“Senator E. Throckmorton Codswallow III supports the Second Amendment.” “Congressman Stuffed Shirt Foghorn has an NRA ‘A’ rating.” Sound familiar? It may be comforting to hear such things in some cases, but perhaps we should be asking why it is necessary to identify some of our representatives as supporters of the Second Amendment while others take obvious and perverse pride in wearing the opposite identification as a badge of virtue and honor.
Didn’t every one of our elected federal representatives take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution? Isn’t the Second Amendment a part of the Bill of Rights, which is a part of the Constitution? Shouldn’t every elected official be a wholehearted and dedicated supporter of every part of the Constitution? Yes, yes and yes. The current oath of office taken by all congressmen and senators was adopted in 1884:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
I mention this because of a recent conversation I had with a left-leaning acquaintance. They were more than usually concerned about all the talk of revolution they’re seeing on conservative blogs and hearing on conservative talk radio. “Why,” they wanted to know, “are so many people talking about armed rebellion against the government?” That one puzzled me a bit, so I promised to think about it and get back with them. Do you mind if I share that answer with you?
Trust is a delicate thing. The trust built up over many years may be wiped away in an instant, and once lost, may never be entirely restored, if at all. This is doubly true for people and institutions with which we do not enjoy intimate or necessary relationships, such as Congress and its denizens.
Over the last four years, the Obama Administration has proved to be the most lawless in memory, perhaps in history. Billing itself as “the most transparent administration in history,” it has, as standard operating procedure, been anything but. Mr. Obama has ruled by decree, and has pushed through massive legislation such as ObamaCare that the American people did not want and cannot afford. He continues to run up unprecedented, ruinous debt that we also cannot afford while claiming that we have no spending problem and ObamaCare will solve all fiscal problems, while even before it is implemented governmental bureaucrats have had to admit it will cost far, far more than their own deceptive initial estimates. And in all of this, the democrats in Congress–and some Republicans–have been complicit.
Understanding that Mr. Obama is a Democrat, and sensing that he was lying about having no designs on the Second Amendment, Americans began buying record numbers of firearms, accessories and ammunition even before he was elected in 2008, a trend that has only accelerated after Fast and Furious, his reelection and particularly, the Newtown killings. Vice President Biden’s promise that Mr. Obama will act without the Congress–as he already so often has–to impose gun control is not exactly a trust-building exercise. It is not just conservatives buying firearms, but increasing numbers of democrats who may not be ready to admit it, but are beginning to be worried enough about the stability of America and about individual freedom to vote with their feet and debit cards to purchase arms, many for the first time in their lives. It is supremely ironic that stimulation of the firearm industry is Mr. Obama’s sole, unqualified economic policy success.
Consider that virtually every AR-15-like rifle, standard capacity pistol and rifle magazines (commonly mislabeled and demonized by the anti-freedom left and the media–but I repeat myself), unprecedented numbers of semiautomatic handguns, incredible amounts of ammunition, including the previously ubiquitous .22LR cartridge, have been purchased at gun shops across America. For the first time in my lifetime, it is impossible to find these weapons, cartridges, and any other weapon, which might be particularly militarily useful in a battle against tyranny, even rifles like the Lee-Enfield, M1 Garand and other rifles of the WWII era and earlier, on gun shop shelves. Dealers have no idea when, or if, they will be able to replenish their stocks, and every rifle, magazine and other common, popular accessory they will receive for the foreseeable future is already spoken for and commonly already paid for. One of the most common and popular handguns is the Glock 17, a 9mm handgun with a standard 17 round magazine. I cannot find a single Glock 17 magazine anywhere, even through internet sources, and no dealer has any idea when they might obtain them. This is true across the nation.
People are not buying every single round of ammunition and all of these firearms and accessories because they have suddenly and spontaneously developed–across the nation–a desire to add to their gun collections or to become first time gun owners. This is not a surge in materialism. This is, instead millions of Americans acting on a real and well-based fear of impending economic collapse and the tyranny that would surely accompany it–or cause it.
Americans see senators and congressman solemnly swearing never to abridge the Second Amendment while claiming that banning the most common and usual rifles, handguns, magazines, ammunition and accessories is not an abridgement of the Second Amendment. They want only “reasonable” gun laws, but there is no restriction of liberty they seem to consider unreasonable.
They see Mr. Obama and politicians of his kind demanding “gun free zones” for the schools of ordinary Americans while their children attend schools full of armed guards, including Secret Service agents armed with actual automatic weapons.
Mr. Obama’s reign has inspired millions of Americans, for the first time, to carefully read the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and other writings of the Revolutionary period. In those readings, they’ve discovered the revolutionary roots of all Americans, and the legacy of revolution to overthrow tyranny left them by the Founders in the Second Amendment. For the first time in their lives, they understand the real purpose of the Second Amendment, which has nothing to do with hunting or competition, but with enabling citizens to deter, and ultimately to resist, tyranny.
That’s what scares them. It’s clear that far too many in our political, ruling class are no longer encouraged, by their oath of office, to serve the public. It’s obvious that they see their positions not as a sacred public trust to be performed for the good of the public and nation, but an opportunity for partisan political advantage and personal enrichment. It is equally clear that not even the threat embodied by the Second Amendment is sufficient to deter them. They apparently consider themselves invulnerable. During the last four years, Mr. Obama–by his own admission–worked “under the radar” to deprive Americans of their liberty under the Second Amendment. He is no longer under the radar, and that–rightfully–enrages and worries Americans like never before.
Add congressmen who claim that using arms to resist a tyrannical government is “insane,” congressmen, senators, mayors and governors who speak of confiscation of arms and of forced “buyback” programs. Consider all of them demanding banning the most common, popular and usual rifles, magazines and accessories. Further add a vice presidential commission that supposedly considered how to stop school shootings, but focused primarily on gun and accessory bans, and consider further that this commission put its final proposals, after only a few days of talks with “stakeholders,” on Mr. Obama’s desk on January 15. It is not difficult to understand why Americans who value the Constitution might be more than ordinarily concerned.
Virtually no one trusts federal agencies, and that distrust is particularly reserved for the BATFE (don’t get me started on the EPA), not only for its long-standing abuse of the American public, but because the Fast and Furious debacle is still being actively stonewalled by the Obama Administration (add other monumental and media ignored foul ups: here and here). The fact that Attorney General Eric Holder is the only AG in history to be held in criminal contempt of Congress for stonewalling its oversight investigation into Fast and Furious has largely escaped the attention of the media, but not of the American people. Further considering that Mr. Obama has stymied the Fast and Furious investigation by claiming executive privilege over matters about which he supposedly had no knowledge is maddening, and likely, criminal.
Even more realize that in case of natural disaster or societal collapse as in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina or the Eastern Seaboard–particularly Staten Island–during Hurricane Sandy, government will be no help, and may actually make things worse. Obama photo-ops don’t protect the innocent from looters and violent thugs and don’t put food on the table or a roof over heads.
Many sheriffs and others lawmen are making plain that they will not enforce unconstitutional gun laws and will arrest federal agents attempting to enforce such laws. Several states are actively considering legislation that provides for the arrest of any federal agent attempting to seize firearms within their borders. I suspect these laws are just the beginning.
That’s why more and more citizens are using unambiguous language in addressing our elected representatives, representatives they reasonably believe consider themselves above the law, representatives who have no respect for the rule of law and the Constitution, representatives who apparently have little fear of The People. They know that the Second Amendment is all that stands against the evils of tyranny. Those who threaten armed resistance hope that this threat–which is not idle chatter or a bluff–will cause those who do not respect the law to reconsider, to understand that millions of Americans have not only the training, will and means to effectively resist, even to overthrow a tyrannical government, they will do it if it becomes necessary. I know that most–probably virtually all–making these threats–which are not rash or ill-considered–truly hope that where common decency, a sense of personal honor and obligation, the law, and the Constitution have failed, the threat of force approved by the Founders might succeed, making armed rebellion unnecessary.
Perhaps those in Congress who are not utterly corrupt, who are not maliciously trying to harm our nation, who do not have tyrannical designs, will finally stand up to those who do. Perhaps they’ll honor their oaths. Perhaps those who are corrupt will understand that their lives hang in the balance and will step back from the abyss. But if they will not, their constituents want them to understand they’ll see that the abyss consumes them.
This is not subversive, radical, or traitorous. Rather, it is the legacy–and the obligation–of all Americans.
Those who favor tyranny are willing to bet untold lives–the lives of others–that there are not enough Americans willing and able to resist them. Those who accept what it means to be an American, who are ready to answer the call of liberty are willing to bet otherwise and are willing, if necessary, to see that tyrants do bet their lives.
That’s why, my progressive friend, you’re hearing and reading talk of rebellion. I hope–I pray–it is never necessary and that it is never again necessary to identify any congressman or senator as a defender of liberty. Perhaps one day, one way or another, all of them will be worthy of assuming that mantle.