History from the Barrel of a Gun

By Gerard Valentino

Those on the left try to paint the history of humankind as a constant evolving process of refinement and increasing levels of civilized behavior with all major advances discovered by the scientific method. They also try to paint war as barbaric and only useful to cover upcoming administration scandals or, if a Republican president is responsible for using force, as a political game to be played regardless of the damage it does to our soldiers fighting overseas.

Despite the left’s claims to the contrary, however, the history of freedom is intertwined with the history of warfare, and in particular the history of the firearm. War spurred most of the major scientific breakthroughs in the fields of medicine, engineering, flight, metallurgy, communications and physical fitness. Even today many of the technological breakthroughs we take for granted like Global Position Systems in cars were perfected for use by the military.

Most of the key battles for freedom were only possible because of private ownership of firearms.

The American Revolution was not possible if our forefathers didn’t have their personal muskets ready to fight the British. The French revolution and countless others were also only possible after the creation of the great equalizer – the privately owned firearm.

The firearm lowered the noble to the same level as the common soldier by eliminating the benefit of their armor and taking away their horses. Now, everyone was forced to fight in the mud, in the same trench or foxhole, regardless of their social rank. Sheltering from bullets in a muddy, filth ridden hole tends to cut through social status quite nicely and makes soldiers equal.

Not to mention the ability firearms gave to free people to protect themselves, and their loved ones, from criminal attack. By removing that one equalizer from the equation it leaves the law-abiding as sitting ducks for criminals. Unless the government enforces a police state they can do little to protect unarmed law abiding citizens.

America bases its existence on the belief that a law-abiding honest citizen has rights granted by the Creator and affirmed in their constitution. Only through the threat created by widespread personal firearms ownership were despotic rules and their bureaucracy literally scared into allowing people to live free under such an arrangement.

The left in America has forgotten the story behind the creation and defense of the very rights they now claim to champion in the political arena. What they fail to understand is the very act of speaking out against a government and blessing of public discourse is not defended by some piece of paper. Instead, it is defended by the millions of Americans who refuse to allow the left-wing anti-gun movement from confiscating guns.

Now that the Democrats have taken control of the apparatus of federal government in 2007, they will try to tie total gun confiscation to keeping America safe from further terrorist attacks. As we continue to fight for our very existence in the War on Terror it is vital for gun-owners to remember that no possible benefit can come from allowing the government to confiscate personally owned weapons – of any type.

The fight starts right now to keep that from happening.

Reminding everyone that the equality we enjoy as Americans came about because of the invention of firearms is also an important message to get out. The fact that we live in a relatively secure country doesn’t mean that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is any less viable than it was 200 years ago. In many ways, as more Americans become complacent about their place in the world, those who understand the importance of diligently protecting our rights is more acute.

The recently deceased father of modern gun-craft, man of adventure and fighter for freedom, Colonel Jeff Cooper, said it best when he uttered, “giving a man a rifle changes him from a subject to a citizen.”

Gerard Valentino is the Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair.

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