Freedom vs. safety.

2nd amendment

Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, January 17, 2013.

I own the entirety of two guns. One is a Colt .45 caliber six-round revolver carried by my great grandfather, one Sam Turbeville. Sam lived in Delta County, Texas and was the local sheriff. He was later appointed U.S. Marshall for the Eastern District of Texas. Somehow in the passing of generations I would up with his sidearm. I have never put a bullet in it.

The second is a Remington pump action 12-gauge shotgun. It was purchased by a friend of mine while in town from Los Angeles. Seeking to avoid the aggravation of trying to get it home by checking it as luggage, he asked that I ship it to him. He died shortly thereafter and the gun now sits in my attic, having never chambered a shell.

That’s it – the entire Gleiser arsenal.

I say all of this so as to establish that I’m not in to guns and thus don’t speak here in defense of gun ownership as a result of either my fears or my pastimes. I am insufficiently armed for either.

But I believe in ordinary people owning guns if they so choose for two reasons.

First, I believe that self-defense is first and foremost an individual responsibility. As talk show host Tom Gresham often says, “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.” I have had the good fortune all of my life to live in neighborhoods and to pursue employment in which I have had no need for armed self defense. I have thus chosen not to own guns for that purpose. But the operative word is chosen. Millions of Americans do choose to own guns for self defense and that right should be inviolate.

My second reason for defending gun ownership is rooted in history. Regular reders of this feature know that I’m naturally distrustful of government. That distrust is born less of personal experience (though not totally absent thereof) and more of an appreciation for the blood-stained pages of the human story.

Those pages time and again reveal the inescapable fact that humans cannot be trusted with absolute power over other humans. It is a natural tendency bordering on inevitability that those in power will abuse it.

When the American colonists began to resist the abusive rule of the British, King George III brought down upon them the mightiest military force in the world at that time. The founders wrote the second amendment in part because of the fresh recollection that the mighty British army had been defeated largely by men firing personally-owned weapons.

It was Thomas Jefferson that said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” The wisdom of those words is illustrated by another Thomas Jefferson quote: “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.”

There are those on the left that scoff at the idea that 21st century Americans would ever need armed protection against the government. But the fact that the second amendment can today be seen by many as an 18th century anachronism speaks to its effectiveness. Adolph Hitler’s predations took place not that long ago. Had he faced a populace as heavily armed as we Americans are, World War II might never have happened or at the very least might not have been so horrific. It is doubtful that six million people would have been so easily rounded up and put on trains to be taken to the places of their extermination if any significant percentage of them had owned guns.

We will do well to bear all of this in mind when considering any proposal or action arising from the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Though hard to accept, irrespective of the passage of any law or the adoption of any policy, the likelihood of another mass murder remains at 100 percent. It will happen somewhere, some time. Such is the fallen nature of man.

Thus any curtailment of freedom in the form of restricting guns will likely be just that, a curtailment of freedom – with little offsetting increase to public safety.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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6 Responses

  1. bullish bob bagley says:

    Thus any curtailment of freedom in the form of restricting guns will likely be just that, a curtailment of freedom – with little offsetting increase to public safety. Sad, but true!!!

  2. P K Lewis says:

    There is no such thing as safety.
    If anyone depends on Gov’t to ‘keep them safe’; they are deluded.

    God even never promised all the Bible to keep us safe from all things( which is implied by the ‘safety’ in the question)

    Every ‘safety’ is contingent upon us doing something to enable it.
    For example, if you are ‘safe’ to cross the streets, you must look both ways..maybe look again.

    The idea of giving this ‘safety’ to the Gov’t to implement almost absolves one of doing anything towards that idea.
    It gives you’peace of mind ‘ to snuggle down into that ‘safety’

    Then you talk about ‘freedom”.
    It implies little safety.
    I think these two words are almost dichotomous.

    Therefore ‘safety’ can not be had if you are ‘free.

    I think that “freedom’ is the draw of USA, safety implies ‘control.
    It is the essence of USA.

    So we must guard freedom while resisting control.

  3. Linda E. Montrose says:

    Guns are NOT the problem, PEOPLE are the problem. We have laws on the books that curtail the use of many weapons because of the propaganda of the left. It has been proven time after time that an ARMED citizen is a safe citizen. “When seconds count, the police is minutes away” really means something when you live out in the country and need protection. When you need protection out like that, you do not have time to wait on the sheriff to get there, you need protection RIGHT THEN! The ONLY reason a government would want to disarm it’s citizens is NOT for safety for the citizen, but to CONTROL that citizen. I have been around guns all my life and not once did a gun get up and shoot anything on it’s own as the left would have you believe. We SAW what happened under Hitler, don’t think for a moment the very same thing could not happen here today because the way the world is today, the way things are here and abroad…it could very well happen. For those of us who know our history, we can see the direct footsteps being taken that hitler walked being walked today. The sad thing is, people are choosing to ignore the facts infront of them.

  4. L Miles says:

    Doesn’t the almighty Federal Government (our employees) trust us to use the 2nd Amendment, “Right to Bear Arms,” responsibly? What are they afraid of? They can’t be afraid of the criminal who won’t obey the laws against murder, much less bogus gun control, anyway.

    If you answer this question, I think you will find the answer to their fear. Could it be that they don’t want to be subject to the “Bill of Rights” and the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land, and don’t want to explicitly tell us the truth? Just who do they think is the master in this case?

  5. C M Solomon says:

    The Imperial President made a mistake in his plethora of Executive Orders and directives to Congress. Instead of attacking guns he should have attacked “assault bullets.” There is nothing in the 2nd Amendment about the gun powder used in the bullets. He could have simply outlawed the “assault strength” of the fire-power that gives the bullet momentum and killing power.

    I have recently learned that rubber bullets only use the primer to fire the bullet and don’t use the additional gunpowder that makes a bullet lethal. I thought the all-knowing Imperial President would have thought of this. Surely, this is more humane.

    Shouldn’t the innocent victim simply scare the armed intruder with painful puncture wounds instead of sudden death? This gives the intruder an opportunity to sue for “pain and suffering” if he can justify that his government benefits were not sufficient to keep him from resorting to crime. After all, the government has set up a system that guarantees “freedom from want” and it is our collective responsibility to “pay our fair share” for the needy as government has defined it.

    Better yet, why doesn’t the government mandate that all gun owners ONLY purchase these humane bullets with a built-in tax credit? (They are doing this with Health Insurance with the blessings of the Supreme Court). Wouldn’t criminals want to take advantage of this incentive for cheaper ammunition, also?

    Can we call this the new Corporate Average Fuel, err, Bullet Economy (CABÉ) standard for bullets instead of cars? Perhaps the EPA can find a carbon pollution (global warming, climate change) reason for reducing the gunpowder content in bullets. I hope so!

  6. Tom King says:

    Frank Herbert once wrote, “Power does not corrupt. Power attracts the corruptible.”

    Robert Heinlein wrote, “An armed society is a polite society.”

    I have for years had family members with bipolar disorder. I once had a shotgun for decorative purposes. It was disabled and I and kept no shells anywhere about. The only purpose it served was for the delightfully distinctive and ominous sound it makes in a dark house when you pull back the hammer. I wouldn’t be much good in an armed resistance, but I suspect I could find something to shoot with, if we ever did need an “armed militia” in East Texas.

    That said, I don’t expect to ever need either shells for my shotgun or to be part of an armed resistance in East Texas. But the fact that I live in a heavily armed neighborhood is well known in the area and the sound of all those hammers being cocked likely gives criminals of all stripes pause for thought.

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