LEVY: The Second Amendment– America’s arsenal of democracy

Ukrainian soldiers drive on an armored military vehicle in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

It’s one of those stories that is impossible to confirm. Even though I read it on Wikipedia, there is at least a 50% possibility that it’s true. It alleges that the First Great War was won by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.  

Could Ukraine survive its war with Russia the same way? 

The story starts during the new year of 1916. World War I was raging in Europe and the Kaiser wanted to “prepare the ground” for a final victory. The only problem was the distinct possibility that the United States and the strength of its industry might enter that war on the side of France and Great Britain. 

The Kaiser asked his foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann to telegram his Ambassador to Mexico proposing an alliance. If Mexico would attack the United States, busying the American Army with its southern border, Germany would assure Mexico the return of land from Texas to Colorado, all the territory it lost during The Mexican War of 1836. 

Mexico considered the offer and rejected it. Why? In part because average Americans “were better supplied with arms than were most other civilian populations.” Pacifying a well-armed resistance would be costly. 

As a result, Mexico did not attack. The telegram backfired. It prompted an American Declaration of War against Germany on April 6, 1917. By November 11, 1918, a short 19 months later, “The guns fell silent on the Western Front.” Germany was defeated. 

Most historians believe that the American Expeditionary Force was the cause of the Kaiser’s demise. Perhaps. But others believe that the real reason America won its first European War was that the home front was equipped with the Second Amendment. 

Ironically, just a few days ago, a much smaller but just as concerning European war erupted in Ukraine. Soldiers from Russia rolled their tanks toward Kyiv. How could 44 million Ukrainians even try to fight off 144 million Russians? The Russians had a superior army and modern weapons. Ukraine only had the will to fight. Yet, the Ukrainian government figured out a partial answer. 

Ukraine gave a Kalashnikov Rifle to every willing civilian from 18 to 60 years of age. It knew that the key to the survival of a culture was both its willingness to fight and the availability of something with which to fight.  

To that end, even Karl Marx suggested an intellectual solution. Perhaps American Marxists forgot what he and Frederick Engels wrote in 1850: “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary.”  

Both Marx and Madison actually agreed. If the goal is to keep “power with the people,” the right to keep and bear arms is essential. 

Of course, contrary to Marx, essential to Madison, is that freedom is based on two intertwined principles: 1) That freedom must be enshrined in a nation’s founding charter as it was in the First Amendment and 2) That freedom must be protected by an armed civilian population as was guaranteed in the Second Amendment.  One without the other is useless. Yet, when combined, they form the necessary bulwark for the preservation of liberty. 

Hence, it is no wonder that one of the first things that the government of Ukraine did to defend against Russia was to arm a civilian militia. Nor is it a wonder that ANTIFA, BLM and the American Radical Democrats, all of which want to dismantle individual liberty, strike both at the Second Amendment as well as the First. When natural rights like free speech, rights granted by God, are eviscerated by despots, armed resistance becomes both necessary and inevitable. 

According to some, if it was not for our Second Amendment, Texas and the Southwest would be part of Germany or Mexico.   

The right to own an AK-47 has nothing to do with deer wearing Kevlar vests. What liberals call “weapons of war” are actually integral to the preservation of liberty. More clearly, in Kyiv or Kalamazoo, protecting the civilian right to keep and bear arms is the best method to insure the survival of our democracy. 

Robert M. Levy is a resident of Moore County.