I’ve heard that word used so much during the past couple of years. It’s in the news, on the Internet, in slightly hushed conversations among friends.
It’s because people are worried about the future.
They worry their government is intruding into their lives more each day. They worry about privacy, and the ability to go about one’s daily business unmolested. They worry about unsustainable national debt. They worry about total economic collapse.
They worry their country – a republic founded on democratic principles – is becoming something else.
AND RIGHT NOW, because they can see tyranny on the horizon, they worry most about their guns.
Signs are everywhere. “Don’t Tread on Me” flags. T-shirts daring you to “Come and Take It.” TV shows about “preppers” getting ready for martial law. Ammunition-hoarding. Bumper stickers declaring “Our Forefathers Would Be Shooting By Now.”
You know the nation has reached a bending point when celebrities (other than Ted Nugent) are mentioning guns and tyranny in the same breath – celebrities as disparate as game show legend Chuck Woolery and rapper/actor Ice-T.
“Our Founding Fathers wanted every citizen to be armed equal to the army in case of takeover by a tyrannical government,” Chuck Woolery says on a video posted to his website. “They wanted us to have protection from them.”
Tracy Marrow, better known as Ice-T, was in England promoting a film when the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting occurred. His interview on Channel 4 London quickly veered into a gun control debate when the reporter asked Marrow if he himself owned a gun.
“Yeah, it’s legal in the United States,” he said smoothly. “The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny, not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police.”
ANTI-GUN CNN personality Piers Morgan steered country music star Dwight Yoakam into a gun control debate during an appearance less than two months after the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting. Morgan asked him “why anybody needs an AR-15,” the popular semiautomatic sporting rifle used in the Colorado and Connecticut incidents.
“I think it’s born out of the DNA,” Yoakam told the British-born host. “You know, those colonies that broke free and that were having troops marshaled in their homes ... . It wasn’t about hunting. It was about being able to defend yourself against tyranny.
“I don’t trust the government,” Yoakam continued. “I’m cynical. I’m a kid of the ’60s.”
I don’t believe we’ve ever seen so many Americans drilling down to the essence of the Second Amendment as intended by the Founding Fathers, which is that citizens have the right – the duty – to fight a government that turns against them. Alexander Hamilton and James Madison made no bones about that in the Federalist Papers essays.
GUN CONTROL advocates in Washington, D.C. – enlightened and intellectual as they appear – can’t outsmart the Founding Fathers. So they have to sell gun grabs as anti-crime solutions.
The door-to-door pitch goes something like: “No, silly-willy, we’re not trying to make you defenseless against the state. We’re the good guys! See, we just want to get those bad, bad guns off the streets to make everyone safer.”
Trade in some liberty for the promise of safety and security – and hope the promise is kept. Same deal for the past 100 years.
Americans who are not total morons have long understood gun laws have negligible impact on crime because criminals tend to disobey laws, including gun laws.
THAT’S WHY AMERICANS flocked to gun stores in record numbers during the latest gun control push in early 2013, a deplorable rush-to-legislate attempt while the nation was still in shock over Newtown. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which gun dealers use to screen customers, reported that in the past 15 years, seven of the top-10 highest-volume background check weeks occurred during the three-month period the legislation was proposed.
What’s beginning to change, I believe, is that more Americans are realizing gun control is not about the “gun,” it’s about the “control.”
Which brings us back to tyranny; oppression exerted by an unjust government. History abounds with examples of what happens when self-defense is outlawed and government goes bad.
It’s called democide – death by government. More than 170 million people worldwide – equivalent to one in every three Americans – were murdered by their own governments during the 20th century alone, a death toll higher than all that century’s wars combined.
Pick any slaughter – Armenian genocide in Turkey; the Nazi holocaust; Stalin’s forced famine; China’s “Great Leap Forward”; the killing fields of Cambodia; ethnic mass murder in Rwanda. All involved the systematic disarmament of the people. Registration, prohibition, confiscation. Then the killing commences.
Those who think the United States is above subjugating a disarmed populace have forgotten slavery, the removal of American Indians from native lands and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
WHO’S THE NEXT domestic enemy of the state? An ethnic group, as the Tutsis were in Rwanda; a religious minority, as the Christian Armenians were in Turkey; or a social class, such as the “bourgeoisie” in communist China?
If America gets hurt, to loosely paraphrase President Eisenhower, it will be at the hands of Americans.
So I hope you’ll excuse some of us if we sound extreme for worrying about tyranny in this country. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that we’d prefer to die in bed of old age, surrounded by family and friends, instead of kneeling in front of mass graves with rifle barrels at our backs.