Gov. Palin writing at NationalReview:
As Freedom Destroys Itself, Laws can’t protect a society that has lost its way.
All of us were horrified by the murders at the Washington Navy Yard this week. Once again, in the aftermath of a shooting, a new installment of the debate about gun laws has broken out. But what we really need is a new discussion about what kind of people we are and what kind of country we want to be.
It’s no secret which side I’m on in any debate involving the Second Amendment (or the whole Constitution, for that matter). We call Alaska America’s Last Frontier, and firearms are a big part of our lifestyle here because they are part of our frontier tradition. And, as I tell my daughters, the ability to use a firearm responsibly and to defend yourself is also part of our heritage as American women.
The iconic musket over the fireplace wasn’t just for the menfolk on the frontier. Those stalwart women who crossed oceans and wilderness to settle our country knew how to protect themselves and their families. (One of my favorite scenes in the miniseries John Adams is when Abigail Adams, alone with her children in besieged Massachusetts while her husband is away at the Continental Congress, shoulders the family musket to protect her little ones when she hears the distant sounds of battle. That’s our heritage, ladies.)
Hunting is an integral part of our lifestyle in the 49th state. Using guns isn’t just recreation for us; it’s how many of us get our dinner. Granted, today, with a grocery store on virtually every corner, there isn’t the actual necessity to live a “subsistence lifestyle” that there was a generation ago in Alaska when I was growing up, but my family still lives by the motto “We eat; therefore, we hunt.” We live off the healthy organic protein provided by Alaska’s wild fish and game.
Todd and I have taught our kids how to handle firearms responsibly, just as my dad taught me. In fact, we took our girls for a special hunt on Mother’s Day this year at our cabin looking out at the distant majestic peak of Mt. McKinley, and we had a blast teaching twelve-year-old Piper mounted shooting in warm Montana this summer.
I’m proud of my frontier heritage, and I’ll fight vehemently against anything that would limit the constitutional rights of Americans. But I can certainly sympathize with the many well-meaning Americans who desperately feel the need to find a way to prevent these senseless killings. Who among us doesn’t feel sadness, anger, and even despair after these tragedies?
But we must remember that emotion won’t make anybody safer or protect our rights. Beware of politicians who exploit our emotions in an attempt to pass laws that even they admit wouldn’t have prevented the violence.
CNN’s Don Lemon recently saw the light on this issue and highlighted the Centers for Disease Control study showing that so-called military assault rifles account for a small fraction of gun violence. The overwhelming majority of gun-related deaths are inflicted with handguns, but a ban on handguns is not only politically untenable; it would also hinder the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves (especially Americans who live in troubled urban areas where the police are slow to respond to emergency calls).
Instead of offering real solutions based on facts, reactionary politicians offer us the politics of emotion, which is the opposite of leadership. It is the manipulation of the people by the political class for their own political ends. It is so very self-serving, but, worse, it is destructive.
The first thing politicians ask after these tragedies is essentially: “What can we do to limit the freedom of the people?”
And that is the wrong question. The question we should be ...........