Lessons from Lithuania, by Neal Knox [Originally Posted January, ‘96]
“Those who avoid and evade the reason for the Second Amendment to the US Constitution would surely admit that Lithuania had a Second Amendment, Mikhail Gorbachev violated in on March 22, 1990— Russian troops seized arms from the Lithuanian militia. Or was “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” actually violated two days earlier, when Premier Gorbachev ordered private citizens to turn in their hunting and competition guns to the Russian army within one week “for temporary safekeeping” or have them confiscated and their owners imprisoned? Or was “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” initially violated many years before, when the people were first prohibited from possessing guns without permission of government and laws were passes requiring every gun to be registered? In fact, the Soviet Constitution guarantees the people the right to keep and bear arms, and Lithuania is part of the Soviet Union— or so Gorbachev contends. But obviously the Soviet government pays no more attention to that constitution freedom guarantee than do the majority of the US government, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, or CBS and the Washington Post. What is the difference, precisely, between the confiscation of private firearms in Lithuania and the confiscation ordered by S. 166, the Graves bill now pending in the New Jersey Senate? What is the difference, precisely, between the registration law in Lithuania— which makes confiscation possible— and the registration of military-style firearms required by California’s Roberti-Roos bill, which went into effect January 1, 1990. What is the difference, precisely, between Lithuania’s law prohibiting the people from owning military-style firearms and the so-called “assault rifle” bans now pending in both houses of Congress and in many states? The difference is that the people of the United States are free men and women who can trust their benevolent government. Forever?
NOTE: Nothing has so clearly demonstrated the reasons for the Second Amendment and the reasons it must be defended than when on Dec. 14, 1981, when Gen. Jaruzelski declared martial law in Poland, placed all press under total government control, and declared all firearms licenses and gun registration certificates void— requiring the licensed owners to turn in their registered guns within 48 hours. Of course, since the government knew where every gun was— except those in the hands of criminals— they had no choice but to comply.