I just got back to our home in Garland, Texas from the 148th National Rifle Association Annual Meeting of the Members and Convention. Yesterday, we had our full board meeting. I have already made my comments about that. However, unless you are living under a rock, off the grid, with no access to information, you realize why we have the Second Amendment in America … Venezuela.
Back on April 19, 1775, the alarm went out that the British were coming, that they were marching inland. The Sons of Liberty knew what was at stake. Intelligence gathered was that the British were marching to conduct a daytime raid to destroy the weapons, armaments, and ammunition factory in Concord, Massachusetts. At that time there was no America. There was no Army. There was no federal government, but there was an ideal: liberty, freedom, and individual rights. And so, it was, simple men, armed men, took to the field at Lexington Green and did the unthinkable. They fired the shot that was heard ’round the world. They decided to live free, or die, to make a stand against the greatest military power known at that time. They set in course that which we now call these United States of America.
Even though they did not stop the British at Lexington Green, they made a stand, one that was made known. They also bought time for others to rally, and they let the British know that they would fight back. It was another group of patriots that met the British at Concord Bridge and delivered a resounding punch, and they continued to fire upon the British as they exfiltrated back to Boston. The seminal fight for liberty had begun, a fight that continues to this day. What these patriots taught us, if we shall listen, is that an armed individual can be a citizen, with rights … and unarmed individual is nothing more than a subject.
That is what the British wanted. That is what Hugo Chavez, a socialist dictator, wanted back in June 2012 when he outlawed, banned, private gun ownership. And sadly, that is what progressive socialists, our new redcoats, want for us here in America. And that assertion cannot be debated when you have Democrat candidates for president stating that they will use executive orders to undermine the individual constitutional right to “keep and bear arms,” a right that “shall not be infringed.” We even have some of these leftist presidential candidates saying that they will mandate weapons turn-in programs and those not complying will face criminal charges. Rep. Eric Swalwell also issued a threat to law abiding legal gun owning Americans who would not comply, “the government has nukes.”
The brilliance of our Founding Fathers who constructed our Constitution and created those first ten amendments known as our Bill of Rights was that they knew there had to be a means to protect those individual rights. Madison, Jay, and Hamilton made first our individual freedoms of religion (and the right to practice said religion), freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press (responsible press), and the all-important right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Now, what mechanism would be required to ensure these First Amendment rights were to never be eliminated? Yes, it was, and is, the Second Amendment.
Once upon a time, the people of Venezuela were citizens, able to enjoy their life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But, as is the case throughout history, a tyrannical dictator comes along and realizes that the first thing necessary for their ascent to power is to disarm the people. And so it was that Hugo Chavez used the excuse of eliminating gun violence as the reason for gun confiscation. See, when the people are rendered as helpless victims, subjects, the policies of dictators, theocrats, and autocrats are easy to implement. All one must do is look at those aligning themselves with the current socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. Those countries are Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, and Cuba. I would affirm that these are not exactly the most welcoming vacation places for human and individual rights, liberties, and freedoms. And we in America experienced exactly what the people of Venezuela are facing. Just as Maduro has brought in Cuban, Russian mercenaries and is being assisted in repression of freedom of speech by the Chinese, masters of such, we experienced the British who brought in the vicious Hessians.
Ladies and gentlemen, therefore we have an organization like the National Rifle Association, started in 1871 for the purpose of improving rifle marksmanship after the Civil War. However, it became very clear that tyranny by way of threats, intimidation, coercion, mandates (black codes), and violence (Ku Klux Klan) was seeking to deny the individual rights, freedoms, and liberties to recently freed blacks. I think we all know which American political party established and supported the Ku Klux Klan, poll taxes, literacy tests, and the heinous practice of lynching. It was the NRA then, and now, that advocated for the 14th Amendment and constitutional right for blacks to have their Second Amendment right.
I believe the quote is attributed to one George Santayana, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Our country started because armed individuals were the guardians of liberty. Our country has remained strong because we have armed, law-abiding citizens, not subjects, who guard against the tyrannical designs of some men. History has taught us repeatedly what happens when the citizenry is disarmed. It is teaching us that lesson once again in Venezuela. And courtesy of people like Michael Bloomberg, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NY Attorney General Letitia James, Senator Kamala Harris, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, we are, once again, witnessing the lesson of tyrannical visions here in America.
Socialism, totalitarian government control cannot be implemented unless the people are made subjects, unable to resist, defend themselves. That fact cannot be debated, only dismissed, ignored, to the grave fate of those who do. Funny, ya must wonder, how much coverage of the events in Venezuela, once a highly prosperous nation, are being covered by the leftist progressive media here in America?
I leave you with the words of the author of our Declaration of Independence and our third President:
“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... . 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."
- Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776
Spartan King Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae, 480 BC, when faced with the tyranny of the invading Persians responded to the demand to lay down his weapons with these two words: “Molon Labe.”
Those words, translated into English, were the response of the Texans in October 1835 in a town called Gonzales when the demand was to give back a cannon: “Come and Take It.”
And folks, that is why we have a Second Amendment in America.
Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Mr. West is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center to support its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias. Mr. West also writes daily commentary on his personal website theoldschoolpatriot.com.