The left wants to talk about gun control in the wake of Nikolas Cruz’s mass murder of 17 students Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Fine. We need to talk. Something is definitely wrong with our society when this happens with such frequency and intensity.
But the left seems intent to begin with non-starters and distractions like blaming the National Rifle Association or calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment.
That gets us nowhere, and fast.
So before we can have a productive or at least an informative debate, here are a few things gun control advocates should know about the people they call “gun nuts.”
First, the NRA didn’t create us. We created the NRA.
Most gun owners probably couldn’t pick NRA president Wayne LaPierre out of a lineup and we certainly don’t base our belief in the Second Amendment on whatever he or others have to say on the matter.
The “right of the people to keep and bear arms” isn’t simply written into our constitution where it’s at risk of being misinterpreted or repealed.
It’s branded into our hearts as freeborn people, woven into our lives as Americans, and it’s passed to our children as an inheritance.
It wasn’t something pulled from thin air, but the recognition of a natural right that has always existed, and always will.
The NRA does great work for us, but if it vanished tomorrow, the left would be no closer to taking that birthright than they are today.
Second, we don’t believe the Second Amendment was drafted to allow gun ownership for only hunting or even home defense, so you can save all your talk about only needing shotguns and six-shooters.
We believe that a “well regulated militia” means that the people are well armed, well supplied, and well trained, and that their purpose is indeed “necessary to the security of a free state.”
The Second Amendment is about giving individual Americans – not just the government – the means to deter or defeat a threat to our freedom, be it foreign or domestic. There’s no chance of needing that today or in the near future, but who’s to say what kind of a world our grandchildren will inherit?
Whatever it may be, they will also inherit the means to defend themselves.
Admittedly, that may sound extreme to some ears considering modern times, but after a bad turn or two down the road, it could be what saves our American way of life.
Third, we’ll never surrender our Second Amendment rights.
Charlton Heston once concluded a speech by raising an old flintlock rifle over his head and saying, defiantly, “From my cold dead hands.”
Liberals laughed, declaring the old actor to be too melodramatic.
We cheered, agreeing with every word.
As the bumper sticker slogan says, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”
We’ll never allow the actions of terrorists, criminals or the insane to cause us to surrender our arms, thereby making our communities more vulnerable to their actions.
No matter what they do, and regardless of what any White House, Congress, or court has to say afterward, this right “shall not be infringed” as long as we breathe American air.
Fourth, we don’t believe that our Second Amendment rights are the problem.
We believe that all of this violence is the direct result of a systemic lack of respect for life and law, a generational desensitization to cruelty, and the actions of twisted and evil people.
Something is indeed wrong. But it’s not the guns in our hands. It’s the sickness in our hearts.
So, attacking the Second Amendment isn’t only futile, it’s a costly distraction from the real problem.
With all that said, one might think that trying to convince folks like me to change our minds and repeal the Second Amendment might be a waste of time.
And with that, we’d finally agree on something.
Now, can we talk?
(J. Pepper Bryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of “American Warfighter.”)