Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

On America's True Guard against Tyranny, a Free Press

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

On America's True Guard against Tyranny, a Free Press

Article excerpt

I have no intention of removing guns from American culture. I own several, used for failed hunting attempts. However, what we must do is to delegitimize the praise given it as the primary means of protecting our grand experiment. We have glorified the gun as the means, the only means, of defending ourselves against a corrupt government; yet, the gun was not the first line of offense or defense for the Founding Fathers.

The American people are flooded with the propaganda the government will soon come for our guns. Equally, we are told that this object is the only way to fight the government, just in case we experience an outbreak of tyranny. People bereft of moral decency and holding a tangential grasp of history tell us guns would have protected the Jews during the Holocaust. Further, the question of what good this small violent body can do against weapons aimed not from down the corner, but from space, or 3,000 miles away, is answered by abject silence.

Rather, if we are to insure ourselves the true blessings of liberty - life being the primary one - we must once against turn to what the Founder Fathers saw as the greatest weapon against tyranny, the freedom of the press.

The freedom of the press is very much an "elegant weapon, of a more civilized age. In a letter to the citizens of Quebec, the Continental Congress listed five rights denied the American colonies. The last is the freedom of the press. In their words, real liberty is protected not by the gun, but by the newspaper.

They write, "The importance of this consists, besides the advancement of truth, science, morality, and arts in general, in its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of government, its ready communication of thoughts between subjects, and its consequential promotion of union among them, whereby oppressive officers are shamed or intimidated into more honourable and just modes of conducting affairs.

John Adams would pen into the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts these words, "The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth. …

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