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Tyranny, even here in the U.S., is possible

Date published: 1/31/2013

Tyranny, even here in the U.S., is possible

Liberals have a difficult time entertaining the idea that our government is capable of tyranny, as evidenced by Karen Owen's certainty that the checks and balances of our own government will surely prevent such tyranny from occupying a place in our history ["Without AK-47s, we'll become Nazis?" Viewpoints, Jan. 27]. The Founding Fathers of our country felt differently about such optimism, though, as they expressed in their writings on tyranny and the Second Amendment:

"Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."--Thomas Jefferson

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."--Patrick Henry, June 5, 1788

The Founders put in place a new government that had never been tried before--a government with checks and balances that, it was hoped, would prevent oppression by government from occurring. They knew that government was inherently susceptible to tyranny from within. Their remedy for that possibility was the right of its citizens to bear arms.

Perhaps we as a people have allowed diligent vigilance to be replaced with complacence; giving us a false sense of security in our government. If that government is capable of achieving oppression through firearms with high-capacity magazines, the logical redress of its citizens is to own firearms of like nature. The AR-15s and AK-47s are merely the muskets of our time.

Shawn P. Smart

King George