The majority falls prey to the delusion, popular in some circles, that ordinary people are too careless and stupid to own guns, and we would be far better off leaving all weapons in the hands of professionals on the government payroll. But the simple truth, born of experience, is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people… A revolt by Nat Turner and a few dozen other armed blacks could be put down without much difficulty; one by four million armed blacks would have meant big trouble. All too many of the other great tragedies of history, Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few, were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act required here. … If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.
Alex Kozinski, Federal Circuit Judge
What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.
Abraham Lincoln, September 11, 1858
Well, on the Left in this country, everyone from former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to Mark Shea, are calling for repealing the Second Amendment. Now, there is no chance that is going to happen. Go here to read about such an attempt would entail. However, think about what the mere calling for this means. Americans throughout our history have treasured our liberties. Now, a large portion of the American people are willing to take an axe to the Bill of Rights in order to reach a political end. The people doing so, I suspect, do not treasure the right to bear arms, and thus their liberty is not at risk, but merely a liberty prized by people they obviously despise.
Dale Price has a good response to this:
The First Amendment’s free speech protections are the relic of a backward 18th Century elite’s preoccupations with protecting the intellectual output of a now-extinct leisure class of slaveowning Deists.
In an age where hate and harassment can be transmitted across the globe with the click of a button and the children of vulnerable groups are being bullied into suicide every day, it is time to repeal the First Amendment.
However, I would caution Dale that many on the Left have no love of freedom of speech for those who disagree with them. Those with the temerity to disagree with the Left are regarded as purveyors of hate speech and must be shouted down. It is not fearmongering to assume they will eventually wish to amend the First Amendment. Perhaps it would read as follows:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, except when a religion discriminates; or abridging the freedom of speech, except when speech is hateful or discriminatory or of the press, except when false news is being purveyed; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, except for those assembling to promote racism and discrimination, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, unless they are petitioning in support of racism or discrimination.
For radical egalitarians, the Left seems to long for a very stratified society where Platonic Guardians will rule over the common people in a progressive utopia where freedom will be as absent as religion. This all calls to mind the quote of CS Lewis: