Spokesperson, Firearms Policy Coalition & CalGuns Foundation
“Brutus,” New York Journal, November 1st, 1787
Let’s look at the text: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Remember, the states asked for these amendments. The states felt that the Constitution, as it was, did not protect them enough. Why did they need protection? Why do we need it? We need protection from intruders, we need protection in catastrophic conditions, and we need protection from our own government.
Protection from our own government? Wait, wait, isn’t that a little dramatic? I don’t believe it is, neither did anyone writing The Constitution, nor did anyone demanding the Bill of Rights. These weren’t written to protect us from each other, they were written to keep the government in check.
Is there any doubt that governments are easily and frequently corrupted? There is no arguing that people throughout history have sought power at the expense of their people. Tyrants have committed, and continue to commit, atrocities to obtain and maintain power. Do you trust the government to act only in your best interest? We see politicians being bought and policies being written to protect fortunes and power. We see an imperfect government.
Our generation has not witnessed gross atrocities on our soil. Let’s not forget our shameful history of Wounded Knee, Japanese internment camps, and Segregation. Let’s not forget our brothers and sisters in Rwanda, Darfur, Germany, Bosnia, Cambodia, Russia, Egypt, Syria, and many others, who have witnessed atrocities first hand. Before WWII, many Germans looked down on the U.S.A for our racial divides, thinking that they were above this deprivation of civil rights. Shortly after this, their own country began the genocide of Jews, disabled, homosexuals, and anyone who stood against them.
Are we hearing this? Germans felt bad for us, for our backwards ways. They thought they had progressed far past us. They had no idea that their government was capable of such evil. Let us never be that arrogant or naive.
Why then, do so many scoff at the idea that we need the physical ability to defend ourselves? Gun culture is not what it should be. Guns are demonized, glorified, and stigmatized. It is time that our main view of guns is this: they are necessary.
Guns are necessary for a free state. We don’t have large and highly organized militias, but we are, at least, armed. We don’t do this for fun or sport, but because it’s essential to liberty. An author calling himself The Republican wrote these words in the Connecticut Courant, January 7th, 1778:
“In countries under arbitrary government, the people oppressed and dispirited neither possess arms nor know how to use them. Tyrants never feel secure until they have disarmed the people...”
Guns are necessary when resources are limited or unavailable. This includes natural disasters, riots, or being on lock-down during the search for a criminal. Citizens can and should be able to defend themselves in these circumstances.
How do we achieve this? How do we stop demonizing guns and see them as necessary?
Like most things, education is paramount. If you do not currently own a gun, get familiar with guns. The National Rifle Association has wonderful training courses with instructors nationwide. Check out firearmtraining.nra.org/. Even if you don’t like guns, or feel nervous around them, a safety course can get you comfortable handling them, should you ever have the need. Hunter’s Safety is readily available and provides gun and safety basics. It is designed for hunters, but is good general knowledge.
To keep up on gun culture, laws, and legislation, follow pro-Second Amendment organizations online or in person. I’ve recently been able to work with CalGuns Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition and am inspired by their constant work to secure our rights. They have practical ways for you to get involved as well, such as signing petitions, contacting your legislator, donating, and spreading the word about current issues. CalGuns Foundation can also give legal aid to those facing violations of your gun rights.
So, get comfortable, get educated, be safe. Go exercise your Second Amendment rights.
Follow this author on Twitter here: @LizzyTwitty
Elizabeth is a wife, mother of 3, Emergency Room Nurse, and recent spokesperson for Firearms Policy Coalition and CalGuns Foundation. She’s had her Hunter’s Safety and CPR certifications since middle school. She raises chickens and goats, eats weird food, and sponsors three lovely children from around the globe. She was born and raised in Nevada and has lived in California since 2005. She believes in defending and preserving God’s gift of life from the earliest stage through the final stage.