When the Founding Fathers designed our government, they understood the difference between a government that exists to serve its population and one that strives to control it. They created our Constitution, the ultimate law of the land, with the goal of keeping the government in check and preventing it from abridging the liberty of its citizens.
But liberty has a price. For the freedom of speech, we must tolerate the words of those that disagree with our position. The freedom of religion requires that we allow beliefs other than our own. And to ensure that we retain the right to a fair trial, must follow the law even if it means that sometimes the guilty will go free.
The framers of the constitution also gave us the right to keep and bear arms in order to defend ourselves, to defend our country from outside attack, and should the worst happen, to defend ourselves from our own government. While valid arguments can be made for and against restricting citizen’s rights to arm themselves for the purposes of self-defense and defense of the country, no argument can prove that we, the people, have no need of protection from the government itself.
History provides ample evidence of governments committing atrocities against their own unarmed populace. Take for example, the Armenian genocide in Turkey and the countless dissidents silenced during China’s Cultural Revolution. Our own country’s hands are not clean in this regard, the most recent example being the forced internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II.
The cost for the right to keep and bear arms is high at times. It has led some to question if liberty is worth the price and if it might be better to trade our liberty for the dubious protection of a disarmed populace. I tell you that the cost of surrendering this liberty will be far greater than the cost of defending it.