Do Democrats Want to Take Our Guns?

Few things in this life are more politically divisive than guns. Generally speaking, liberals hate them and conservatives love them. Yet both history and experience teach us that few things are as integral to freedom as guns. Therefore, when liberal politicians push for more gun control, freedom-loving Americans panic because they know that an assault on guns is an assault on freedom.

Our Founding Fathers were confident of the connection between guns and freedom, and they were convinced that the American people were freer than others because of the right to keep and bear arms. Said James Madison: "[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."

At our nation's birth, the Founding Fathers tried to institute a political framework that would neither tend toward mob rule (democracy) nor an overbearing central government (tyranny). They knew freedom resided somewhere between the two extremes. To prevent democracy they designated our nation a republic via a written Constitution that established indirect elections for the presidency and gave the citizens no role in electing senators, so as to preserve the rule of law instead of the rule of the majority. (Today's direct election of senators was established by the 17th Amendment in 1913, under President Woodrow Wilson.) To prevent tyranny, the Founders established checks and balances between the various branches of government and recognized the people's inalienable right to be armed. Alexander Hamilton surveyed the newly born nation and said: "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."

The great orator Patrick Henry, who demanded to be given "liberty or ... death," concurred: "The great principle is that every man be armed."

As long as the government is not tyrannical, the government need not fear the people's arms. Thus Madison's observation that the federal government at our nation's founding was not "afraid to trust the people with arms." But if the government were to ignore its constitutional limitations and run roughshod over the people's liberty, our Founders expected the people to rise up and preserve freedom. Said Thomas Jefferson: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots."

Did you catch that? No less a man than Thomas Jefferson described as "patriots" armed citizens who refuse to let go of their liberty, even at the cost of their lives.