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“A gun is just a tool. No better and no worse than any other tool, a shovel or an axe or a saddle or a stove or anything. Think of it always that way. A gun is as good — and as bad — as the man who carries it.” Shane, by Jack Schaefer, 1949.

No one could call me a gun nut. I go shooting with friends at most once or twice a year and, while I enjoy it, it doesn’t inspire the sort of obsession that grips me whenever I manage to get my hands on a fishing rod, which nowadays is less often. But as far as I’m concerned, the wisdom above from the best western novel I ever read (and reiterated in the famous 1953 film) doesn’t go far enough. A gun is not just a tool, it is the great democratic tool, the tool that put an end to knights in armor and gave (and gives) the little guy and gal a fighting chance against the powers that be.

The left claims it is determined to violate, if not end, the Second Amendment’s guarantee to our right to bear arms in the name of safety. “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them…  ’Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in,’ I would have done it,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein after she and Bill Clinton managed to enact an “assault weapon” ban in 1994.