Opinion by Gary Mauser, Alan J. Chwick, & Joanne D. Eisen.
“Well, Doctor [Franklin], what have we got — a Republic or a Monarchy?” “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
…Benjamin Franklin is reported to have said in 1787 at the close of the Constitutional Convention when the Founding Fathers forged the United States. A republic is not easy to keep. In order to continue to nurture freedom, our republic relies upon free people to govern themselves responsibly. Franklin’s question is still a challenge: Can we keep it?
Defending our republic requires patriots. Without our willingness to fight for it, our republic will not endure. The socialists are working hard to erase our freedoms. Whether we know it or not, we are in a culture war with the socialists, and we must take personal responsibility and stand up for our republic.
Multiple Species of the Genus Marxism
Socialists are destroying our nation by exploiting noble-sounding goals – such as fighting “climate change” and saving the planet. The “Green agenda” hides a socialist plan to undermine our nation’s economy that is impoverishing normal people. Banning gas stoves, dishwashers, and even foisting fake meat on the public, as if it would be “better,” was actually, conceptually, a FEAR expressed in the Anti-Federalist Paper #33, where the government would grow to BIG. The Green program is a watermelon: GREEN on the outside but RED on the inside.
Behind closed doors, the socialists are making policy decisions that may sound noble but are destroying our nation. Not only should we become suspicious, we should become concerned and active.
- Why are gas stoves being banned?
- Why are political “experts” discussing the elimination of cash?
- Why are our armed forces facing historical problems in recruiting?
- Why are the borders not protected?
- Where can we find virtuous teachers, news reporters, or judges today?
And yet, when policy questions come to a vote, the American people know what is right. State after state has recognized our Second Amendment Rights in the way our Founding Fathers intended. For example, since Florida moved to “shall issue” laws back in 1987, almost all states have followed suit. “Shall issue” means that instead of requiring citizens to meet subjective standards (conditions that were used to arbitrarily deny permits to minorities or to extract bribes in order to “qualify”), states set conditions that any citizen could meet. Simply put, the ‘burden of need’ was moved from the state to the citizen, and law enforcement, or the designated governing body, was required to issue permits to applicants who meet any requirements set forth by the law. By 2006, 37 states were shall-issue, two were unrestricted (Vermont and Alaska), two were no-issue (Wisconsin and Illinois), and 9 were may-issue.
The Heller decision in 2008 transformed the situation. In 2010, Arizona adopted “Constitutional Carry,” which means that all citizens have the right to carry concealed without a government-issued permit or license as long as they do not have a history of crime or mental health issues that bar them from possessing a gun. Additional states adopted constitutional carry policies until, on April 2023, Nebraska became the 27th state to adopt Constitutional Carry.
The recent Bruen decision by the Supreme Court may even force the final few Blue states to respect the Second Amendment. We can expect decades of Court cases and rulings before ‘shall issue’ becomes the law for Blue states such as California and New York. Citizens standing up for their rights can be effective.
Despite such successes, socialists are still actively working to undermine our country by spreading lies to fool the ignorant. Many socialists, masquerading as Democrats, live among us in Red States. Such people continue to push frightening lies, such as armed civilians pose a danger to children. The facts show otherwise. The statistics show that concealed carry permit holders protect the public and are more law-abiding than the police. They will continue to believe that we are evil. The corporate media push propaganda to teach Americans to hate guns. See here and here.
Socialists need to lie because, despite promises, socialist policies do not work, and the bigger the whopper, the better.
President Biden promises the border is secure, even though his policies allow millions of illegal immigrants to enter the country. The government promises they won’t ban gas stoves, even while the bureaucracy is doing just that. The government claims the economy is ‘back to normal.’ Still, as shortages inevitably appear, as food doubles in price, as store shelves empty of baby formula and toilet paper, the authorities work to stop people from complaining. Socialists prefer to ignore complaints, and they certainly do not wish to deal with large numbers of angry people who own firearms.
Americans are tolerant and trusting, but only for so long.
The Socialists need to silence us and, importantly, disarm us.
Because gun owners cannot be disarmed with force, socialists lie in order to frighten us into silence and even to voluntary disarmament. Socialists claim that normal firearms, the kind owned by millions of Americans, are “too dangerous for civilians to own.” Semi-automatic rifles – invented over a century ago and popular with hunters, sport shooters, and anyone thinking about self-defense – are labeled “assault weapons.” And Socialist lies are endlessly repeated by the legacy media, a.k.a. the Main Street Media.
We need to know the truth, so we can expose their lies. The socialists’ lies are designed to lull us to sleep, to get us to accept their claims, and to allow them to destroy our republic. If we fall for their lies, that will become the worst decision we ever made. If the truth is covered up, hidden from us, and we change our vote or maybe abandon our choice of firearms, we are not doing the right thing for ourselves, our families, or our country. We would disappoint Benjamin Franklin and the Founding Fathers.
The socialists lie to benefit themselves. Their lies directly benefit the liars who cover up their crimes. Politicians, especially those who have been in power for decades, require lies and cover-ups to keep us ignorant of their crimes and misdeeds. To this end, they manipulate us with promises of FREE STUFF instead of Freedom.
Ignorance works for tyrants.
In Canada, for example, a recent Angus Reid Institute poll shows that the strongest supporters of additional gun restrictions admit that they know virtually nothing about guns or the current [Canadian] laws. Frightened by incessant stories about “gun violence,” ignorant voters in gun-phobic Toronto and Montreal are easily conned by government promises to “ban” ‘assault-style weapons.’ An “assault-style weapon” is not a military assault weapon, any more than a “ham-style” sandwich is a ham sandwich, but the words come easily to anti-gun politicians so they can campaign against civilian firearms owners and disarm Canadian citizens.
What do Socialists, whether disguised as Democrats or Republicans, get out of fooling us? Why would socialists want to disarm law-abiding respectable citizens? Why is control over civilians so important to Government? The simple answer is POWER, and our Founding Fathers described the phenomenon in the Anti-Federalist Papers #13;
“it is a truth confirmed by the unerring experience of the ages, that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever disposed to increase it, and to acquire a superiority over everything that stands in their way.”
How can we tell the lie from the truth? What do our leaders need?
Back in 1943, Abraham Maslow, one of the most influential psychologists of the last century, created a hierarchy of needs that explains human motivation. The hierarchy of needs may also explain the behavior of our politicians and ourselves. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs placed the need for safety right after the basic physiological requirements for life – food, air, water, shelter and so forth. Maslow explained that the need for safety was the second requirement after the basic needs of life became easily available. That’s why our Founding Fathers placed the Second Amendment – the amendment that protects all of our rights — right after the First Amendment – the amendment that preserves individual Freedom, the freedom of speech, and religion.
Safety concerns can include not only protection from criminals, wild animals, extremes of temperature, and tyrannical governance but also may include jobs with tenure, savings accounts, and insurance that can take care of various emergencies and keep us sheltered and fed. The key is culture.
Maslow elaborated, “culture itself is an adaptive tool, one of whose main functions is to make the physiological emergencies come less and less often.”
Our culture is vital. We cannot blindly change our culture to suit socialist claims about an unproven political theory. We should be suspicious of lies. Socialists are exploiting constant crises to make radical changes in a culture that has endured over 200 years. Simultaneously, they are attempting to make gun ownership difficult for responsible, law-abiding citizens.
Our leaders are concerned about their jobs, their bank accounts, and their retirement accounts – in other words, their survival in a comfortable future. To do so, they need to cover up their misdeeds and abuses after years of wielding government power.
Citizens want the stability that comes from personal ownership of property, respectable bank accounts, and our Second Amendment Rights. We want politicians who respect the Second Amendment. We want the safety of our kids that come with a stable culture, and we certainly do not want politicians that entertain our children with drag parties or poison them with hate.
We elect politicians to keep our society stable and safe; that’s the reason we cede some political power to them. Rapid social changes are not safe, even if we are promised that such changes will be beneficial. Change is inevitable, but we need sufficient time to learn if the change is harmful so we can put the brakes on it in good time.
We can never let them disarm us, and we want our firearms to remain legal. This is a generational struggle with a ‘one time only’ choice to protect our progeny. There are stark differences between gun owners who purchase firearms for the defense of family and community and people who commit offensive, violent acts with firearms.
John Lott confirmed this, “It is very rare for permit holders to violate the law…Indeed, it is impossible to think of any other group in the US that is anywhere near as law-abiding.”
Similarly, in Canada, statistics also show that civilian firearms ownership is conducive to good citizenship. Licensed firearms owners rarely threaten public safety in Canada. They are unlikely to be murderers, much less likely than non-firearm owners. Yet the Canadians have just about given up the right to self-defense and appear to be losing the legal ability to own firearms. We cannot permit this to happen in the US.
We can no longer sit back and let others take responsibility. We must freely give our time and energy to salvage the Red States, where self-determination is still valued and where children still belong to their parents. It is no longer a valid excuse to claim ‘we don’t have the time or energy.’ We need to fight the lies and misinformation. We need to make the time to stand up for the truth, or we will lose our freedoms to the next generation of liars.
So, Can we keep it? We shall see. For now, “we’re keeping it, and where we can, we should help others who aspire to pursue something similar.”
About The Authors
Gary Mauser is a professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Check out his blog at JusticeForGunowners.ca for more information.
Alan J Chwick has been involved with firearms much of his life and is the Retired Managing Coach of the Freeport NY Junior Marksmanship Club. He has escaped New York State to South Carolina and is an SC FFL (Everything22andMore.com). AJChwick@iNCNF.org | TWITTER: @iNCNF
Joanne D Eisen, DDS (Ret.) practiced dentistry on Long Island, NY. She has collaborated and written on firearm politics for the past 40+ years. She, too, escaped New York State, but to Virginia. JoanneDEisen@cs.com