I Love Guns

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by Tom Finnigan

Recently by Tom Finnigan: The Attitude of an Anarchist

I want Americans to be armed to the teeth. In addition to practical and constitutional reasons for wanting an armed citizenry, I admit to having an emotional attachment to America's gun culture. I'll just come out and I say it: I love guns.

I love guns for symbolizing what made America special. Guns stand for self-reliance, rugged individualism, and a Don't-Tread-On-Me attitude. Guns connect Americans to their heritage of resisting tyranny. Owning a gun means accepting final responsibility for defending your family and property. Loving guns means loving liberty and exercising the right to defend it by any means necessary.

I love guns for exposing the mutual antagonism between power elites and the common man. Almost everyone in the Establishment wants stricter gun control laws. Elites hate the gun culture. They don't understand it. They're embarrassed by what Europeans think of it. They associate guns with rednecks, red states, religion, paranoia, prejudice, and pretty much anything else they blame for insufficient progress toward collectivism. Many of them have never held a gun. Guns seem scary and dangerous to them. The common people love guns. They're comfortable with guns. They shoot guns and hunt with guns. They talk about guns and read about guns. They collect guns and carry guns. They watch shows like Sons of Guns. They certainly don't give a damn what Europeans think about guns. Elitist contempt for the gun culture only fuels its growth. Whenever the media calls for a ban on assault weapons, gun enthusiasts respond by purchasing even more assault weapons. When my dad bought his first gun, here was the exact exchange between him and the gun dealer:

Clerk: So why do you want to own a gun?

Dad: Because the imperial federal government doesn't want me to have one.

Clerk: Right on.

I love guns for signaling who people trust. For many American youths, their first trip to the gun range is a rite of passage. It signals trust between parent and child. One characteristic of a free society is that citizens trust their neighbors more than they trust the government. The liberalization of gun laws over the last two decades suggests that Americans retain a great deal of faith in freedom. Elites are the exact opposite. They fear the common man and trust government with absolute power. They blame guns for gangs, suicides, and mass shootings. When Bob Costas says that young men can't have guns "without something bad happening," it's another way of saying, "You'll shoot your eye out!"

I love guns for constituting the "line in the sand" in the struggle against tyranny. Americans have surrendered many freedoms over the years, but millions of them would rather fight to the death than surrender their guns. Democrats know that pushing for gun control during a presidential election would be political suicide; many working-class Democrats love their guns even more than they love the welfare state. Real Americans recognize that gun control is a step toward tyranny. If the U.S. government ever tried to disarm the civilian population, there would be a bloodbath in this country. You know it. I know it. They know it.

The right to keep and bear arms is the most important freedom because it's the one that protects all the others. A right not exercised is a right lost. Despite the steady erosion of freedom in America, the gun culture is proof that the spirit of liberty is still alive.

I love guns. God bless America.

Tom Finnigan [send him mail] is a student living in Atlanta, Georgia.

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