By Charles R. Anderson (Note: The viewpoints expressed in this editorial are those of the author only and may not represent those of the Post or VFW.)
Although the United States broke with monarchical rule in England, our beliefs in ideals such as individual freedom still came from there—going all the way back to the Magna Carta in 1215. Does anything remain of these ideals today? Among a fairly significant part of the population, very few it seems. In the U.K. most of the “Great Charter” clauses have been repealed or modified into non-existence for all practical purposes. The basic concept of a right to defend yourself has been written out of the law and bred out of the belief system of most people in that country. Look at this advice from a UK police FAQ Q589: “Are there any legal self-defense products I can buy? Answer: The only fully legal self defence product at the moment is a rape alarm. These are not expensive and can be bought from most local police stations or supermarkets. You must not get a product which is made or adapted to cause a person injury. Possession of such a product in public (and in private in specific circumstances) is against the law.” As stated in other legal briefings in the U.K, “The law does not recognise the concept of a ‘defensive weapon.’ You are not permitted to carry an offensive weapon—even to defend yourself. You may, however, provided it constitutes reasonable force, defend yourself with an ordinary everyday object, such as keys, an umbrella or a comb, provided you have them with you for their ordinary everyday purpose.” [italics mine] In Scotland recently, 11,569 crossbows, rifles and pistols dating back to World War Two were among thousands of air weapons surrendered during a police amnesty. Effective December 31, 2016, it will be a criminal offense to have an air gun without a license or permit.
How is the Bill of Rights working in the U.S.? The basic concepts of the Magna Carta have been corrupted in the UK to fit a socialistic, paternalistic government that forbids individual rights of self-defense. In the United States countless examples exist of changes in once-inalienable rights such as self-defense, religious liberty, the right to peacefully assemble, etc. Many of the principles embodied in the Bill of Rights are either under attack or already have been nullified by court or executive actions/orders.
In our country, a goodly percentage of the populace feels that it is morally wrong to defend yourself by owning any kind of weapon, particularly a firearm. Instead they say, “the police will protect you,” ignorant of the fact the police have no duty in law to protect anyone. Even the appearance of something like an AR-15 has the power to strike terror and misconceptions in supposedly rational individuals. Generations that have been taught to believe everything is about ME (the Me Generation) are unlikely to perform heroic acts in the midst of an attack. Perhaps this explains the tendency of victims of mass shootings to simply lie down and accept what is going down with no attempt to resist. Does anyone anymore still give Todd Beamer’s rallying cry of “Let’s roll” on Flight 93?
A few examples of how our world has changed:
Edward Peruta v. County of San Diego. Ninth Circuit Opinion. On June 9, 2016, the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled 7 to 4 that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms does not apply to any law governing the concealed carry of any protected firearm in public.
School rejects teen’s gun-toting, flag-waving photo. The 15-year-old country boy from Ringoes, New Jersey is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. He’s a member of two state shooting teams and he serves as a United States Sea Cadet. A photo of him for a class project showed him holding an American Flag and a shotgun.
School sends sheriff to order child to stop sharing Bible verses during lunch.
A New York City man could be facing a manslaughter charge for defending his wife against a would-be rapist.
According to a Pew Research Center Study, “40 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 believe the government should be able to ban any speech that is offensive to minority groups.”
Boykin bounced: Fort Riley cancels Delta Force hero’s prayer breakfast speech.
In Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell no longer rings due to a crack. Will it ever, even figuratively, ring again?