One of our Finnish commenters has been arguing intelligently and lucidly that private citizens wielding small arms are likely to do more harm than good. Our American readers — some of them naturalized citizens — have argued the other side of the debate with equal vigor.
What Europeans often don’t understand is the deep cultural meaning behind American gun ownership. It’s not about pragmatic government policies, or effective social policy, or the practical consequences of private firearms. It’s not about how good a shot the average bozo is with his pistol.
We Americans simply see it as our God-given right to bear arms; that’s why we wrote it into our Constitution.
It’s our guarantee against tyranny. As long as large numbers of Americans own firearms, there will be no tyranny here. All our other rights and freedoms flow from the right to bear arms. An armed citizen is the guarantor of all our individual liberties.
The failed state of Somalia is not an apt comparison, no matter how many guns its mobs possess. Until 1989 Somalia lived under a brutal dictatorship. It has never known the rule of law. Without the rule of law and a flourishing civil society, liberty cannot grow.
The English colonists who came here brought with them the rule of law and a functioning civil society. In addition, they brought with them a tradition of their “ancient liberties”, which they transplanted to the New World. These liberties have thrived ever since in our fertile soil, and only an armed populace can ensure their continued existence.
Commenter eatyourbeans said it best:
You speak English as well as I do, yet you are as ignorant of us as a Martian.
What you say may be true as Scripture in Finland; here in the USA it’s merely pedantic and silly.
Let me repeat. It’s my duty, and not merely a right, as an American Citizen to own firearms and to be able and willing to use them. I owe this to those who founded and settled and built and fought for and died for this country. And I’ll do my duty as best I can. No doubt I’ll fall short of your metric standards, but no doubt the yokels at Lexington and Concord would have as well.
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Lastly, let me tell you a story that was told to me. Maybe it’s true, maybe not; even if not, it still tells a truth about us. Somewhere in the northern parts of one of our Midwest States, the local authorities convened a meeting of the property holders. Country folk, rednecks — or would have been if the sun shined hot enough thereabouts.
Anyway, the purpose of the meeting was to announce that a power company wanted their land in order to run a natural gas pipeline or something down from Canada. Don’t bother objecting — it’s a done deal, the owners were told: eminent domain and so forth.
Now, the infamous militias, because of the Oklahoma Bombing, were quite active here; and it’s a fair bet that everybody in that room was armed to the teeth. So, when the property owners stood up, and one after another told the authorities and the guy from the power company that this was their daddy’s land, and his daddy’s land, and his daddy’s land… voila! Suddenly the “done deal” became an un-done deal. Score one for the Greens. Ah, but they weren’t there… only the nuts with guns.
Will you old-continent types ever get us? We got a good government only because we don’t trust it one frigging, old-fashioned English inch.
PS: God bless America. And damn anybody who has an objection.