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All the articles in this series may be found by entering “guns and liberty” into the SMM homepage search bar.

Having had time to think about the last article in this series, perhaps readers are asking why it’s necessary to discuss political philosophy. Isn’t this, after all, a series of articles about guns?

Gun ownership is an express–not an implied–unalienable right acknowledged by the Constitution. There is no exercise of a fundamental, unalienable right more likely to bring citizens into direct–even deadly–confrontation with government. One may exercise the right to freedom of speech and generally expect nothing worse than an IRS audit, but anyone accidentally carrying a lawfully possessed concealed handgun into a prohibited zone–or not–may find themselves fined and imprisoned, their Second Amendment right permanently infringed, their property confiscated, their lives hampered, even ruined.

As in the case of Erik Scott, they may even be killed.  The SMM Scott case archive is here.    Gun owners that do not understand the dynamics of modern American political philosophy are, in a very real sense, as unarmed as those without firearms.

Article 5 of this series ended with a general discussion of the progressive tendency to favor, even praise, criminals and terrorists. Obvious evidence of this can be seen in the Democrat Party’s betrayal of Jews, and their support of Palestinian terrorists that refuse to renounce their founding documents calling for the destruction of Israel–our ally–and the murder of all Jews. It can also be seen in their hatred toward Israel.

Socialists also tend to distrust and hate the armed forces and Intelligence agencies, though they have come to embrace the latter after weaponizing them against internal political enemies during the Obama years.  They are always on the lookout for ways to diminish the size, power and effectiveness of our military, and American presidents such as Jimmy Carter have done their part.  In fact, the damage done to our military establishment and intelligence apparatus by Mr. Carter and Mr. Clinton—who adopted insanely restrictive policies that all but eliminated our human intelligence assets around the world—were a proximate cause of 9-11.  Mr. Obama, true to form, enacted his own military downsizing at a particularly dangerous time in history when our most dedicated long-term enemies, particularly China, are working very hard to increase their military capabilities and the lethality of their weaponry.

Circa 2019, with Democrats once again in control of the House of Representatives, they are again pushing anti liberty/gun measures that if enacted, would have no effect whatever on criminals and terrorists.  They no longer bother trying to hide their real intentions, and are widely talking of packing the Supreme Court –which they wish to make a super Socialist legislature–with additional Leftist justices to obtain through an entirely politicized judiciary what they cannot obtain through the legislative process.  With the Senate still in Republican hands, no additional “gun safety” measures are likely to become law–President Trump has promised not to sign them–but one cannot underestimate the tendency of Republicans to fold like a house of cards for little or no reason.

Conservative Philosophy:

It’s important to understand that the 2016 election of Donald Trump caused a substantial split in the ranks of what used to be called Conservatism.  It may be useful to consider what has come to be known as Conservatism to be the contemporary beliefs of normal Americans in American constitutionalism and the rule of law.  A Never Trump branch is as much a part of the Government Inc. and/or The Deep State as the most ardent Socialist.  Despite Mr. Trump governing as even more of a normal American than Ronald Reagan, he’s not one of the Never Trumpers, and they oppose him in every way possible, even at the expense of the Constitution.

Normal Americans, above all, support equality of opportunity, and individual responsibility. The two go hand in hand.  They believe everyone should have the unrestrained opportunity to succeed or fail on their own initiative, but they do not believe that everyone is owed a living, or anything else.  Individuals should be responsible for their success or failure, and it is government’s role only to ensure free and equal opportunity, which is accomplished by the application of equal justice under the rule of law.  Normal Americansdo not believein abolishing public assistance for those truly in need, but they do not believe such assistance is a right, a never-ending entitlement.

Normal Americans believe in small government with strictly limited powers–-those enumerated in the Constitution–-which exists to do only what the people cannot do individually, such as maintain the military and intelligence agencies, build interstate highways and similar functions.  As a result, Normal Americans believe in frugal government spending and low taxes.  They see every man’s wages and other assets as his property to do with as he likes, and believe in contributing only that amount necessary for a small government to properly function.

For normal Americans, the definition of “fairness” does not change to fit transient political whims.  It means the equal protection and application of the law.  They believe that no law should be written unless it is necessary and easily understandable. There can be no law written to “make a statement.” They believe that the law should be equally enforced—all of the laws.  The supreme law of the land is the Constitution, which is clear and understandable, and which must be honored in spirit and fact.  To that end, the rights of the individual are the basis of American democracy and must be respected. Normal Americans believe that the Bill of Rights is clear, easy to understand, and must not be infringed.

Normal Americans have no doubt about the existence of evil and of the necessity of combating and defeating it wherever it appears.  They tend to be people of faith and are generally accepting of other faiths.  They believe that mankind cannot possibly be perfected on Earth, and support rational laws that apply to all to regulate criminal behavior.

Because they believe in equal application of the law, Normal Americans support laws that prevent election fraud, such as requiring photographic ID, and the required purging of dead and ineligible voters from registration rolls, which is actually federal law.  They do not want illegal immigrants and felons voting, and consider this stance logical and unremarkable.  The Supreme Court agrees, and in 2008, upheld Indiana’s voter ID law.  And in 2018, a federal appeals court upheld a Texas voter ID law.   

credit: cnn.com

Normal Americans do not support criminals and terrorists. They see such people as uniquely destructive, not only to individuals, but to society and western civilization, and believe they are individually responsible for their actions.  They certainly do not defend or praise such people and reject victim/identity politics.

Normal Americans generally support and respect the police, the military and our intelligence agencies.  They see them as honorable and essential parts of a free society and forces for stability, peace and good in America and the world, but only so long as they are truly accountable to, and servants of, the American people.

Normal Americans support the Second Amendment because they understand it is the ultimate guarantor of liberty.  They tend to be comfortable with honest, law-abiding citizens keeping and bearing arms.  They also have a healthy skepticism of government, particularly one that tries to assume more power than is granted it by the Constitution.

Racism and Gun Control:

Keeping this brief, general primer in mind, let’s touch on one of the fundamental motivations for American gun controllers: racism.  The racist roots of gun control in America are well known to those familiar with non-revisionist history.  As I mentioned in part one of this article, an excellent, brief overview can be had in historian Clayton Cramer’s The Racist Roots of Gun Control.

It should also be kept in mind that the Democrat party has historically been the party of racism.  The politicians–-local, state and Congressional–-that defended segregation and opposed civil rights legislation were virtually exclusively Democrats.  These were the people that loosed fire hoses and police dogs on innocent Black men, women and children, the people that bombed a Black church, murdering little girls, the people and party of the Ku Klux Klan and lynching.  The urge to control their fellow man, particularly through gun control, runs deeply in the Democrat party, and has always been a fundamental tenet of leftist philosophy.

Circa 2019, Blacks continue to tend to vote for Democrats by substantial margins despite the undeniable history of oppression of Blacks the party has embraced.  Yet, because Democrats have provided the entitlements upon which generations of Blacks have come to depend, many Blacks generally support those that promise to maintain their entitlements.  This is, slowly, changing with the“Walk Away” movement by Blacks–and other former Democrats–encouraging them to leave the party that has produced nothing for them but dependency.

Robert Byrd
credit: realtimepolics

Senator Robert Byrd (D, WVA), was a quintessential southern Democrat.  Until his death on June 28, 2010, Byrd was the longest serving member of Congress, having served six years as a Congressman and 51 years in the Senate.  Yet, Byrd was the founder of a large chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in West Virginia, vigorously opposed the Civil Rights Act, filibustering against it for an entire night in 1964, and often made racially charged comments that would have immediately ended the legislative career of any Republican.  Because he eventually called his dedicated involvement in the Klan “a sad mistake,” and because he was a reliable progressive vote, his past was ignored by his fellow democrats and the Media, their propaganda arm.  The fact that he sent enormous amounts of pork to West Virginia was, no doubt, also worthy of significant forgiveness for past sins.

What does all of this have to do with gun ownership? It is only because of the foresight of the Founders in writing the Second Amendment—which is echoed in at least 44 state constitutions—that contemporary Americans have the use of arms.  On March 13, Iowa’s legislature voted for a KABA Amendment to the Iowa Constitution.  California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York have no such protection for their citizens. The NRA and other supporters of the Second Amendment have been invaluable resources in education and leading the political fight, not only to inform the public, but to secure the Second Amendment through legislation and the courts.

Despite the District of Columbia v. Heller case (2008), in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment is a fundamental individual right, and the McDonald v. City of Chicago case (2010), which applied the Second Amendment to the states, many states and cities, almost exclusively those controlled by Democrats, continue to do all they can to harass, even imprison, gun owners.  They continue to keep laws on the books–and impose new ones–that are plainly unconstitutional, essentially demanding that they be sued—wasting millions of taxpayer dollars—rather than comply with the Constitution.  Gun ownership remains all but impossible, or so tightly regulated as to be nearly impossible in California (which recently passed a raft of new gun control measures), Chicago, New York state, New York City, the District of Columbia, Baltimore, Connecticut and other Democrat strongholds.  It is no coincidence these places also have very high crime rates. Criminals don’t obey any law.

State and federal progressive politicians are constantly proposing restrictive, unconstitutional laws they know, for the moment, they cannot pass, but they never miss an opportunity to exploit a tragedy, or sensational crimes such as the Parkland attack, in the name of gun control in the hope the public will ignore rational thought and respond emotionally.

Political Realities:

Even with Donald Trump in the White House, Americans that value the Second Amendment can never rest.  The Second Amendment seems secure for the time being, but Thomas Jefferson was right in saying the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Remember the basic facts of Socialist vs. normal American philosophy, and remember that the forces that oppose liberty never rest, and always await their chance.

Final Thoughts:

It’s not always possible to take people at their word—Justices Kagan and Sotomayor who swore to uphold the Second Amendment and voted against it at the first chance, being obvious cases in point, but sometimes, it’s vital that we do. When Hillary Clinton, one of history’s most notorious and noxious liars promised to work every day to damage and destroy the Second Amendment, normal Americans knew that was one promise they could believe.  Senator Hubert Humphrey, one of the most famous figures in progressive history said:

Hubert Humphrey
credit: wikipedia.org

Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. . . . The right of the citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against tyranny, which now appears remote in America, that historically has proven to be always possible.

It would be wise indeed to listen to the late Senator Humphrey.  We ignore the intentions of socialists at the risk of all our liberties.

For the moment, perhaps for the next two to six years, gun ownership is a choice.  Even if, after reading and considering this series, you choose not to own a firearm, would not America be better off if Americans continue to have that choice? If you did not before, now you know who wants you to have it and who does not.

The next article in this series, explores the practical, moral and legal issues gun owners must consider.  It also speaks to the changes in lifestyle that carrying a concealed weapon must, of necessity, impose. I hope to see you again next Tuesday.