I have been known to joke, "half my ancestors arrived on the Mayflower, the other half helped them survive the first winter."
But it's not a joke. Not really. I carry in my blood the genetic legacy of three native tribes. I also carry the blood of early capitalists desperate to break free of the crushing poverty of a London back alley. My family in its various branches goes back to both French and English peasants seeking a safe place to serve the Lord their God in the way their conscience deemed fit rather than in accordance with the dictates of an oppressive royal family. German farmers whose land was confiscated to build a palace, Irish peasants starving beneath the whips of Scottish masters exiled from their highland home, and even the blood of those Scotsman all flow in my veins. Thanks to a maternal great-great grandfather with a taste for rape who lost the family plantation in the Civil War, I even carry a few drops of blood from the slaves who were dragged to this new land in chains.
I am as American as it is possible to be. When you talk about "traditional", you're talking about me. When you talk about "old-fashioned", you're talking about me. When you talk about "oppressed people", you're talking about me. And yes, even when you talk about "native rights", you're still talking about me. My family has been here as long as there have been people here, and we are not alone.
The fellow in the video below has not been here since the beginning. In fact, he has barely been here for a full decade. Nonetheless, he came here for the same reason my forefathers came here: freedom from oppression. This is Yung Li and although he has been here only a few short years, he is a real American patriot. You see, he was in Tiananmen Square in 1989 when the tanks rolled in and the troops opened fire. He knows firsthand what happens when an armed, oppressive government encounters unarmed peasants who disagree with it. He has heard the bullets whizzing past his head and he has seen the blood on the tiles of that ancient courtyard. So when someone like Thomas L. Friedman goes on CNN and says point blank that the United States is washed up, done with, and needs to copy China, Yang Li vehemently disagrees. He came here to escape that system. He does not want to see it replicated here.
In the video below, Yang Li tells us a little about himself, but that is not his real message. His real message is how important it is to preserve, unchecked and uncontrolled, civilian ownership of "assault weapons" and "high capacity magazines". He feels passionately about this issue, as passionately as I do, because he was there in Tiananmen Square when the bullets started flying and his friends were dying. Myself, I never want to see a Tiananmen Square style massacre on American soil, even if that means every now and again some lunatic grabs an assault rifle, loads up a dozen or so thirty-round magazines, and shoots up a shopping mall, a movie theater, or a school! Instead of restricting the freedoms of law-abiding citizens in a vain and foolish effort to prevent that lunatic from getting a gun, what we really need to do is make absolutely certain that when he whips out that rifle and starts shooting there will be a dozen or so armed Americans firing right back at him.
Don't try to sell Yang Li on your sick, delusional idea that taking away my gun or limiting the size of my magazine is going to magically prevent the next massacre. He and I both know you are either insane or lying through your teeth. He and I both know that if you take away my gun, the next massacre won't be a couple dozen moviegoers or school children. If you take away my gun the next massacre will be hundreds, and possibly thousands, of innocent people who have gathered to peacefully protest against an armed, oppressive government.
I'm not going to say it "can" happen here. I'm going to promise you it will happen here. To make certain it happens here, just pass Senator Dianne Feinstein's poorly designed, ill-conceived "assault weapons ban". If you take away the most effective self-defense weapons and accessories from we the people, then you will insure that the government can kill as many of us as it likes any time it likes. Both your life and mine will be worth nothing to the representatives of utopian masterminds convinced you and I are the only impediment to their perfect world. Those masterminds will send their foot soldiers to hunt both of us down and kill us. It is what they have done for five thousand years. It is what they are doing right now in Saudi Arabia, in Iran, in China, in North Korea, in Myanmar, in Somalia, in Zimbabwe, in Darfur, and in a dozen other places around the world. It is what they did on that sunny day in 1989 in Tiananmen Square. It is what many of them would love to do right here in America, but they can't, because there are still patriots here who are almost as well-armed as their foot soldiers and in many instances better trained.
Reality is sometimes dark and ugly, but we have to face that ugliness and defeat it. History is an implacable, unforgiving teacher whose lessons are soaked in the blood of those who failed to learn them. It is far past time that we put this debate to rest once and for all. Gun control empowers criminals and tyrants! It does not bring peace and safety. Those who support it, who seek it, and who are trying right now to achieve it are the allies and agents of criminals and tyrants, even if they themselves do not realize it! Freedom of speech is as sacred as freedom of self-defense, but both require a sober, realistic assessment of history's bloody textbook. You must make that assessment on your own because if you depend on someone else to do it (even if you depend on me!) then you play right into the hands of the utopian masterminds and their smiling, bright-eyed salespeople.
My introduction has been far too long. Here is the video:
Update: January 29, 2013