. It can only be accepted. And forgiven.

President Obama says racism is in our DNA. To watch children play is to know otherwise, which is why history is important. To take down a Confederate flag, or the statue of a long-dead racist, or even a sign that says “Whites Only,” is to steal from children the opportunity to learn about evil and to grow as moral individuals. To take from them, as adults, the right to own a firearm is to consign them to a life at the mercy of evil men, foreign and domestic.

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