“The U.S. has no other choice but to adopt gun control. The right to life is the most fundamental (of) human rights. The right to bear arms cannot overpower the individual’s right to live,” asserted the Global Times on Friday. The Global Times is the state-run newspaper in Communist China. The advice to the United States came in response to the school shooting in Florida at Broward County’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week, in which 17 students and staff members were murdered by a former student of the school, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.
“Washington has been pointing an accusing finger at other countries over human rights.… However, more Americans have been killed by gunfire in the country than American soldiers being killed in all U.S. wars,” the Chinese paper claimed.
The Chinese paper boasted, “Gun ownership in China is strictly regulated, which helps reduce gun-related crimes and deaths. The U.S. should learn from China and genuinely protect human rights.”
Not only is gun ownership in the communist dictatorship “strictly regulated,” but ownership of anything at all is strictly regulated there. Religious practice by Christians and other religious groups is also “strictly regulated.” That is, of course, what a communist dictatorship is all about — strict regulation.
And, so far as protecting “human rights,” the main violator of “human rights” in China is its communist government. No real political dissent is allowed in the country. If anything, what little respect for human rights China had developed since the days of Mao Tse-tung has been sharply curtailed by President Xi Jinping in recent years, as the country has seen an increasing restriction on rights, in the area of religion as well as on human-rights lawyers and activists of all sorts.
In 1989, China’s repressive regime cracked down on demonstrators in the infamous massacre at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Perhaps that incident is a reason that the Chinese government sees no need for its own citizens to possess firearms. It makes it much easier to crush them with tanks without fear that one of the citizens might just take a shot at members of the Communist Party leadership.
But, the Chinese government argues that its human-rights success comes in the area of lifting its people out of poverty. Likewise, many Americans have excused the disrespect for both human life and human rights in Cuba under the Castro brothers, because, after all, Cubans have “free” healthcare and universal education.
In a way, this is instructive of the attitude of those who are statists, whether in Cuba, China, the United States, or elsewhere. As Kitty Werthmann, the patriot in South Dakota who led the fight to keep her legislature from petitioning Congress for a national constitutional convention (which could lead to the restriction or even abolition of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms by individual American citizens) told me last week, “I say keep your guns.”
She well understands the purpose of individual gun ownership, from her own personal experience. A native of Austria, Werthmann recalled that Hitler’s National Socialists made it practically impossible to fight back against their rule, because the Nazis took away all the guns. First, they instituted gun registration, arguing it was the only way to “track criminals.” So citizens dutifully went to the police station, where the serial numbers of their guns were recorded. Not long after that, Werthmann recalled, they were ordered to turn in their guns. The government explained that this was to end crime in Austria.
Another American who understood the purpose of private gun ownership was George Washington. He said, “A free people … should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which includes their own government.” (Emphasis added).
The central purpose of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right of individual Americans to own firearms is often forgotten or little understood, even by many of its supporters. James Madison did not include the Second Amendment in the bill of rights to protect hunting. Saying one does not “need” an AR-15 in order to hunt deer is an inane statement. Neither was the Second Amendment’s purpose to protect sport shooting. It was not even primarily for self-defense from every day private criminals.
Its purpose was as a last line of defense against a criminal and tyrannical government. The Chinese Communist oligarchs understand this very well. It is high time average Americans did, too.