1994 – How Totalitarianism Works

By Walter E. Williams

Philosopher David Hume said, “It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” Let’s apply this idea to our Second Amendment rights but start off talking about anti-smoking regulations.

The anti-smoking campaign started off attacking private property rights, with eminently reasonable pleas like requiring no­smoking sections on airplanes. Emboldened by that success, tobacco prohibitionists successfully campaigned for laws banning smoking on flights under two hours, then a ban on domestic flights altogether, then airports, restaurants and buses. Now, they’re working to have smoking banned at all but residences, and later, no doubt, they’ll go after residences. Their agenda required a propaganda campaign to dupe the public with lies and distortions about some of the health effects of smoking. Had the tobacco prohibitionists made their full agenda known at the outset, they never would have succeeded in even getting no-smoking sections on airplanes. This is precisely the strategy employed by the anti-gun lobby members. They start out with something eminently reasonable, such as a five-day waiting period before you can take delivery of a gun and restrictions against military automatic “assault” weapons. People who object to such a “reasonable” policy are made to be seen as unreasonable and reckless. But the waiting period is just the opening salve against our second amendment rights. The next strategy is to call for licensing of gun owners. Then we’ll see a ban on keeping a gun at home, requiring guns to be stored in a government armory. Then a ban on private ownership of guns. Like the tobacco prohibitionists, anti-gun advocates recruit what the communists called “useful idiots” to help them create and spread false and misleading propaganda about you.

“Williams,” you say, “aren’t you being a little unfair in assessing the good intentions of people like Sarah Brady?” Try this. See whether the anti-gun people would agree to amend the Brady bill with a sentence that goes like this: Neither Congress nor state legislatures shall enact any additional measures regulating the private ownership of guns. The anti-gun people would go ape, and for a very good reason – it would threaten their ultimate plan to ban guns altogether.

The second amendment gives us the right to bear arms in order to have a “well-regulated militia.” People with little understanding interpret that as meaning the National Guard or some other government organization. But here’s how George Mason, one of our unsung framers, responded to the question, “I ask, sir, what is a militia?” Mason answered, “It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.” James Madison said, “Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion … in private self-­defense.” George Washington said, “When rearms go, all else goes … we need them every hour.” The framers of our Constitution knew well that an armed citizenry was the ultimate defense against government tyranny. As for crime, Thomas Paine said, “The peaceable part of mankind will be overrun by the vile and abandoned while they neglect the means of self defense … (but) arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe…. Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them.”

Our founders knew that government was the primary source of evil and oppression. Today’s liberals wish to disarm us so they can nun their evil and oppressive agenda on us. The fight against crime is just a convenient excuse to further their agenda. I don’t know about you, but if you hear that Williams’ guns have been taken, you’ll know that Williams is dead. §


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