Teton Valley Tea Party

The 2nd Amendment
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I mentioned on a different page that the meanings of words sometimes change over time. Certainly, the second amendment is a modern-day victim of this. Not to go over the same information again, let me say that the founding fathers intended that every person could own a gun if they wanted. For several years now, there has been a raging battle over the constitutional right to own and use a firearm. The ultra left wants guns totally banned as has been done in many countries. For example, we were on the Island of Roatan which is a tropical island of Honduras not long ago. Our guide told us that if anyone was caught with any kind of firearm, they went straight to jail. Yet, to see how safe this had made the inhabitants of Roatan, every bank had one or two guards in military uniform with tommy guns. Even the gas station had a guard carrying an automatic rifle!

Other countries have severely curtailed their use or restricted the kinds of firearms a person could own. As we used to live in Canada I'll use that as an example. It was just about impossible to own a pistol. And if you were somehow permitted to get one, if you wanted to take it to the range you had to coordinate it's movement with the police first. Whatever firearm you owned, pistol or rifle, they had to be locked in a steel gun case inside your house and the ammunition for it had to be locked in a different steel case in a different part of the house, as my memory serves me. I'd agree with you that locking the guns up inside your house is a good idea. But I'm against the government forcing it on people. (To me, it's just another manifestation of the Nanny state... ...ditto for seat belts and bike helmets, plus a thousand different things, but I diverse again.)

One of the big arguments of today for gun control is that if we get rid of guns, everyone will be a lot safer. Until the Savior comes back again we are going to continue to live in a less than perfect world. The founding fathers well understood that people had a right to defend themselves. This idea seems simple and straight forward to normal people but strangely, this idea is not so well understood by the left. Many argue that we are no longer living on the frontier and the need for guns is far past. These people like to think the world no longer has bad people in it. I found a great article about this on the web, written better than I would ever be able to write it. We've learned through new research that having a gun actually saves lives. Please see http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0210e.asp for the story.

On hiking up Table Rock last summer, we met up with some folks from England. In our chatting, the husband said, "We, in Europe, don't understand why you Americans have such a love affair with your guns." I explained that the main reason the founding fathers added the 2nd amendment was to permit us to protect ourselves from our own government should it become tyrannical and start a mass extermination of a troubling minority of it's citizens. My climbing associate from England thought we were worrying about nothing. "That could never happen any more," he said.

Me, I'm not so sure. It has happened all over the earth in the last 100 years and I'm not so simple minded as to believe it can never happen here. I can tell you one thing for sure. It will be a lot easier for it to happen here if they've first taken away all our guns. I'm sure that I, and those of my ilk who are sometimes considered conservative extremists, as we've already been called by the present administration are people who must be closely watched. ...those tea party rebels are bad ones.... ...mothers, grandmothers, patriots. (After Janet Napolitano made her statement, one mother said, "I went to bed a mother of three and woke up a political extremist.")

I expect you've seen the following in E-mails before which I use as a further argument for the continued need of the 2nd Amendment. If anything, the numbers below are often conservative...

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

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In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

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China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated

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Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated. [I might add, several thousand Germans who bucked the new order also disappeared.]

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Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

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Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

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Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

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Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

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thomas-jefferson.jpg - 1764 BytesNo free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

thomas-jefferson.jpg - 1764 BytesThe strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)