For the last week or so, we have witnessed several protests popping up in various cities across the U.S., mostly in places where the “Stay-at-Home” orders have crossed the line into infringement upon the citizens’ rights. One of the first things that the mainstream media is pointing out about these protests (after accusing the protesters of being far-right extremists) is that many of the people attending these protests are going armed.
The View’s Joy Behar referred to the armed Americans that are demanding an end to the statewide lockdowns as terrorists, saying, “These people are being egged on by right-wing media and people like Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh. And why are you bringing guns to a rally… you want to call yourself protesters, leave your guns home. Those are terrorists who bring guns to things, to rallies.”
The question is, is it wise to attend a rally at the foot of the Capitol Building with an AR-15 strapped to your chest? My answer: if you are there to demand an end to an infringement of your constitutional rights, then absolutely.
What these Americans are standing for is no less than the end of tyrannical practices by the people elected to serve them. The founding fathers knew what they were doing when they created the Second Amendment. They specifically forbid the states to have their own professional standing armies so that an ambitious tyrant couldn’t mobilize a carefully selected and obedient military force against their citizens. Instead, drafts of the Second Amendment mentioned that an armed citizenry was the best protection of a free people.
While arguably our First Amendment is the most important, and is in part what is being denied to citizens in a few states, the Second Amendment protects the First and is supposed to guarantee that it will be honored by the leaders that we elect to represent us. Unfortunately, that is not what we’re seeing, as our government uses the COVID-19 outbreak to take away our fundamental rights.
State governments and the pearl-clutching panic merchants of the media are using the pandemic to limit, restrict, or remove our freedoms of speech and free association in violation of the First Amendment. They deny citizens the right to obtain a petition for a public protest, and by their order alone, attending a public protest is in violation of the law.
Some states are limiting our Second Amendment rights by instituting “emergency powers” to force gun retailers to close and reducing staff at the background checks department to make it more difficult and frustrating to buy a gun for personal protection. Meanwhile, they release thousands of county jail inmates into the street to “protect” them from the virus.
There are also violations of the Fourth Amendment (partnering with tech companies to track your movements) and the Fifth Amendment (depriving you of freedom of movement with no due process of law).
In conclusion, not only do I think it’s appropriate for the protesters to carry guns at the various rallies, I believe it’s their duty. The COVID-19 outbreak has worryingly exposed several would-be tyrants in charge of entire states, and as the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believe that having armed citizens among the protesters can keep governors from overstepping yet again and using force to break up the rallies, which could quickly turn into a nightmare situation. It’s also a gentle reminder that we as Americans have the ability to fight back against tyranny and oppression. I understand that people are scared right now, and tensions are running high. That is not an excuse, however, for any elected official to abuse their power and their constituents. If some politicians are testing to see how far they can push us, then those armed citizens answered them loud and clear. “Not much farther.”
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