My Chinese friend, Mark, reacting to the Law Vegas shooting, wanted to know why Americans do not outlaw guns at least in public places.
American law is based on two things – (1) Judeo Christian moral law and (2) 300 years of violence in Europe which demonstrated to the new American colonists that they didn’t want any part of European turmoil.
The result is the Declaration of Independence which puts the individual above all, and the people over the state or the government. Most people do not know this but after the Constitution was written many of the 13 individual colonies refused to sign it; they wanted the rights of the individual spelled out.
Our Constitution tells the government what it CANNOT do because we believe all rights come from God, not human beings. I have few fears about my neighbors; I have many fears about nameless, faceless government hirelings with too much money, power and weapons. This is one of the main reasons Trump won – and why he will be reelected. He is protecting the nation.
First, The State cannot tell anyone what religion to follow. This came about because Europe had religious wars for at least 300 years. England was as messy as any of these. So freedom of religion is in the First Amendment. The State cannot impose a religion or encourage one either. We even have religious people (Islam) in the USA whose purpose is to destroy our nation but they are free to attend that religion if they choose. Fortunately for us, so far, it is a small group. If they actually disobey the law we have the power to control them by law.
The first amendment is first for a reason. It is the most important. It also mandates freedom of the speech and press. That means anyone can print anything or say anything they want. If they can get someone to pay for it- that is their business. The amendment does not require the press to tell the truth which is a problem right now as our television especially tells only what they want us to hear, but large numbers of the population know this. I cannot kill the president but I am free to stand in the town square and tell everyone what an idiot he is. No one needs to listen either!
The New York Times for the past 60 years has not been honest and it has cost them in readership. Five years ago the managers fired 127 people. The public has the right to decide what they will tolerate. But all voices can be heard. You just don’t need to listen if you don’t want to. If you don’t like it, don’t buy the paper! Apparently, many people stopped buying the paper.
The First Amendment also says that the government cannot stop peaceful assembly which is why Americans have so many organizations and clubs – groups to raise money for sick friends, or groups looking for business, turkey shoots to raise money for a charity in Africa, or for freeing prisoners in Yemen, and on and on. The teachers have groups, (English teachers, science teachers, swimming teachers, you name it) local and national, the teamsters, the carpenters, the various unions, ball teams and bridge and card players with their organizations. By the literal millions. I am an active member of two groups myself. Most people have 4 or more.
Americans have a right to private property; they can guard that property with a gun rightfully registered, and they have the right to shoot anyone who violates their land. We are required to post our land – that is have a written warning that the property is guarded and violators beware. We have full rights over the disposal of that land when we die. One of the main reasons Americans are so prosperous is that families have land and businesses for generations.
The Second Amendment is the right for me to own a gun. I passed the test for gun ownership but I do not have enough money to buy a firearm – yet. (I am a good shot.) The 2nd amendment is perhaps more important than all the rest. If the government gets too big for its britches and wants to control me and my family, I have a way to defend myself and my neighbors as well..
If the Chinese in Nanjing in 1937 had guns, what would have happened to the Japanese? I rather doubt they would have slaughtered so many people. In fact the history of the world would be entirely different if the Chinese had enough guns to defend themselves against the Japanese.
When Japan was deciding how to attack America in the 1940’s they had a saying, Don’t attack the Americans on their own soil. “They have a gun behind every blade of grass.” True. We actually have more guns than citizens, legally. Our population is 330,000,000 and I was told that there are probably 3 guns for every person in my county of 60,000. I am glad we have that kind of protection.
If anyone from the government comes on my property he must have a warrant signed by a judge, and most judges are elected. So if a judge gets too high and mighty we can take him down. The same for the police (city peace officers) or sheriffs (county officials.) We have no national police force. Police chiefs are elected as are sheriffs.
Governments run by humans tend to become more and more dictatorial as they mature. Our forefathers did not trust un-checked authority! Neither do I. After English kings slaughtered each other and their families to gain power from 1500 to 1750 American colonists said NO to kings forever.
There is to be no ruler selected by genetics. We do have families who are active in politics, but that is to be expected. Families have gifts and they can be involved in generations of activities, good managers, good politicians, good writers, but there is no law which requires us to honor any one family in governmental life.
Another requirement for a peaceful nation is a secret ballot. Every single county or city in this nation has a different way to count their ballots; sometimes electronically, sometimes paper ballots. All the machines which are purchased locally are different. There is no way for any government or individual to corrupt the votes of the entire nation, which is why all this nonsense about Russian interference is foolishness.
Any American has the right to leave this country any time they wish – but you need a passport to get back in.
In conclusion, the gun is my protection against a dictator who would take over the government and reduce me to poverty, eliminate my right to public worship and make me a slave to his system.
Now as for people who shoot up groups and individuals – we need stronger laws about crazy people but there is no law which can control a gun – guns are inanimate objects.
I hope this explains why we have guns in America and why we so badly need them.