U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- In a recent article in the New York Post, writer Michael Shellenberger found, with rising crime and violence in California, guns might be useful things in some situations. Situations other than hunting or target shooting. Situations involving the defense of self, family, and home. From the article:
“I’ve always been anti-gun,” said Debbie Mizrahie of Beverly Hills. “But I am right now in the process of getting myself shooting lessons because I now understand that there may be a need for me to know how to defend myself and my family. We’re living in fear.”
During Black Lives Matter protests last year, Mizrahie told The Post, her neighbor’s home was firebombed with Molotov cocktails.
“My kids were outside and they saw a huge explosion,” she said. “[The neighbor’s] backyard went up in smoke. Trees burned down … But it’s only gotten worse. Beverly Hills has been targeted.”
This has been the standard understanding of the utility of guns for 400 years, from about 1500 to about 1900. Guns increase the ability of individuals to project power, to be able to protect themselves, their families, their homes, their communities, and their nations.
Guns are effective weapons. Weapons have been integral to human existence in every notable culture. Weapons are the simplest, most obvious, and effective way in which humans rise above animals to the top of the food chain. Our weapons, created by our minds, grant us far more power than our size and muscles warrant. Combined with our ability to cooperate in large groups, they explain how we have dominated the planet.
When everyone has access to effective weapons, there is a rough natural parity of power. The power is limited to those who can effectively wield the weapons, or command those who do. There is an obvious reason people with political power want the people they rule to be unarmed. If the people who take their orders are the only ones with weapons, their rule is more secure.
When weapons depended on muscle power and skill, those with more muscles and time to develop more skill had the edge.
Guns, as they became less expensive, lighter, and more effective, narrowed the gap created with muscle and skill. Colonel Colt equalized the force available to large and small men, men and women.
The Second Amendment is based on the idea an armed majority can defend itself against armed tyranny. From the Federalist No. 46:
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.
The Republic was created, in part, to protect the rights of minorities against majority tyranny. The Second Amendment makes it possible for minorities to effectively defend themselves. The smallest minority is the individual.
In the United States, private weaponry was instrumental in the founding of the nation and implicit in the philosophical basis of the founding. The Second Amendment was created to protect the right to be armed.
The lie Debbie Mizrahi seems to have swallowed was having guns was more dangerous than not having them. When violence threatened her and hers, the utility of arms became plain. Before violence became personal, she was willing to ignore the safety of people who lived in areas with more risk than her own.
Gun control is not popular where the dangers of violence are close and immediate. In democracies, restrictions on the ownership and use of weapons are created during times of peace and low crime rates, combined with a ruling class that does not trust the people. Those restrictions are seldom lifted. The utility of arms for the defense of self, family, community, and nation is ignored or ridiculed.
Gun control is not popular without constant propaganda about the dangers of owning weapons. In democracies where the ruling class no longer trusts the people, those dangers are emphasized, especially for female voters.
In most traditional families, men were the ones with weapons skills and weapons. They protected their families. Men are and have been harder to sell the propaganda that being unarmed makes you safer.
As more and more women became single and single mothers, more and more women are realizing the utility of weapons for defense.
The founders were aware of the dangers of government control of the flow of information. It is why we have First Amendment protections of speech and the press. They did not foresee an ideology that would take over, consolidate, and create an oligopoly of information flow, dedicated to the destruction of the Republic, and a media so fast, global, and pervasive, it could swing elections to its liking and create a tyrannical alliance with like-minded authoritarians in government.
An armed population needs leadership and means of communication to be effective against tyranny. Leadership is coming to the fore in some state governments; means of communication are being developed.
The question is: Will they be created fast enough, and be effective enough, to forestall the implementation of tyranny in the foreseeable future?
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.