Tell the government our guns are not theirs to take

AWR Hawkins, Ph.D. Conservative Writer
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Since November 2008, gun sales have risen dramatically in America. In 2011 alone, Americans bought a whopping 11 million firearms. While many of these were tactical rifles — the kinds of weapons limp-wristed anti-gunners call “assault rifles” — a lot of them were handguns, which are guns people can carry with them for protection when going to the ATM, the gasoline pump or even the movie theater at night.

Heck, on the day after Thanksgiving 2011, the FBI logged a single-day record of 129,166 background checks. That means almost 130,000 guns were sold in one 24-hour period (depending on the outcome of the checks, of course).

Now, Americans have always loved guns, and this love has always driven Americans to buy guns for self-defense, for hunting or for plinking. But the kind of sales we’re seeing now — 11 million guns in one calendar year and nearly 130,000 guns in one day — can only be explained by pointing to another American peculiarity: namely, Americans fear their government. And they especially fear a government which is run by a man who loathes the Second Amendment.

With that being said, there are two rational ways to handle the fear that’s driving guns sales through the roof. The first is exactly what we’re seeing: men and women buying every gun they can afford and stocking up on all the ammo they can find. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But another way to handle this fear is by reminding our government officials at all levels that our guns are not theirs to take. Not in an offensive way, mind you, but in a matter-of-fact, straight-forward way rooted in the truth that our right to keep and bear arms and our right to self-defense are both rights with which we were endowed by our Creator. For that reason, they are rights that our Founders hedged in with the Bill of Rights.

Our governing officials need to know that “we the people” know that God gave us these rights long before earthly governments were instituted, and what God has given no government has the right to take away. (This same argument is equally applicable to the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to pursue happiness — which is ultimately tied to private property — and so on and so forth.)

Individuals who’ve understood and lived this truth stand out in our minds as giants among men, as patriots who led instead of sheep who followed.

I, for one, always remember Charlton Heston’s famous words, spoken as anti-gunner extraordinaire Al Gore was campaigning for the presidency in 2000: “I want to say those fighting words, for everyone within the sound of my voice, to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore — ‘From my cold dead hands.’”

There were no threats contained in what Mr. Heston said, nor were there intimations of violence. Rather, that honorable and brave man wanted everyone to know that he understood where his rights came from and that their source was one much higher than earthly government. Because of that, the men who would dare come to take his guns away were put on watch: there would be no easy conquest of a free man when they knocked on Charlton Heston’s door.

May we all alike join with Mr. Heston, and possessing the courage of our convictions, stand now convinced that those rights which God has given us shall be taken away by no man, nor by any government run by men.

“From my cold dead hands”

“From my cold dead hands”

“From my cold dead hands”

AWR Hawkins is a conservative columnist who has written extensively on political issues for HumanEvents.com, Pajamas Media, Townhall.com, and Andrew Breitbart’s BigPeace.com, BigHollywood.com, BigGovernment.com, and BigJournalism.com. He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. military history from Texas Tech University, and was a visiting fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in the summer of 2010. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.