Contrary to some of our founding documents, not everyone is created equal. Yes, we are born with the same rights, but we vary in size, strength, speed, and stamina. For a long time in human history those who were blessed with size and strength and the mental capacity to use it were often able to exact their will on others, for good or bad. If you were female, a minority or simply small in stature, you were automatically at a disadvantage.
Then a tool of wood and steel and fire was invented – the musket. This tool could sling a lead ball faster and farther than someone could shoot an arrow. These long arms were a game changer, but they were still heavy and cumbersome. They also still required a certain amount of skill and strength to load and fire with any effectiveness.
Then, in 1835, a man named Samuel Colt filed a patent for a percussion cap revolver. It was smaller, lighter and faster than a rifle. It could be fired even by small-framed people and it carried six shots instead of one or two.
This invention altered the landscape of liberty forever.
From there, in 1860, the first practical repeating rifle was produced by Benjamin Henry. Carrying fourteen shots in a tube under the barrel and operated by a lever, it paved the way for most of the iconic rifles of the Wild West. Gun technology evolved rapidly from there, often spurred by conflicts and wars. Then, with the commercialization of polymers in the first half of the 20th century, it really took off.
In 1963, the US military adopted the M-16 as their main rifle and selected Colt (old Sam Colt’s company) to produce the rifles. This opened the door to the popularity of one of the most recognizable, loved and hated rifles to ever be – the AR-15.
The point of the history lesson is this: a few hundred years ago being a woman, being small, being slow, being black, being Indian, or being on the wrong side of any number of governments meant you were going to be relegated to a subpar existence, if not completely annihilated. These days, however, a 90-pound woman can purchase an AR-15 rifle for $500-$600 and be on par with any other person on this planet in terms of lethality.
Yes, the AR-15 is intimidating, but it has a job, and it does it well. Its job is to be a sentinel that watches over its owner and family. This is a scary concept for some, and understandably so. People naturally don’t like to think about bad things. They don’t like to think about armed intruders kicking in your door at 2 a.m., or a rogue state usurping your freedom, or a foreign invader attacking your neighborhood. But just because one doesn’t like to think about these things doesn’t mean they cannot happen. Even in recent history there are examples of this – the USSR, Nazi Germany, Venezuela, etc. When people lose their sovereign right of self defense and preservation, bad things happen.
I know anti-gun forces can quote statistics to support their cause just as pro-gun forces can do the same. However, it is not just about statistics, but rather principles and what you believe in. Freedom is sometimes messy, hard work. Our founders knew that to preserve our freedom and ensure its advance we would need the capability to defend ourselves, our families and our liberty. As it was understood and predicted by our founders, guns have gone hand in hand with the preservation of freedom and liberty since their invention centuries ago. They have fought back in the hands of Jewish and French resistance fighters against Nazis, they stopped a Russian advance across Finland, they liberated a race during our Civil War, and they birthed the greatest country in the world during the American Revolution.
Our founders knew an armed citizen can never really be forced to do anything they don’t want to do – they must be persuaded. The government, or any evil doer, could try to force them, but it will result in a fight. And yes, the aggressor may win, but then again, they may not, and that makes them nervous. Any student of history knows that almost every time evil on a massive scale has taken place, it’s been preceded by gun control and confiscation. That is because, in the end, the right and ability to keep and bear arms guarantees all other rights. Remember that the next time someone demands you give that right up.