Within living memory people in this country, and even in the media, referred to our form of government as the “American experiment.” It seemed to be generally understood, as in fact it truly is, that the freedoms that we so enjoy could be lost.
Today unfortunately, many seem to take what we have for granted.
The “American experiment” is rooted in the concept of popular sovereignty, which is the idea that citizens are the sovereign, and that the State has been delegated certain limited powers and responsibilities.
To ensure that this republican form of government would endure in spite of the flawed humans that would be asked to run it, the founders recognized certain fundamental “natural” rights that all humans are born with, as a birthright.
The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution not because government gives us “privileges,” but because we are endowed by our creator with them and the founders want these rights to be recognized explicitly.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and article one, section 27, of the Oregon Constitution both recognize the right of the people to defend themselves, a priori. And the Oregon Constitution states the issue even more powerfully than the Federal Constitution: “The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defense of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.”
To paraphrase George Washington, “Government is like fire; it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master.”
Regardless of what you been told by powerful politicians, it is a myth that politicians hate guns. Even Chairman Mao admitted “Political power flows from the muzzle of a gun.” We know this is true because there are never any bills in Congress or in Salem to take firearms away from the Police or the Army, or the National Guard. The State is not going to disarm.
The political argument is over whether citizens, who have delegated some limited authority to the State, will be disarmed.
I believe that it’s vitally important that citizens keep and bear arms. At a time when National Guard forces are being shipped overseas and our forces everywhere are spread thin, it is important to remember that the State is under no obligation to protect you. It is one of their few enumerated and defined responsibilities, but, like much of what government does, there is no penalty to them if they fail.
The State always asserts Sovereign immunity. In the event of natural disaster or civil unrest, nothing will protect you and your (under or uninsurable) property like a firearm.
As Thomas Hobbs said, “Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” You are responsible to defend yourself. Therefore, no infringement on the right of self-defense can be tolerated, because the infringers are never willing to assume legal liability for their failures.
The “American Experiment” in self government will only continue and thrive as long as citizens assert their birthright through individual initiative and insistence on popular sovereignty. The best way to do that is with their privately owned self-defense firearms.