Archive for the ‘#commonsense’ Tag

In Defense of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms   Leave a comment

Found on Lew Rockwell

By Andrew Napolitano

Image result for image of andrew napolitanoThe Ash Wednesday massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, seems to have broken more hearts than similar tragedies that preceded it. It was no more senseless than other American school shootings, but there is something about the innocence and bravery and eloquence of the youthful survivors that has touched the souls of Americans deeply.

After burying their dead, the survivors have mobilized into a mighty political force that loosely seeks more laws to regulate the right to keep and bear arms. The young people, traumatized and terrified with memories of unspeakable horror that will not fade, somehow think that a person bent on murder will obey gun laws.

Every time I watch these beautiful young people, I wince, because in their understandable sadness is the potential for madness — “madness” being defined as the passionate and stubborn refusal to accept reason. This often happens after tragedy. After watching the government railroad Abraham Lincoln’s killer’s conspirators — and even some folks who had nothing to do with the assassination — the poet Herman Melville wrote: “Beware the People weeping. When they bare the iron hand.”

It is nearly impossible to argue rationally with tears and pain, which is why we all need to take a step back from this tragedy before legally addressing its causes.

If you believe in an all-knowing, all-loving God as I do, then you accept the concept of natural rights. These are the claims and privileges that are attached to humanity as God’s gifts. If you do not accept the existence of a Supreme Being, you can still accept the concept of natural rights, as it is obvious that humans are the superior rational beings on earth. Our exercise of reason draws us all to the exercise of freedoms, and we can do this independent of the government. Stated differently, both the theist and the atheist can accept the concept of natural human rights.

Thomas Jefferson, who claimed to be neither theist nor atheist, wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Such rights cannot be separated from us, as they are integral to our humanity. Foremost among our unalienable rights is the right to life — the right to be and to remain alive.

And that right implies the right to defend life — the right to self-defense. If I am about to assault you in the nose, you can duck, run away or punch me first. If I am about to strike your children, you can strike me first. If I am about to do either of those things with a gun, you can shoot me first, and no reasonable jury will convict you. In fact, no reasonable prosecutor will charge you.

The reason for all this is natural. It is natural to defend yourself — your life — and your children. The Framers recognized this right when they ratified the Second Amendment. They wrote it to ensure that all governments would respect the right to keep and bear arms as a natural extension of the right to self-defense.

In its two most recent interpretations of the right to self-defense, the Supreme Court characterized that right as “pre-political.” That means the right pre-existed the government. If it pre-existed the government, it must come from our human nature. I once asked Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of the majority’s opinion in the first of those cases, called the District of Columbia v. Heller, why he used the term “pre-political” instead of “natural.” He replied, “You and I know they mean the same thing, but ‘natural’ sounds too Catholic, and I am interpreting the Constitution, not Aquinas.”

With the Heller case, the court went on to characterize this pre-political right as an individual and personal one. It also recognized that the people who wrote the Second Amendment had just fought a war against a king and his army — a war that they surely would have lost had they not kept and carried arms that were equal to or better than what the British army had.

They didn’t write the Second Amendment to protect the right to shoot deer; they wrote it to protect the right to self-defense — whether against bad guys, crazy people or a tyrannical government bent on destroying personal liberty.

In Heller, the court also articulated that the right to use guns means the right to use guns that are at the same level of sophistication as the guns your potential adversary might have, whether that adversary be a bad guy, a crazy person or a soldier of a tyrannical government.

But even after Heller, governments have found ways to infringe on the right to self-defense. Government does not like competition. Essentially, government is the entity among us that monopolizes force. The more force it monopolizes the more power it has. So it has enacted, in the name of safety, the least safe places on earth — gun-free zones. The nightclub in Orlando, the government offices in San Bernardino, the schools in Columbine, Newtown and Parkland were all killing zones because the government prohibited guns there and the killers knew this.

We all need to face a painful fact of life: The police make mistakes like the rest of us and simply cannot be everywhere when we need them. When government fails to recognize this and it disarms us in selected zones, we become helpless before our enemies.

But it could be worse. One of my Fox News colleagues asked me on-air the other day: Suppose we confiscated all guns; wouldn’t that keep us safe? I replied that we’d need to start with the government’s guns. Oh, no, he said. He just meant confiscation among the civilian population. I replied that then we wouldn’t be a civilian population any longer. We’d be a nation of sheep.


“Don’t Book Delta”   Leave a comment

Image result for image of delta airlines boycottBrad is planning a trip to visit his sister back east and asked me to make the reservations. Normally, the only things he cares about for trips like that are layovers that aren’t more than five hours or less than two. We had a horrible experience with a short layover at Newark once and so we learned that lesson. We also don’t fly American because when they absorbed Continental they took all the bad parts of them and Continental – well, I did say that was a horrible experience and then when I flew them the next time, it was not much better, so we just don’t fly American unless it is the only airline available and then we’d probably consider Amtrak as a suitable alternative.

He stuck his head in the bedroom door as I powered up the laptop.

“Have you made those reservations yet?” he asked.

“I just got here,” I reminded him.

“Good, because I wanted to catch you and remind you not to book Delta.”

We usually try to fly Alaska Airlines because of our Club 49 benefits (free baggage, nice mileage program), but since we don’t fly American, Delta is usually our back-up and a lot of times it is the most-direct flight to where his sister lives.

“Why not?” I asked.

“I’m boycotting them.”

Brad isn’t a boycotting kind of guy. Fairbanks, Alaska has too few outlets to buy the stuff we need to make boycotts feasible. I’d like to boycott Walmart and Fred Meyers/Krogers for violating my son’s First Amendment rights, but eating is more important and Safeway’s selection here is equivalent to a military PX or a country general store. But Brad wouldn’t normally join me on a boycott because he’s much less principled than I am. He simply prefers to live his life and not have to think about it. He also usually feels that boycotts are ineffective.

So, those three words, quietly and calmly stated, pounded off the walls of our bedroom. I had heard others are boycotting Delta, but again – air travel is essential in Alaska and Delta is one of only two airlines that flies here. And, it’s Brad – who doesn’t usually climb on boycott wagons.

Turns out he was completely unaware that boycotting Delta is now a thing. We’re not NRA members. Brad used to be, but when they agreed to ban the sale of cosmetically-enhanced rifles 25 years ago (what ill-informed people call the “assault weapons ban”), he withdrew his membership. He’s been a sporadic supporter of the Second Amendment Foundation and Gunowners of America, of which I was a member until I modified my position on felons owning guns — I think ALL your constitutional rights should be returned to you. I’ve been considering the National Association for Gun Rights in recent years. So when I mentioned that other groups were boycotting Delta, he was actually flabbergasted. He couldn’t care less if Delta severs its ties with the NRA, but he had decided all on his own that if Delta wasn’t going to support the Constitution, they didn’t need his money.

I called my friend Craig and then another friend, Chris, who are both travel agents here in Alaska. I worked with them for a short while between good jobs about 20 years ago. I asked them about the Delta boycott and they verify, it really is a thing. Delta may be surprised at the drop off in traffic among Alaskans. Big 2A state here. Chris says that’s good because he really would prefer not to book people on Delta. He’s among the 4 million of America’s 200 million gunowners who belongs to the NRA and he is personally boycotting Delta. When a travel client says “Don’t book Delta” he says “no problem.” Quite a few of them have told him that it’s not about the NRA for them. It’s about the 2nd Amendment and sending a message to all the gun-grabbers that we’re not letting them get away with it. “Imagine if Delta cries for mercy in a month,” Craig, who isn’t pro-boycott, said. “That sends a resounding message to the minority of American adults who are not gunowners.” Craig’s philosophically on the side of the gun-control folks, but he recognizes that money talks and says Chris has convinced him that Delta overstepped a line that it shouldn’t have crossed and that it stands to become the poster child for ill-conceived corporate partisanship.

At some point, people who believe in the Constitution have to stand up for their pre-political rights. I’m not an NRA member so I really don’t care about the discount Delta gives or doesn’t give to NRA members. It doesn’t affect me at all. But when any business decides that my constitutional rights can be infringed, then I will (to the extent possible) exercise my constitutional rights to not give them my business. When you decide to alienate 50% of the adults in the nation, that can actually damage your bottom line.

Tyranny of Good Intentions   Leave a comment

I posed a question on my Facebook page – To Protect Us from Bad Drivers, Should the Government Mandate Autonomous Cars?

I still don’t know what the consensus was on that because it became a gun-control debate. I guess I’m not surprised because both are liberty issues. It’s why I pose these questions, to drag liberty and tyranny kicking and screaming out into the sunlight where they can be discussed.

I think a lot of us harbor tyrannical thoughts wrapped up in the guise of good intentions. Why do we encourage the curtailment of free speech through the institution of speech codes? Our good intention is that nobody be insulted by ideas we have deemed inappropriate this decade (subject to change next decade), but I think the underlying psychology is that we like to control others and force them to parrot our beliefs back to us even if they don’t believe the same thing.

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Why do we think it is our right to tell business people who they may and may not serve? Our good intention is so that people can access goods and services without being discriminated against for things they have no choice about – colors of skin being the primary one. As an American Indian, I don’t disagree with the intention — I like being able to walk into any restaurant in America and know I’ll be served. But then the tyrannical psychology of human beings rears its ugly three heads and we start setting aside people’s free exercise of faith rights in order to satisfy a political agenda because in our heart of hearts it’s not really about fairness and eliminating discrimination. It’s about imposing our will upon others.

So, during the unintended debate on gun control, the thing that struck me was how people believe they have the good intention of making everyone “safer”, by eliminating guns from society, while ignoring the facts that communities with a lot of guns in private hands are much safer than communities where private guns have been banned.

They mean well, but they’re making us all less safe and may even get some of us killed — if they haven’t already. For example, with 98% of all mass shootings happening in so-called gun-free zones, why would we think turning the entire country into a gun-free zone would be a great idea?

Image result for image chicago's murder rate related to gun control

North Dakota almost matches Alaska in per gun ownership. They have the lowest crime rate in the nation. Some people would like to insist that is a coincidence so they can dismiss that data point. Alaska, specifically my community of the Fairbanks North Star Borough, has the highest per capita gun ownership rate in the nation. We don’t have the lowest crime rate. We lead the nation in rapes and alcohol-related crimes. But we have practically non-existent night-time burglary and armed robbery rates. Home invasions do happen here occasionally – mostly drug related – but they’re few and far between.

What North Dakota and Alaska share in common is that we’ve had very few mass shootings. Why?

Maybe it has something to do with our preserving our ability to defend ourselves a long time before the cops can be there. Because we’re not big on gun-free zones, we have created safer armed havens within our communities.

Are you safer walking the streets of New York City at 3 am or Fairbanks Alaska at 3 am? I’m thinking that even people who live in New York City recognize that the streets of Fairbanks Alaska are safer than the ones outside their apartment. It doesn’t mean Fairbanks is risk-free, only that it is comparatively safer. And, yet police response time in New York City is magnitudes faster than it is in Fairbanks Alaska. New York City has more cops per block than Fairbanks Alaska has per mile. It takes 10 minutes for them to reach my home (minimum), but it takes 45 minutes for a cop doing 80 mph to reach my cabin (minimum). Fortunately, we don’t have a huge need for cops because we retain the ability to defend ourselves.

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But circle back – it is safer to walk a dark street in Fairbanks than it is in New York City. New York City pretends to be a gun-free zone, but of course, there are a lot of illegal guns in the hands of criminals in New York City while in Fairbanks there are a lot of legal guns in the hands of ordinary citizens. Why would criminals prefer New York City where there’s a cop on every corner rather than Fairbanks where there’s a gun in every house (well, maybe 75% of them)? Wouldn’t they have more chance of getting caught in New York City? No, because if they kill the person who they’re victimizing there is no witness to turn them in. But if the Fairbanks homeowner shoots them rather than being a victim, then they’ve been caught. Chances are greater that a criminal will be brought to justice here in Fairbanks than they are in New York because criminals here stand a good chance of receiving the natural consequences of their criminal behavior than they do in a city where they are pretty much the only people armed.

That translates into it being safer to walk the streets of Fairbanks at night. Now, it might potentially be safer to get drunk while playing poker in New York because your ordinary neighbor is unlikely to have a gun with which to shoot you if he thinks you’re cheating. That is a downside to living in an armed community. But, guess what … don’t play poker with drunk people and you’re probably going to be okay. It’s really kind of counter-intuitive when you think about it. In a community that is awash in guns, you’re safer walking down the street, but aggression toward others is also ill-advised. Most gun incidents here are really alcohol or drug incidents.

Image result for new york city murder rates related to gun control

Oh, that makes sense. It’s the advice I gave my kids about driving drunk. Don’t! If you’re driving, you don’t drink alcohol. If you’re drinking alcohol, you don’t drive.

If you’re drinking, lock your guns up. If you’ve got a need to have a gun out, you shouldn’t be drinking. That was pretty much the gun safety advice my parents gave me.

The good-intentioned tyrannical crowd would say “Let us take away the cars so you can’t hurt yourself with them. We’d take away the alcohol, but we already tried that and it was a miserable idea, but surely this great idea will work out fine.” Eventually, they’ll come to that conclusion about cars. We know that because they’re insisting about that conclusion with guns. Ignore the fact that not all of us live or even want to live where there’s a cop on every corner who still isn’t there to prevent our death. Guns are dangerous in the wrong hands, so they insist the answer is to remove the took from all of us … except the two segments of the population who most want to victimize the disarmed – criminals and cops.

Image result for new york city murder rates related to gun control




Posted March 2, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control, Uncategorized

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Can We Use Our Reason, Please?   Leave a comment

My heart went out when I heard about the egregious case of alleged child abuse by a California family charged with starving and torturing their children in a so-called “private school”.

In the aftermath, I’m not surprised to hear some commentators call for greater regulation of all homeschooling families. In an Op-Ed article in the Los Angeles Times, Rachel Coleman suggested “abuse in homeschool settings is all too common,” and she recommended strict homeschool regulation. She stated:

Force contact with mandatory reporters. States could require annual assessments by a certified teacher and annual doctor’s visits…

AA006063Of course, this ignores the fact that data shows that homeschoolers excel in academics and in adulthood.

To use this outrageous example of abuse to attack homeschooling families and suggest that they need more oversight is reactionary and inappropriate.

The vast majority of the more than two million homeschoolers in the United States live in nurturing homes with caring parents who are overly attentive to their education and well-being. Most children thrive in a homeschooled environment that allows for flexible instruction, tailored curriculum, community immersion, and interest-based learning and public and larger private schools, by their vary nature, struggle to provide those benefits.

Data shows that homeschoolers excel in academics and in adulthood. U.S. News & World Report reports that a majority of homeschoolers “who go on to college will outperform their peers.”

Child abuse of any kind should bother us, but we shouldn’t target an entire population of families because we are worried about a few bad apples. Crimes against children by public schoolteachers are appallingly common throughout the United States; yet, we don’t stereotype all teachers as potential predators. In 2014 alone, there were 781 reported sex crimes by teachers and other employees. That is an average of 15 students per week who were sexually victimized by school personnel.

An article in the Des Moines Register calls for an end to the private homeschooling option, stating: “Licensed educators are mandatory reporters of child abuse, are held to high standards for preparation and professional conduct, must be fingerprinted, and undergo background checks. Yet Iowa allows anyone to ‘teach’ their own and up to four unrelated children.”

In March 2017, the Des Moines Register reported on a case of a long-time Iowa public high school teacher charged with a sex crime against a student. In September, the 61-year-old teacher was sentenced to prison for repeated sexual assault. He had been a licensed Iowa school teacher since 1978. What good did not high standards of preparation and professional conduct, fingerprinting and background checks do his victims? Should we outlaw public schools based on this one case?

Children are vulnerable and should be protected. For most children, parents are their best protectors and the ones most able to ensure their well-being. We must do our best to try to protect children while also not infringing on the privacy and freedom of law-abiding citizens. What is needed is public policy based on reason — on what is best for a broad range of children and their families, rather than on a singular examples (both in homeschooling and public schools) that should both enrage us all.


Win-Win for Everyone   Leave a comment

So, you say you don’t like guns and you don’t want them in the hands of ordinary citizens because you’re afraid they might shoot you. You honestly believe that a cop on every corner is adequate to keep you safe and that mass shootings would end if you just disarmed everyone.

Image result for image of the lower crime rate in high gun ownership communitiesI am not afraid of guns and I am so certain that ordinary people have no intentions of shooting anyone that I am comfortable with almost anyone carrying concealed. I want to live in a safe community where violent crime against unarmed people is low, so I choose to live in a well-armed community because statistics show that you’re less likely to be preyed upon in such a community – particularly, if you are armed yourself. About half the country agrees with me and the other half agrees with you.

Here’s a suggestion that I think both of us might like if some of us would stop trying to control other people.

There are already several states in the union where private gun ownership might as well be banned because you can’t take your heavily-licensed gun with its inadequate capacity outside your home and if you do need to defend yourself against a home invasion, you’re likely to face at least a reckless homicide charge … as if you did something wrong by defending your life.

So, if you don’t like guns and you prefer them only in the hands of cops and criminals, please move to one of those states. You should feel quite comfortable there with like-minded victims.

That leaves the rest of the country for those of us who are not afraid of guns and prefer to live in safer communities where we don’t have to worry so much about home invasions, nighttime burglaries, and robberies.

And, then, let’s compare notes in a decade and see which of these zones has a lower homicide rate, a greater level of liberty of speech, religion, association and movement, and (as a side benefit) fewer mass shootings. I suspect it will be the areas where more people are armed, but hey, it’s worth the experiment to find out if I’m right. And for at least 10 years, we can quit having these fights while we conduct the experiment.

And the reward for being right will be … we remain in our friendly separation unless you are willing to lay aside your controlling ways and move out to a safer community. It’s a win-win for everyone.



Posted February 27, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control, Uncategorized

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Reality in the Middle East   Leave a comment

If you put your opinion out on social media, you’re bound to attract some people who disagree with you and this week, I’ve become velcro. Debating anyone on Twitter is … uh … challenging and I had this guy ask me to meet him in twitter DM for further discussion. My issue is that I would have to follow him to do that and his feed is full of anti-Trump, anti-American, we-don’t-care-about-the-Constitution posts and I’m not interested in supporting that with my follow.

So, for the record, this is what I sort of believe – subject to revision as new facts come in. The topic is Muslim persecution of Christians. Yeah, big topic … impossible at 140 characters.

The conversation started because I responded to a meme that said (I’m still looking for it, so this is a paraphrase) that Muslims have no right to demand entry into US when they come from countries that regularly persecute Christians under cover of law. The poster wanted to know if this was “fair”. I responded that it wasn’t fair, but that it made a point about the treatment of Christians in many Muslim countries. I specifically said “in many ME countries, the only rights Christians have is to die for their faith.”

He accused me of broadly condemning ALL Muslims. So, this is my attempt to make myself clear without the character limit.

My figures can be verified from Amnesty International, US State Department Research and Pew Research. These are not the strongest sources I am familiar with. I know Christians living in the Middle East who point to other websites, but since these are Christian in origin, this fellow would no doubt say they are biased. And, hey, if someone made it illegal for me to practice my faith, I might feel persecuted and be a bit biased against those who want me dead or silenced.

Apostasy and blasphemy may seem to many westerners like artifacts of history, but there still dozens of countries around the world where laws against apostasy and blasphemy remain on the books and often are still enforced.

You need examples of actual current persecution?

In December 2015, authorities in Sudan charged 25 men for apostasy – the act of abandoning one’s faith — including by converting to another religion. The men faced the death penalty for following a different interpretation of Islam than the one sanctioned by the government. I bring this up because Muslims even persecute other Muslims for converting to another type of Islam.

And, in Pakistan in summer 2016, police were pursuing a Christian accused of sending an allegedly blasphemous poem to a friend. Blasphemy – defined as speech or actions considered to be contemptuous of God or the divine – is a capital crime in Pakistan.

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center analysis, about a quarter of the world’s countries and territories had anti-blasphemy laws or policies, and that more than 1 in 10 nations had laws or policies penalizing apostasy. The legal punishments for such transgressions vary from fines to death.

Pew’s research was the basis of a major report on restrictions on religion around the world. The report examines both government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion, relying on 17 widely cited, publicly available sources from groups such as the U.S. State Department, the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the International Crisis Group.

Pew found that laws restricting apostasy and blasphemy are most common in the Middle East and North Africa, where 18 of the region’s 20 countries criminalize blasphemy and 14 criminalize apostasy. While apostasy laws exist in only two other regions of the world – Asia-Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa – blasphemy laws can be found in all regions, including Europe and the Americas.

Some blasphemy laws have been on the books for decades, through dramatic political and social changes. In Pakistan, blasphemy statutes have their origins in the country’s colonial past, when British rulers first introduced penalties for insulting any religious beliefs. These laws remained in effect after Pakistan’s independence in 1947 and have since increased in severity.

Pakistan is one of 12 of the 50 countries in the Asia-Pacific region that had blasphemy laws in 2014. Blasphemy laws are enforced in several of those 12 nations. In 2014, Burma (Myanmar) convicted a New Zealander and two Burmese men of blasphemy after using an advertisement depicting Buddha with headphones to promote a bar. The men were sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Apostasy laws are less common worldwide – they are found in 25 countries, in only three regions of the world. By far the most countries with anti-apostasy measures were in the Middle East-North Africa region (14 out of 20).

Seven of the 50 countries (14%) in the Asia-Pacific region also had apostasy laws. In the Maldives, all citizens are required to be Muslim, and those who convert to another faith may lose their citizenship.

So, when I said that in “many Middle Eastern countries” Christians risk dying for their faith, I wasn’t over-stating the case. Pakistan still kills those who convert from Islam to Christianity. Afghanistan still has the death penalty on the books for this, but the US coalition has pressured the government to prevent recent executions. Brunei‘s Penal Code states that a Muslim who declares himself non-Muslim commits a crime that is punishable with death, or with up to 30 year imprisonment, depending on the type of evidence. Iran doesn’t list this in its Penal Code and historical Christian minorities are not directly persecuted, those who convert from Islam to Christianity are threatened, assaulted, detained without charges, and even executed. Jordan doesn’t kill Christians outright, but it monitors Christian evangelists and restricts the civil rights of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity. It also monitors Christian churches. Kuwait‘s constitution upholds the “absolute freedom” of belief, but Christians, particularly converts from Islam, face severe penalties in family courts and there is a law, frequently enforced, prohibiting non-Muslim evangelism among Muslims. In Oman, Christians are denied child custody rights and it is illegal to talk about your faith, but they don’t kill you. Qatar allowed private practice of non-Islamic faith, but there’s a 10-year sentence for talking about your faith if you’re not a Muslim. Saudi Arabia makes it illegal, punishable by flogging, imprisonment and the death penalty, but there haven’t been any recent reported executions, though supposedly, Christianity is growing secretly there. We have all heard what happens in Syria to Christians. That’s not the government, so much as ISIS. The Emirates make it illegal, but Christian churches are growing there publicly.

So that’s four ME countries where Christianity carries the death penalty and several more where it carries severe penalties. Let’s not deny reality. Some of these countries may not actually kill many Christians, but that’s mainly because there are so few there and they live mostly in secret. If they didn’t, the country would kill them.

For a broad view of this topic by a writer who has clearly done more research than I  have, check out this article.

That doesn’t make it right to “ban” Muslims from the US, but it should act as a caution that some Muslims are coming from countries where it is deemed all right to abuse and kill Christians and they bring that mindset with them. So, yes, more screening is needed. The Trump administration went about it ineptly, but there is ample evidence that the Obama administration was biased in the screening process for some immigrants. I know of Europeans who have never had a traffic violation who have had their citizenship application held up for five years and yet Muslim refugees, all through out the Obama administration, were fast-tracked into the country, often with rote acceptance of a UN waiver that turned out not to include what most Europeans or Americans would consider to be a very rigorous background check.

That system needs to be balanced and to the extent that it has not been, it should be restructured.


Thomas Jefferson on the Folly of Gun Control   Leave a comment

Image result for image of tiananmen square tank studentIn November 1787, while the Constitution was moving toward ratification, Thomas Jefferson – no doubt frustrated at being in Paris while the nationalist forces of America were perverting the liberty he had championed — wrote a letter to his friend, Rev. William Smith of Philadelphia. Jefferson saw clearly that the Constitutional Convention had been an illegal affair that had created a completely new constitution without permission of the states’ legislatures when all that had been needed was a modification of the Articles of Confederation. In this letter, written after the cow had left the barn, but before it was certain the people’s representatives would be duped by the proposed constitution, Jefferson discussed Shay’s Rebellion – the excuse given for the necessity of replacing the Articles of Confederation with the illegally drafted US Constitution. Jefferson’s comments then have bearing on the discussion of gun control now. See my emphasis …

Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, & what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of its motives. they were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive; if they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13 states independent 11 years. There has been one rebellion. that comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is its natural manure. our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusetts; and on the spur of the moment, they are setting up a kite to keep the hen-yard in order. I hope in God, this article will be rectified, before the new constitution is accepted.” Thomas Jefferson, 1787

We’re told that gun violence is a uniquely American tragedy, but we’re not told that rates of non-gun violent crimes in countries where guns have been banned are often higher than they are in America. You’re far more likely to be beaten or stabbed to death in the UK than you are in New York City or Fairbanks Alaska. That’s a per capita likelihood and those are UN statistics. The reason for that should be obvious. In the absence of guns, violent people find other ways to kill people.

Welcome to the human race. Sorry, we’re not all that pretty.


Thomas Jefferson didn’t have crime in view when he made these comments. He was focused squarely on liberty. He was concerned about the ability of people to essentially commit treason against their government. He thought it was a good idea … even if they didn’t have all the facts and even if they didn’t win. Why?

Because liberty tends to erode under the coercive influence of the state. Thomas Jefferson believed that if a government wasn’t warned every generation that its people retained the ability to rebel … well, then the government would gradually become tyrannical. And, periodically, America has experienced rebellions that have woken the government up and caused changes. It’s been a while – 40 years since the 1960s and that was conducted by people who ultimately wanted MORE government rather than less. Jefferson would have been perplexed by them, I think.

We are at the crossroads of another time where there is a huge necessity to effect change in the country.

So, the question is, how do you commit rebellion against the largest military on the planet? I’m not advocating an armed rebellion against the United States government. I’m advocating for philosophical rebellion by people who can respond to government violence in kind. There is a difference. I am pointing out that if it ever becomes necessary, it would be impossible without guns like the AR-15, which will only be the initial test case for the removal of all semi-autos and then all handguns from private hands). Just think about how inadequate an AR-15 would be against the select-fire and fully-automatic weapons the military has access to. The only way it becomes adequate is if we have way more than they do and we do, which is why I suspect the deep state is behind a lot of the gun-control rhetoric. Ever so often I remember all those “terrorists” who have been caught trying to plant non-working explosive devices at the “suggestion” of undercover federal agents and I wonder … could we, like the Americans Jefferson commented on, be duped by the press into believing one thing when the opposite is true?

Oh, yeah! I don’t think anything has changed other than the sophistication of the propagandists.

Image result for image of armed rebellionI’m not saying we should conduct an armed rebellion against the US government. I don’t believe in initiating aggression against other people. But we are ripe for a philosophical rebellion, for a great waking-up of the general masses to the things that must change in this country if we are going to continue forward as a free people. At some point, absent a sea-change in philosophy, this government that now so arrogantly thinks it can push around its people will eventually ignite a physical rebellion because that’s what aggression causes. How that turns out depends on our ability to preserve the spirit of rebellion. If we’re disarmed or down to single-shot rifles, that rebellion will be empty words and rocks thrown at kevlared cops and tanks. We’ll be indulged with the illusions of greater freedom as the Chinese are today, but it will be just an illusion. If you don’t have the means for rebellion, the spirit of rebellion is kind of a moot point. But if you have the means for rebellion, the spirit of rebellion may be all you need.

Having the ability to respond violently when violence is initiated against you actually prevents violence from being initiated in many instances while being disarmed and helpless encourages victimization.

Jefferson did later discuss why crime is greater when men are disarmed than when they are armed. From his “Legal Commonplace Book” where he quotes Cicero, who of course was thinking of swords when he penned the following:

“False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from man because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, will respect the less important arbitrary ones….and which, if strictly obeyed would put an end to personal liberty?….Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; They serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

Because our media chooses to whip up the true horror of mass shootings while utterly ignoring the half-million times a year people use guns to save their own lives, we get a false notion that guns are the problem rather than human nature is the problem and getting rid of guns will only make it worse because disarmed victims may be attacked with greater confidence than concealed-carry permit holders. We’re told by people who believe they have the higher moral ground that sacrificing real advantage is merely an inconvenience for our own protection. It was the same 2000 years ago when Cicero penned those words as it is today.

So why are we refusing to learn from history? Do we want to repeat the fall of Rome?


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