The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.I just got my first gun.
- Alexander Hamilton
Kim du Toit used to blog about how a .22 was a household commodity, like sugar or flour. However, the People's Republic of Massachusetts made things enough of a PITA that we never jumped through the required hoops. Now we're in Georgia, and breathe free air, so it's a different story.
Because I no longer live in Massachusetts, I don't need special licensing from the State to own a gun. Even without special papers, without fingerprinting and background checks, I can own one - and ammunition (!) -without becoming a felon. What this make me, in a psychologically important way, is a citizen. Not a subject, not someone who has to ask "please" from some Government Functionary, but a free citizen who can be entrusted with the tools of power.
Funny, I haven't had the urge to go shoot up a school. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun
The Winchester 190 was a semi-automatic plinking/varmint rifle manufactured in fairly large quantities. It's tube fed, and the tube magazine is probably big enough to make this an "assault rifle" in New Jersey. This one has a 2x scope, and looks like it would be sweet for clearing out small, unwelcome four-footed guests. And since the two-footed ones don't want to get shot (even with a .22), it might have some use there as well.
But the meaning goes beyond the (quite modest) firepower of the rifle. It's a statement of freedom, the mark of a citizen, not a subject. We could use more citizens, not more subjects.
This is my rifle. There are none like it, because it marks the transition from a subject to a free man.
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...
My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...
Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!
No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion.