The internet is abuzz with articles concerning youth and the future of firearms in America. While many are cautiously optimistic, it is important to remember the adage that firearms are always “one generation” away from prohibition. I’d like to shed some light on the meaning, context, and history of the 2nd Amendment prior to the impending election cycle.
The 2nd Amendment, popular to many politicians false claims concerning hunting, was drafted due in large part to the bitter memory early Americans still had of a very specific order given on a cold night in April, 1776. Then acting colonial governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Gage, demanded that all (civilian owned) munitions be seized from a barracks in Concord, as he feared the growing rebellion may turn bloody. Ultimately, the war ensued and Gage’s troops never seized the weapons but it was this singular event that inspired the 2nd Amendment two decades later.
Today, by comparison, represents a very different attitude by the citizens of Massachusetts toward firearms. I have witnessed—historically speaking—Massachusetts turn from the cradle of liberty toward some of the most restrictive measures against gun owners in America. And we are always just a few votes away from losing them almost entirely. Even many gun owners show little concern with just how close we are from a complete ban on civilian owned firearms. Gun owners in Massachusetts are guilty of a FELONY if they don’t abide by the arduous and bureaucratic laws enforced in our state. Meanwhile the criminals act unabated and do not care whether their magazine holds less than ten rounds, or that they’ve affixed an appropriate trigger lock. As I overheard at a local gun shop, “How does arresting a 78 year old in the Berkshires who doesn’t have a trigger lock on his 16 gauge over/under prevent inner city gang related gun violence is beyond me.” I could not have said it better myself.
If it can happen here, it can happen in your state—believe it. Within the next 48 months, there is the possibility of three new Supreme Court judges that could virtually eliminate your right to carry and even own a firearm. The “it could never happen here” argument falls on deaf ears to Massachusetts residents…it did.
In the debates between President Obama and Governor Romney, we saw a renewed effort for an “Assault Weapons Ban” which could be permanent and may include all semi-automatic firearms, de facto eliminate most of the popular handgun and rifle options on the market. This ban could make the public possession of a 12 round magazine a felony over night. It isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, it is a citizen’s rights issue, but with the renewed vow on banning “certain types of firearms” all we need is a Democratic simple majority in the House and Senate and Obama’s signature for sweeping anti-inanimate object legislation.
I am therefore urging my contemporaries to take a moment and consider the next few months and years and imagine America without the right to keep and bear arms. If we are not ever vigilant with our votes and our voices we are merely one executive signature away from…fill in the blank.
So, simply put this is a reminder that on Election Day, keep in mind the words and ACTIONS of both candidates. Tell our President, the 2nd Amendment is not a political issue; it is a non negotiable civil right.