“But if you are a law abiding person, why would you be against registering your guns? Isn’t that the least you could do?” I am asked this in nearly every gun related conversation I have with anti-gun people or even apathetic gun owners (you know the type, they own guns but refuse to believe the anti-gun groups would ever take their guns). But it’s a fair and legitimate question, and there is a good answer for it.
The obvious point is that if the 2nd amendment is in part to protect the arms of citizens as the last defense against a government turned tyrannical, then allowing the government to keep records of exactly who owns guns negates this. But perhaps the greatest danger is NOT from a tyrannical government trying to oppress all its citizens, but from a popular government that has turned against some easily identifiable minority group (blacks, jews, gays, etc.) ?
Historical and current events prove that the most horrific violence is generally undertaken by paramilitary groups or mobs to whom the government has turned a blind eye. Groups that undertake violence against some (usually minority) group based on sectarian, racial, political, etc. differences. When this violence takes place the oppressed group has no authority to turn to because the ruling government ignores their plight or is powerless to help it.
This list could go on and on, but below are a handful of the most obvious events against a minority group disarmed by its government:
Anti-Jewish Russian Pogroms , carried out in Russia by mobs and ignored by the government even after the Bolshevik revolution.
Kristallnacht, 1938, Nazi Germany, when brown shirts who weren’t “officially” doing so under orders assaulted and murdered Jews, burned synagogues, looted Jewish stores, etc.
Rwandan Massacre, 1994, when members of the majority Hutu tribe militia committed a virtual genocide against the Tutsi minority, mostly with machetes (apparently neither common sense gun laws or apathetic UN peace keepers couldn’t keep them safe).
The genocide in Darfur, ongoing, where the Janjaweed, a paramilitary militia group unofficially unsupported by the Sudanese government, carries out vicious and deadly raids against disarmed Black African Farming communities.
But how does this make gun registration bad? Because when you register your guns to comply with “common sense” gun laws during a time of a benevolent government you are supplying that list to a tyrannical or oppressive government when/if it takes over.
For instance, the liberal German Weimar Republic (created after WW I, toppled by Nazi’s) instituted gun registration in 1928, which was undoubtedly cast as a “common sense gun law.” The Nazi regime used these “common sense” firearm owner lists in 1938 to confiscate all firearms from Jews just months before Kristallnacht, the night when Jews were murdered and beaten by government incited mobs (but not organized troops) while police sat back and watched.
Would history be different if the German Jews had still owned firearms and been able to defend themselves during this mob violence, like the asian store owners who defended their property with firearms during the Rodney King riots? We can’t know an alternative history, of course, but a mob expecting to terrorize a group they don’t like will turn away when met with victims enabled to fight back. Mobs are there to do violence to helpless victims; not get into a standup fight. Kristallnacht was the beginning of Germany’s swift descent into the Holocaust.
But nothing like that could happen in the United States, right? Except it already has. Consider the history of our current secretary of state (and all African Americans of her time), Condoleezza Rice.
Ms. Rice’s father was an educated African American in Birmingham, Alabama in the early 1960’s when black churches were being bombed, crosses were burning, and the KKK was openly committing acts of terrorism. But her father and other men from the neighborhood organized into groups to patrol the community with shotguns, and guess what … they effectively defended their community. Clan members/mobs are real courageous when they can burn crosses and use their numbers to terrify unarmed victims from beneath their hoods, but your identity is revealed if you get gunned down and that’s not what they were there for.
The mob mentality looks for a quick kill, not a fight. And it was gun ownership that empowered those African American fathers with the ability to protect their families until a long term political/legal solution could be affected.
This so affected Ms. Rice that she said that if gun registration had been mandatory they would have been left defenseless against the Ku Klux Klan. Why? Because local authorities were either wearing hoods or ignoring the situation, and the KKK would have had no problem getting those common sense gun ownership lists and the sheriff could have confiscated those guns for “common sense public safety.” She also believes that the 2nd amendment is as important as any of the other amendments for defending American freedom.
The bottom line is … if there had been comprehensive gun registration at that time, there would have been more lynchings and more deaths.
But the most powerful current example of armed civilians standing up to secure their communities is Iraq. The powerful American army couldn’t stop the bombings, kidnappings and murders perpetrated by Al Quaeda and the insurgents, but once the Sons of Iraq formed local militias the terror army that eluded the Americans no longer had a hope. It was citizens with guns, AK47’s, that stopped the violence and made Iraq safer. Not the American army, not the Iraqi government, not the Iraqi police … but fathers empowered through firearms ownership to protect their children.
And while it’s hard to imagine such a thing happening in the US in the foreseeable future who knows what will happen in 30 years when my daughters are middle aged?
I started out by saying that Christians should support unlicensed ownership of guns. But this statement holds true for every easily identifiable group with the intelligence to look at history and current events: Christians, Muslims, Gays, Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Pro Life, Pro Choice, … anyone who is a member of some identifiable group that could possibly be singled out.
The concept of having to personally protect your community with firearms is offensive to everyone. But none of the groups targeted for mass murder or “ethnic cleansing” chose that situation. If you are a Christian you aren’t going to change your religion because Muslims have taken over local government, or vice versa. And while an armed standoff/balance of power is certainly NOT what any civilized person wants, historically and logically it is sometimes the best you can get, given human biases and hatreds. And the Jews who survived the holocaust would certainly have preferred an armed standoff to 5 million dead.
Like a whack a mole carnival game we try and deal with hatreds as they pop up (usually with political correctness that represses more than corrects it) but a new one always appear. Such as the most recent hatred that religion is the cause of all world problems. (particularly, of course, Christianity).
But let just one of these hatreds gain too much political power or popular momentum and who can say we won’t have our own Kristallnacht right here in the US – victimized group yet to be determined. Do you want to take a chance it will be a group you or your family are members of? I don’t.
So non-registered, civilian gun ownership is the only choice that makes sense. And yes, Mr. Obama, we do need to be able to own the semi-automatic weapons that you want to ban. And fortunately this shouldn’t be a problem, since these weapons are rarely used to commit crimes.
The best book ever written!
By me, anyway.
Set against the background of the American civil war of “progressives” vs. patriotic American traditionalists and a family caught in the middle, Off Road is a journey into the uniquely American world of God, guns, big trucks … and family.