On Citizens and Subjects

I was having dinner with friends a while ago who like me are of the 2A persuasion. We discussed the current gun control voices in the U.S. and the discussion ultimately turned to Britain, their strict gun control, and rising knife crime. It has gotten so bad that British parents are apparently even buying stab vests for their kids?

British gun control has now slippery-sloped into knife control and the ridiculous demonization of any sharp pointy tool. There is even now talk of filing down the points on kitchen knives because, in the words of one British judge, the only people who “need” pointy knives are butchers and fishmongers.

We are left to wonder if back when Britain instituted civilian disarmament that anyone could have imagined the current anti-knife push. It’s almost as if people bent on violence will find any means to harm their fellow human beings. But Brits are still determined to blame the tool rather than human agency.

Brits seem to sit back and just let these ridiculous restrictions happen to them, and sometimes even appear welcome them. Our dinner table group concluded that this must be because the Brits have a completely different mindset about firearms and their rights than we have here in the U.S. They are still “Subjects” in mindset, despite all the Parliamentary changes that have happened over the past few hundred years. 

British firearm restrictions implemented after WWI ensured a disarmed populace during WWII – leaving the general population unable to defend themselves against impending Nazi invasion. Even before the U.S. government’s Lend-Lease Act took effect, American citizens donated thousands of privately owned firearms for the defense of British homes. Then when the war was over, those firearms so freely donated were unceremoniously destroyed (except for one) proving that Britain still hadn’t learned its lesson.

Thus it makes me laugh when gun grabbers try to point to Britain or other English-speaking countries as examples of civilian disarmament which they think the U.S. should emulate. These numbskulls cannot grasp that we Americans will NEVER be “like” Britain, Australia or even Canada. Our attitudes and history are completely different.

The Brits have a history of centuries of being subjects with “rights” being granted to them by the throne – or by the upper classes in Parliament – and just as easily taken away. The Parliament even still technically serves at the will of the monarchy, and the monarch asks the elected Prime Minister to “form a government”.

Despite Britain being the “mother country”, rights guaranteed to British citizens are not at all like American rights – especially when it comes to self-defense and weapons possession. This makes any comparison between British and American firearms law a comparison of apples and cabbages.

The Australian model of gun control is another much touted example that the U.S. should supposedly follow. What the people who propose this scheme fail to grasp is that that we are not “like” Australia either, and never have been. The histories of our two countries are completely different.  We were both originally British colonies, but that is where the similarities end. 

Australia gained independence by an Act of the British Parliament in 1901. Even then, the British parliament retained certain powers over Australia until the Australia Act of 1986. Yup – Nineteen. Eighty. Six.  And as a Commonwealth Realm Australia STILL honors Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. They are still subjects of the British Crown.

Australia got “permission” to leave, and did not gain their independence through violence and bloodshed as the United States did. They also don’t have our Constitution or Bill of Rights, which contains the Second Amendment – the codification of our natural right to self-defense – whether from criminal attackers or despotic government.

Neither is Canada “like” the U.S. in foundation and means of gaining independence. Canada didn’t gain full legal autonomy from Britain until 1938, and they still maintain their allegiance to Queen Liz, as another Commonwealth Realm. Canadians too remain subjects of the British Crown. Canada has tried various gun registration schemes throughout its history, because they don’t have their own version of the Second Amendment either.

Unlike Australia and Canada, American rights and freedoms were secured by years of bloodshed – not by amicable permissive agreements with the British Government. This imparts a wholly different feeling among the American populace – or at least it SHOULD.

U.S. Citizenship carries responsibilities as well as rights. One of those responsibilities is honoring and preserving the Constitutional Republic which was paid for with so much blood and treasure by the Founders and those who followed after them. Wishing away our unique heritage in order to get along with other countries who are not like us is irresponsible and  antithetical to the ideals the country was founded upon.

An understanding of our history, and WHY the Founders set up our system of government as they did – especially the Second Amendment – should be an essential element of responsible American citizenship. Alas, the gun-grabbers seem to be missing this piece of their education, and would wish us all to be “Subjects” again. 

We would do well to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin when he was asked whether the Constitutional Convention of 1787 had settled on a Republic or a Monarchy. His reply was, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”