|The Tools of Free Men
Posted 07/31/2008 ET
Updated 07/31/2008 ET
Oil is the fuel of free nations, guns and speech the tools of free men. Thus the three have freedom in common. Ironically, oil, guns, and free speech have something else in common as well: all three are scorned by the Left. Democrats are opposed to further oil exploration, individual gun rights, and speech that is free from the constraints of political correctness.
We need oil now, and there is no doubt about the amounts of untapped oil off the shores of California, under the surface of the earth in Wyoming and Colorado, and up in that pristine rock quarry called ANWR. But the Democrats are so opposed to further oil exploration that they will not even hear of drilling for these deposits or exploring oil shale extraction with new technologies. As a result Democrats, who claim to represent the “common man,” are pushing the price of a gallon of gas above that of what many a common man can afford.
The Democrats use ecological concerns as a cover for their inflexibility on this issue, yet their refusal to drill is actually contributing to ecological problems. Off many of our coasts, the amount of untapped oil is so great that the deposits themselves create a pressure that forces oil to seep through the ocean floor and into the ocean. As a matter of fact, on the beaches of Santa Barbara, it is not uncommon for beachcombers to step into a “glob of tar” while walking the beach. The only way to decrease both the occurrence and size of the globs of tar is to increase oil production, according to a 1999 press release by the University of California, Santa Barbara.
In truth, however, neither the common man nor the environment matter to the Democrats. Rather, they are driven by what they fear, and what they fear is a people free enough to live independently of a paternal government.
When hunting pheasants out here in West Texas, I have often commented that my gun is an extension of me. And so it is. Whether the gun under discussion is a shotgun, a rifle, or a handgun, it is a tool that provides me certain advantages men without such a tool will never know. Just as a hammer provides a builder with the advantage of being able to drive nails or a wrench provides a mechanic with the advantage of being able to bolt together an engine, so too my gun provides me with the advantage of being able to shoot an animal, kill an intruder in defense of myself or my family, and if need be, to stand and deliver on every citizen’s inherent, God-given duty to defend his nation. What could the Democrats have against these things? You’d be surprised.
The gun is antithetical to the Left’s agenda for the simple reason that the possession of one affords men the ability to defend their freedom. It was this ability to defend freedom that caused the author of the U.S. Constitution, James Madison, to exult that “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed -- unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
But the Democrats do not have the mentality of our Founders. They do not view an armed citizenry as an “advantage” but as a threat to their agenda. They want to be able to encroach upon the people’s freedom a little at a time or even all at once if they think they can get away with it. This is why the Democrat City Council in Washington D.C. is still refusing to remove their citywide gun ban even though the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in the Heller case. They don’t want to let go of the control they’ve leveraged over the people in that city since the ban was implemented in 1976.
Speech is another tool the free man uses to defend his freedom. Through speech he explains the origins of freedom, the price of freedom, and the limitations that should be imposed on government rather than men. Not surprisingly, the Democrats are opponents rather than proponents of such language; tyrants of every stripe always are.
Every politically correct policy that limits speech is a direct assault on the ability of men to use language on behalf of freedom. And each such policy is but the latest in what has been a long chain of usurpations of free speech in our nation’s history.
In 1765 King George III encroached upon the speech of our Founding Fathers with the Stamp Act. This act was issued to limit access to affordable paper in the colonies and thereby decrease the colonist’s ability to spread the idea that liberty was intrinsic to life itself. The king wanted to ensure that pamphlets such as Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” could not be printed and distributed among the populace. But the pamphlet was printed in 1776, and through it Paine lit a fire in the hearts of the colonists. He urged them to give themselves wholly to the American Revolution by assuring them that “common sense” dictated they should throw off the yoke of so great a tyrant as King George.
Today, the Democrat Party is full of a myriad of King Georges who seek the passage of their own stamp acts through legislation such as the Fairness Doctrine, academic “speech codes,” and various internet taxes and regulations. Notice -- they don’t deny the truth of their own tyranny as much as they seek to suppress its disclosure. Democrat goals and policies are antithetical to freedom.
We must get more oil. We must keep our guns. And we must tell our children, our students, and those among whom we live and work that freedom comes from God, not government. As such, it s not the gift of Senators Barrack Obama, Charles Schumer, or Harry Reid, nor is it ours because of the benevolence of Representative Pelosi. Once we get our children, our students, and those among whom we live and work to understand this, we can rest assured in the shared knowledge that freedoms which government cannot give are also freedoms which government cannot take away.
Doing this may not be easy, but “those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.” (Thomas Paine)
|AWR Hawkins is a Ph.D. candidate at Texas Tech University. His doctoral studies are focused on the U.S. Military and his dissertation on the Civil War era. He has been published on topics including the U.S. Navy, Civil War battles, Vietnam War ideology, the Reagan Presidency, and the Rebirth of Conservatism, 1968-1988. More of his articles can be found at www.awrhawkins.com. |