POWER TO THE PEOPLE
From a very young age, I had an interest in all things military, history and guns. I grew up in the 1970s and ’80s and, at the time, the Vietnam War was still fresh on the American conscience. We were in the midst of the Cold War, and the commies were our number-one enemies.
Time has marched on, and Vietnam and communism have taken a back burner to more pressing matters. Communism has failed in almost every way, and even the handful of existing communist governments—such as Vietnam—have ceded their economies to capitalism.
Imagine my surprise when the “commander-in-chief” informed me that the 2017 Manning family spring break vacation would be to Vietnam.
I was confused. “People go there on vacation?” I asked my lovely wife.
Turns out, they do. And I was pleasantly surprised during our visit. It’s a beautiful country, filled with great people who are friendly, kind and, unlike the citizens of many countries I’ve visited, very honest.
Despite the communist government, Vietnam is a very capitalistic system. Yes, socially, the country is communist, but economically, definitely not. I had to laugh at the irony of the Ho Chi Min mausoleum, with the typically American, “Exit Through the Gift Shop” sign, just like the ones found at the gluttonously capitalistic Disney World.
In addition, despite the communist government, the Vietnamese people do enjoy a level of freedom that wasn’t found in the Eastern European brand of communism.
The thing that left me a bit baffled is its ban on all weapons. No good commie government would allow for firearms, of course—but even knives (other than kitchen cutlery) were nearly impossible to come across.
I found it ironic that after winning control of the country, the first thing Vietnam’s communist government did was ban the very thing that won its power: guns in the hands of the people—despite centuries of being brutalized by foreign invaders such as the Chinese and the French. It shows how much they must really be afraid of granting power to the people.
The only way a people can truly secure their freedom is with guns in hand. It’s not human nature to be willing to share power, and true freedom is not given by a government; because if that government has absolute power over the people, freedom can be taken away at the whim of those who rule. Our own Second Amendment prevents the government from having absolute power over “we, the people.”
It shows just how special our forefathers were, in that they believed in the power of the people over the government. They knew that power corrupts and that the only way the people would truly be free is by threat of force—that is, guns in our hands. And they believed in this so much so that they wrote it into our Constitution. Few, if any, creators of constitutions and governments have ever done this.
If given a fresh slate on which to write a new constitution, how many of our current leaders would do the same? GW