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Michael & Me By: Larry Elder
Townhall.com | Friday, August 26, 2005


"Michael & Me," my self-financed, independent film, recently debuted on Amazon.com.

Michael Moore argues that America possesses "too many guns." If so, why in the last 20 years -- with gun ownership up -- has violent crime declined in America? Liberals believe gun control reduces crime. Does it? What about the effect on urban crime when cities outlaw so-called "cheap Saturday night specials"?

How often do Americans use guns for defensive purposes? I wanted to put this question to Moore. He tells us, for example, that over 11,000 people die each year because of guns. But how many Americans credit their lives with their ability to use a gun to defend themselves?

"Michael & Me" asks why, if America possesses "too many guns," is the murder rate among Japanese Americans actually lower than in Japan? And why, in England, with severe gun restriction, is the English murder rate growing, and the violent crime rate -- assaults, car thefts, hot burglaries -- now exceeding ours?

As Moore did in his entertaining film "Roger & Me," I sought out the director -- some might say "ambushed" -- in order to ask him a few questions. (You'll have to see my film to find out what happens.)

My film interviews victims of crimes, those who protected themselves with firearms, gun owners, criminals, police officers, authors and academicians. Texas State Representative Susanna Hupp describes how she witnessed her mother and father executed by a gunman in a restaurant. The film also interviews Jane Doe, who, two days before she got raped, attempted to purchase a handgun -- only to be thwarted by California's 10-day waiting period.

Some believe that the Second Amendment only confers a collective right -- as part of a state militia -- rather than an individual right to keep and bear arms. The film notes that the Founding Fathers clearly intended the Second Amendment to serve as a bulwark against possible tyranny by government. Why would the Founding Fathers limit the right to "keep and bear arms" to a government militia if threatened with tyranny by government?

Many Founding Fathers wrote extensively on the subject. Thomas Jefferson said, "What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." George Washington stated, "A free people ought to be armed."

Former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey agrees. In 1959, he said, "The right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."

Respected historian Garry Wills, in a recent C-SPAN interview, called the individual-rights school flat-out wrong: "The idea that my gun protects me from my government is not in the Founders . . . it's just not there. . . . The use of the militia originally was to be a defense of the country, and the proof of that is very simple. The federal government can federalize, can put into federal service any militia at any time it wants. So the idea that the militia can be used against the federal government is nonsense."

Nonsense? Former Attorney General John Ashcroft wrote: "[L]et me state unequivocally . . . the Second Amendment clearly protect(s) the right of individuals to keep and bear firearms."

Alan Dershowitz said, "Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming that it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a safety hazard don't see the danger of the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like."

Harvard Constitutional Law professor Laurence Tribe writes that the Second Amendment is subject to "reasonable regulation," but calls gun control extremists wrong when they say the Second Amendment restricts the right to "state militias" like the National Guard. Tribe said, "The Fourteenth Amendment, which makes parts of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, reflected a broad agreement that bearing arms was a 'privilege' of each citizen."

Maybe historian Wills believes guns cannot thwart a tyrannical government, but tyrants do.

Vladimir Lenin said, "One man with a gun can control 100 without one."

Mao Tse-tung said, "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

Joseph Stalin said, "We don't let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?"

Adolf Hitler said, "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their fall by doing so."

"Michael & Me," in my humble opinion, also features an entertaining animated sequence in which Moore finally sits down for a "hard" interview with the filmmaker. Liberals, however, be forewarned: Some of you may find the contents disturbing. For a fact to a liberal is like Kryptonite to Superman.

Enjoy "Michael & Me."


Larry Elder is the author of the newly-released Showdown. Larry also wrote The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America. He is a libertarian talk show host, on the air from 3-7 pm Pacific time, on KABC Talkradio in Los Angeles. For more information, visit LarryElder.com.


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