Age of the Armed Civilian
With the many horrors abound it seems across the world, a knee jerk reaction by many from the left is to jump down American’s throats for our Second Amendment rights.
This is evident with the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, when the bodies were not even cold and numerous leftists were calling for gun control.
As tragedies like these seem to happen regularly, it is easy to imagine why people would want to ignore facts, such as the decrease in gun violence even as gun ownership has risen.
However, we must not let our immediate emotional reactions curb our rights and freedoms.
In fact, with recent political violence in Spain, Kenya, and Venezuela, we must ask how the governments of these states became rife with violence for basic elections; why it could not happen in the United States; what that has to do with gun rights; and what the best solution for these states would be going forward.
Though overshadowed by the horrors in Las Vegas, the Catalan vote of independence was arguably a turning point in the history of not just Spain, but the European Union as a whole.
The vote, declared illegal and the result illegitimate by the central government in Madrid, was in massive favor of independence.
However this was at a unique cost for elections in a supposedly “free democracy”: The Spanish Police Force were sent in on Sunday to stop the vote from taking place, injuring over 800 voters just wishing to express an opinion.
This assault on democracy is likely to force Spain to descend into civil war as they will send in the military to stop a “coup” from happening Monday, when Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) will be declared.
This could also result in the future independence of other unique parts of states within Europe, including the Basque region of Spain and France and the Walloons of Belgium.
Finally, with these potential breakups and Catalonia certainly going ahead with UDI, the European Union is remaining silent on the issue.
They however sided with Spain before the referendum, and that assumption still stands today, putting the EU in a unique and toxic position.
They can either support one of the most powerful states in their bloc and one of the single biggest influencers in the Brexit negotiations due to its unique status with the UK over Gibraltar.
Or they can support freedom of speech and the right to democracy and self determination, something notoriously lacking from the EU.
The Foundation for Economic Education released a piece about the dangers of disarming civilians in the context of this vote of independence.
Had Catalan’s been armed as a civilian populace, they could have much more easily fought back against the oppressive state forces.
The Spanish government would have had their powers curbed much more easily had they known their citizens were armed.
However, Spain’s strict gun laws essentially prohibit private ownership “except in extreme circumstances.”
There are no privacy rights or judicial rights when you own a weapon in Spain.
Had the state forces known or believed that the people were just as armed as they were, they would not have acted in the way they did for fear of falling entirely.
The Catalan government, I would hope, is considering some sort of plans for an armed populace, whether a passive right like in Switzerland or an explicit right to privately own arms like in the United States to protect such despotic rule from happening in the future.
With fresh elections comes new chances for electoral violence and potential voter suppression.
While the Kenyan Courts are determined to protect their democracy, they have no way to deal with the violence effectively.
Elections across Africa (excluding Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa) are typically rife with violence of varying degrees.
With leaders taking power for life after varyious nationalist and pan-Africanist independence movements, there seems to be no escape from violence, even in full democracies like what is in Kenya.
In Kenya, a right to own a weapon privately is not guaranteed.
About 1.5% of Kenyans own a firearm, over 99% of them owned illegally without a license.
Without a right to own a weapon, corruption and black markets for weapons are high.
With a private right guaranteed like the United States 2nd Amendment, the people of Kenya would be able to buy legal and regulated firearms with which they could protect their lives and properties (official or illegal) from intruders as well as from state violence that threatens their democracy every election cycle.
With election violence and potential despotic rule, a right to bear arms for the Kenyan people would guarantee that they can uphold their democracy and protect themselves without the help of the state.
Their dependence on the Kenyan state would drop dramatically and the people would know the consequences of invading other’s property.
Venezuela was once a land of prosperity, resources, natural wonders, and a high standard of living.
Today, it is a land of despair, poverty, and collapse.
While collapse is directly tied to the faults of socialism, there are other factors that have led to the fall.
Venezuela used to protect the private rights of citizens to own a weapon.
Before 2012, it was law that anyone with a gun permit could be allowed to purchase a weapon.
A law by Maduro abolished this private right to own a weapon, only allowing for agencies of the state to own and sell weapons and ordered the disposal of all privately held weapons.
With the election in Venezuela essentially forcing dictatorial rule upon the people of Venezuela by the incumbent Nicolas Maduro, the people have little hope.
With almost no food, people are eating rats and family pets.
With no weapons, people have no way to fight back.
The state can continue to crack down on people for doing nothing more but trying to feed their family, stealing food that supposedly belongs to them to begin with, since they live in a socialist state.
If they still had their weapons, they would be able to fight back and take back their country.
Instead, they are doomed to spiral downwards into oblivion while Maduro lives high and mighty in a palace.
With the left in America claiming we need more gun control, worldwide events show the opposite.
The three states above show the best, medium, and worst case scenarios when weapons are taken away from the populace.
Even the best in Catalonia, where they have a chance to guarantee the rights to a firearm for their new citizenry, has a long road to go.
In Kenya, they have solid institutions protecting their democracy, however, with high amounts of illegal weapons, the people would be better able to protect the institutions if the populace were allowed to own weapons legally.
Finally, in Venezuela, the right to a weapon and self defense was curbed for the individual, and today the individual has no way to protect themselves and their property from other civilians or the despotic state.
With these examples, we must do everything we can to protect our rights as citizens to own a firearm, for if the state becomes despotic or if someone tries to steal our rights to life or property, we can be prepared to stop it before we end up in any of the above situations.
You can follow the author on Twitter: @SamDemands