The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
HAVANA, CUBA- The current situation in Cuba, where tens of thousands have been protesting against that country’s oppressive, communist government, provides a cautionary tale as to why the rights guaranteed to United States citizens under the Second Amendment is such an important right.
Cuba, which has rigorous gun control laws, is able to keep their knee on the throat of its citizens simply because they have no concern about the Cuban citizens’ ability to defend themselves.
In our country, we have the protection of the Second Amendment which was actually enumerated in the Bill of Rights as a means to guarantee all the other rights outlined in that group of 10 Constitutional amendments such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to be free from illegal searches and seizures, and so on.
In the communist “utopia” of Cuba, citizens of that country have no such right. As Breitbart News notes, the Cuban people have no such natural right to keep and bear arms. In any such fight for freedom, which creates a significant disadvantage for the Cuban people.
According to the University of Sydney’s GunPolicy.org, following are some of the punitive gun control measures in place in Cuba:
- A large number of firearms are banned outright
- Those who want to own legal guns recognized by the regime have to acquire a license.
- The process whereby one gets a license includes “[establishing] a genuine reason to possess a firearm.”
- Cubans must reapply and requalify for their firearm license every ten years.
Anyone wishing to own a firearm must also undergo a thorough background check, which includes “criminal, mental health, health and addiction records.”
Moreover, the process for purchasing a gun is vague, as noted by GunPolicy.org. “The minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined.” [emphasis added]
All purchased firearms must be registered, all private sales are prohibited by law, and “the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law.”
Here’s the “best” part—carrying a firearm openly in public is illegal and carrying a concealed firearm in public is prohibited by law as well. Therefore, those who are actually allowed to own guns must keep them in their homes.
As Breitbart News previously reported in 2014, James Madison, one of the Founding Fathers said that the United States was exceptional because citizens were permitted to be armed.
In Federalist 46, Madison contended that an armed citizenry presented one of the strongest checks on federal tyranny. In fact, he thought it was the strongest check on such tyranny.
In explaining the difference between Americans and their European contemporaries, Madison said that Americans could unite to stop a federal government intent on using military force to topple state power; Europeans—disarmed—had no such option.
This is what Joe Biden recently made light of, when he intimated the US government has “F-16’s and nuclear weapons,” making light of the fact that an armed citizenry could do anything about an overreaching federal government.
Madison spoke to this as “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.”
Madison said that an armed citizenry, in concert with “the existence of subordinate governments to which the people are attached,” provided the ability for people to rally in order to defend their lives and their liberty.
He spoke about people joining together in “militias”—officers being “appointed” by those local, “subordinate governments”—and their banding together would be meaningful because the people were armed.
One area where people get it wrong is that the American people derive their power and their rights from the government. That is not what the founders intended, and Madison spoke to that very notion.
He said that “ultimate authority…resides in the people alone.” Any authority held by the federal government is derived from that which the people give them. NOT the other way around. Power flows from the governed and rests in those governed.
The Second Amendment, the purposes of which are lost on the left who make the hollow argument that it somehow has something to do with “hunting” and define “militia” as the military in fact has nothing to do with either.
Our Second Amendment specifically guarantees that people will have and retain the ultimate check on government by the right to keep and bear arms.
If Cuban citizens had the same rights enjoyed by Americans under the Second Amendment, their fight for freedom might have more chance of success. Under the current laws in Cuba, they are basically taking a squirt gun to a gun fight.
The current situation in Cuba explains why out of all the rights we as American citizens enjoy, the right to keep and bear arms, which guarantees the rest of them, is by far the most important.
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Last year, Law Enforcement Today published an op-ed about the Second Amendment that we highly recommend reading. In case you missed it, we invite you to look at it below:
Originally written by Joe Bartozzi for our partners at the NSSF.
U.S. Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) joined Everytown for Gun Safety’s vice presidential webinar forum where she trotted out her yarn about gun laws and Uncle Dick in the deer stand.
It’s time we get Uncle Dick down from there. First of all, deer season has been over for months; now, he’s just poaching. Second and most importantly, these gun control laws that politicians banter about have nothing to do with hunting.
It’s time to make our elected officials read and understand the U.S. Constitution they swore to defend – including the Bill of Rights – and live up to the words that are written.
Hunting is certainly a beloved recreational activity by a large percentage of gun owners. For some, this might even be their reason for owning a gun. They are a means by which to harvest wild game and put food in the freezer and on the table.
In 22 states, the right to hunt and fish is explicitly protected, but the idea that the Second Amendment has anything to do with hunting is a red herring and is completely false.
Not About Hunting
The hunting misnomer is a favorite of the gun control politicians. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked hunting as he unilaterally banned modern sporting rifles throughout all of Canada.
“You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer,” he said.
To be fair, Canada doesn’t have a constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms.
The United States, however, does.
It’s simple. It’s short, just 27 words. The Supreme Court held that it applies as a right of individual Americans – not the government, and nowhere in that short sentence does it once say anything at all about hunting.
Not once. Not even a hint. No innuendo. Nothing tongue-in-cheek.
It’s so clear, even a politician can understand it. Or should at least. Never underestimate a politician, though, and Sen. Klobuchar wasn’t the first.
New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo bellowed at all Americans:
“It’s simple, no one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer…”
That was as he jammed through the New York SAFE Act, a sweeping set of gun control laws in a midnight vote. New York’s SAFE Act was passed with no hearings, no testimony, no time for opponents to exercise their First Amendment rights and make a case to their legislators.
Former Vice President Joe Biden conflated the meaning of the Second Amendment in an interview with Field and Stream’s Anthony Licata in 2013. Licata asked him directly what the Second Amendment means.
Biden agreed it is an individual right, adding:
“But it also has ruled that it is constitutional to own a gun individually for purposes of sporting, hunting, and/or self-defense.”
In that same interview, Biden said he believes the government has a right to limit the firearms an individual can own, specifically, modern sporting rifles. He claimed the rifle was not protected because it’s not usual.
“If you have to go up into the Poconos and go bear hunting or deer hunting with that weapon, and you need a clip that has 30 rounds in it, then you shouldn’t be hunting,” Biden said.
But there are nearly 18 million modern sporting rifles in circulation today. They are used legally every day for home defense, recreational shooting and, yes, even hunting.
Biden’s misapplication of Supreme Court rulings and his hyperbolic rhetoric continued. He goaded gun owners on the campaign trail comparing rifles to fighter jets and rocket launchers. He did this even as he argued for DNA-enabled technology for firearms, nationwide gun registries and exposing the firearm industry to harassing litigation that would threaten the entire industry.
What’s Not Said
What Biden, Sen. Klobuchar and the rest of the candidates that dropped along the campaign trail never talked about was the criminal. They didn’t talk about actually attempting to reduce crime. They never spoke about soaring crime in areas where there is the strictest gun control. Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore are all examples of cities that press for more gun control, but whose politicians refuse to address crime or the criminals perpetrating those crimes.
Here’s what else the politicians refuse to address: these gun control laws they foist on law-abiding Americans do nothing to address crime because criminals don’t follow the law.
Department of Justice surveys of prison inmates show, time and again, criminals overwhelmingly obtain firearms through theft and the black market. Universal background check laws, waiting periods, registration schemes and a list of other gun control ideas are only observed by law-abiding citizens.
Felons bent on criminally misusing firearms don’t fill out background check forms in dark alleys. They don’t submit their names to the FBI to have them say they can’t posses a gun.
Politicians also ignore that gun ownership is increasing even as crime has steadily declined. Nearly 19 million Americans have concealed carry permits in the United States today. It increased by 1.4 million people in 2019. That doesn’t account for the 18 states where citizens have a constitutional right to carry a firearm for personal protection.
Gun control politicians hover and nod approvingly around Biden when he berates voters who question his gun control platform shouting at them, “You’re full of sh*t!”
They believe the Second Amendment is a problem to be fixed. At campaign fundraisers, they speak of it only as a loophole or a privilege that should be reserved for a select few. They don’t see it as a right to be respected and defended. It’s a cancer. If they can excise it, cut it out, isolate it, it will wither and die.
The first step for these folks is to get America to believe that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with a God-given right. Instead, say it’s about hunting. After all, that requires a license.
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