18 October 2009

Western Classic Asks 'Wouldn't It Be Nice'

This morning I was watching a re-run of Wagon Train on TV. The show, a western, aired in the 1960s and concerned the people and events surrounding a typical wagon trail of pioneer settlers moving across the U.S. plains toward hoped-for bright new futures in the American west.

This particular episode, a pretty good one, involved the shooting of a man at night who was stealing a horse. Remember, back then, horse thieves were either shot or hung. For a man's horse represented life. To deprive someone of their horse was a capital offense.

Anyway, at one point a little boy whose father was the supposed thief (it later turned out the man had been duped; he was exercising a horse thinking he was buying them, but actually had been set up by his brother and branded a thief) pulled down a rifle and stated that if he found the culprit he would kill the man who shot his father.

Shortly after, one of the main characters of the show, a scout named Flint, is talking to the boy. An early gun control message in a sense. But in his day, such a sentimen was probably far reaching and noble. But a cowboy of the 1800s could not foresee the troubles the nation has been led to. In the show, Flint gently tells the boy that its hard enough for a man to kill a man. It would be much harder for a boy to kill a man. He further says that his gun has killed many things, but he has never broken the law with it. That guns don't solve problems. People solve problems.

I am paraphrasing here, but the lecture to the boy generally followed these words: "I believe there will be a day when a man doesn't have to walk down the streets armed. That people will be good to each other. That a man won't feel naked if he isn't wearing a gun."

True, guns don't solve problems. But they do save lives. Ask pretty much any military historian, and they will tell you the United States was never invaded because private citizens have a right guaranteed by the Constitution to own personal firearms. Even dictators and despots from other parts of the world said such an invasion would be suicide. Generally, I don't feel naked without a gun. But in those times when I have to be in areas where the crime rate is higher, there are times I wonder if I should carry. Of course, criminal attacks can happen anywhere. But while there might have been a time when people felt safe, it is not so now.

Think of the good people of Chicago. Some of whom are not leaving their homes because of violent crime. But they are not permitted to own a personal sidearm for their protection, as so ordered by a mayor and city council, most of whom are guarded by police paid by taxpayer dollars -- many of those taxpayers being the people who fear life in their own neighborhoods. Its twisted, isn't it?

People in this nation are good to each other for the most part. But for decades the justice system somehow becamed turned around, seemingly penalizing law abiding people for protecting themselves and their property, and giving undue protection to criminals. While for a number of crimes mandatory sentencing became the rage, the people rights -- which had been infringed around most of the nation -- were still being taken away bit-by-bit.

But about 20 years ago that started to change. With the first bans on competion rifles (so-called "assault weapons") Americans decided they had had enough. Kids who have been told guns are bad, increasingly, are asking college officials why they don't have a right to defend themselves if they are attacked. Individuals are filing court cases to overturn antiquated bans on handguns, or to loosen meaningless licensing restrictions.

The police cannot be everywhere. The old joke: . . . "Why do you carry a gun? Because a cop is too heavy" . . . has never been more true today. The shrill, worn-out, repetitive warnings of the gun control crowd that our streets would become like the old west if people are allowed to keep or carry guns has been proven not just to be wrong, but a big lie. Of course, generally, the old west was a quiet place. But the romantic old west of tv and movies is one of shoot-outs at every turn.

In point of fact, the streets that resemble the old west of tv and movies are found in those streets where the strictest gun control is present. Exactly the opposite of what the gun controllers insisted was necessary. Their actions have gotten people killed. But are they held accountable? Who of them steps forward to say, "we were wrong?" No one.

The wagon train scout mentioned above, Flint, says it best. People solve problems. And slowly, in the courts, and in state legislatures, the people are being returned rights that were unfairly and wrongly taken away. The right to defend themselves with the most logical tool possible. The great equalizer, as guns were called, ironically, back in the days of the old west.

People are fighting for their right to freedom. For self protection. To hunt. To shoot for sport and recreation. And to protect their nation. People feel naked, in a figurative sense, when those in Washington and in our state legislatures DO NOT do what is right to protect the people, but instead do what they need to do to protect themselves . . . to keep themselves in power.

With Heller, we may have taken back a bit of our rights. But there is a growing resentment that the powers that be in the White House, in Washington DC, and in a number of states, that those elected to represent Americans in this republic we call the United States, are doing things to support some unseen agenda. Witness the "tea parties" that popped up all around the nation. And to further the notion that the elite are out of touch with mainstream America, witness the venom spit at regular, law-abiding moms, grandmothers, dads and kids for showing up at such.

In business, "going naked" means going without insurance on purpose. These days, "insurance" is best defined as being informed and enlightened, and supporting the Second Amendment. Both are insurance against laws being rammed through without being read, against rules that harm the economy, and against people who would work to usurp the system to meet their own utopian vision of a top-down power structure.

As those international commanders of World War 1, World War 2 and other conflicts since those days have recognized, it makes no sense to invade the U.S. from without because its citizens are armed, or at least have the right to be armed even if they choose not to exercise that right.

Will usurpers from within come to realize the same thing?

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