‘Keep Your Guns!’
The 18th Amendment became law in 1919, prohibiting the sale of alcohol. However, this amendment didn’t reduce the demand for alcohol. Rather, it transferred the sale from legal channels to illegal ones. Black market alcohol flourished. It made some rich who took advantage of the void created by the amendment. Even the Mafia’s main activity at that time was transferring and selling illegal alcohol. This amendment was rightfully repealed in 1933 when the 21st Amendment nullified Prohibition.
Prohibition Didn’t Work
I see a resemblance between the history of prohibition and the notion of gun control.
Recent mass shootings have again generated fierce debates over the issue of gun control. However, it is not a novel topic. Different states and cities already have different gun laws. Statistics are out. The numbers are quite compelling. The cities that have the toughest gun laws have the most cases of gun violence and deaths. Chicago is a tragic example.
Just like the 18th Amendment, tough gun laws have not prevented criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining illegal weapons. As gun sales move underground, the ones with evil intent still have access to them. At the same time, law-abiding citizens are unlikely to break the law to get guns. Meaning, they’ll have less ability to protect and defend themselves. Gun control, in the end, makes law abiding citizens more vulnerable.
Such a logical conclusion should not be so difficult to draw. However, numbers and facts seem to matter very little to some people. For them, the horrific images generated by gun violence are enough. Guns are so dangerous that they should not exist in our society. They believe by controlling or removing the “culprit,” we can eradicate gun violence.
Perhaps they have let their emotions muddy their mind and failed to face the fact that gun control increases violence. It gives a green light to criminals and lunatics by denying the rights of the law abiding citizens to protect and defend themselves.
Promoting a Political Narrative
The politics behind gun related issues also further skew the matter. The MSM and social media giants pick and choose cases to form their narratives in order to shape public opinion. For instance, recently in West Virginia, a mass shooting was prevented by a woman who happened to carry a concealed legal weapon at the right time and place. This has received very little featured coverage because it counters the narrative some wish us to believe. They don’t want to admit the simple fact that guns in the hands of good people can stop and prevent bad people from committing gun violence. No wonder a place with a higher percentage of legal gun ownership is safer than a place with a lower percentage.
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The history of Switzerland confirms this. In Switzerland, it is law that everyone has to have a gun. Switzerland has successfully resisted every invader except Napoleon. Excluding his allies, Hitler attacked every country in Europe except Switzerland. Private firearms are like nuclear weapons in that they have a deterrent effect.
I found the issue of gun control is a lot like the question between capitalism and socialism. Supporters of socialism focus on the shortcomings of capitalism, not knowing that socialism has produced infinitely greater suffering than capitalism. However, the ideal of socialism always sounds more attractive. After all, who doesn’t aspire to equality and shared wealth? Yet, in reality, socialism has created more poverty and inequality than all other systems combined.
Likewise, guns cause harm in society. Who doesn’t covet peace? Eliminating and controlling guns would remove violence and achieve peace in our society. But such thinking is preposterous or naïve.
‘We the People’
As a person growing up in a socialist country ruled by a communist party, I know guns are necessary not just in dealing with criminals. Guns are indispensable if we want to live freely as “we the people.”
Before the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949, ordinary Chinese had the right to own guns. When the Japanese invaded China, many rich citizens lent their weapons to non-government organizations to form citizens militias to fight the Japanese. But as soon as the CCP took power, no one was allowed to own a gun.
Any totalitarian regime, present or historical, never permits the citizen the right to own weapons to defend themselves, methodically removing guns from the hands of the citizen. But how safe were the Chinese afterward? Mao killed millions of them. By surrendering their weapons to the government, the Chinese had given the government a free hand to kill them whenever, wherever, and however they saw fit.
When I learned about the mass shooting in Texas, my heart went out to those victims and their families. Whose heart doesn’t? But I also have the bigger picture in mind. Atrocities vary in degree of lethality. What a totalitarian regime could do is infinitely more destructive than any mass shooting that has ever occurred on this land. If we let some take advantage of this tragedy for their political gain, implement unconstitutional gun laws, and gradually remove guns from every home, immeasurably greater tragedies will happen. They would make the mass shooting in Texas seem insignificant in comparison.
A Pattern of Surrendering Freedom
As troublesome as the pandemic has been, through it, we can discern a general pattern. The countries that impose strict rules (shutdown, jabs, and quarantine camps) on their citizens happened to be those that have tougher gun laws. Take Canada, Australia, and China as examples. In those places, the government has more audacity to enforce harsh regulations on their citizens, knowing that their subjects have no means to resist. There is a clear correlation between gun rights and freedom. When people give up their gun rights, they surrender their freedom as well. How much more miserable it must have been to live in those places.
Some believe that we are not facing the danger of losing the Second Amendment. In that the 18th Amendment was repealed through a complicated process via Article V of the Constitution, they believe that our Second Amendment is unlikely to be done away with easily.
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Alas! I am not that optimistic. We can lose our Second Amendment without going through the normal legal process as did the 18th Amendment.
House Democrats have called an emergency session to pass bills to restrict access to guns because of the mass shooting in Texas. One of the bills is the Federal Red Flag law which enables law enforcement to confiscate weapons from individuals who are accused of being threats to themselves or to others. This is immensely frightening. It would hand government the unconstitutional power to arbitrarily decide who is a threat and why they are a threat without the due process of law. They don’t have to tell us the criteria used to determine the danger.
Haven’t we already seen what government is capable of doing when they are given unrestrained power? Haven’t we already seen how arbitrary their verdicts are? Haven’t we already seen how illogical the line between the essential and the non-essential is? Haven’t we already seen that churches and small businesses were shut down while strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos were kept open as essential entities? Now do we have any doubt what the government would do if the Federal Red Flag law goes into effect? Should that happen, the Second Amendment would exist only on paper. Our gun rights would be removed without an actual repeal of the Second Amendment.
‘Keep Your Guns!’
Listen to the words of Kitty Werthmann, a holocaust survivor, spoken in 2013:
We had guns. The government said we had accidents and murders. The only way they could track the murders was by the serial numbers on the guns. So we were asked to bring our guns to the police station so they could register the numbers and track the criminals. We thought that was a good idea. So gladly we did that. Not long afterwards, they said no, it did not help. They still could not track all the criminals. The best way to have no more crimes and no more people getting hurt is to bring your guns to the police station. We did.
She offers the following chilling advice:
Keep your guns! Make sure you have enough ammo. Dictatorship did not happen overnight … . Had we kept our guns, we would have fought a bloody battle to the last man and woman to keep our freedom. But we had no guns.
Keep your guns! Keep your guns!
For Good and Not For Evil
As a Christian who has lived in different political systems, I cannot stress this enough that God has given Americans an unprecedented system and has put power in our hands as he did with Nero, the emperor during Paul’s time. We the people are the government. We can do for righteousness through our system what Nero could do for evil with his authority. We’re responsible to use this unparalleled privilege to do good, as Paul states in Romans 13. This includes gun related issues. If we know that tough gun laws would in fact result in more violence and deaths, will we do nothing to prevent it from being materialized?
As long as this earth exists, there will always be violence, murder and other atrocities committed with guns. The question is what is the best option to reduce the chance for them to take place? What policy can result in a fewer number of deaths and injury?
When we put guns in the hands of law abiding citizens, our society is safer. When we deprive them of the right to own guns, gun violence increases. When guns are removed from our homes, the government is free to impose whatever burden and to inflict whatever brutality they desire.
We the people are the government. Romans 13 requires us to do good. We are accountable to God.
Use our discernment. Keep our guns.
Chenyuan Snider was raised in Communist China and majored in Chinese language and literature in college. After immigrating to the U.S. and having studied at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and Duke Divinity School, she became a professor and taught at Christian colleges and seminary. After March of this year, she sensed God was leading her to use her unique voice to provide a warning about various kinds of Marxist influences in our society. She lives in northern California with her husband and has two grown children.