Tragic? Yes. Scary? Yes. The NRA's fault? Get real!
March 1, 2018 | View PDF
I don’t know about you guys, but I love the Twilight Zone. Twice per year, I eagerly anticipate and when I can, watch as much of the Twilight Zone Marathons the SciFi Channel shows. Hour after hour, it never gets old. “It’s a cookbook!!” You gotta love it. There is no doubt that Rod Serling was a master of the English language. He had a definite way with words. Before every episode, he would prove that with just a brief ditty to the upcoming show. It was brilliant. One of my favorite Rod Serling taglines is, “Imagine a world. . .” Yeah imagine.
As I sit here at my computer, that is exactly what I am doing. I am imagining the crackpot world that progressive liberalism is throwing our great country into. And of course, it is coming on the heels of yet another school shooting. This time by a 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz in Parkland, Florida who killed 17 people. Tragic? Yes. Scary? Yes. The NRA’s fault? Get real!
As predictable as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West, the idiot left wingers emerge from their underground socialist hovels, spout incomprehensible and misinformed rhetoric and try to pin the blame on this massacre on guns and not the evil idiot behind the gun. Let’s not admit that the local police and sheriff’s office screwed the pooch after 911 records show they were called in three-times while Cruz lived in a Lantana, Florida trailer park with his adoptive mother’s best friend after her death. Not only that, but a total of forty 911 calls were placed while the Cruz family resided in the area from 2010 to January 2017 for incidents that vary including domestic disturbance, mentally ill person and child or elderly abuse, and juvenile disturbance. Really? And this guy can actually purchase a gun. And of course, let’s not talk about the armed security guard who cowered outside while Cruz did his dirty work inside the school, or the other four officers who also failed to engage the shooter. But it is the NRA’s fault.
But now on the progressive liberal side, they have an army of teenagers who have “had enough” and have descended on the nation’s capital as well as that the capital in Florida. They are demanding drastic changes in gun laws. I say, “Shut up, snowflakes.” I heard an idiot news anchor laughingly call these kids the “next greatest generation” and that they will see to an end of the 2nd Amendment. I know a lot of you have kids at this age, I know a lot of them in my church but I will be totally honest. I am not looking to many of them for sage advice and wisdom on this issue. Sorry, but I am not. After all, many of these kids are the same ones eating Tide Pods, demand safe spaces to crawl into whenever life gets a little tough, who according to polls insist that socialism and communism are superior to democracy and for whatever reason, have some difficulty in deciding what bathroom and locker room they want to use. No, sorry. When I saw an idiot girl carrying a sign saying, “Our Lives, Your Guns,” I just wanted to say bless her stupid, historically ignorant little heart.
Yeah, we have all heard the same tired arguments. “The founders never envisioned machine guns.” Yeah, but they definitely envisioned parity with the military or they would have said while the Continental Army has muskets, the militias will be relegated to pitchforks and slingshots. The founders never envisioned internet or social media so are we to limit freedom of speech as well? Wait, those are some of the words and ideas coming out of this so-called, next greatest generation. No. for the most part, I DO NOT CARE what these snowflakes want. I simply don’t. I can’t. I won’t.
Exactly five-years ago, I wrote the column down below. It was in response to an earlier article I had written on gun control. A reader responded, as many liberals do, by misstating what I wrote or by outright lying. But after this recent school shooting, and once again the immediate hot button topic of gun control, I decided I needed to return to a VERY short history of why we actually have the 2nd Amendment. People, no matter how hard we try to ignore or pooh-pooh the historical context in which it was written, we cannot escape the truths contained within. Probably the most contentious, misstated, and controversial 27 words in the English language. Our country needs the 2nd Amendment and our founders clearly stated why. But our schools continually fail our children in this reality. When a kid comes home with a workbook that states, and I have seen it, “The 2nd Amendment states that people without a criminal background have the right to own certain types of weapons,” we are in trouble. Our kids are being taught this filth and then they go out and argue against guns without the benefit of any historical context and armed with total fabrications of the truth. That being said, here is my previous post. I apologize in advance for the length.
SCHOOL IS IN SESSION (REVISITED)
Having the opportunity to write for the Alabama Gazette is always fun for me. I like to know that folks are reading my “stuff” whether they agree with it or not. I have always enjoyed pleasant disagreements and the ability to debate issues with people. After I wrote my first column about gun rights two months ago, a reader took issue with what I had written. That is fine and I know nobody will ever agree with everything I, or anybody, has to say.
Although I wasn’t going to respond, the more I thought about it, the more I felt compelled to “school” him on reality.
When I first started working on my master’s degree in history, I remember the first required book was Carl G. Gustavson’s work titled, A Preface to History. In this book, Gustavson outlines what he calls “Nine Questions to Historical Causation.” He posits that before anyone attempts to understand any historical event, he must ask the following questions.
1. What was the immediate cause for the event?
2. Had there been a background of agitation for the principles victorious during this period?
3. Were personalities involved on either side whose strengths or weaknesses may have helped to determine the outcome of the struggle?
4. Were any new and potent ideas stimulating the loyalty of a considerable number of people?
5. How did the economic groups line up on the issue?
6. Were religious forces active?
7. Did any new technological developments influence the situation?
8. Can the events be partially explained by weakened or strengthened institutions?
9. Was the physical environment itself a factor in the situation?
The purpose of asking these questions is to get the historian to look at any historical event in the context in which it transpired. This is what I plan on doing, very quickly, in regards to gun rights and the reality that the founders did indeed view gun ownership, among other thing, as a necessary precursor to keeping renegade governments in check.
Let’s take a look at America in 1773. America was being systematically crushed by a long series of oppressive taxes and restrictive laws such as the Currency Act (Colonies could not produce paper money) and Sugar Act of 1764 and the 1765 Stamp and Quartering Acts (Colonies required to provide housing, food and other provisions to British soldiers). All came to a head with the Tea Act passed by British Parliament in May 1773. Between the Quartering Act of 1765 and the Tea Act of 1773, we endured several small conflicts with the British including the Boston Massacre in 1770.
When faced with ever increasing taxes imposed by Parliament against the colonies, the Boston Tea Party erupted on 16 December 1773. We had had enough. England responded in 1774 with the Coercive Acts that ended local self-government in Massachusetts and placed it under control of the British Army. This act also closed Boston’s commerce. In September 1774, the First Continental Congress was formed just three months after the first Continental Army was established under George Washington. In April 1775 the Battles of Concord and Lexington took place and a little over a year later, the Declaration of Independence was introduced on 4 July 1776. The war ended in 1783 after the signing of the Treaty of Paris giving the 13 Colonies sovereignty from British rule. Our constitution was adopted on 17 September 1787 by Constitutional Convention and the Bill of Rights – the first ten amendments – was ratified on 15 December 1791.
This is a VERY, VERY brief timeline of the war. The purpose is only to show, according to the nine questions of historical causation, that the American Revolution did not just happen, but was the result of many factors, the vast majority of which are not listed here. But as we look at what these men had recently gone through, we have to get into their mind and ask questions that likely drove their decisions and thought processes. For example, the Third Amendment states, “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” Do you think the British Quartering Act of 1765 had anything to do with this? This is a rhetorical question and of course the answer is, “Yes.”
The founders had witnessed firsthand in Europe what corrupt governments could do to an unarmed people. The author of the Second Amendment, James Madison, actually went through over half-a-dozen iterations before arriving at what we see today. Madison’s first version presented on 8 June 1789 actually stated, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well-armed and well-regulated militia being the best security of a free country but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing shall be compelled to bear arms.” Ignoring the part dealing with conscientious objectors, Madison clearly wanted the right to bear arms to be separate while integral to the concept of militia. His next version presented on 21 July, switched the order placing the verbiage of a militia first. One version actually had the idea of the people’s right to bear arms and militias as two separate amendments deserving separate votes. Finally, on 21 September 1789, we got our final version. It is clear the framers intended the right to bear arms not be limited to military operations contingent upon militia actions.
When I read comments by modern scholars who intentionally misinterpret the constitution for political reasons, I always go back to the men who either wrote the documents or those who lived in such contentious times. I care much more about their ideas than the ravings of the morally bankrupt intelligentsia. If you want to get a better feel for what they were thinking, read things like early commentaries of constitutional theorists, the Federalist Papers, and writings of men like Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, James Madison and Sir William Blackstone’s commentaries on the Laws of England.
Constitutional theorist St. George Tucker criticized the English Bill of Rights, for example, for intentionally limiting gun ownership in England to the very wealthy, leaving the majority of the population “effectively disarmed.” Tucker wrote that he hoped the new American country would “never cease to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty.”
In William Rawle’s A View of the Constitution of the United States written in 1825, he penned: “No clause could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.” Powerful stuff!
Joseph Story, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court 1811-1845 appointed by James Madison, described a militia as the “natural defense of a free country against foreign enemies, domestic revolts and usurpation by rulers.” Story regarded the militia as the “moral check” against usurpation (wrongful or illegal encroachment, infringement or seizure) and the “arbitrary use of power.”
Having re-read my first column, as expected, the writer of the letter misrepresented what I said. In reality most liberals have to in order to prove their fallacious points or arguments. I never once said “this” or “our” government is corrupt or oppressive. You can decide for yourselves this question. It is clear, however, that the founders of this country, men admittedly a lot smarter than I, considered the consequences of “an” oppressive and corrupt government. Heck, they just fought and won a war because of exactly that. Perhaps the writer missed the day in school when they taught the freedom cry, “Taxation without representation.” Had the Continental Army not been supplemented in the early days by armed men, their victory cannot be certain. It took armed men, willing to fight a king’s tyranny, to turn the tide and win the war.
Although there have been many court decisions concerning gun rights, the intent of the founders cannot be denied. That is of course unless you are the proverbial cartoon ostrich with your head buried in the sand and your exposed rear up in the air for everyone to see. I don’t know what course this debate will take over the next several years or generations. As our country becomes more liberal in its outlook, this is a battle gun rights advocates may eventually lose. All I ask that both sides read what these men wrote and try to see what they saw and notice what they knew to be true according the world in which they lived. Yes the world has changed a lot since the 1700s but truth remains truth and as corrupt governments come and go, it may still remain an armed populace that may be the only thing between totalitarian dominance and the freedoms espoused in our constitution.
The views of this editorial may not express the views of The Alabama Gazette.