Incited Trump supporters, you are destroying the liberties you seek to protect
A way of life will only stand if defensible to the public.
Since our nation’s inception, the right to bear arms has been generally accepted and defended by the populace-at-large: Self-defense, speaking truth to power, sustenance. Recently, the public has questioned the extent of the 2nd Amendment, particularly regarding what have been called assault rifles.
The following isn’t meant to convince those opposed to the average citizen’s right to own an AR-15. However, before I proceed, I must lay some context …
Before the good stuff … why I’m for assault rifles
I am a believer in climate change, science, social justice, and universal healthcare. I did a fist pump when the AP called Joe Biden.
But I also believe in my fellow American’s right to own assault rifles.
I live in a bizarre twilight zone where “gun-toting rednecks” and “bleeding-heart liberals” kiss and make up.
Assault rifles, of all the murder weapons in this country, are responsible for a negligible number of firearm deaths year after year.
Murders according to the latest FBI Uniform Crime Report (2019):
- 6368 by handgun (an obvious problem)
- 1476 by knives and cutting implements
- 600 by fists, feet, etc.
- 397 by blunt objects such as clubs and hammers
- 364 by rifle (which includes all rifles, such as bolt-action hunting rifles, single-shot, semi-auto, and assault rifles [the FBI doesn’t specify between categories])
So if we were to rank the top five deadliest weapons necessitating legislation, it would be as follows:
- The human body
- Clubs, hammers, etc.
- Rifles of all kinds
Should we choose to legislate and regulate the perp weapon of a crime based on murders committed, legislation should favor handguns, knives, human appendages, and blunt objects first. Rifles (the number of murders done by assault rifles we don’t know) are the last offender in the top five.
So why such the vitriol against the sinister black guns? It beats me, and the question merits a thoughtful national discussion.
But that’s for another day. There’s something more nefarious than assault rifles lurking our streets.
Rights for America vs. rights for nationalism
As a youth, I believed bearing weapons on-par with that of the government was my way of defending against the feds.
Maybe so in some alt-reality.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve valued my right to carry an assault rifle for another reason: To deter and repel the threat of domestic extremists hell-bent on overthrowing my cherished Republic. I know such zealots in my neighborhood. I feel better owning proportionate firepower when I hear of local fascists instigating armed insurrection at my state capitol.
I’ve had discussions with these curious folks that goes something like this:
Me: “Why do you own an assault rifle?
Them: “To defend against the feds and prepare for a civil war.”
Me: “In the case of a civil war, who would you be fighting?”
Them: “Anti-American forces trying to supplant our God-given freedoms.”
Me: “And who might these people be?”
In short order, we both realize I and many respected neighbors would be the enemy in such a conflict.
We are citizens who honor the law and decency. And we are armed.
The conversation promptly gets awkward. We have a common ground in the value of firearm ownership, but our reasons for owning firearms quickly diverge.
For me, it’s about securing food and safeguarding against tyranny abroad and domestic.
For my zealot neighbor, it’s about securing food and safeguarding against tyranny abroad and domestic.
One and the same on paper.
But we differ in the spirit of the law, not the letter. The greatest threat to our civil liberties — including firearm ownership — lies not in foreign influence or a deep-state conspiracy, but the grotesque and blatant abuse of my zealot neighbors’ 1st and 2nd Amendment rights.
Both Amendments are there for a reason. They are a linchpin and defining factors that differentiate us from other great nations of the world.
But in the same breath of affirmation, I issue a warning and a challenge to a very outspoken and dangerous minority that is about to give America a reason to put assault rifles and more on the chopping block.
An armed uprising against Biden will destroy more than it preserves
To the enraged and incited Trump supporter calling for arms against the Biden administration, I say the following:
Over the course of four years — and culminating in your camp’s baseless claims surrounding the upcoming inauguration of Joe Biden— you may well have cast the death sentence for the very freedoms you purport to uphold. You have venerated our great Divider-in-Chief to such a degree that you have slit the 1st and 2nd Amendments’ throats on the altar of your false god.
In the course of a few weeks, you may undo hundreds of years of firearm ownership and free speech by threatening to brandish your guns and vocal chords for a cause no Founding Father or Patriot would condone.
Suppose the public was willing to hear us out on our right to carry weapons such as the AR-15, M4, AK-47, AR-10, ACR, SCAR, HK91, M14, etc. If you continue, you will destroy the rights of all under a critical mass of legislators and a president who will use your violence against them to take this privilege from the rest of us.
To my fellow citizens seriously considering an armed insurrection against our nation, I calmly say the following:
After countless trials in the courts of states, the federal government, academia, and popular opinion, the Trump Campaign lost. Biden won. I appeal to your promise to protect the Constitution and rule of law; consider that the Republic you purport to uphold was designed to elect people you disagree with.
If you choose to abuse the 1st and 2nd Amendments in the coming weeks, I hold you personally responsible for shitting on the liberties that I and millions of respectable firearm owners and free speech advocates cherish.
Disarm for the sake of assault rifles
I plead with you, in the name of God and country, take off your plate carrier, rip up your rules-of-engagement, and put your rifle back in the safe. Then dig deep and consider what you were about to do:
- Your willingness to send steel-core penetrators into ranks of police and Guardsmen — your fellow citizens
- The possibility of you or someone you know getting shot, and the near certainty of spending a long, long time in federal prison.
As you lay bleeding, dying, or being sentenced to life, perhaps you would consider how your choice to engage in baseless armed sedition dealt a deathblow to many of our cherished rights to bear arms and other liberties. Suddenly, all of the things you would have rightfully fought and died for come into stark relief: Your family and loved ones, standing up for liberty and justice with respect and dignity.
But you won’t have to consider these things: You didn’t go to the capitol, you didn’t let fascism and falsehood compel you to spit upon the Republic that we all love. You felt the pang of conviction in your chest, stowed your weapon, and made the choice that proved to the world that America is indeed strong, even amidst an unprecedented national crisis.
You made the brave choice to lay your weapons down in spite of your outrage, and in doing so strengthened the integrity of our Republic and the rights we all hold dear.
We can do this Together: A Conclusion
Trump didn’t make America great. Neither has nor will the left or the right. But people rising to extraordinary challenges do. American greatness shines when restraint counters raw opportunity. Like you, I believe firmly in my right to own an AR-15. But I refuse to search for a reason to use it.
I am convinced health insurance is necessary, but I certainly don’t look for opportunities to file a claim.
I believe our citizens’ archetype is defined as a people of great rights, great freedoms, and great possibilities. But with that comes a greater responsibility of self-restraint. It takes just a handful of people to grossly overuse the former without respect for the latter to witness a universal withdrawal of rights for all.
And once a right is taken, it is rarely won back. Best not to lose the hill in the first place than to give it up in a flurry of passion and hope to win it later at significant cost.
Diehard Trump supporter, consider this: You know in your heart you will not win this should you bring your guns to town. There’s a new and legitimately elected Democratic Administration and Congress.
If a few thousand of you storm the National or state capitols in the coming weeks, do you believe the newly elected Democratic government will respond favorably to your 1st and 2nd Amendment rights? How will this affect your children, your grandchildren?
If you heed this dangerous call-to-arms, you will fuel the conviction that assault rifles need to go, and greater surveillance and regulation are needed.
Is that the legacy you want to leave? For your progeny? For the history books? If you go through with this, that is exactly how you will be remembered:
“Trump loyalists were a small band of seditionists who tried to overthrow a legitimate government, and in doing so sacrificed the rights of millions.” — History books in 2050
I promise you, that’s how my family and I will remember you.
I am not asking you to cash in your rifle at the local Walmart for a $50 gift card. I am not asking you to admit that assault rifles are evil and firearm enthusiasts are nutjobs. I’m not even asking you to acknowledge that the U.S. electoral system is flawless. I simply ask you to consider your legacy and how the rights and reputation of millions will suffer should you engage in violence against a legitimate, albeit imperfect system.
The “Dems” and “snowflakes” won’t repeal your gun ownership: Your thoughtless brandishing of firearms and words will.
Our real patriotic duty is this: Respectful firearm ownership and advocacy. Draping ourselves with honor, respect, and dignity. Recognizing our intoxicating rights that are the envy of nations, but refusing to abuse them at the slightest provocation.
Let your voice be heard through diplomatic and civil channels, and when you must protest, do it peacefully.
Reflect for a moment that a police officer was beaten to death at the Capitol by Trump loyalists who wore Blue Lives Matter patches.
You want respect and to be taken seriously? Harness your passions and consider the long term, and never again follow a tyrant blindly. Because that is the America that will indeed be great.