In the July 1975 issue of the iconic Guns & Ammo—then owned by Petersen Publishing Company—a column headlined “Washington Report” under the byline of “C.E. Clayton” contained an observation that could ring as true today as it did nearly a half-century ago.
“With any luck at all,” Clayton wrote, “gun control advocates could soon outlaw handguns and be well on the way to the same goal with rifle and shotgun registration. Unless gun owners get mad enough to do something about it, that is. But time is getting short. Anti-gun Congressmen want your guns and they believe they have the clout to take them away from you. For gun owners it would be all give and no take. You simply can’t negotiate with thieves. But you can vote and you can register your complaints with your Congressmen.”
Things have not changed all that much in the years hence, which is something to consider as the 144th anniversary of this human experiment we know as the United States looms.
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Thanks to the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment is properly interpreted to protect a fundamental, individual right to own a gun, or as many guns as you want.
And rights activists still struggle to get fellow gun owners to vote, and even register to vote.
The country has more people, and they have a lot more guns than folks had 45 years ago, and there are still well-financed forces that want to take those guns away from the citizens who have them.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” said the signers of the Declaration of Independence back in July 1776, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect (sic) their Safety and Happiness.”
This happened more than a year after colonial militia exchanged gunfire, and casualties, with British Regulars at Lexington, Concord, Breeds and Bunker Hills. It was already clear these Colonials had had enough, and they would kill to defend their homes and families, friends and fellow Americans.
And they declared, “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
Powerful words, then and now.
Yet today there are those who proclaim their patriotism while at the same time laboring ‘round the clock to deprive others of the rights they hold dear; rights guaranteed and protected by the Constitution. Freedom of speech, religion and the press, and the right to keep and bear arms, for example.
The First Amendment does not protect arson, looting or property destruction. The Second Amendment does not protect careless or criminal misuse of firearms.
The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 delegates, and many owned slaves. Still, those old, dead white guys planted a seed that has grown into a nation that has been described as having the worst form of government in the world, except for all the others.
If the U.S. is such a horrid place, why are so many people trying to sneak in, and why do so many others who have threatened to leave still live here?
Give that some thought and answer below.
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