On the Second Amendment to the US Constitution
Article II. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
“…most people who are cowards disguise their cowardice as morality…” —Jordan Peterson
This is another post in which I as a Buddhist monk feel obliged to defend ruthless worldly reality against unworldly (or just plain unrealistic) idealism. This is a kind of companion piece to a previous post defending the First Amendment, in which I pointed out what should be an obvious fact, namely that the whole purpose of freedom of speech is to allow one the right to say what is OFFENSIVE. This one is about guns. Which is a little ironic, considering that as a monk I am prohibited by the rules of monastic discipline from even touching one, or any other weapon for that matter, or a musical instrument, or uncooked grain, or women’s ornaments, or… But that’s only for monks, especially for strictly observant ones.
If one reads the Second Amendment, which is Article II of the Bill of Rights, one sees easily enough that the purpose of it was not simply to allow for duck hunting or defending one’s home or person against burglars or thugs or wild Indians; the express purpose of the Second Amendment is to allow US citizens to defend their homeland against aggressors and oppressors on a large scale—which could include one’s own government, if it stops representing the will of the people and becomes tyrannical. It should be remembered that this is how the USA came to being in the first place! The American founding fathers understood full well that Big Government is not necessarily the friend of the people, and should be resisted, manfully, when it oversteps its bounds. The United States is a great nation born of violent revolution against the Establishment, and the Second Amendment, signifying our constitutional right to defy repressive government by whatever means necessary, is also one major reason why the political left opposes it.
History has shown that leftist policies—like socialism, for example—are sufficiently alien to innate human nature that they require constant pressure from government to maintain them—through indoctrination and constant propaganda at the least, and occasionally through brute force. Socialism, to sustain itself, requires the weakening of the people. A strong, and especially an armed populace is anathema to what the “progressive” left currently has in mind for us. What we’ve got going is a struggle between individual rights and liberty on the one hand, and government regulation and control, “for our own good,” on the other.
|only in America|
Other obvious big reasons for the left’s antagonism toward armed citizens, more influential among the sheeplike masses (as opposed to the professional shepherds), include standard feminine timidity and craving for security. “Empowered” western feminists resent “toxic masculinity” and do not want to rely upon a relatively aggressive man to protect them, so they disguise from themselves their profound need to rely upon male strength by relying upon a mostly male government, including mostly male police and military forces. Unfortunately, however, the feminization of men in the west is producing police and military forces that are so gentle, sensitive, timid, and politically correct that they cannot be relied upon to risk their lives to protect anyone, especially if the criminal to be stopped is a member of a so-called victim group. To arrest a black man or a Muslim migrant might be racist. This is especially true in places like western Europe and the UK, where, for example, the police are apparently more concerned with stopping home truths being told about Islamism than they are with stopping Islamism. If you want guns outlawed, move to England—where you might really need a gun to protect your family, and won’t have it.
A standard argument against the Second Amendment is that now there is a standing army, so there is no longer a need for citizens’ militias. But of course if the government itself becomes tyrannical, the military will be on the other side, against the citizens. That’s why the amendment specifies that a citizens’ militia is necessary for a free state; whereas it may be assumed that an army, generally speaking, is pretty much of a necessity for any state. Another consideration is that if the shit really hits the fan law and order may break down; the “war” may be against rioters running amuck in the streets, or maybe bands of neighborhood Islamists cleansing the area of infidels in some parts of Europe. Even if the civil war is a matter of armed civilians vs. the military, the history of the past several decades, starting with Vietnam at the latest, indicates that asymmetric guerrilla warfare is often effective even against the armies of military superpowers.
The possession of such weapons of mass slaughter as machine guns, hand grenades, and rocket launchers is certainly an issue worthy of serious discussion; even now they are illegal for the average US citizen. Nevertheless, if one considers the wording and primary purpose of the Second Amendment one sees, first, that the people should be able to fight effectively against a government and its army; and second, that the word “infringed” in the Amendment means to limit or undermine, to encroach upon—therefore, technically speaking, Americans should have the right to arm themselves to the teeth like commandos, and let the chips fall where they may, and let the fearful flee to Canada (to hide behind the skirts of the teenage girl trapped in a man’s body who is currently Prime Minister there). Anyhow, Democrats will attempt to use any gained ground on this issue as the thin end of a wedge, and gradually chip and grind away at citizens’ rights and freedoms; therefore it is arguably best just to leave it alone as much as possible.
Even registration of guns is not a good idea from the perspective of a free nation. My father—a gun collector, who gave me an M1 carbine as a Christmas present when I was nine years old—used to say that when the Nazis entered a town or city during their conquest of Europe, one of the first things they’d do is to go to City Hall and find out who and where the registered gun owners were, and then go and collect their weapons. In a scenario like that envisioned by America’s founding fathers, requiring self-defense against an aggressively authoritarian government, gun registration could nullify the very purpose of having the guns in the first place.
I am certainly not in favor of murder, not even of unborn babies; really, not even of chickens and pigs; nevertheless, dangerous freedom is infinitely better, methinks, than the secure slavery, including mental slavery, of a neo-Marxist Brave New World. As the Buddhists have known for millennia, danger is conducive to mindfulness, and thus to higher consciousness. Or, as Bertrand Russell has written,
A stable social system is necessary, but every stable system hitherto devised has hampered the development of exceptional artistic or intellectual merit. How much murder and anarchy are we prepared to endure for the sake of great achievements such as those of the Renaissance? In the past, a great deal; in our own time, much less. No solution of this problem has hitherto been found….
Almost as an aside, I will observe that if one examines the gun-related crime statistics of the USA, one may see that around 4% of the population, namely young black men, are committing around 50% of the murders and other gun-related crimes. Thus if black crime were omitted from the equation, the USA would have hardly more of a gun crime or murder problem than has the mostly unarmed UK (even before the recent surge of stabbings in London). America has not so much of a gun problem as a black crime problem—exacerbated by a leftist/feminist refusal to acknowledge reality problem, so that the predicament cannot even be seriously addressed without being shut down with hysterical name-calling. It is known that American cities with high crime rates and high black populations, like Chicago and Detroit, pass very restrictive firearms laws…which don’t work, because criminals can still obtain guns, and a great many young black men remain criminally inclined. Hundreds of people are shot in “gun-free” Chicago every year, mostly black people shooting other black people. America’s troubles nowadays are predominantly psychological, not a matter of hardware.
In their framing of the Second Amendment, and the First Amendment also, America’s founding fathers assumed that US citizens should have some courage, emotional maturity, wisdom, and self-control (“you should be able to be a monster, and then not be one”), which, however, the new left is attempting to abolish, or render obsolete, through the miracle of social engineering, or at least through control of the official narrative. A functional democracy requires some intelligence, political awareness, patriotism, and self-governance on the part of its members, not timidity and docile subservience to an all-regulating Big Government. I would suggest that the repeal, gradual or otherwise, of the Second Amendment is mainly endorsed by cowards, globalists, feminists, cowards, socialists, SJWs, and cowards—people with little or no concept of honor, and little or no faith in the possibility of genuine human dignity and self-governance—just an ersatz facsimile of it superimposed on society by Big Sister.
In conclusion, if you are afraid of the dangers of liberty, you are of course free to go just about anywhere else in the world. It has been said that America is the last refuge for freedom. If America falls, there’s nowhere left to run to. Except maybe Poland.
APPENDIX: Some Thoughts on Banning Bump Stocks
There has been a lot of talking, and ranting, recently in America on the topic of banning bump stocks. A bump stock, for those of you who are ignorant with regard to weapons of death, is a kind of gadget stock which uses the recoil of firing to pull the trigger for the next round, thereby increasing the rate of fire almost to that of a machine gun. In other words, it modifies a semi-automatic rifle into one that is practically fully auto. The trouble with bump stocks is, though, that guns thus modified are very inaccurate—so much so that no military force or police force, as far as I know, actually uses them. The only realistic use for them, other than just for playing around, would be to spray bullets indiscriminately into a crowd.
Bearing this in mind, and considering that the stated purpose of the Second Amendment is to allow for a well regulated citizens’ militia, I don’t consider it to be in violation of the Bill of Rights to institute a bump stock ban. They are not effective for military purposes or for hunting either. Besides—and I’m terribly naughty for even mentioning this—I have read that it is much more effective to use a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun, pump action, loaded with 3” magnum shells of 00 buckshot. It’s almost as effective as a machine gun. In fact in the First World War, before the Geneva Convention banned shotguns, it was standard practice simply to kill any enemy soldier armed with one, rather than taking him prisoner, because shotguns were such a nightmarish instrument of war. But forget that. I’m not suggesting that you should saw off your shotgun.
The only reason, therefore, that might justify protection of bump stocks, other than the possibility of a citizens’ militia needing to liquidate hostile mobs at short range, is that word “infringed” in the Amendment. The left no doubt would use a bump stock ban as the thin edge of a wedge, taking that inch as a beachhead and then preparing for the next inch, until, like the UK, the people of the USA are unarmed. Except maybe for shotguns.
The Second Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason I believe the Second Amendment will always be important. —John F. Kennedy
Why do D's push for gun control ‘directly' after every tragic incident?
Why is this so very important to their agenda?
We, the people, are who they are afraid of.
We, the people, are who they fear will one day awake.
—“Q” (if you don’t know who Q is, it doesn’t matter, since almost nobody really knows who Q is; “D’s” are Democrats, especially the leaders)
APPENDIX TO THE APPENDIX
Just for the hell of it—here is a video of a guy called JP, on gun control. (JP here is NOT Jordan Peterson. Be not confused. And he mostly makes fun of leftist New Age types.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWA0rukqrYQ