Guest Column: Disarming citizens opens the way to tyranny

February 6, 2013

By Dave Willis

Following a rash of mass murders recently at the hands of disturbed people with guns, the liberals are falling all over themselves to get ever more restrictive gun laws in place. This pandemonium is caused by an emotionally driven, feel-good desire to do something, even if it’s wrong. We must be careful in the path we choose lest it lead not to a solution, but to exacerbating our already tenuous situation.

How, you may ask, do we know which is the proper solution to this rash of gun violence? To ascertain the correct answer, perhaps we could look at some history. If we see a common thread in cause and effect in various places, we can reasonably conclude that there is a dependable answer indicated by the data.

The liberals claim, without an ounce of supporting evidence, that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens is the root cause of gun violence. Having said that, let’s look at some history — with supporting evidence — that may shed some light on that contention. First, we’ll look at the consequences of gun confiscation by various governments. In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20,000,000 dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Germany established gun control in 1938, and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated. The list goes on, but the pattern remains the same. Whenever governments want to disarm their constituents in the name of “safety,” it is ineluctable that overbearing governmental dominance will follow. If we’re not careful, it will happen here, too. The bottom line is that during the 20th century, 56,000,000 people were exterminated throughout the world following governmental gun confiscation.

In an Aurora, Colo., theater, and in a Newtown, Conn., school, criminals with guns were free to shoot and kill, with no resistance, innocent people who were safely tucked away in “gun-free” zones. On the other side of the coin lies a different story. On or about July16, 2012, two armed men went into a Florida Internet café with intent to rob, and who knows what else. A lone person with a concealed carry handgun was in there and shot both of them, preventing whatever evil they had intended. The press conveniently ignored that story.

The city of Kennesaw, Ga., passed an ordinance in 1982 that required every household to own a gun. The crime rate dropped 50 percent between then and 2005, and it continues to drop. In fact, with the highest per capita gun population, it has the lowest crime rate in the U.S., but don’t bring that up with liberals; they go ballistic.

So, there we have it, conclusive, empirical evidence that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens is the fastest, most effective and dependable means of thwarting criminal activity. Gun-free zones and onerous gun restrictions in general contribute not to safety, as the liberals would have you believe, but to increased crime, destruction and heartache.

Irrespective of the level of gun restrictions the government places on its citizens, wrongdoers will always find guns. The single element that gun restriction provides is a safe haven for criminals. So, we must ask, to which group do we owe greater allegiance, the criminals, or law-abiding citizens? The answer to that is very clear to me. What do you think?

Dave Willis is a resident of Rockford.

From the Feb. 6-12, 2013, issue


  1. Ricky Roll

    February 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Dave, it is voices like yours that muddy the waters of the gun control debate. People like you, who are quick to fear any action taken against your precious guns, blend words together. In your examples of responsible gun ownership, did the town of Kennesaw require their citizens to buy AR15′s? Did the concealed carry citizen in Florida defend the cafe with a concealed AR15? Did he fire 15+ shots from his concealed AR15?

    The answer to all of that is no of course. So when you say “They are banning guns”, thats a laughable over simplification of the situation. They are not seeking a ban on handguns (Though individual cities have done so), they are not going to ban your shotguns. You act as though a ban on assault weapons is the same as disarming. It isn’t.

    On the other side of the argument, I am a gun owner. I know a thing or two about guns. I know that the AR15, because of its looks, is being targeted despite the fact that any semi-auto rifle currently used for hunting and that wouldn’t be banned under new federal legislation, can be just as dangerous. I compare this argument to someone who owns a pickup truck and modifies it to look like a tank. Do they own a tank? No, it just looks like a tank. Is the AR15 a military grade rifle? I don’t believe so, it just looks like one. That much of the legislation I don’t agree with, but everything else they are going for makes sense. Better tracking of firearms sale, better background checks, limits on ammunition sales (You don’t need 500 rounds for a hunting trip).

    Can you intelligently argue against responsible measures of tracking weapons and better background checks? I’d love to hear it. But you and your NRA buddies who are fighting this debate with fear as your only talking point are making fools of yourselves.

  2. Dave

    February 8, 2013 at 9:25 am

    nicely said, ricky.

  3. mike davis

    February 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    A thorough and highly informative rebuttal of this “insurrectionist” interpretation can be found in an article, “The Hidden History of the Second Amendment,” by law professor Carl T. Bogus that appeared in the University of California Davis Law Review in 1998.

    Bogus showed that James Madison, author of the Second Amendment, was motivated by the concern of slave owners, like himself, that the Constitution could empower the federal government to disarm state militia in the South that were essential for preventing and suppressing slave revolts. The amendment was a concession to the powerful opponents of the Constitution like Patrick Henry, who feared the new document would permit Congress by these means to subvert and abolish slavery.

    It was adopted to reassure Southern states that the federal government could not interfere with their ability to muster and maintain an armed force to secure slavery.

    The Amendment reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    There was no public clamoring for the right of individuals to own guns for self defense and there certainly was no support among the Framers – slave owners in the South, bankers, large land owners and merchants in the North – for authorizing armed resistance to actions of the federal government. In fact, the Founding Fathers were virtually unanimous in supporting the violent suppression of Shay’s Rebellion in 1787, a revolt by disenfranchised small farmers, shopkeepers and hired workers in Western Massachusetts, being driven into foreclosure and debtor’s prison by Boston banks.

    Madison called the revolt “treason” and urged Congress to send troops to help the State militia. John Hancock, elected governor to deal with the rebellion, mobilized troops with instructions to “kill, slay and destroy, if necessary, and conquer by all fitting ways, enterprises and means whatsoever, all and every one of the rebels.”

    The suppression of the rebellion was heartily endorsed by George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams and John Marshall. Only Thomas Jefferson, then living in Paris as U.S. Ambassador to France, temporarily floated the idea of the right of revolution before realizing that he was alone in his views.

    Later in 1794, a similar revolt by small farmers in Western Pennsylvania, known as the Whiskey Rebellion, was suppressed by Pres. George Washington, who under the provisions of the new constitution, led 13,000 troops mobilized from four state militia to disperse the rebels.

    The Founding Fathers limited the franchise to white males with property over the age of 40 – approximately 15% of the population. If they were unwilling to arm ordinary people with votes to change the government, they certainly were not for arming them with guns.

    Thus, the “insurrectionist” twisting of the Second Amendment has no basis in history. It is a fantasy promoted by reckless profiteers and delusional right-wing extremists.

    It should be noted that while the proliferation of guns has reached record levels of over 300 million, the number of households possessing them has sharply declined from 54% in 1977 to 32% in 2010 according the Univ. of Chicago General Social Survey. Fewer people are amassing more guns and the study found that these new gun buyers are primarily Republicans. In fact, 50% of adult Republicans now own guns, but only 22% of adult Democrats.

  4. Ricky Roll

    February 11, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Haha, shouldn’t have expected anything more than what I got from the vocal minority.

    Flaren Jabck – explain how you need 500 rounds for a hunting trip. Who am I to tell you what you need for a hunting trip? I am someone who can take a step back from the issue and see the big picture. You however, are someone who gets pissed off and shuts off your brain and starts reciting your favorite Rush verses.

    Instead of reading and thinking about what I said, you picked out one line that you disagreed with and used your best 4th grader impression to tell me to get out of the country and that I have no right to tell you not to shoot each deer you come across 250 times. Congratulations Flaren, you are the perfect example of someone who displays the rampant immature and irresponsible attitude that makes the public dislike and distrust gun owners. Myself included.

  5. Del Wasso

    February 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I’ve heard the “Defense Against Tyranny” argument many, many, times, and while some courts have acknowledged it, it has both an inherent legal and logical flaw.

    The natural right of revolution, as espoused by both John Locke and Thomas Jefferson (, was a concept that a tyrannical government could – and should be – overthrown by the people when that government no longer looked after the interests of the people being governed.

    John Locke even described armed revolution as a duty and an obligation, rather than as an option which citizens could decide against.

    The flaw in applying this concept to the Constitution’s Second Amendment is in assuming that exercising one’s natural right to revolution guarentees a republican form of government or – the legal flaw – a constitutional government.

    Exercising one’s right to revolution guarentees neither.

    All it guarentees is revolution.

    The Constitution was established and ordained with an amendatory process by which any part of and/or all of the Constitution could be altered or repealed. As long as that amendatory process remains intact and has not been rendered impaired, or was somehow repealed, we can assume that anyone taking up arms against the government is doing so in opposition to their duly elected officals – and not against the government which those officials represent.

    That’s not a revolution.

    That is, instead, an insurrection, which the Constituion clearly states is a criminal act to be suppressed ( and not encouraged nor legalized via someone’s distorted and twisted personal interpretation of the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

    And that brings us back to what this is all about: The constitutional or extra-constitutional interpretation of the Second Amendment, and precisely why the “right to bear arms shall not be infringed’.

    While the right to own a firearm has been ruled as an individual right – and properly so, in my view – by the US Supreme Court, as opposed to a collective, group, right, the context is clearly for a collective, group, purpose: “A well regulated militia.”

    That purpose is clear because that is, after all, exactly what the Second Amendment says the purpose for the amendment is:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Obviously, the men who drafted and voted on the passage of the Bill of Rights’ Second Amendment saw the right to own firearms as a prerequisite to a people’s militia, and equally obvious was that this people’s militia was to serve the federal government – not overthrow it, citing, again Article I, Section 8, Clause 15.

    This people’s militia was intended to be subject to FEDERAL regulation and FEDERAL oversight citing both the Constitution’s Second Amendment and Article I, Section 8, Clause 15, a third time.

    It is Congress’ constitutional duty in that Clause, in fact, ‘To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasion’ – making the federal government the master of the people’s militia, not the target of that militia’s armed might.

    If that is the case – and it most certainly is – then Congress could be said to be derelict in it’s constitutional duties when it fails to properly regulate the people’s militia – for failing to do so prevents the people’s militia from performing those activities which the Constitution says the people’s militia is constitutionally obligated to do.

    Any other interpretation of the Second Amendment under the hubris of a ‘defense against tyranny’ argument is therefore flawed.

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