A Lesson on Gun Control from Wounded Knee

Recently I received an e-mail from a friend reminding me that this past December 29 was the 122nd Anniversary of the murder of 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
These people, in their winter camp, were murdered on Dec. 29, 1891 by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.”
Sound familiar? For “their own safety and protection” is the way the Obama administration is trying to frame its attack on the Second Amendment.
The kinds of weapons federal troops and other federal officers were after at Wounded Knee were the same kinds of weapons carried by our military at the time–repeating rifles, shotguns, handguns, etc.
Burying dead Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee
The e-mail pointed out that Wounded Knee was among the first federally backed gun confiscation attempts in United States history. It ended in the senseless murder of 297 people–200 of which were innocent women and children. A majority of the Sioux already had peacefully turned in their firearms, but that didn’t stop the U.S. government from gunning down the few that still held on to their weapons.
The e-mail (I don’t know who wrote it) went on to say: “Before you jump on the emotionally charged bandwagon for gun-control, take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of the Second Amendment–the right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, and property in the face of invading armies or an oppressive government. The argument that the Second Amendment only applies to hunting and target shooting is asinine.

“When the United States Constitution was drafted “hunting” was an everyday chore carried out by men and women to put meat on the table each night, and “target shooting” was an unheard of concept, musket balls were a precious commodity in the wilds of early America, and were certainly not wasted “target shooting.”

The military weapon of that day was the musket or Kentucky long rifle. What several million gun owners have today is no different–with one major exception. Military issue weapons can be fully automatic, while the so-called “assault rifles” that Diane Feinstein and other gun control zealots are after are semi-automatic.
I own an M-1 Garand–the semi-automatic rifle that millions of GI’s carried during WW II and the Korean War. It has an 8-round clip. That rifle is now illegal in New York, which has banned all weapons with a clip that holds more than 7 rounds. This is idiocy.
And it will not stop tragedies such as Sandy Hook, Aurora Colorado, or Virginia Tech. Deranged people who want to kill others will do so even without firearms. They can set fires, plant explosives, poison water supplies…there are multiple ways to kill people if you set your deranged mind to it.
Let’s look at some facts.
The day that 20 Sandy Hook Elementary school children and 6 adults were killed some 55 million American children went to school and returned home. The fact is, the chances of a child being killed in a school shooting in the United States are remote, to say the least.
Federal statistics show that 70 mass shootings have taken place in America since 1982, leaving 543 people dead. While those crimes were horrific, during that same period 564,452 other homicides took place in the United States. That means that the mass shootings that so many gun control crusaders are concerned about represent just 0.1 percent of all murders committed in the U.S.
Yet, gun control zealots would have you believe that mass shootings are the primary cause of gun violence in America. Sorry, that is just not the case. Most gun-related homicides are committed during robberies, muggings, rapes, home invasions, car-jackings, pre-meditated murders or a so-called “crime of passion.”
Almost none of the weapons used in those crimes would fall under the proposed weapons ban. More than 70 percent of gun-related homicides in America are committed with hand guns–not semi-automatic rifles.
Yet it is important to note that the Supreme Court has ruled twice (2008 and 2010) that banning handguns would be a violation of the Second Amendment and, therefore, unconstitutional.
The Bill of Rights containing the 2nd Amendment
The e-mail I received also said that is critical to remember that: “the Second Amendment was written by people who fled oppressive and tyrannical regimes in Europe, and refers to the right of American citizens to be armed for defense purposes should such tyranny rise in the United States.

Yet as time goes on the average citizen in the United States continues to lose personal freedom and liberty.
“Far too many times,” the e-mail continued, “unjust bills are passed and signed into law under the guise of “for your safety” or “for your protection.” The Patriot Act signed into law by G.W. Bush, then expanded and continued by Barack Obama. It is just one of many examples of American citizens being stripped of their rights and privacy for the sake of “safety.”

If you examine recent history it doesn’t take a professional historian to see that it is governments, not individual gun owners that are responsible for the greatest human tragedies on record and the largest loss of innocent human life.
Let’s take a quick look at how governments have behaved once they disarmed their citizens:
·       In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
·       In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
·       Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
·       China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million
political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
exterminated. In 1989 I covered the massacre of thousands of students at Tiananmen Square who dared oppose the Chinese government!
·       Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
·       Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
·       Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million. You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians discussing it.
Few Americans have ever heard of the “Battle of Athens, Tennessee, yet it is a prime example of why our founding fathers believed an armed citizenry is critical to our republic.

 In 1946 several WW II veterans fed up with crooked local officials fought back against political corruption in McMinn County, Tenn. During elections, deputies that were part of the political machine, illegally seized ballot boxes and took them to the jail so they could stuff them thus ensuring another machine victory.
Angry veterans rushed to the local armory, armed themselves with M-1s and other military weapons and opened fire on the jail. After several hours the door to the jail was dynamited and opened. The deputies surrendered and the stolen ballot boxes were recovered. After the votes were counted, opposition candidates had won and the machine was defeated.
That event and Wounded Knee are both excellent examples of why the Second Amendment exists, and why Americans shouldn’t be so eager to surrender their Right to Bear Arms.
Without the Second Amendment we are little more than latent victims–sheep to be sheared and slaughtered by those who have the weapons.