By James Leuenberger,
Oregonian columnist Steve Duin took aim at liberty on December 17, 2012. He fired. He missed the truth.
First he demanded the Gov. John Kitzhaber convene a special legislative session dealing with “semi-automatic weapons.” What is Mr. Duin’s problem with semi-automatic weapons? A semi-automatic firearm fires one bullet with each pull on the trigger. A semi-automatic firearm is not an automatic weapon (a.k.a. “machine gun”). Federal laws have made automatic weapons rare and expensive for people who are not employed by a government.
Second he pointed to a $11,000 Barrett 50 caliber as being, somehow, bad. What Mr. Duin and the other liberty haters do is ascribe moral qualities to inanimate objects. No firearm, no matter how large, no matter how accurate, no matter how many bullets can be fired through it in a given time, has any goodness or badness whatsoever. To ascribe badness or evil to a gun is as nonsensical as to ascribe badness or evil to a hammer or an automobile.
Because his column contained a hyperlink to a picture of a Barrett 50 caliber, Mr. Duin knows that a Barrett 50 caliber is merely a rifle that fires one half-inch diameter bullet with each pull of the trigger. So what? So nothing.
Is Mr. Duin envious because he can’t afford to spend $11,000 for a rifle? Only a short time ago liberty haters called for laws prohibiting the sales of “Saturday Night Specials.” What is the one “bad” characteristic of “Saturday Night Specials?” The liberty haters claimed “Saturday Night Specials” are bad because they are cheap (inexpensive).
Third he ridiculed a firearms salesman for saying the right to keep and bear arms is necessary to protect us from tyrants rather than from criminals. Please Mr. Duin, read the history of our country and our state. The Englishmen who deposed their tyrannical kings and their descendants who revolted against King George and Parliament and declared independence from England in 1776 spoke of tyranny and the dangers posed by a standing army.
The well-regulated militia of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution was at least until passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution all white, male adults capable of wielding weapons. With the recognition that former slaves had rights – including the right to keep and bear arms – and the destruction of the Indian Tribes as effective armed forces – membership in the militia was extended to all men capable of wielding weapons.
The founding fathers of the United States and Oregon recognized and understood power in the hands of the people cannot be used to take from those people their property, their freedom, or their lives. Although Mao was a mass murdering monster, he knew and proclaimed one important truth. “Political power grows out the barrel of a gun.”
Duin ridicules the idea that our governments can threaten our freedoms. The fact that government employed tyrants have rarely stolen our freedoms is not because they are good people. Its because they know that when they come to take our firearms from us we will be shooting back at them.
Tyrants are often frightened people. Few people, tyrants or otherwise, enjoy being fired upon. It is their rational fear that they may lose their lives when taking our freedom, our property, and our lives that keeps tyrants in check. It is not their benevolence.
Oregon’s most recent, notorious example of tyranny occurred at the Clackamas Town Center. A tyrant who had just stolen the lives of two people revealed his cowardice when he was confronted by a hero. A hero armed with a firearm. A hero who witnessed tyranny and reacted in the correct, true, and proper fashion. That hero aimed his firearm at the murdering tyrant. The tyrant then displayed his weak, spineless character by turning his own firearm on himself and ending his own, worthless life.
The hero at Clackamas Town Center was an ordinary man. A person who could and did defend himself and others because he had the tool necessary to defend himself and others. The hero had and used his firearm.
After the hero had done his duty to himself and his community, law enforcement officers arrived to write their reports and collect their evidence.
What Mr. Duin and the liberty haters fail to understand is, law enforcement officers can’t be everywhere where heroism is needed immediately. The murdering tyrant’s butcher’s bill would have been much higher had the hero been unable to act immediately and effectively.
We don’t have too many firearms. We have too many laws infringing our right (and our duty) to defend ourselves, our families, and our communities.