By Trevor Zantos
Jennifer Sensiba’s stunning article regarding Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is full of a range of dishonest talking points that ignore the fundamental underpinnings of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. I’m not going to deal with the other distractions Ms. Sensiba is apparently obsessed with, but stick with the ideas that caused our Founding Fathers to include the Second Amendment in the Constitution and how those ideals are fundamental to the American experiment.
The United States is a unique experiment and the Second Amendment is one of the greatest representations of our unique founding and principles. First, western civilization is built on the ideas of the Greeks that, in turn, influenced the Roman world. Simultaneously, the Jewish religion has a long and complicated history that also influenced a number of other cultures. Then in 300 AD, Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and so began the formal Judeo-Christian western philosophy.
In 1215, King John of England signed the Manga Carta. This is the first time in western civilization that a monarch was forced to acknowledge that his subjects had rights that were inherent to their being Englishmen.
The following centuries created a tradition of Common Law and the right to self defense and the idea that having arms was the most effective method to do it. There is a solid argument that the English civil war, aka The War of the Roses, was partially kicked off because of the threat of the Catholic crown seeking to limit Protestants’ rights to posses arms.
In order for there to be human rights — or more specifically inalienable rights — they have to come from somewhere. Otherwise there are only “rights” that come from government, which means they can be justly taken away by government at will. Before the Age of Enlightenment, it was generally believed that those rights came from the creator.
During the 1500s, the idea of Natural Law started to be discussed. Contrary to many “experts”, Natural Law does not necessarily mean the lack of belief in God or creator, it merely means that by observing nature, humans can see the order and law that exist in nature and translate that to our understanding of basic human rights.
In my opinion, and that of many of the Founding Fathers, the best book on Natural law is John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government. Alexander Hamilton expressed this sentiment in The Federalist Number 28 . . .
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government….
Whenever discussing the Second Amendment or human rights in general, it’s important to establish where the individual thinks those rights come from because it really frames any future discussions. Not all pro-gun groups believe in the Second amendment. Ms. Sensiba listed some in her article that clearly cannot believe in the Second Amendment as written because they fundamentally believe that rights come from government.
I’m all for having discussions; real discussions featuring the exchange of ideas with people who are willing to listen and consider changing their mind if presented with superior evidence. I have had many of these discussions over the years. Many converts were individuals I took to the range for the first time.
With all of the new gun owners, our community needs to reach out and help in any way we can. While we do that, we need to share the stories of gun control and its effects, including the devious game that the gun control groups play, as generations before us have done.
As far as politicians go, I don’t like or trust many of them, but there are some facts that need to be recognized. Firstly, I don’t think gun rights should be a Democrat or Republican issue. The First Amendment shouldn’t be partisan either, but it is.
With the most recent gun control bills that have passed in the house, HR8 and HR1446, only a handful of Republicans voted ‘yes’ and fewer Democrats voted ‘no.’ The right to keep and bear arms shouldn’t be partisan, and maybe one day it won’t be, but the subject of gun rights is partisan now and trying to pretend otherwise is foolish.
As far as Rep. Greene, she’s not my representative and i don’t agree with her on everything, but I agree with her on most subjects and at least she has the guts to fight. These are exactly the type of people that we need in congress, people who will fight.
I have the same problem with her that I have with most “pro 2A” politicians…they always talk about defending the Second Amendment, but there is never a vision to restoring the peoples’ Second Amendment rights. It is uninspiring to only be againt things, people want to be for something.
I am for:
- Eliminating the Second Amendment “poll tax” aka the excise tax
- Eliminating the restrictions regarding silencers, short barreled riffles, machine guns, destructive devices, and AOWs
- Destroying all NFA files
- Restoring the idea of innocent until proven guilty, unlike NICS which is guilty till proven innocent
- Eliminating the ATF as an organization, folding relevant groups into other agencies, focusing prosecution on crimes committed with firearms and ensuring the add-on actually is applied. We should go after large scale international arms trafficking going through ports or borders, remove classification authority and necessitate that all correspondence must be public and posted in real time online.
So give me fighters and fearless politicians. I will work on trying to evangelize to them, to try to get a collective vision that the people want on how we restore our rights. All are welcome.
I will do what I can to help any new shooter in any way I can as I have done since I started in the industry 18 years ago. However, I will never accede to the idea that government grants us “rights.”
In order to unite, there have to be shared values. I propose the best building block is the idea that there are certain inalienable rights and government’s purpose is to defend those rights with the least amount of intrusion.
As an aside, if you have an interest in actually hearing about Majorie Taylor Greene from herself I recommend at least watching these videos (here and here) and then making up your own mind. We are involved in a zero sum game in America. We got here through timidity and comprising on everything. I’m only interested in leaders who fight so “lead, follow, or get out of the way.”