Liberty & Unity
Joshua Hicks, Certified Firearms Instructor
To think of liberty as a purely American concept would more than a little brazen and inaccurate. However, the United States has pioneered liberty in many areas, most famously the area of gun ownership. Why is it that the governments of so many countries have banned or removed the right of their citizens to possess firearms? I think the answer is very simple, governments fear an armed population because that population can rebel against and over-through that government. Governments are in place to represent, govern and defend the citizens of their country, I think no matter which country we come from we can all agree on that. Now what happens if that government becomes tyrannical? For example let’s look at Germany prior to World War II. Germany was still reeling from the treaty of Versailles, which required disarmament of the government. In 1938 the German Weapons Act began strictly regulating gun ownership for German citizens. That same year “On November 11, 1938, the Regulations Against Jews’ Possession of Weapons was promulgated by Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick. This regulation effectively deprived all Jews living in those locations of the right to possess any form of weapons including truncheons, knives, or firearms and ammunition. Some police forces used the pre-existing “trustworthiness” clause to disarm Jews on the basis “the Jewish population ‘cannot be regarded as trustworthy'”.” (Wikipedia). Once unarmed the Jewish people were unable to defend themselves from the atrocities that killed 2/3 of their population.
The right of a person to defend themselves should be a basic liberty of every upstanding citizen of every country. Be it from a tyrannical government, or just someone who means them harm. Do I believe that every person should be allowed to possess a firearm? No, in fact I am a proponent of mental health screenings and background checks. That being said, a person of ordinary firmness who exhibits basic firearms proficiency, and a knowledge of firearms safety including safe storage, shouldn’t be prohibited from possessing firearms.
There are several people in the United States who would like to see us follow a more European model, in fact as I write this there are Lobbyists in Washington DC lobbying for more gun control. So what keeps the laws from changing? Two very important things, the first being the Second Amendment to The Constitution of the United States. Which guarantees the right of citizens to bear arms. The second being the unified shooting community, there are several organizations that lobby for gun rights, such as the National Rifle Association of America, and the National Association for Gun Rights. However, our greatest asset is to join together and vote for candidates who are advocates for gun rights.
I long to see my brothers in the UK enjoy the same firearms freedoms I do, but in order for that to happen there needs to be a united shooting community. Individually you have a voice, much like a whisper but as a community you can roar and be heard. I know strides have been taken, and I was very happy to hear about everyone who came together and signed the .22 handgun petition. However, if you want to see real change, than I believe the whole of the UK will need to unite in a national organization whose purpose is to lobby for gun rights. Granted I don’t have an International Law Degree, and I am shamefully unaware of how laws in the UK are passed. I do know that as British Citizens yours is the voice that must be heard.
I thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you found it interesting.
Cheers, Joshua Hicks