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LIKE A WELL-REGULATED MILITIA: Knowles takes up arms against anti-gun argument


Knowles: George Washington said, “A free people ought not only
to be armed, but disciplined.” Washington also said, “The Constitution should
never be construed to prevent a people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” Jefferson said this when he was drafting the
Virginia Constitution: “No free man shall ever be
debarred the use of arms.” If only he could see our debates of gun control today.
He would be horrified and rolling over in his grave. The framers were very clear
on what they thought. Knowles: In the most extreme case, this means that the
Second Amendment exists in case the United States citizens have to take up arms
against a foreign invader or even against their own government. That’s a radical statement, but the framers were
fairly radical people in certain ways. It is to protect our ability to take up arms against
our own government if push comes to shove, if we absolutely must as a last resort. It’s funny because when you’re having the gun
control debate with somebody, this is the point at which
their argument flips. The argument first begins as, “Why do you need
an AR-15 to hunt deer? It’s so powerful. Nobody
needs a gun that powerful.” Then, when you explain
to them the reason for the Second Amendment, they say that the AR-15 is not powerful enough. They say, “There’s no way those
guns are powerful enough. There’s no way that you could fight off
your own government. You’re crazy.” You say, “Wait, two seconds
ago you were just saying that the guns are too powerful.” They say, “Yeah, but that
was then. This is now. The guns aren’t powerful enough.” Let’s indulge in this. They bring up the
zombie apocalypse scenario. This is the zombie apocalypse. The United States government,
which we all enjoy, has turned tyrannical. [Audience laughter] Knowles: They’re going to come around. They’re going to go house to house and take all of our stuff and start oppressing us. We should point out that this isn’t totally unbelievable. It might be unlikely for now, but we’ve seen this happen in
Western democracies very frequently, even over the last hundred years. In just the last hundred years, Western liberal democracies have turned tyrannical multiple times. In the 20th century,
it happened in Germany. It happened in Italy. It happened in France. It happened in Spain. That is not a good track record for unarmed citizens
in Western democracies. To say it could never happen here is just ignoring the historical record. Certainly it could happen here. We hope that it doesn’t happen here. The other part of
this argument is that there is no way the American citizens, armed with their formally powerful, now not very powerful guns, could fight off the government. I would like to point out
a couple geographic and historical examples here. To begin, the United States
is absolutely gigantic. It’s a gigantic country. First, if the zombie
apocalypse happened, there’s a fair chance that certain Americans would defect from their newly tyrannical government and would help out the people, servicemen, police, that sort of thing. Now, consider the case
of the war in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is roughly
the size of Texas. It’s roughly the size of one US state. We have been at war in Afghanistan. We have brought the full might of
the United States military, as well as that of our coalition
of allies, to fight in Afghanistan, and we have not successfully
been able to maintain order in that area for 16 years. Afghanistan is just a few months away from being the longest war in the history of the United States. We have not been able to successfully occupy a
country the size of Texas. If the zombie apocalypse happened and the United States turned tyrannical, I think we’d be okay because that country is 1/50 the size of the United States,
as a matter of the states. Our country is much
larger than Afghanistan. Of course, it probably
won’t get to this point. It’s unlikely, I would agree with that. I think the framers would agree with that. It’s not unlikely because things could never get this bad. The reason that it’s unlikely is because we have an armed citizenry. The very existence of an armed citizenry is a good indication that politics is not going to devolve and get truly horrific. Whenever those would-be tyrants, those would-be authoritarians say, “I think I’m going to start
oppressing people today,” they would look around and say, “There are 300 million
guns in this country, more guns than people. Maybe I’d better hold off.” That’s a good indication. Those are just the facts
of the Second Amendment. Those are just the observable facts: why it was written, what it
means, and what it protects.

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