By John F. Di Leo -
“You don’t need an AR-15.” After every shooting, we hear the presidents and governors and mayors repeat their call for “assault weapons bans”… because, as they say, “you don’t need an AR-15.”
Or a Sig-Sauer, or an AK-47, or whatever weapon was used in whatever shooting was in the news.
And maybe they’re right. You DON’T need an AR-15.
You could use a different weapon. There are many. Some are heavier, some are lighter. Some more or less expensive, some better at longer or shorter distances. Some fire less expensive ammunition so they’re more affordable for target practice; some fire more expensive ammunition to ensure a quick, clean kill when hunting deer, moose, or elk. Some are more comfortable for tall shooters or for short ones; some are more suited to women, some to men.
There are so many brands and models; you don’t necessarily “need” the one that you “want.” They are right about that, I suppose.
Know what else you don’t need?
You don’t need that church you go to every Sunday (or every other Sunday, or whatever your attendance schedule may be)…
Perhaps you’re used to going to the local Catholic church, or the Greek Orthodox church, or the Lutheran church (Missouri synod), or the Lutheran church (Wisconsin synod), or a Reform Jewish synagogue or an Orthodox temple, or any of a hundred other denominations, with churches and temples, big and small, old and new, rich and poor, that dot the landscape and take so much land off the property tax rolls in the process. You don’t NEED that church.
Wouldn’t it be easier if we just had one church, say, the Anglican Church? Then it would save money, and end all these arguments and theological disputes… and it could be funded by the state, through tax dollars. No more pesky Sunday collections. Win-Win!
And while we’re talking about “things we don’t need…”
Why do we print all these newspapers and magazines? Every day, all over the country, tens of thousands of trees are “killed” – as the environmentalists would say – in order to print paper for these periodical publications. Newspapers and magazines, dailies and weeklies, all using tons of paper and barrels of ink, and for what? To tell you information that you probably don’t really need in the first place.
So there’s a murder, a robbery, a mugging. How does that affect you? A domestic assault, a house fire, a crooked politician. So the federal government is bankrupt, the state is more so, the city is even more so. There’s nothing new, from day to day, who needs it?
You can learn everything you really need about history in the public schools; as a taxpayer, you already fund these, so you don’t need to pay more for more knowledge. And the president, governor and mayor hold press conferences, so they’ll keep you up to date on current events. Why bother with newspapers at all? Better to just leave it all in the hands of Big Brother, and let him decide what information you should have. One source, nice and neat, instead of hundreds.
The Slippery Slope
This is one of the dangers when flippantly agreeing to surrender our rights. If we agree to give up black guns, or long guns, or guns that hold more ammunition, or guns that look especially spooky to namby-pamby liberals… then all we do is pave the road to giving up even more.
If we allow our government to curtail our God-given rights – these rights that have always existed but were specifically identified in the Constitution to ensure that there was no question – then there is no end to their continuation of such curtailment.
Let them take away the AR-15, and they can take away the AK-47, the FN, then all carbines, all hunting rifles, all FNs, all CZs… Once the precedent is granted, how can they be made to stop grabbing? We have ten amendments guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – a right to firearms, a right to a free press, a right to the free exercise of religion, and so many more. Let the government’s jack boot wedge itself in the door, and AR-15s won’t be the only thing they take away from you.
The modern American Left acts as if murder is a new problem, so all we need to do is to take away the guns that killers use, and the problems will disappear. But they are wrong on both counts. Murder has been around since the dawn of time; since Romulus and Remus in Rome, since Hammurabi and Moses wrote their codes, since Cain and Abel at the very beginning.
Killings in those long-ago days certainly didn’t require guns… and killing today doesn’t require a gun either.
Guns have always been better as a defensive weapon than as an assault weapon anyway. People can kill, after all, with a fertilizer bomb in a truck, or by taking command of an airplane, or by using a simple rock, or sword, or axe.
In recent years, we have seen islamofascist terrorists kill their victims by running them over with cars or trucks, by flying planes into buildings, by setting off bombs in shopping malls, by drowning people in cages, and by beheading them with swords.
If the terrorists had no guns, they could, and would, still kill.
But none of these other methods are equally valid as defensive tools in the hands of a victim!
If attacked by an islamofascist terrorist, we cannot as easily drown him in a cage, or behead him with a sword, or fly a plane into him, or carry him up to the roof to toss him off a building. These other improvised weapons, so favored by the homicidal maniacs in the service of global jihad, are of no value to their potential victims.
Rather, it is the firearm – especially the handgun – that thwarts millions of crimes every year. It is the firearm, in the hands of an intended target, that kills the attacker, or drives him away, or convinces him to leave his life of crime and take up a more honorable profession.
There is a reason that the handgun has, for over a century, been known as “the great equalizer.” Only a handgun can render a 5’2” woman the equal of a 6’2” man. Only a handgun can render a 170 pound policeman the equal of a 270 pound thug.
As long as there are villains in this world, the firearm is our main line of defense against them.
The Leftist goal of reducing or eliminating the guns in our society, therefore, doesn’t serve the goal of the innocent potential victims at all; in fact, it serves the criminals, the gangs, the muggers, and the terrorists.
The Economic Benefit of Diversity
Early in the 2016 presidential primary season, the ridiculous socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, whined that “We don’t need 23 choices of deodorant, and 18 choices of sneakers.”
His quote served as great cannon fodder for comedians and his fellow politicians, but it served the purpose of showing how errant is the economic understanding of the Left.
In a nation of 330 million people, in a world of some six billion, we need jobs for them.
And that means we need employers, manufacturers, wholesale and retail outlets, distribution networks, advertising companies and venues… all of which increase geometrically with additional products in the marketplace.
In a world of monopolies, there is little need for advertising to win market share, research and development to make products better, or lean engineering to make products more cost-competitive. The greater the competition, the more jobs are created in all these and other areas… competing stores selling competing store brands, competing advertising agencies fighting to place the best commercial in the Super Bowl, or the best magazine ad on the back cover of National Review, or Vogue, or GQ.
All these diverse companies, each making slightly different versions of the same class of product, are what make our society work. We need even more companies, more options, not fewer, in order to bring down our horrible unemployment figures (an unsustainable 95 million outside the workforce, at present).
The same goes for firearms. As the Left desperately tries to remove options from the marketplace, the Right knows that we should be increasing them. We have Smith and Wesson, Colt, Ruger, Browning, so many companies manufacturing so many fine and varied weapons… but we could have more. More for the self-defense of an ever-endangered citizenry, more options to employ an underemployed workforce, more options to make self-defense more affordable and effective.
As long as there are terrorists and other criminals in this country, we need the potential victims to be armed and ready to stop them.
Avoiding the Real Causes
But arguably the most important reason to be furious at the modern American Left – at Barack Obama, and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and all their fellow Democratic officeholders and mouthpieces in the press – is that they seek to blame guns for one principle reason:
By demonizing the guns, Democrats avoid admitting the real causes of violence in the world today.
One of the reasons that law-abiding Americans need firearms is that there are so many violent homegrown American criminals on the loose. These criminals are on the loose specifically because of Democrat policies: a welfare state that breeds irresponsibility a popular culture that disrespects honor and glorifies thuggery, short jail time – if any at all – even when criminals are successfully caught and convicted.
And another of the reasons that law-abiding Americans need firearms is that the nation is importing so many violent foreign criminals as well. These criminals are here because of a refusal to enforce our borders, a catch-and-release system of immigration, the toleration of a massive influx of thousands of members of MS-13, the Trinitarios, the Mexican Mafia, and so many other gangs. The trainloads of so-called “unaccompanied minors” that dominated headlines from our southern border throughout much of the Obama administration have largely been a vessel to transport Central and South American gang members into the United States. The American Left owns this crisis; having gone so far as to invite them in and even use tax dollars to pay settlement costs for the criminals!
And yes, one of the reasons that law-abiding Americans need firearms is that the nation is importing terrorists. This administration is knowingly, intentionally importing thousands of islamists directly from the middle east. Posing as refugees, these radical advocates of jihad are here to settle amongst us and prepare for the expansion of the caliphate that their philosophy has always foretold. Some are already members of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist rings, but far more are not associated with any terror group; they just believe in the violent teachings of their book, and therefore serve as prime candidates when their radical imams and mullahs excite and command them to action.
Once upon a time, the Democratic Party understood matters of defense; for all their faults, at least FDR and Truman fought the Nazis, Fascists and North Korean communists; at least JFK and LBJ fought the North Vietnamese communists…
But Democrat politicians have changed; today’s Democrats no longer fight the enemy. Today, they welcome in the enemy with open arms, happily paying $20,000 per “refugee” to settle them in our neighborhoods, happily releasing murderous illegal aliens like Francisco Sanchez (the killer of Kate Steinle), endangering law-abiding citizens again and again and again.
In light of all this, we return to our original question:
Do we really “need” an AR-15?
Well, come to think of it, yes, we do. We do need that AR-15. And we sure do need that Second Amendment. And we need to make sure we never let the Second Amendment get watered down.
And you know what else we need?
A much more honorable crew of politicians than the irresponsible leftists in there today.
November, 2016 can’t come soon enough.
Copyright 2016 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based international trade compliance manager and writer. His columns are frequently found in Illinois Review.
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