There is an old saying that goes, “Use the right tool for the job.” For instance, a screwdriver is designed to remove or install screws, not be used as a punch or a pry bar; yet I see people using them for those functions all the time.
So what exactly is a tool? According to the dictionary a tool is, “a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function.” While that definition is accurate, it is also somewhat limited. For example, a Magnetic Imaging Machine, used for MRI’s and CAT Scans is a tool that some doctors use; but you certainly can’t carry one around in your hand…can you? A car or truck is a tool also; designed to get you from one location to another; but you can’t pick it up and carry it around with you either. So if you ask me, a more accurate description of the word tool would remove the middle part, leaving only, “a device or implement used to carry out a particular function.”
Tools can be used either correctly or incorrectly; and they can also be used for good or bad. For instance words are tools we use to communicate with each other and express ideas; but they can also be used to bring harm to others; such as when someone belittles someone, or commits libel or slander.
So what’s all this talk of tools Neal? Well there are a couple tools I haven’t mentioned yet and I’d like to spend a few minutes discussing them; that is if you don’t have any pressing engagements that demand your immediate attention.
Guns are tools in that they are designed for a specific function. Yet guns, just like any other tool, used in the hands of bad people can bring harm to innocent people. However, guns in the hands of good people can be used to defend their lives, their property, and yes, their liberty.
If you recall I started this off with the saying, “Use the right tool for the job.” Well that applies to guns as well. You wouldn’t take a .22 caliber rifle out on a safari and try to hunt cape buffalo with it; you’d end up pissing your target off and, most likely, you’d end up dead…unless you can run faster than a cape buffalo. So you’d want to bring the proper ‘tool’; meaning a gun with the stopping power to bring down whatever it is you were hunting.
But guns are like any other tools; someone has to pick it up and use it. I’ve got lots of tools in my garage, but my hammers aren’t going to pound in any nails by themselves; I’ve got to pick one up and use it. Same with my screwdrivers; they aren’t going to drive any screws unless I pick one up and use it. Yet I can kill a person with either of those tools; and yet I’ve not heard a peep about common sense screwdriver or hammer laws.
You go into your local hardware store, or even a Walmart, and you don’t have to have a background investigation done on you before you purchase a hammer, do you? There are no laws saying how big a hammer you can buy, or how long a screwdriver you can own; are there? Yet both of those implements can kill someone if used improperly, or by bad people.
The tool itself, be it a gun or a hammer or screwdriver, is not the problem; it is the people who used them improperly, or for bad purposes. Can you not see that? People today go to their doctors, particularly psychiatrists, to treat all manner of mental illnesses; from bipolar disorder to Attention Deficit Disorder.
People also suffer from all manner of phobia; from the fear of heights to the fear of public speaking. Some of those phobias require counseling and are the result of some past experience. As an example, when I was young my parents took me to Seal Rocks in San Francisco. I was but a wee lad at the time and couldn’t see the seals down below on the rocks. So my father picked me up and held me over the wall so I could see the seals. I remember being scared shitless of falling and I think that may have been the root cause for my fear of heights today.
But this rampant fear of guns that permeates through American society today is something else altogether. I say it is irrational because many, if not all of it, cannot be traced back to a single event in which a gun caused them any harm; it has been programmed into them by the media and their blowing out of proportion the times guns are used by bad people to do bad things; while at the same time the media rarely reports on all the times guns are used to protect people or prevent crimes from being committed.
Our right to self-defense is one of our natural rights; and it includes the right to protect our lives, our property, and our liberty. Have you ever heard the old saying, “Only a fool brings a knife to a gunfight”? Well the same concept applies to our right to keep and bear arms.
As I’ve said in regards to all tools, they can be used for good or bad, properly or improperly. If guns are simply a tool that we can use to defend ourselves, then it is worth looking at who we might have to defend ourselves from; and whether any restrictions upon what kind of guns we might own somehow limits our ability to do so.
Getting back to the thought of only a fool brings a knife to a gunfight, what do you think would have been the outcome of the American Revolution if the Colonists had not been in possession of the same type of armaments, (guns), that the Redcoats had at their disposal? Do you think the Colonists would have won the Revolution had they fought against the Redcoats using swords, or bows and arrows?
While hunting, target shooting, and home defense are all useful purposes guns serve they are not the reason why the right to own them was considered of such importance to be mentioned in the Bill of Rights. We maintain our right to keep and bear arms to protect ourselves from the overreach of government; and to say that those we are protecting ourselves from can dictate the type of guns we can own is a level of ignorance and abject stupidity that is mind boggling to me.
The way I look at it is, government works for us, and if anyone gets to dictates what type of guns can be owned or carried, I’d say WE THE PEOPLE ought to be able to limit or restrict what type of guns government might use against us to violate our rights or oppress us…not the other way around. Like I said, guns are just tools; and in the hands of government those tools are used to enforce the laws they enact; which more often than not take away the liberty of the people and deprive them of their unalienable rights. This leads me to the next tool I would like to spend a few moments discussing.
Government, in case you never thought of it this way, is a tool also. Government is a tool created by man to serve a purpose, or a function; that function can be, just as with any other tool, good or bad. Government can exist to either protect the rights of the governed or to take them away; it can serve all of the people; equally defending their rights, or it can serve a certain class; while oppressing the remainder of society. As with all other tools, in the hands of bad people it becomes a destructive weapon; and our government is no different, regardless of all the political infighting between Republicans and Democrats, and all the so-called checks and balances built into our Constitution.
It is a logical assumption that establishing a government implies the power of delegating it with the power to enact laws; and that those who violate these laws should somehow be punished. The question is, what purpose should those laws serve? Thomas Jefferson explained that purpose when he drafted the Declaration of Independence, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” And what are the rights Jefferson spoke of? Well they are, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And finally, where do those rights come from; to which Jefferson also had an answer, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …”
In saying that, Jefferson makes two crucial points – three actually. The first thing Jefferson makes clear is that he believed that our rights come from our Creator, not government. The second point he drove home is that government is instituted among men to secure those rights. The final point he makes is that government gets its authority by our consent.
Now is where I tie the whole thing up in a nice little bow for you.
If government is a tool, and used properly, it can serve much good; provide a vital and necessary function. On the other hand, if those in government are bad people, seeking not to serve the function governments are instituted for, then government is no better than a gun in the hands of a criminal; for it has the power to write bad laws that plunder or oppress the governed, and as they are law, they carry fines and other penalties when they are violated. That is amplified even more when the people electing others to government don’t know, or care, what the limits placed upon government are, or about defending the rights of all people equally.
You know a country has begun circling the drain when the people call for laws that violate the rights of others, and government willingly obliges them with those kinds of laws. Once that cycle begins a country ceases being a republic under the rule of law; established to secure liberty to all. Once that cycle begins we become, at best, an elective democracy where a majority gets to decide what kind of laws it shall impose upon the minority. An even worse scenario could happen as well; government could become the tool by which the elite get to plunder and oppress the entire country; with the only difference being is that the people mistakenly believe there are any major differences between the opposing political factions seeking to gain control of government.
Sure, the Republicans and Democrats campaign upon different platforms, with one side spouting their social justice crap, and the other side leaning more towards a national socialist, or possibly even, a fascist platform. However, in both instances the tool of government is being used to destroy liberty and annihilate the liberty it was supposedly established to secure.
When is the last time you can recall one side repealing the laws that were enacted by the other side; particularly those laws that taxed us or denied us the exercise of our rights? Many laws may be amended by either side, but those kinds of laws remain intact regardless of which side gains control of government. Can you not see that?
Government always promises that what it is doing is in your best interests; it always promises that you will benefit by allowing it to exercise MORE power, or take away more of your freedom; but these promise always come with a catch; that catch being that the more of these kind of laws you submit to without resisting, the more enslaved you become to government.
You see, dependence is a form of servitude, or slavery if you will. An alcoholic or a junkie will expend large amounts of effort to support their addiction; and government junkies are no different. If government serves any function other than securing to all men/women their equal rights, then government has become a tool in the hands of those seeking to benefit themselves, and oppress others.
The problem lies in the fact that you can arrest a person, punish them if they pick up a gun, or a hammer, and use it to threaten or harm others. You can’t punish the tool itself, but you can deny a bad person access to that tool. With government, it’s not that simple. What power do we have to punish elected officials who write and enact laws that plunders our wealth, or infringes upon our rights? None, other than voting them out of office; and all that does is replace them with others who quickly learn that there is no fighting the system; it is too firmly entrenched.
Nor can we punish those who vote so that they can gain control of the ‘system’ so that they can use it to force feed their views upon the remainder of society. The tool is not the government itself; it is the power that is given to government to enact laws and to impose fines and punishments for those who violate these laws. As long as government exists, that power exists.
It’s funny, I see and hear all these calls for Red Flag laws designed to prohibit people who may be inclined to commit acts of violence with guns, to have their access to guns taken away from them. Yet I’ve yet to hear for calls for similar type laws to restrict who can hold political office, or who can vote for those seeking political office.
My right to freedom is unalienable; meaning it is as much a part of my being as the DNA that determines my height, the color of my hair and eyes, and the shape of my face. I cannot force you to change your appearance so that it is more appealing to me, and with my rights you cannot force me to cease exercising any rights that you may not like. Nor can you use the tool of government to act as your agent to pass laws that do so; that is just oppression on a smaller scale.
The thing people seem to fail to recognize is that the Republicans may enact a law that the Democrats think violates their rights. Then the Democrats may gain control of the ‘system’ and enact laws the Republicans think violate their rights. As those laws are rarely repealed what we see happening is our freedom to exercise our rights, enjoy true liberty, keeps diminishing and diminishing; until eventually it vanishes altogether and we are all finally equal…IN SLAVERY!
Government, no matter how tyrannical or oppressive it becomes, has a weak spot though; it relies upon our consent, combined with compliance to the laws it passes. As long as the majority willingly complies with the laws it passes; as long as the majority still votes; as long as the majority still pays their taxes faithfully, government will still do the one thing all governments end up eventually doing -CONTROLLING THE GOVERNED.
One person acting alone cannot prevent that from happening; they will be squashed like a bug. Ten people acting together cannot do it either; neither could a thousand, or a hundred thousand. It will take a concerted effort of an overwhelming majority to withdraw their consent to government and to cease and desist in obeying the laws that deprive them of their rights and liberty before any change can be affected.
Government is, indeed, a tool; and that tool is currently in the hands of bad people. The more you ask government to do for you, the more powerful it becomes and the more enslaved to it YOU become.
I fully understand that some kind of government is necessary; if only for the purpose of enacting laws that punish those who threaten the lives, property and liberty of others. Yet the moment government exceeds the limits imposed upon it, or makes a tyrannical use of its power, it is time to rise up and resist, or abandon that system and replace it with one that can better secure our rights and liberty.
The problem with that is that as long as the people do not know what their rights are, or prefer comfort and security over liberty, whatever system of government they get will be based upon how willing they are to ensure that the equal rights of all are protected. With the mindset of people today, if we were to abolish this system, and replace it with another of our own construction, it may very well be worse than the one we currently suffer under.
The path to true freedom begins with knowledge; the knowledge of what your rights are, and what system best secures those rights to you. The path to securing and preserving your freedom ends with the people being willing to resist encroachments upon their rights; even if it comes at the cost of their lives. That is what Patrick Henry meant when he said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Until America sees millions of people standing up and proclaiming those words, and meaning them with every ounce of their being, we will see no changes for the better in this country; only a continuation of the long slide into tyranny.
It all begins with you; one individual at a time awakening to the fact that, no matter who you vote for, the tool of government no longer serves its purposes, and that individual withdraws their consent to it, and ceases participating in the charade of electing people to it. Once enough people have done that, then we may stand a chance of making America the land of the free again.
But as long as I see people driven by fear, willingly submitting to laws, rules, ordinances and edicts that deprive them of their rights and liberty, I don’t hold out much hope for our future.
We don’t have to topple our government to make America great again; although if that happened it wouldn’t bother me in the least. All we have to do is neuter government by having enough people tell it to back off our rights, and if they don’t listen, then simply ignoring the laws they passed as if they had never been written. After all, we outnumber them by quite a large number. What are they gonna do, arrest or kill us all? Who would pay their taxes if they did? Who would they govern if we were all in jail or prison?
They need us far more than we need them; and they know this fact. That is why you aren’t taught about freedom, liberty and your rights in school; they don’t want people knowing these facts, and it is your ignorance that is their most powerful weapon against you; not the guns they have, nor the jack booted thugs who enforce the laws they pass.
That spirit of liberty is what led the Colonists to rise up against THEIR government; even though they were not sure they would win a war against it. But they realized one thing that people today don’t, “It is better to die defending your freedom than it is to live your life in bondage.”
One final thing, I don’t think it is a coincidence that tool rhymes with fool, for only fools think that the tool of government is their friend.
Government is a tool that needs to have the tightest restrictions known to man placed upon it; and that’s where our Constitution failed us; as it was written by men who sought to establish an institution that could expand its power to unimaginable limits, and one that allowed for no punishment of those who exceeded their delegated authority and made a tyrannical use of the powers given them. In fact, the Constitution is a tool by which designing men established a system without controls upon its power, one designed to usurp power and deprive the people of their rights and liberty.
Freedom requires a huge sacrifice among those who want it. As Thomas Paine said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” If you fail in that task, that responsibility, then you have lost the battle already and are slaves.
Finally, do not look for leaders to rally behind, to guide you to your freedom. If you want freedom, then YOU have to be the one to defend it; as freedom, rights and liberty are individual possessions it is up to individuals to stand up for them. If you want freedom, then with the current state of affairs in America, then you’re going to have to risk something to regain that freedom. If you are unwilling to risk your comfort, your security, your benefits and subsidies, or tax exempt status, (a little jab at the 501(c)(3) churches), or even your life, then you are never going to have freedom.
Are the odds stacked against us? Yes indeed they are, but as Winston Churchill so famously said, “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
Until you can understand that, until you are willing to stand up and say, “Give me liberty or give me death” you will never be free. And the sooner you get that through your thick skulls, the better. Until you can understand that and say those words, government will continue to be a tool used by those who seek to plunder and oppress you; regardless of which political party gains control of it.