I arrived in the U. S. in 1962, a child-exile from Communist Cuba. I will be eternally grateful to the American people for having offered my parents and me a place of refuge and the opportunity to make a place for ourselves in this country (allowing us to rise from absolute poverty to comfortable middle class status in the space of a few years . . . albeit with a great deal of hard work and disciplined husbandry). Because of the great love that I bear this, my adopted country, I am made sad beyond my powers of expression, by the apparent willingness of so many of its people to surrender the ancient liberties recognized by the U. S. Constitution, of which the right to keep and bear arms is one of the most important. (Note that only the fundamental rights of conscience and its expression come before it in the Bill of Rights.)
One of the first steps historically taken by would-be totalitarians is to disarm the population to be ruled: the Bolsheviks did this in Russia, the Nazis in Germany and the occupied countries, the Maoists in China, the Castroites in Cuba, and on and on. In some cases, as in Cuba, weapons of limited military value, like single- or double-barrelled shotguns, are allowed--as a privilege and under permit--to be possessed by the well-behaved . . . though permitted ammunition is generally limited to birdshot. (Of course, especial rules apply to members of the _nomenklatura_, e.g., many of the Soviet big-wigs were avid big-game hunters.)
I fear that our Leftist ruling class--cynically and heartlessly following Rahm Emanuel's dictum never to let a serious crisis go to waste--are exploiting the Newtown, Connecticut, tragedy to take the first (of many to come) steps intended to disarm the American people. Note that they are artfully "shaping the narrative" in terms of limiting the possession of "unneeded" military-type weapons, like semiautomatic rifles and pistols, while grandly and generously permitting us to retain what they deem to be "acceptable" weapons for self-defense and hunting . . . though you can bet the farm that this latter category of acceptable weapons will be progressively whittled down, until, if we are lucky and our overlords are generous, we shall be allowed to retain single- or double-barrelled shotguns with a "reasonable" number of birdshot cartridges.
The right to keep and bear arms has next to nothing to do with hunting or self-defense (though these are admittedly useful incidental consequences), and everything to do with the people's ability, when all peaceful political action fails, to defend their ancient liberties. A tyrant can never feel secure when he tries to impress his will on an armed populace, which is why the regimes to which I alluded above moved early and vigorously to disarm their populaces. If we let the the crowd now in power do the same to us, our future as a free people shall be compromised for a long time to come. We must fight them, else we shall deserve the long, dark night of tyranny that shall eventually descend on us.
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