A word to the wise… (and if you are reading this post then you must be among the very wise) there is a book that I have found INVALUABLE in understanding the concepts of a citizen’s right to bear arms. It is:
“To keep and Bear Arms, The origins of an Anglo-American Right” by Joyce Lee Malcolm.
If you do not have this book in your personal library, please buy it. It is not an easy book to read – it is a book written by a historian, not a Second Amendment advocate and is concerned with sources, lessons, examples. I urge anyone who has an interest or passion for this debate to acquire the book and take the time to work through it. It will be worth it. Just to encourage you – bear in mind Justice Antonin Scalia found this book so compelling it helped him phrase the the seminal decision in DC v Heller that affirmed the Constitutional right of an individual to own a weapon for traditionally lawful purposes.
Most of us are well aware of the phrase “Power of the purse” – because we get reminded, from time to time, that the one real power that belongs solely to House of Representatives is the power to determine how the money of the Republic is to be spent.
But there is a second part to the equation – “the power of the sword”.
The Power of the Sword technically, I guess, resides within the Executive Branch. That branch of the government tasked with executing the laws.
Passing laws is one thing – getting people to obey them is another. Ultimately it is the ability of the government to enforce compliance that determines whether a law will stand.
Malcolm provides some solid evidence of this in her book (page 14)
“… However, disafforestation, or the removal of a Royal Forest from forest status for the purpose of its enclosure and sale, might leave hundreds of poor residents without a means of subsistence.The widespread riots that resulted, among the worst the Kingdom would experience before the Civil War, vividly demonstrated the English villager’s capacity for taking up arms and provide confirmation of the availability of firearms among the rural population…”
According to Malcolm’s book – the large scale riots and organization against the Royal plans provided the rulings classes with lesson that would later bear fruit in the Civil War of 1641.
It is a simple concept. Every law passed must be enforced at a local level by local officials. If the people they live among are not willing to follow the law then it will require force to get compliance. That ONLY works if the ones doing the forcing have more “force” than those resisting and the willingness to use it. Having to face armed resistance is a greater deterrent than facing unarmed resisters singing.
When I read accounts of the Totalitarian government in Iran shooting protesters I am reminded, again why governments do not want their citizens to be armed. If the protesters are unarmed and the police and authorities are armed then any negotiations are at the mercy of the authorities and they can end them whenever THEY choose.
The great thing about the US system of government is that it is not a dictatorship of the majority as it is in so much of the west. It is, at least theoretically, subject to the rule of law – and that rule and that law is the law of the land. Not what any majority may suddenly decide.
The rule of law stays in place and stays supreme as long as the electorate has the means to resist authoritarian impositions.
Amazing how those who wish to impose those authoritarian laws and rules push so very hard to “regulate” guns for the population at large.