The Right to Bear Arms: Freedom Under Fire
The right of self defence is the first law of nature: In most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.
St. George Tucker
Let's get one thing straight. The government wants to take away your weapons.
No, this is not a conspiracy theory. This is not paranoia. This is not an alarmist cry. The simple fact is that those in authority can more easily govern their subjects when they are unarmed. The only service governments provide is the use of force, and they can more easily do this when they have a monopoly on force. It makes sense from a governing perspective to restrict the competition for the use of force and the tools for using force if they are to rule effectively. This is why every government on earth tries to restrict its people's ability to acquire or use weapons.
History is full of examples of authoritarians banning and confiscating weapons from the people. Weapons confiscations have never been in the best interest of those who are disarmed. A few examples follow: Several times in Japanese history, new rulers instituted sword hunts where armies scoured the countryside confiscating swords to prevent the ruler’s enemies from rising up against him. Prior to the Glorious Revolution, King James II disarmed protestants, while allowing Catholics to keep arms. British soldiers attempted to confiscate weapons from colonists in the lead-up to the Revolutionary War. U.S. Cavalry troops disarmed Lakota Indians prior to massacring them at Wounded Knee. In 1938 Hitler signed the Nazi Waffengesetz (Weapons Law), which prohibited Jews from owning or even holding firearms, while making it easier for Nazis to own weapons. Following Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans police superintendent Edwin P. Compass III called for a blanket confiscation of weapons, declaring “No one is allowed to be armed. We're going to take all the guns,” ISIS fighters disarmed Yazidi villages before they came into them, murdered the men and old women, took the young girls as sex slaves, and brain washed the young boys to become fighters and suicide bombers. In May 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on 1,500 models of firearms with no vote or debate, claiming "You don't need an AR-15 to bring down a deer."
The Founding Fathers of the United States recognized that an armed populace was essential to preserve freedom. As Patrick Henry warned "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." Or more specifically, "The great object is that every man be armed" and "everyone who is able may have a gun." The Founding Fathers knew that to protect against tyranny, they would need to disburse power as widely as possible, and to the lowest level possible. This is why the U.S. Constitution sought to restrict the power of the government as much as possible, and to balance the power among three branches of government. This division would ensure a series of checks and balances to prevent any one branch of government to become too powerful. Most importantly, the Founding Fathers sought to ensure that the bulk of power would remain in the hands of the people, rather than in the government. They made clear that the government would be subservient to the people, and if the government abused its power, the people had the duty and the means to dispose of the government.
The Founding Fathers enshrined the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment of the Constitution and in the Constitutions of most states, so that no future government could infringe on (or even question) that absolute right. If the Second Amendment were not clear enough, the U.S. Supreme court declared in Nunn vs the State of Georgia "The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is, that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right...." State and Federal laws since then have whittled away at our right to bear arms, and have unconstitutionally stripped us of our personal freedom.
Our right to bear arms is a universal right independent of what the Founding Fathers believed, or what the Constitution clearly states. The Second Amendment did not grant the people the right to keep and bear arms, it prohibits the government from ever infringing on a right that we have possessed since before the concept of governments ever existed. The individual right to protect oneself existed when the first humans banded together with stone weapons. It was equally important when our arms consisted of swords and flintlock muskets. People have just as much of a right to protect themselves now that we have modern rifles as tools of self defense, and that will not change with whatever arms as may be available in the future. The struggle for power between authoritarians and the people will always exist, and it will always be relevant. No matter the era or the tools available, true personal freedom requires that the power to defend that freedom remains at the lowest possible level, and spread as widely as possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic quickly moved from a medical crisis to an economic crisis, and has become a crisis of personal freedom. Statists around the globe seek to take advantage of the very real dangers of the pandemic to severely restrict peoples' individual rights. We have seen authoritarian orders that would have been unimaginable in a free society only six months ago, and that will have severe repercussions for our future. We must protect our individual freedoms, as they are critical to the resilience of society as a whole. Individuals are best positioned to make the best choices regarding their own lives, their own property, and the pursuit of their own goals, even if personal choices go against what the authorities want. True freedom is the ability to do something the authorities would prefer you not do. The right to bear arms is critical during these times, as individuals must have the means to protect these freedoms from the authorities who would seek to strip them away.