The Russian invasion of Ukraine should serve to remind us of the wisdom and foresight the American Founding Fathers demonstrated drafting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Prior to the Russian invasion, Ukraine ranked number 88th in terms of civilian-held firearms with an estimate of 9.9 firearms per 100 persons. For comparison, the United States ranked number 1 with 120.5 firearms per 100 persons, Canada rated #7, Uruguay #8, Finland #10, Norway #17, Switzerland # 19, etc. Ukraine was essentially one of the least armed countries in the world. In fact, for decades Ukraine had implemented strict gun control laws that rendered the civilian population unable to take up arms to defend their loved ones, their home, and their country. I suspect Vladimir Putin was aware of this fact.
Following the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian parliament saw fit to approve a law that gives Ukrainian citizens the right to carry weapons for the purpose of self-defense. The following day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced, “We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country.” Let’s hope it will not prove to be too late. Clearly though, if there would have been more civilian gun owners before the invasion took place, Ukrainians would have been better prepared to defend their country. Now, Ukrainians must rely on their government and foreigners to arm them.
Ironically, the American Left has joined the rest of the world in applauding the heroism of Ukrainians taking up arms to defend their beloved homeland. And yet, they consistently criticize the same right of self-defense provided to Americans by the Second Amendment.
For example, in his 2022 State of the Union message, President Joe Biden blamed the American crime problem on gun owners and vowed to make it harder for American citizens to bear arms.
It is a supreme irony that, as we admire and praise Ukrainian civilians taking up arms to fight for their country, the American Left still insists that Americans do not need to own guns. I have not heard any American politician claiming that Ukrainians do not need weapons to defend themselves yet, many wishes to deny American citizens the same right.
Yes, we are fortunate to live in a country that is protected from potential adversaries by two oceans. It is also true that armed civilians are no match for the capabilities and firepower of a modern military. However, as Russian troops discovered, no army wants to occupy a country to contend with a well-armed hostile civilian force capable of killing its soldiers. This is the reason Switzerland, and some other peace-loving countries have made civilian gun ownership central to their defense strategy.
Our Second Amendment is not about frivolous target shooting or hunting. That is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Our Second Amendment is about our right to self-government and self-defense; it should not be trivialized as gun opponents seek to do. At face value, our Second Amendment is about the right to bear arms. But it is about much more than that. It is about upholding our natural right to self-defense. Our Second Amendment is about our ability to resist oppression, and our civic duty to act in defense of the state if required to do so.
As a nation, we are blessed with a culture of freedom-loving people who understand the significance of upholding our founding values. We, as a people, are the final safeguard against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The Second Amendment enables us in that task.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown, even the most barbaric foe will find it costly to battle a determined citizenry willing to fight to the end to defend its freedom and its way of life.
Ukrainians have found the freedom empowering value of their right to bear arms. Let us make sure we do not lose ours.