Ukraine Understands Better Than Anybody Why We Revere Our Second Amendment Rights

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Critics of the Second Amendment in the U.S. have claimed that modern warfare has made small arms obsolete, useless against modern armies.

Let them come to Ukraine.


Ukraine is the only European country where firearms are not regulated by law. There are regulations governing the licensing of guns, but Ukrainians are allowed to carry non–fully-automatic rifles and shotguns as long as they remain locked up at home.

Joe Biden doesn’t believe that fighting off tyranny is a good enough justification for the Second Amendment.


“Well, the tree of liberty has not been watered with the blood of patriots,” President Joe Biden said in remarks delivered at the White House on June 23, 2021. “What’s happened is that there have never been, if you want to, think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.”

But now Biden is sending small arms to “Ukraine’s front-line defenders,” and it turns out that weapons of all sorts can help fight off even a nuclear power.

At the beginning of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted that he would give weapons to anyone who wanted to defend the country. Men and women took him up on that offer.


It’s always remarkable to watch ordinary people rise up to defend their homes, their families, and their nation. So where are the Second Amendment naysayers now? The stories of Ukrainian civilians heroically resisting Russian tyranny, organizing into local militias, and slowing the progress of the Russian army, are more than inspiring. They are instructive of why a Second Amendment is needed.


One of the most remarkable aspects of the tragic events in Ukraine concerns the sudden uprising of thousands or even millions of ordinary citizens, who have abandoned their normal humdrum lives and loved ones to take up arms and defend the mother country with AK-47 assault rifles, homemade incendiary Molotov cocktails, and even by kneeling to block Russian tanks. Some are likely to be seasoned army veterans with combat experience, including fighting Russian forces in the 2014 annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbas region. But others are reported to have never held a gun in their life. Ukraine’s Defence Minister urged anyone who can hold a weapon to join the country’s Territorial Defence Forces.

This massive civilian uprising seems unprecedented in the speed of rapid mobilisation after Putin’s fateful decision to invade. Reports suggest that after just a few days, the armed resistance, by the Ukrainian professional military and volunteer civilians, had initially strengthened national morale, slowed the expected pace of the Russian invasion, and inflicted some serious damage.


Again, Joe Biden and those who oppose Second Amendment rights belittle the very notion that arms may be necessary to secure our freedoms.

“And folks, ban assault weapons with high-capacity magazines that hold up to a hundred rounds,” Biden said at his 2022 State of the Union address. “You think the deer are wearing Kevlar vests?”

No, but unfortunately, hunting isn’t the only purpose of a gun. The horrific war in Ukraine reminds us that the right to bear arms is still a check on tyranny.

And the minute we forget that is the minute our freedoms will be lost.


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