In a recent series in the Connecticut Mirror, Mr. Riju Das delivers many cogent arguments for more gun control, accurately pointing out the number of senseless mass killings, murders and accidental deaths in the United States caused by the failure of the legislatures to enact what he perceives to be sensible reforms. But he neglects to posit a convincing argument countering the reason our Founding Fathers enshrined gun ownership in our Constitution: as a protection against a tyrannical government. Gun owners do not enter box cars without a fight.
I do not like guns. I do not own one. I can count on one hand the number of times I have fired one. In my opinion, if hunters want to be true sportsmen, they should give the deer guns so they can shoot back.
Owning a gun for self-defense is problematic unless you have extensive military or police training, have no children or teenagers in your house and never argue with any family members or anyone else. Otherwise, the probability of a horrible gun accident is much higher than the chance you will ever successfully defend yourself against home invaders, armed robbers or car jackers. Even a skilled marksman has difficulty repelling an armed criminal and if you live in a liberal state like Connecticut, you could be arrested for defending yourself and then sued and bankrupted by the criminal himself if you injure him.
But weapon control has been used all through human history to keep the powerful in control. The Hawaiian nobility required commoners to prostate themselves before them and had the right to rape a commoner with impunity. How was this enforced? Spear control. Any commoner who made a spear was executed.
Asian tyrants banned swords, bows and arrows and virtually all weapons so their minions could brutalize and overtax their subjects. Commoners responded by developing weaponless self-defense techniques that are still popular to this day – judo, karate and taekwondo among others.
Contrary to popular belief, medieval knights where not chivalrous gentlemen who played the lute in between rescuing damsels in distress. They were thugs, rapists and thieves. King John of England (of Magna Carta fame) used these knights to terrorize and rape the peasants while collecting taxes. The peasants responded by using the latest technology, the crossbow (which could easily penetrate metal armor), to protect themselves against these thugs. King John then banned the crossbow.
When the Jews in Poland objected to being sent to gas chambers during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, they initially repelled the Nazis because they were armed. Hitler responded by allowing Nazi thugs to search all Jewish residences and immediately kill the entire family if a gun was found. This episode did not have a happy ending.
Now the skeptical reader is thinking: “This is America. This can’t happen here.”
The answer is that it already has. When the Ku Klux Klan terrorized Black families in the South in the late 1800s, the police – many of whom were in the Klan themselves - looked the other way. Blacks responded in a perfectly rational manner: they got their guns and blew the Klansmen away.
The racist white politicians responded by denying gun permits to Blacks while confiscating their guns. The result, Blacks were brutalized and lynched because they could no longer defend themselves. In fact, when Martin Luther King’s house was firebombed in 1956, he applied for a gun permit. A white sheriff, Mac Sim Butler, denied it.
You may say, “But this is 2023. We are more enlightened.” Really?
In 2020 a thug masquerading as a police officer, Derek Chauvin, killed a man – George Floyd – after arresting him for the alleged egregious crime of passing a fake $20 bill. Chauvin had eighteen complaints against him but was protected by the political power structure of Minneapolis led by former Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar when she was the local prosecutor.
America’s ruling class has become increasingly hostile to the governed resulting in the rule of law being applied unevenly. Consider the following recent developments:
Journalist Matt Taibbi was harassed by an IRS agent after exposing the relation of government censors with the tech oligarchs.
Attorney Merrick Garland has arrested pro-lifers for peacefully protesting while ignoring the violence of abortion activists aimed at pro-life facilities. He would not even enforce the laws against harassing judges prior to the Supreme Court decision returning the right of elected legislators to determine abortion policy.
IRS agents are being trained to carry guns.
For the first time in American history, President Biden - a sitting president – had his hand-picked justice department arrest a political opponent – former President Trump – for breaking some arcane classified documents laws that Biden and Hillary Clinton broke themselves.
The FBI is refusing to release credible information that President Biden and his family were bribed by Ukrainian officials.
Chairman Mao famously said, “Political power comes through the barrel of a gun.” Exactly right.
Human nature does not change, and power-hungry thugs will always try to gain control so that they can steal and rape. Just look at how our judicial and financial systems are covering up all the ruling class rapists who visited Epstein’s Island.
Our democracy is an aberration. Since dawn of human history, armed physically powerful men have terrorized the masses in return for favors from the ruling class. Medieval knights received lands and titles that exempted them from paying taxes. Today, FBI agents, prosecutors and police receive decent salaries, Cadillac health insurance and secure pensions. It would take a brave person in one of these jobs to defy the ruling class and risk losing everything. It is much easier “to follow orders” as Adolf Eichmann would say.
Yes, tens of thousands of people are killed by gun violence in the United States and better gun control would probably prevent this – as it does in other countries.
But once the right to bear arms is lost, Americans could have the choice of being bullied and imprisoned by the ruling class’s enforcers or capitulating to serfdom. The Founding Fathers were correct to give Americans this right and it should never be abridged.
Dr. Joseph Bentivegna is an ophthalmologist in private practice who ran for Congress and US Senate in Connecticut. You can subscribe to his Substack here: https://substack.com/@jfbentivegna