The following essay was presented on the AR15.com discussion forum as a response to the question "Why do you need an AK-47?" The person asking the question was a British Subject not familiar with the purpose behind our Second Amendment. Mouseguns.com is proud to copy and host this important essay.
Why do I need an AK-47?
by "Jack 99"
About 230 years ago, some incredibly gifted, wealthy, slave-owning, white guys looked at Western Civilization and undertook what is undoubtedly the most radical, profound political revolution ever conceived. Despite what the history books say, it really wasn't about taxes, or troops in people's homes, or the price of tea or any of that crap. These men were British subjects, but taxes were lower in the colonies than in Britain at the time of the Revolution, there was unprecedented freedom, particularly on the frontier, and these guys were generally the wealthy elite who could have been colonial governors if they had chosen to. They could have afforded to drink tea until they pissed pure caffeine.
Another misconception was that it was a popular revolution. I don't remember who said it, but one of those old dead white guys said that the colonists were divided roughly into thirds: one third loyalist, one third ambivalent, and one third revolutionary (sound familiar?). It took years of coercion and propaganda to motivate the general public to take up arms against the Brits.
What was our Revolution all about then? These guys realized, 2000 miles from their ruling country, that they had an unprecedented opportunity to revolt and form a radical new self-government, where political power was vested in the People themselves, not in a ruling class.
It was an ideological revolution which is still radical today, with the Constitution as the Blueprint for Freedom. In this system, individual liberty is the beginning and end of all government activity. That is to say, government powers are only supposed to extend so far, and only with the permission of the governed. Ideally, where my rights as a citizen begin, the powers of government come to an abrupt halt. Conversely, the primary function of government is to guarantee my liberties, hence the Bill of Rights. So what we have is an incredibly radical new power structure, one not truly duplicated anywhere else in the world.
So how does this explain why I need an AK 47 assault rifle?
What the founding fathers knew, and so many of the "People" have forgotten (or never learned), is that Power is a zero sum game. If I have it, the government doesn't, and vice versa. Even many pro-gunners miss the point and we allow ourselves to be distracted with "rights" issues, that, while they exist, aren't specifically addressed by the Constitution (right to hunt, right to self-defense, etc.)
The Constitution, the Blueprint for Freedom, and the Bill of Rights, the non-expiring guarantee of liberty, are about one thing: Power. So don't get confused by other issues here.
If this is a country where Power is truly vested in the People, and the government is LIMITED by the Constitution, then my ownership of an AK 47 is off limits to the government. The Second Amendment guarantees my Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Constitution limits the government to very specific, narrow activities which do not include regulating guns. So, not only is this right specifically reserved to the People (or, even with a loose interpretation, the states), it also falls outside of the boundaries outlined in the Constitution for the Federal Govt.
Its a double whammy.
Why is it so important to us? Some people fear a tyrannical government taking over (you think they're "paranoid", despite so many historical lessons with which I could fill several books; but that's another thread). But most, I believe, are more like me. We still believe in the Revolution and its ideals. We ARE Revolutionaries. Power is vested in ME, as a citizen, and not in the government. It cannot be taken without my permission, which I do not give. Remember, its a zero sum game, so if the government can infringe those liberties, they really don't exist at all, except in theory. Well, I don't want theoretical freedom. I want the real stuff.
So, some argue, we still have freedom of the press and the rest of it, why the big deal over guns? Well, the Bill of Rights is not a buffet, we don't get to pick and choose. I don't like neo-Socialist rhetoric, but I'm not calling for the abolishment of free speech, am I? Because I know that the First Amendment is also about Power - the Power of information (way deadlier than guns, in the right hands, by the way. Case in point, Hitler, whose propaganda machine convinced the Germans to commit unthinkable atrocities; I digress).
Many of us here in the U.S. see the slow, steady, reversal of our Power structure. Our rights are becoming more "theoretical" all the time. Anyone see the Dateline NBC story on the Louisiana police who are confiscating cars and money from out of state motorists, without a trial (due process) and are not even charging them with a crime or arresting them? How about the IRS, which in case you aren't familiar (not being a US citizen and all), has the power to confiscate just about anything you own with the wave of a bureaucrat's pen. Both of these are examples of activities strictly forbidden by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, yet it happens all the time and there are many more examples beyond these.
So you see, it's not just the Second Amendment where the reversal of Power is evident. Anymore, it seems that the Constitution is just a shell and government doesn't exist for the people, rather the people (taxpayers) exist for the government. Having never been an American, that's a subtle distinction you may miss, but it's the whole ball of wax to us.
So, like the colonists at Lexington and Concord (read my last thread for a little history), this is the issue where we choose to make our stand. Not over taxes, which are atrocious, or unreasonable search and seizure, which is rampant, or the separation of powers (who said Clinton could declare war all by himself, anyway?) or any of that other stuff, but over my AK 47. Why? Because like our forefathers (80 civilians on a bridge against 1800 regular troops; how committed were they?), we realize it's the foundation of Real Power. Without a weapon capable of providing adequate resistance to overthrow an unjust, unConstitutional government, the rest of those rights truly are hollow, no longer belong to the people, and can be rescinded at any time by the government (many feel we're already past that point). And then they're not rights, they're privileges. Once again, a subtle difference sure to escape you, given your conditioning.
If the government can take my AK 47, or restrict the amount of ammunition it holds, or restrict further purchases of "Assault Weapons" then the revolution is dead and so are the ideals countless thousands have died for. There's a reason for the Second Amendment and gun ownership (ESPECIALLY assault rifles), a reason those colonists on that bridge understood; its the last of my rights to go.
That's why I need an AK 47 assault rifle.