Love Thy Neighbor: Buy a Gun

By Gerard Valentino

Mankind pulled civilization out of the mud somewhere in the ancient past. In creating society, people agreed to a non-spoken compact that required everyone to look out for their neighbor. We aren't talking about a communist society where the government dictates that everyone work for the collective good, but instead an agreement between honest law-abiding people that made it reprehensible to leave your neighbor to die.

The same holds true, or used to hold true, when it came to stopping common crime, whether violent crime against a person, or a property crime. As the American government grew in power and influence in a citizen's life, it destroyed the agreement between honest people to care for each other.

Today in America many citizens won't step in to protect the personal safety of their neighbors because, over the years, everyone was brainwashed by the government to give up freedom for security.

Without martial law, the government cannot, and will not act to make sure a citizen is safe from violent attack. All the government representatives can do is show up in time to make a report and try to catch the criminal.

Even America's warrior class, who refuse to leave their personal protection at the whim of a criminal, are often paralyzed by fear of the law which could see someone forced to use deadly force charged with murder, or destroyed by a lawsuit. Nearly all tactical self-defense classes geared for civilians spend as much time on how to avoid financial liability as they do on how to win a fight to the death.

Some time ago our government forgot that the American experiment fails if freedom is eroded. Unfortunately, when it comes to the right of self-defense, the government does everything possible to keep the warrior class in line. Instead, the government should empower honest people to protect each other and protect private property, since that is what society was designed to do in the first place.

The goal isn't to recreate the posse system that was popular in the Old West, but instead go back to a time when neighbors felt obligated to protect each other. Today's societal norms make honest people call 911 and hope for the best instead of acting. The stories of people attacked or left to die while others stood around watching are often painful to hear. In nearly every city in America over the last 30 years someone was viciously attacked, only to have their neighbors ignore their cries for help, or turn their back instead of stepping in to stop the attack.

So-called experts point out that it is always better to submit to a criminal, even though there is a time to fight. Yet, in America, we've lost that will, or at least a large percentage of the population has simply failed to hold up their end of the societal pact which requires them to help others in their time of need.

Adding to the apathy is the willingness of politicians to relegate the Second Amendment, and gun rights in general, to the back burner. Instead they try to sell the economy or health care as more important issues of the day.

What people who see the gun issue as secondary fail to realize is that without the right to self defense through the use of a firearm, all economic gain can be taken away.

If you choose to go through life without the option of using a gun for self defense, your safety and livelihood are at the mercy of common thugs who are devoid of compassion. Your expensive car can be taken by a carjacker, your house can be invaded by a rapist or murderer, and your ability to feel secure in your own home becomes only as strong as the lock on your front door.

As Americans, we have an obligation to stand up and be counted at a time of peril, and if that means using a gun when the boogey-man kicks down your door at 4 a.m. then so be it.

You owe it to your wife, husband, children, and parents, and loved once to do everything possible to defend their life, and their body. That means, for many Americans, owning and carrying a gun for self defense. Americans also have an obligation to go home to their loved ones at the end of the day. Without returning home, all the material possessions and all the time spent keeping up with the Jones simply doesn't matter.

Your loved ones will have the pleasure of spending your hard earned money, the displeasure of mourning your loss and the common thug who took your life will be out on parole before your children graduate from college. Politicians will continue, however, to claim that gun rights aren't a mainstream issue and that most voters aren't going to change their vote based on a candidate's position on the Second Amendment.

In a certain sense, it is a testament to the success of the American experiment that people are oblivious to the dangers posed by violent crime. Although the establishment media does a great job of trying to scare people about violent crime, most Americans still go through life believing that it only happens to other people. That is the only reason politicians try to get away with demeaning the gun issue at election time.

The simple fact is there are very few atheists in foxholes, and very few Americans who are the victim of violent crime see the gun issue as a fringe issue. Instead, people who realize that their economic success and everything they cherish can be taken by a thug devoid of mercy know that the Second Amendment is paramount.

That doesn't mean people need to go around terrified to turn the next corner in downtown middle America, it does mean people need to realize that success is best enjoyed while in good health. Leaving yourself and your family unarmed and undefended is akin to not getting yearly check-ups at the doctor, or not checking your smoke detector batteries, in that it is asking for something bad to happen.

Our societal pact to help each other has nothing to do with the government and everything to do with being honest and just Americans. Defending the right to bear arms at the ballot box, and using self defense if attacked is part of that pact. That criminal you submit to and let get away with your wallet is only one pull of the trigger from being a murderer instead of an armed robber. Leaving him to ply his heinous trade when you could have stopped it is as anti-American as the government using confiscatory policies to "spread the wealth around" or as anti-American as charging an honest person with murder if they defend their life with a firearm.

The right to bear arms is as vital to the societal pact as the rule of law – it might actually be more important since it is the firearm, carried by the police and honest citizens alike, that force some people to follow the rule of law in the first place.

To deny that right, is to deny the most fundamental part of being civilized, and voids the societal pact.

Gerard Valentino is the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Secretary/Treasurer.

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