Colorado Gun Rights Billboards Showcase the Dangers of Disarmament
The heart of the discussion surrounding gun rights is the value either side places on an armed society. The anti-gun rights camp seems to see firearms as tools and their ownership a privilege. Those who advocate for restrictive gun laws don’t see the value of a well-armed society. To them, more guns mean more people with the means to kill.
To gun rights advocates, however, the value of a well-armed society is fundamentally important to the preservation of liberty. A well-armed society helps to lessen the dangers posed by criminals who are not bound by a reverence for the law.
But most importantly, a well-armed society offers an underlying assurance to anyone who offers tyranny. A society bereft of arms is a society bereft of the means of defense. It’s a porcupine without quills, a snake without teeth.
This world is a violent place and always has been. While we enjoy the joys of a more-civilized, modern world that largely recognizes egalitarian principles, the post-enlightenment era where man, and not King or emperor, is still a relatively new concept. And for much of the world, dictators and oligarchs are supreme. It would be foolish to believe that we no longer need the individual and collective means of domestic self-defense.
History supports this notion. Recently, two billboards in Greeley, Colorado, have created quite a stir.
The black and white billboards, which are placed beside busy roadways in Greeley, Colo., feature three men dressed in traditional Native American attire with the words: “Turn in your arms. The government will take care of: you.” : The person in the front of the photo is holding a rifle.
Matt Wells, and accountant with Lamar Advertising in Denver, told the Associated Press that a group of local residents who wish to remain anonymous purchased the space.
“I think it’s a little bit extreme, of course, but I think people are really worried about their gun rights and what liberties are going to be taken away,” Wells told the Greeley Tribune.
Many have taken offense to the image of the American Indians, but the use of such imagery is entirely appropriate. While it would be too-simplistic to claim that the treatment of American Indians was from a lack of arms, the fact remains that the systematic disarming of American Indian tribes by the United State government enabled them to break promises and conquer.
We should never trust our government so much that we lay down our arms. How many times in the history of the world has the confiscation of weapons been succeeded by the trampling of rights? How many oppressed people have had the bravery to fight tyranny but were without the means to do it? How many American Indians died after relinquishing their arms in the mistaken belief that doing so would purchase peace?
The billboards in Colorado may have irked a few people who do not want to acknowledge the less-savory aspects of history, but the point remains that those who relinquish their arms relinquish their ability to defend themselves against foreign and domestic enemies.
As they say, “Those who do not learn from history…”