Subject: What Will Reduce Gun Violence? Part 1: The American Right to Self-Protection
Luke 11:21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.”
Gallup’s annual Crime poll is conducted in October, so for 2016 it is coming up soon. The 2015 poll asked Americans this question: “If more Americans, after passing a criminal background check and training course, carried concealed weapons, would the United States be safer or less safe?” The majority of Americans, 56%, believe the country would be safer. 41% said less safe, with 3% having no opinion.
Why do Americans overwhelmingly agree that we as citizens would be safer if we maintained the Constitutional right to own and carry a gun? Because we are unlike any country in the world – we as Americans take our right to protect personal freedom as a sacred duty.
In 1775, Patrick Henry’s famous speech (“give me liberty, or give me death”) tells us the two essential ingredients in preserving personal freedom: 1) Gun ownership (personal responsibility) and 2) the God of the Bible (personal faith): “If we wish to be free…we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us! … We are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us… we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave… I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”
Our founding fathers put a heavy emphasis on personal gun ownership as not only a right of being free but also as a sacred duty to protect it. Can we look to history to see the consequences of taking away citizens’ right to arm themselves? Professor David B. Kopel (Research Director of the Independence Institute) and Doctor of Psychology Richard Griffiths, in their article for the National Review entitled “Hitler’s Control”, gives us the answer for how the Nazis were able to take control over the German people: “If we are serious about ‘Never again,’ then we must be serious about remembering how and why Hitler was able to accomplish what he did. Political scientist R. J. Rummel, the world’s foremost scholar of the mass murders of the 20th century, estimates that the Nazis killed about 21 million people, not including war casualties. Simply put, if not for gun control, Hitler would not have been able to murder 21 million people.”
Soon after Hitler became Germany’s Chancellor in 1933, he instituted the government as the sole possessor of firearms. “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms… let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order.” (Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-44: His Private Conversations, 2nd Edition, 1973). The head of Nazi’s infamous SS, Heinrich Himmler, stated that “Ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State.”
It was only five years later that the Nazis publically targeted the Jews for attack, beginning with laws that forbid them to own a gun: “‘Persons who, according to the Nürnberg law, are regarded as Jews, are forbidden to possess any weapon. Violators will be condemned to a concentration camp and imprisoned for a period of up to 20 years.’” (order of Himmler, reported in German newspapers Nov. 10, 1938).
But the path had been paved nearly 15 years before Hitler’s rise to power. When Germany was defeated in World War I, they were forced to accept the total disarmament of the government. To avoid disarming their military, the German government passed the ‘Regulations on Weapons Ownership’, which made it a crime to own a gun. By 1928, just 5 years before Hitler, the government relaxed this law but still restricted gun ownership to “persons whose trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a (gun) permit.” The police had complete discretion to deny licenses to any individual they deemed untrustworthy.
America’s gun control lobbyists are pushing for gun restrictions that are eerily similar to Germany just before Hitler came to power. As Dr. Kopel and Griffiths further explain, “Unlimited police discretion over citizen gun acquisition is similar to gun laws currently demanded by the American gun-control lobby. Unlimited police discretion over citizen gun acquisition is the foundation of the ‘Brady II’ proposal of 1994. The history of Germany might have been changed if more of its citizens had been armed, and if the right to bear arms had been enshrined in Germany’s culture and constitution.”