In 1776, at the time of America’s founding, there was not much that people in Tokyo and in Istanbul, in St. Petersburg and in Madrid, In Paris and in London, In Rome and in Boston could agree on. They could not agree if there was one god or many, if slavery was good or bad, if women could own property or not. But there was one thing that was, to them, as fundamental as the existence of men and women. That thing was simply this: that a man who did not carry arms and was not trained in their use was not free.
At that time, I doubt that a single person could be found anywhere on the planet who would argue that a man who was barred from bearing arms was not a slave. There were, however, many men who did not bear arms. They did not bear arms for one of only two reasons: they were not allowed to bear them or they felt themselves so safe, so well protected in their daily lives, that they chose not to bear them or not to bear them on certain occasions.
The people who did not bear arms because they were barred from doing so were slaves, serfs, diaspora Jews, and women. These were people who were not free. These were people who depended on others for protection, be they their feudal lords, fathers, brothers, and husbands, or the police.
The American Founding Fathers, well aware of this, made the decision that in America, outside of those who were brought in as slaves or were born into slavery, there would be no slaves. This is why they enshrined the bearing of arms as a God-given right. They knew that without the universal right to bear arms America would soon devolve into an old-world society in which there was a class of free people and a class of people who were, to one degree or another, enslaved.
Without the Second Amendment, the Founding Fathers knew, America would be like Japan, or Russia, or England, a place where a local sheriff, a constable, a mayor, a governor could decide and doubtlessly would decide who could bear arms and who could not, or, in other words, who would be a free man and who would be a slave. This is the case right now in Canada, in Israel, in fact, pretty much everywhere in the world, including in many American states.
The truth is that Americans have long ago sold their freedoms for the siren song of government “safety nets”, though as compared to other places they had many more freedoms to sell and they did so perhaps a tad more reluctantly than others. Today, there are few Americans left who would be willing to go back to the kind of limited government that existed in the first 100 years of American history and with good reason. Most Americans today lack the basic skills and the resourcefulness that is needed to live in freedom.
Life is not made of absolutes. Just because much, almost everything in fact, had been lost, it doesn’t follow that whatever little freedoms are left should be freely given up. On the contrary. Since freedom, once so abundant in America, is now in such short supply, since it is now the most precious of commodities, it is so much more deserving of a spirited defense.
Humans, perhaps for deeply seated evolutionary reasons, are split into three groups. One, by far the largest, wishes nothing more than to be enslaved as long as its trough is filled everyday and some basic safety is guaranteed by the slave masters. The other, the smallest one, has the raw ambition and the moral depravity needed to become slave masters and strive to enslave others. Bernie Sanders is one of those. And then there is a third group, a group that once contained the majority of people who called themselves Americans. This group does not wish to enslave others, but it would rather die than see itself enslaved. Some of this group is in Richmond, Virginia today, trying against all odds to defy the slave masters whom the majority of their fellow Virginians have installed in the State House.
The tide of history is against freedom nowadays. After all freedom is the most elusive and capricious of creatures. Difficult to get a hold of, it is even more difficult to keep and once let go, it never comes easily back. All the more reason to hold on to it for dear life because once it is completely gone, it is gone for good.
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