My views and understanding of the Second Amendment have changed. Let me tell you why. Growing up in Hawaii, we had very restrictive laws surrounding firearms. We still do. A lot of my friends who grew up in the mainland learning about firearms safety and how to shoot from a young age had a very different experience than I did. Aside from a handful of visits to the shooting range (the only one on the island) with my dad as a teenager, my exposure to firearms was extremely limited. Once I enlisted in the army because of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, it was in basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC where I would fire a rifle for the first time. We learned the basics — safety protocols, muzzle discipline and basic ‘shoot, move, communicate’ drills. But it was by no means extensive. (For those of you who serve in the military, you know how limited ‘range time’ is, especially for Guard and Reserves).
You are 100% correct, Tulsi. Thank you for having the courage to change your view and speak truth to power. The forces of oppression are all around us, often working silently, and they slowly but deliberately seek to make sheep of us all. They succeeded with the Covid response and must not ever be granted that ability to confine us without trial, censor speech that objects, and mocks those of us who see what is happening again.
Once again, I find we have followed a similar trajectory in the evolution of our positions, Tulsi. I discussed my own thinking on this matter in this discussion thread:
I believe 2A is *the* primary reason America did not ratchet up its totalitarianism to the gobsmacking levels seen in Australia, Canada, Germany, and China. If we did not have a sizable portion of the populace willing to defend our nation against tyranny, the jackboots would have certainly stamped down on our faces far harder, faster, and longer.
The opening quote I used in that thread pretty much destroys the feeble arguments used by the left on this issue:
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”
—Cesare Beccaria, recorded by Thomas Jefferson in his Legal Commonplace Book
I'm a gun owner who trains with weapons and has a CCW, but I still struggle with this issue. I look with envy at many countries with their low levels of gun violence (and ownership). We already have restrictions - we can't buy a Javelin, or a tank, or even an RPG, and everyone seems OK with that. So it's a question of where we draw the weapons ownership line. I also like the idea of mandatory training, though I worry that could become a backdoor national registry.
At the end of the day, though, I conclude the Founding Fathers had it about right. The best reason for widespread gun ownership is to deter totalitarian instincts of any stripe, and responsible gun owners are a tiny fraction of gun violence in America. Maybe thugs and gangsters using guns is the price we have to pay for this deterrence. Still, we could do more. Penalties for legal gun owners who don't secure their weapons from children, for example, should be severe enough to get peoples' attention. Penalties for the use of guns in committing a crime should be very severe. And lastly - and this is where I will lose some of your readers - other countries do not have the kind of violence on TV, movies and video games that we allow. We are all influenced by our environment, and impressionable minds particularly so. So I think we can largely have our cake and eat it too on this issue, but it would require a rethink of our values and priorities beyond what politicians seem willing to discuss.
I saw your instagram post last night and was looking forward to see you expand on this, in light of past votes and positions. I believe that people can sincerely change their views on issues and I can afford the benefit of the doubt that it isn't merely posturing for further political ambitions. I can support politicians that I don't agree with on every issue, but the fundamental freedoms enshrined in our Bill of Rights are non-negotiable. I'm looking forward to hearing more in your podcast.
GG tweets – extracted ~Nov 2 period https://twitter.com/ggreenwald
Note the intensity of Glenn’s activity despite a serious health emergency in his family
• (re-tweet) unusual_whales @unusual_whales
JUST IN: Treasury Department officials have begun looking into whether they have the legal authority to start an investigation into the Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase because of Musk’s ties to foreign governments and investors, per the Washington Post.
Everybody knows exactly why this is happening.
• One day after a major story from @lhfang and @kenklippenstein proving the US Govt and Security State are directing Big Tech on what to censor, the #2 Senate Dem tries to radically restrict what "free speech" means in a way that contradicts all 1A caselaw:
Senator Dick Durbin @SenatorDurbin –“Free speech does not include spreading misinformation to downplay political violence.”
• By the way, one day after this massive story about the US Govt directing Big Tech censorship was published by a Dem-friendly site, with a popular left-wing figure as one of the reporters, neither CNN nor MSNBC invited them on, and no Dem politician has mentioned it.
Why is this?
• 2015, BBC: "Meet Twitter's second biggest shareholder, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal"
If DC Dems want an excuse to investigate Musk's purchase of Twitter on "national security grounds" because he won't censor for them, they'll need a better excuse.
• Also, few things are more darkly hilarious than Dems pretending to be so deeply concerned about Musk's involvement with Saudis when it's the US Government that is single-handedly responsible for propping up the Saudi regime with arms and surveillance tech
• Americans are being conditioned -- by "journalists" of all people -- to believe it's immoral or mentally ill not to immediately and uncritically accept whatever institutions of authorities claim.
Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald weighs in on the Paul Pelosi attack: "Skepticism itself can never be wrong ... Even if evidence does emerge later on to prove it, the skepticism itself was not just valid, but necessary."
• To this very day, you can read articles in liberal corporate outlets branding as "conspiracy theorists" anyone asking about Nuland's comments - same for those who questioned claims about COVID vaccine efficacy and mask mandates, or *any* claim that the US Security State issues.
• The US corporate press is trying to train Americans to believe the first and most solemn duty of citizenship is instantly accept whatever institutions of authority tell you to believe. No wanting to see evidence, no noting contradictions: just happily recite what you're told.
• Rather than obey France's censorship order, Rumble turned its services off for France and will sue. But France should have no right to impose its censorship laws on the world.
• This is why I'm so proud to be working more with Rumble and why I believe in their free speech commitment. The easy thing to do would be to obey French politicians and remove anyone foreign governments demand. Rumble would rather lose France then submit to them.
Thank you for clearing that up, many people have the idea that you're against gun rights.
Further, I cringe every single time that someone uses the phrase "#2ndAmendment rights", when in fact we have 2nd Amendment PROTECTIONS. Our rights are not given, they are innate. What the 2ndA does do is to protect our rights from government overreach.
You're quite a good speaker and I'm enjoying your podcasts as I respect the sacrifices you've made for our freedoms.
Given the 2nd Amendment declaration "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed', restrictions by the states are applied according to a person's age, criminal record, and the type of weapon (excluding fully automatic), some kind of gun safety education, and concealed/open carry restrictions. Your previous web site included policy positions on various specific issues, which I found very informative; and I would encourage you to bring that feature to this web site to help clearly explain where you stand on issues like gun control, where the devil is often in the details.
I must add that in my opinion, the right to bear arms, while essential, comes in a distant second to the First Amendment's guarantees of free speech, press, and association. Without free access to information and opinion from all sources and the ability to state the truth as we see it, we become unwitting tools of a totalitarian state that exercises control by censorship, propaganda, advertising and social influence much more effectively than by force. Guns aren't needed to control a person's mind - once that is accomplished, his body will follow.
The Democrat Surveillance state is out of control. Not only do the Democrats want to take our guns. They want to prevent us from buying any product they think we should not be allowed to buy, like Gasoline and oil. They want us to be like the Chinese subjects who are given a social score to force us into obedience with our money. Already banks have to report spending over a certain amount including what was purchased. This has to stop.
Thanks for your post and welcome to SubStack. Many of us here have been writing about what is going on in these gulag years. Many of us look to professional politicians to help right this listing ship of state. As I'm sure you recognize the internet, including Sub Stack, is the Wild West of free speech. I have written several times of Joe Biden's not so idle threat against the American people. You write: "President Biden recently mocked this notion, claiming that Americans would need F-15 fighter jets to successfully fend off our government."
This was more recent. Don't have the exact quote but soon after he was elected he said that if we the people wanted to go up against our government we would need fighter jets and nuclear weapons. Those of us who are not professional politicians are free to say we are under the grip of fascism. It has been made more than clear to many of us. It is not limited to some American brand of fascism but is planetary.
Our Constitution has been shredded effectively by these forces. The unalienable rights of which you speak are ours at birth. The Constitution acknowledges them. We the people are more than ready to work hard to reimagine and reinvent an acceptable future for our children. After all they are after our kids. We the people are now regarded as the terrorists.
Guns, like digital devices (and hammers) are tools. Tools are used to accomplish the intent of the tool user.
Thank you !! There is a DIRECT connection between Russia-gate hoax concocted by St. Obama, Biden and Hillary and provoking capitalist Russia’s “Putin's war” by relentless NATO expansion.
The SAME lying team representing the US bipartisan War party.
Democracy and freedoms have left US – censorship is now nearly TOTAL; far worse than in Soviet Union 50 years ago.
When Will the Bird Really Be Free? Twitter suspends Scott Ritter yet again.
AMERICAN CONSTITUTION ALMOST GONE EXCEPT FOR OUR GUNS
I always believed that this Country would NEVER get so bad that the Supreme Court would not step in BUT, when the Attorney General raised the Texas Presidential Election CASE, when so many states JOINED that CASE...YET all but 2 JUSTICES DID NOTHING, I realized the WOKE opposition was on the right track to destroy this nation and the WOKE opposition certainly had no ability to reconstruct any NATION as GOOD.
But for THE AWAKENED HAVING THEIR GUNS there would be NO HOPE LEFT. THE FEDERAL VOTE had clearly FAILED. Democracy is ALMOST GONE with the EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE, CONGRESSIONAL BRANCHES also ALMOST GONE.
Only our personal strength and GUNS remained to give us the necessary POWER to discourage those WOKE enemies WILL GIVE US THE MID-TERMS AND 2024 AND THE TIME OF CONSTITUTIONAL RECONSTRUCTION OF AMERICA.
Tulsi, you have clearly outlined the Second Amendment proposition for all Americans and their rights. Abuse is an issue, but not an excuse to devalue either the 1st or 2nd amendment. The power of the Sheriffs of Nottingham is out of control. The critical issue today for me is, "how to execute accountability of the radical socialists that are getting away with political crimes" I would love for you to address this issue. Thank you, John Oakes
FYI (optional reading 😉 ) GG tweets – extracted ~Nov 7 period https://twitter.com/ggreenwald
• This is a group that pretends to speak for Jews. In reality, it's just another banal, standard Dem Party/liberal activist group whose core function is to exploit these causes to agitate for censorship of anyone who questions liberal establishment orthodoxy.
It's the Jewish @HRC
ADL: “Today, we are joining dozens of other groups to ask advertisers to pause Twitter spending because we are profoundly concerned about antisemitism and hate on the platform. Here's why we're asking advertisers to #StopHateForProfit and #StopToxicTwitter -- https://stophateforprofit.org/statement-calling-on-advertisers”
• The scam is to scare corporations by knowing they'll be accused of anti-Semitism unless they bow to ADL's dictates about what ideas and people they can and can't associate with, just as @HRC exploits reckless homophobia accusations to coerce obedience. It's pro-DNC censorship.
• (re-tweet): AOC is a deeply unserious person
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says Elon Musk is sabotaging her Twitter account
• Joy Reid's understanding of history really does begin in 2017. As sketchy as that understanding is, she has no idea that history existed before Trump. The ignorance is stunning. How can someone like this be on TV every night talking about politics, even to a tiny audience?
• In 1974, "President Ford plunged headfirst into the crisis. His first and most public move was to combat inflation. He declared inflation 'public enemy number one.'"
Ford's brand was "WIN: Whip Inflation Now."
How the fuck does Joy Reid know nothing about everything???
• This little dunce - who wouldn't sacrifice for a cause if he lived to be 1,000 - thinks the Kremlin told Snowden to re-tweet a WashPost reporter's mention of a George Will column lightly critiquing Kamala Harris.
• How do these people mock QAnon when they're as conspiratorial?
Aaron Rupar @atrupar: “it really isn't when you realize that Snowden's entire purpose right now is using his platform to advance the Russian government's interests -- hurting the Democratic Party and thereby helping Republicans win office, which ultimately will undermine the US's support for Ukraine twitter.com/_GreatDelusion…”
• But that tweet does express one of the core views of Democratic partisans in media. It's really how they think now.
If you criticize the Dem Party or its leaders then, by definition, you're doing the work of the Kremlin. All critics of Biden are, by definition, Putin stooges.
• Sometimes, parts of our politics become so insane and unhinged for so long that one forgets how demented they are. Starting in 2017, it became completely standard for Dem politicians and DNC media stars to accuse all critics of being Kremlin assets:
Michael Tracey @mtracey:
Congressman Can't Answer Simple Question About His Own Bill, So Accuses Me of Working for the Russian Government
• The primary tactic of American liberalism (Dem Party version) is to police and control the flow of information online by silencing, de-platforming, excluding and otherwise punishing anyone who questions of dissents from their pieties and decrees of Truth and Falsity.
Elon Musk @elonmusk: “Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.
Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.
• The lesson Democrats (and their US Security State partners) derived from their humiliating 2016 loss was that the preservation and expansion of their power requires tight control over the internet.
Corporate power (through advertising pressure) is one of their primary tools.
• This is why *the overwhelming majority* of Democrats support **state control** of information online in the name of fighting "disinformation."
In other words, if Big Tech won't capitulate to their censorship demands, Dems want political leaders to mandate that censorship.
• I spoke last night on Fox about a woefully under-covered story: The EU made it *illegal* for any platform to air RT or other Russian media. Now France is demanding US platforms, such as Rumble, obey this and remove RT. Rumble refused, defending its right to air what it wants
"an essay in 2018 titled “The Second Amendment is a Threat to Us All.”
Absolutely correct: the Second Amendment is a threat to all who want to impose censorship, tyrannical mandates and enforced obedience, like the Democratic Socialists of America.
That is a great article. I'm glad you figured it out.
Target! I heard you talk years ago in a Library of Congress event and wondered how you could sound rational and say a number of such odd things. I see now the way we all approach problems is based on our definition of the problem and our understanding of it. Well said.