Heston at Brandeis
By Charles A. Morse
Charlton Heston, the director of the National Rifle Association, has been invited to address the students of the Boston based, nominally Jewish Brandeis University. This has led to a major controversy. Apparently, support for the Constitution and the second amendment to the Bill of Rights, which is what the NRA is all about, is now seen as too radical for an American campus. In anticipation of the appearance, the College administration has been generally hostile and obstructionist. This is par for the course considering the authoritarian left reputation of the Brandeis establishment. I would like to address the student body, particularly the segment that is, in a manner of speaking, up in arms over the Heston appearance. These students have been, in my view, sheltered from the truth concerning the agenda of the gun control lobby. They have been sadly duped. Hopefully, Heston's appearance will lead to genuine dialogue in the best tradition of diversity of opinion.
I find it ironic that so many of my fellow Jews support gun registration with the state. In 1927, Weimar Germany began registering citizens who possessed guns under the guise of public safety. One of Hitler's first acts upon assuming power was to use this registration list to confiscate guns from Jews. A defenseless population subsequently experienced the confiscation of their property and finally their lives. An adequate, organized defense by the Jews was greatly hindered by the lack of firearms.
Shalom Yoran, in his book The Defiant, recounts his experiences resisting the Nazi occupation of his native Poland. He and fellow Jews were hindered by their lack of access to firearms. Had they possessed firearms in the first place, they would have been able to better slow down the Nazi killing machine by killing more Nazis. A well armed private citizenry would have gone a long way generally toward preventing the creation of the Nazi police state. Private possession of firearms represents a natural system of checks and balances between a free citizenry and state power. Our founding fathers understood this.
Do Brandeis students who think of themselves as supporting peace and opposing violence realize that every holocaust, from the Armenian to the Rwandan Tutsi was preceded by the disarming of the subsequently victimized population? In the real world, peace is maintained through the strength of law abiding individual citizens. Violence is prevented by adequate individual defense. Peace is not insured by a monopoly of firearms in the hands of agencies of the government. This would be the practical result of a disarmed citizenry.
Brandeis students probably support notions of freedom and justice but do they understand the Bill of Rights? Not just the second, but all ten of the amendments that make up the bill of rights are, to varying degrees, under siege today. If we are to have a nation that respects freedom and justice, we need to champion the entire constitution. This is the civil rights movement of the new millennium. I wonder how many Brandeis students have actually taken the time to even read the Constitution.
Make no mistake, the gun control agenda is to ultimately disarm the American population through a step by step approach. John Rosenthal, director of Handgun Safety Inc., on WMEX-AM, recently referred to the NRA as "militia like" and falsely linked the NRA to Tim McVeigh the bomber of Oklahoma City. This kind of hate filled rhetoric is meant to demonize your fellow citizens who consider the right to keep and bear arms as integral to a free people. Rosenthal and his ilk hypocritically accuse pro second amendment people of being anti government. The gun control lobby epitomizes the anti government position as they attempt to subvert the second amendment to the Constitution. The Constitution is our government. Which side in this question is anti-Constitution?
Like most American students, Brandeis students have been raised in comfortable secure surroundings. They take the benefits of American freedom for granted. In this hermetically sealed atmosphere it is easy to be swayed by dangerous utopian philosophies. Ideas such as creating safety and a better society by disarming people can almost make sense. In America, it's easy to sit in our comfortable parlors and dream of worlds in which private defense and for that matter, private property is obsolete. We haven't experienced the reality of life in such utopian experiments. Those who have, and who have been lucky enough to survive the experience, look with longing eyes at American freedom.
Travelers to Germany in the early part of the twentieth century wrote of the success and prosperity of the Jewish community there. Articles in popular magazines described magnificent synagogues and Jewish institutions. The German Jews also lived in a relatively hermetically sealed secure atmosphere. Many of them were lulled into surrendering their right to keep and bear arms to create a safer and better world. Some may feel that I overstate the case by comparing what happened in Nazi Germany to any potential situation here. I hope and pray that they are right.
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