Here is a guest post from Rides A Pale Horse, who normally hangs his gun belt on a blog called Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts. What prompted this was the surge of people looking to buy weapons for self-defense at gun shows in the past few months.
Here's what I was thinking about the other night: Feel free to use it if you wish.
I was born in Chicago Illinois on March 5th 1947. My mother was a registered nurse and my father was a machinist during WWII and later a meat cutter. They both lived through the end of one World War, a depression and another World War. They were both patriots. My father had 6 brothers that served in WWII. All six of them, through the grace of God, returned home safely. They all went to work, raised families, had the usual trials and tribulations that accompany life. These were real men. They understood the meaning of sacrifice. They also understood freedom and what it takes to secure it. I loved them a lot. They taught me so much about life.. We went on vacations together as a family, ALL of us most of the time, to a little resort in the northwoods of Wisconsin owned by a German couple who immigrated here after the war. They too, knew the meaning of sacrifice and freedom, even more than some that have lived here all their lives.
As I've grown and travelled and met a lot of people along the way, I've come to realize that one cannot truly understand freedom until you talk to people who have come from places where they have had little or no freedom. To hear the stories of doors being broken in, homes and possessions burned or stolen, husbands, wives, children, relatives taken in the middle of the night never to be seen again, to live in fear of saying or doing the wrong thing or not saying or doing the "right thing." Of not knowing who is watching you, friends, neighbors, strangers on the street, maybe even a relative. Of poverty, the ravages of war, living each and every day in fear. Fear that you and your family won't have enough to eat, that you or someone in your family will get sick and die because there's no medical service, that there's no water to drink. No place to worship.
Too many in this country take our liberty for granted.
I grew up in a time that was very different than today. There were problems as there always is. It wasn't idyllic but it was America. Norman Rockwell America for the most part. We were still revelling in the defeat of the Axis powers although no one really talked about it that much. It was a "job that had to be done". It was done and now it was time to move on. We're Americans. That's what we do. We knew right from wrong. There were very few shades of grey when it came to social issues and to be a "victim" of some perceived injustice was unheard of. People took responsibility for their actions and as kids, we had it drilled into us every day from parents, teachers, relatives and sometimes even total strangers. People weren't afraid to point out bad behavior even if you'd never seen them before in your life. You screwed up, you lost your "liberty". That's just the way it was. They weren't afraid of "offending" you or humiliating you. In fact, that was the whole point. I learned about freedom early on when I had to watch my friends playing while I was grounded because I screwed up. I was "offended" and "humiliated" but I learned. Freedom became very important to me. History as taught back then ingrained a sense of what it took to secure and hold liberty. None of this "moral relativism" as is taught today. Thomas Jeffersons statement "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" has always stuck in my mind. Most of my teachers as well as my uncles and many more people I came into contact with as a kid were WWII vets or Korean War vets. They knew, like Jefferson what it takes to secure freedom and I thank God for their guideance.
Too many in this country take our freedom for granted. For the first time in my life, I fear for my country. Fear tempered with the confidence, however, that there are enough Americans that do value freedom enough to fight for it in the spirit of our founding fathers.
We "live in interesting times" as the old Chinese curse goes. We have a government and a certain segment of the population that, at this moment in time, seems to be Hell bent on curtailing our freedom one way or another. Socially for starters in that political correctness has paralyzed the language. Truth cannot be spoken, indeed truth is demonized as racist, bigoted, homophobic, insensitive. The most vile insults can be heaped upon the leader of the free world but to be patriotic, family oriented and have a sense of duty, honor and country is to invite scorn and derision as a right wing fanatic.
We have a bill of rights that men agonized over to make sure that the people were never to become slaves to the government. The first guarantees us freedom of speech. There is no place in either the constitution or the bill of rights where it says that one has the right not to be offended. Political correctness has taken that from us. What used to be truth or disagreement is now "hate speech". Joseph Stalin knew that once the language was perverted, control of the people was easily done. It is, in fact, an insidious form of slavery. There are plenty of people and groups that are actively searching for reasons to be offended and we have a media that is in full compliance with this agenda. The idea of a free press is to inform the people, to give them the information needed to make the decisions important to our republic and our selves, not to indoctrinate or obfuscate the issues so as to make a political statement or sway the populace to a certain position or person as it is in todays political atmosphere. Stalin would be proud.
The second. "..........the right to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed". Pay particular attention to this one. Without the second, all the rest are forfeit, or, as Charleton Heston said in April of 1998:
"I say that the Second Amendment is, in order of importance, the first amendment." "It is America's First Freedom, the one right that protects all the others." " Among freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, of assembly, of redress of grievances, it is the first among equals." "It alone offers the absolute capacity to live without fear." "The right to keep and bear arms is the one right that allows "rights" to exist at all."
"Either you believe that, or you don't, and you must decide."
This is as far as I need to go in discussing the Bill of Rights. The point of this is, considering the president elect and his stand(s) on guns and gun rights and with willing accomplices in the press, among others, this, our most precious right could be in danger. As a gun owner, (my dad passed his Stevens .22 bolt action rifle to me when I was 9 after I got my first NRA marksman certificate) an NRA member off and on ever since and having aquired a few more in the intervening years, I have heard other gun owners and said it myself, "they'll get my guns when they pry them from my cold, dead hands". Would you really be willing to actually follow through on that statement? Would you be willing to stand against the full force of the government? Willing to put your life and the lives of your family in jeopardy? Are we made of the same stuff that the men at Lexington and Concord were? In all honesty, for myself, I don't know. I just don't know. It's a question that has dogged me ever since the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision regarding the individual right to "keep and bear arms". That told me that there are four justices on the court that have little or no respect for the second amendment and even less for the people or what our founding fathers fought for. Additionally, the fact that several of the justices are about ready to retire and as our new president elect is a known gun control/ban supporter he would have the power to pack the court with people in line with his agenda knowing that the court could now legislate from the bench in his favor.To me, the thought of seeing federal agents or any other LEA coming to take my guns is frightening in the extreme. It should be to you. Not like it's never happened. Ask the rightful gun owners that had theirs confiscated in New Orleans. God help us if this ever comes to pass on a national scale. -editors note -It took a suit by the NRA to get those post-Katrina seized guns released to their rightful owners and this only happened in the past year. And because the guns were not stored properly, they were all rusty junk when handed back.
I mentioned earlier that I have this fear tempered with confidence. Confidence that we as Americans won't let this happen. We can't be complacent. We need to be vigilant. Take a page out of the liberal playbook. Be "pro-active"......pre-emptive. Join or support the NRA, get involved on a local level, find the gun rights advocates in your area, call and write your representatives in Washington, write the White House, make your opinion known. Watch this issue very closely and fight with everything we have should there be any assault on "Americas FIRST freedom" so that we won't have to face that possibility of having them "pry my guns from my cold, dead hands".