Before America became a country, community safety was left up to its members. This not only kept them safe from every day threats like theft, but helped them organize to defend themselves against the world’s greatest superpower.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Brittany: Hi, Connor.

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: So the Second Amendment is a heated issue in our country, and I think I was about to say right now, but I think the Second Amendment is all the time, pretty much always a heated issue in this country. But, you know, it really shouldn’t be to anybody that believes in the Constitution or believes in the Bill of Rights because the Second Amendment was very clear that it gives every individual the right to keep and bear arms. And that does not mean an animal bear. That means to own arms, to have guns to not only have guns but to use them too if you need to. But every time there is an act of gun violence, people ask Congress to ban guns because they think it will make us feel safer. And let’s be honest, that’s a normal feeling, right? Nobody likes when bad things happen. It’s terrible. And with the news and social media, we see everything happening all the time. And so you, you’re seeing all the tragedy unfold in real-time. And it is very scary. And people like feeling secure. I mean, we’ve talked about the T s A before Connor, that say didn’t do anything to make us safer against, you know, terrorism, but it made people feel safer. And so it was, what do you call it? Security theater, right? I think that is what we call it a lot of the time. So this theater.

Connor: In other words, we’re pro, we’re pretending that there’s security Yes, but there’s not actually security.

Brittany: Exactly. So that’s what taking guns away from people would really do. But it would do something even worse than that. ’cause we would take guns away from good people. And if we take guns away from good people will be less safe. Because a lot of good people do good things with guns. They help keep each other safe. So the founders understood this, which is why they believed in the Second Amendment. That’s why they included it. And they wanted to include. So if the Second Amendment actually says that a well-regulated militia has the right to bear and keep arms. Now, that’s what I wanna talk about today. A well-regulated militia, which is essentially, it’s not like an army, it’s not an official police force. It’s us, right? It’s individuals. So let’s talk about what a militia was, which I think is one of the really cool parts about our revolution that makes it very different from others. So a militia was a bunch of well-trained men. So every town had these well-trained men in gun skills, right? They knew how to use guns, they weren’t irresponsible with them. And they knew that if anyone came to harm their families or their town, that they were the first line of defense because there were no cops. There were no, there was no like armies back then. So let’s say somebody like a burglar were to come to your house, you would have no police to call, which is probably fine ’cause the police usually get there after you’re being robbed. So it doesn’t always help but your, your dad, or your brother, they would be able to protect you against that. Let’s say something bad happened to your town, all the men would come together and they would be able to help them. They actually used to call these kinds of things, the Minutemen, which I love. And that’s because these men would be ready at a moment’s notice. So they didn’t have to be, you know, they, they weren’t like waiting to be called. They would just, when something bad happened, come to very together very quickly. Excuse me. So Connor wanna kick at you to talk about how it’s not even just keeping your town or your house safe. What else these militias did?

Connor: Yeah, I like that they were minute men. It was not like an official organization and you have to go to boot camp, like with the military, and you have to be trained forever. These were people who understood, you know, that their firearms were for protection from, you know, any kind of predator, that it could be a big animal if they were, oh, that’s a good point, you know, out in the mountains and, maybe they’re taking care of their flock or they didn’t want animals to stampede their crops or, you know, anything like that. The predator could be the local drunk who was, you know, trying to abuse your, you know, one of your family members or cause problems. Or the predator could be the government. And so we saw certainly in, you know, Lexington and Concord here, this was the, what’s called the shot heard around the world. If you guys haven’t read this story yet, if you’re not familiar with it, or even if you are, there’s some interesting insights in our book, America’s History, you guys have heard of by now, I’m sure This is our new American history book. And you go to to find out about that. Lexington and conquered was this, crazy incident where the British red coats the military, they were, you know, marching into the American colonies, and they were starting to occupy and boss people around. And they had this whole group of red coats show up, and they kind of descended on the valley. And you know, there was a lot of tension because a lot of the local colonists felt that this was the beginning of an occupation, the beginning of an empire, the beginning of an attack. And so these minutemen were called, again, they would be ready in a minute to kind of gather their firearm and ammunition and, and defend themselves. And so a lot of the, excuse me, a lot of these colonists, a lot of these colonists gathered themselves together in response to the British Red Coats gathering. And so the shot heard around the world is, you know, the first shot fired that led to many more shots being fired between the militia and the British red coats that precipitated the war. It was, you know, the poor British red coats, these, you know, young boys that were signed up to be part of the military and shipped overseas to this new land they had never been a part of. And they’re having to march in the, you know, hot sun in these bulky uniforms. And all of a sudden where the British red coats, right, they would like march in formation, you know, and in file and rank and, you know, two by two and all these things. Meanwhile, you have the militia hiding behind trees, you know, and kind of bobbing and weaving and dodging and popping.

Brittany: It’s almost a kind of gorilla warfare, what they call it. Yeah,

Connor: Exactly. And so, you know, these poor little kids in the young people in, the British army, they’re being shot at. And of course, now they feel like they have to defend themselves, and so they fire back. And we talk about in our Golden Rule book, this idea of blowback where each side then feels justified in fighting back. And then it creates this cycle of violence because when you’re defending yourself and firing back, suddenly that side, you know, your opposition, they now feel justified and doing it back to you, and it goes on and on. And so that was the militia, that was Lexington and Concord. It was this early colonial, maybe like a network of, or this group of people who just saw this as their own duty as husbands and fathers and property owners. I mean, it was entirely men in the militia. And so when they started to feel that the British government was the predator, suddenly their purpose of defense took on a greater role than just, you know, animals and the local town drunk. And so there’s a lot of people who feel like a militia is not necessary today. They feel that these people, they who believe this, they feel that we can rely on the police, or law enforcement to come and help us quickly up, oh, if there’s an emergency, you know, the police are there. That’s their job. Well, it is their job. However, they actually don’t owe you any kind of protection. The Supreme Court has ruled on this many times. Many courts have ruled on this, that the police owe you what’s called a general duty of care, but they don’t owe you a specific duty of care. what do I mean by that? It’s very confusing. The courts say, well, look, the police are hired to protect the public. So sure they should be held accountable if they’re abusing that power or whatever. But, you know, they don’t actually owe any particular person any responsibility, any, they don’t have a duty to protect any particular person. So what’ll happen sometimes, and there have been horrifying stories, is that the police are called, right, 911, Hey, please help someone’s, you know, robbing me or someone’s banging down my door or whatever. And the cops, sometimes they’ll show up and they’ll go away. Sometimes they’ll come to check it out and they’ll stand back and let it happen. You know, we saw a few months ago, school shootings, right? Similar thing. Police were there, they stood by. They love this tragedy to happen, but the courts have consistently decided that, well, police don’t actually owe anyone, you know, a duty to intervene. And so what happens is that police, their job. I mean, if we’re being kind of, blunt about it, the job of police largely ends up being writing reports after a tragedy has happened. Yeah. And investigating things and collecting evidence so that the prosecutors can go to court and potentially hold someone accountable after they have done something bad. So the question in my mind is that if something as, bad is happening to you, who’s gonna look out for you? Who has the responsibility to look out for you? Well, I think it’s you and your family members. I think we are responsible for ourselves, even if the police, had a duty to protect us. Even if they did have that responsibility. Brittany, maybe you’ve heard some of these statistics, or you can guess how long, let’s say you call 911 and something bad is happening to you. Surely the police are gonna be there within like 60 seconds, right?

Brittany: I heard it’s been, I don’t remember the, I wanna say it’s almost like an hour, maybe it’s 45 minutes, but it’s not quick.

Connor: It wildly depends based on, you know, if you live in the city, if you’re in a rural area, which state or whatever, I’ve seen different statistics out there. The average that I’ve seen is 15 minutes nationwide. Okay? Now that could not be accurate. In some cases, the police can get there rather quickly. There’s a police vehicle, you know, already roaming the street.

Brittany: But if there’s somebody in your house and you’re waiting 15 minutes. That’s not good.

Connor: Right, sometimes you’ve only got seconds or you’ve got a minute or two. Certainly, you know, and again, that’s an average. So sometimes police can get there much quicker depending on, again, where you live and the circumstances. But that means there’s people who it’s taken half an hour for them for so, the idea behind a militia, people who think that they’re not necessary today because we have the police, I think that’s a foolish argument because we can’t rely on the police to protect us from predators. And, you know, I mean, the police are part of the government. And the government sometimes can be the predator that is doing bad things to minority groups, right? To fringe groups to whoever. We have to recognize that it’s our responsibility to take care of ourselves. So I wanna ask you, Brittany, there’s a lot of people who not only think that we don’t need militias, but they’ll go further and say, we need gun control. And even banning guns. What are the consequences of restricting our second amendment protected right, to keep and bear arms if they were to be successful and ban guns?

Brittany: Well, let’s talk about this 15-minute thing you just said. You know, if I knew that, not an ambulance, but a fire department, whatever it is, police would not be there for 15 minutes. I think it’d be great if I had a gun and knew how to use the gun, and then I could, I wouldn’t have to wait. Right? I’d have something available to protect myself right then and there. So that’s what scares me the most is, let’s say they were successful in banning guns, you’re not gonna be able to protect yourself. And you should absolutely be able to do that. That’s why our founders put in the second amendment. So that scares me a lot. I think that’s the scariest thing about the people pushing for gun control, is our inability to defend ourselves if we have to.

Connor: Well, for me, a gun is really just a tool. You talked about this kind of at the beginning. I think of it like a match. If I’m holding a match, let’s say I am at a campfire out in the mountains, that match can be a matter of life and death for me in terms of getting a campfire, going, cooking my meal, keeping me warm, etc. That can also, that match can also be used to burn someone’s home down. It could be used to start a forest fire if I just light the match and throw it in some, you know, some shrubs. The match is, indifferent. It can go both ways. It’s not guilty, it’s not innocent. it just is, it’s a tool.

Brittany: It’s neutral.

Connor: It’s neutral. That’s the word I was looking for. Thank you, and I think the same thing with a gun. Guns can be used. You pointed this out for amazingly productive and helpful things. Guns are, can be what’s called an equalizer. So I’m gonna pick on you, Brittany, so, you know, you’re, what are you, five foot five maybe.

Brittany: Five foot two. Okay. Thought I was much taller.

Connor: Foot two. Well, maybe you wore heels last time.

Brittany: I think I was wearing heels.

Connor: Okay, so five foot two, and you were kind of more, a more slender frame. And, you know, if a big guy who, who’s, you know, like six foot three played for the football team, a really muscular guy comes to try and do you harm on a scale of one to 10, 10 being successful, how would you rate your odds in fending him off? If it’s just, you know, you and your fists.

Brittany: It wouldn’t be good. Okay. Maybe two.

Connor: Two. Okay. All right. Optimistic. There we go.

Brittany: Optimistic.

Connor: So that’s where a tool like a firearm can be what’s called. And there’s other things, you know, mace and knives, and it doesn’t have just to be guns, but a firearm can be an effective, equalizer. In other words, someone like Brittany, who is more petite in slender, there might be someone who comes after her who’s really big and strong, physically strong, and they have an imbalance. The strong person can kind of get his way. And that’s a bad thing for Brittany. But if Brittany is armed with a firearm, if she is able to defend herself, she can equalize the kind of level, playing field. And what’s also nice about a firearm, I think of like, a knife or mace, you have to get kind of close to the person to be able to use those things effectively. But with a firearm, you can keep your distance and make sure that they never get close to you. And so there are so many stories across the country of, you know, children and women and others who are otherwise kind of more physically weak compared to the person trying to do them harm, where they’re able to protect themselves because of this amazing tool that without access to the firearm, they wouldn’t have been able to do that. Certainly, firearms are used for horrible things as well. Brittany, I’m sure you’ve seen stories like in England where, you know, they have heavy gun control and there’s stabbings all the time in London, right?

Brittany: Yes. Their stabbings are up. So people, if, and I don’t, I hate to say this ’cause I know it’s kind of scary way to look at the world, but if somebody wants to do something bad, they’re determined to do it. They will find a way to do it. Yeah. Which is why, again, why we need to be prepared, right? That’s why we need to be able to defend ourselves.

Connor: And that’s why banning guns, I think doesn’t work. Because at the end of the day, the law-abiding people are gonna say, oh, okay, you know, I’ll surrender my guns and I won’t buy anymore. Whereas the criminals, the, I mean, they’re already breaking laws. It’s not like they’re gonna, you know, obey these ones as well. So we have to be very careful of people who say, well, look, the Second Amendment was designed for a time when you had muskets and colonists, and we don’t need that anymore. We don’t have a militia. We have the military, we have the police recognizing though, as we should, that the government can sometimes be the predator. And that, you know, you, you read the Declaration of Independence and, and it talks about how we have rights that sometimes the government usurps those rights and we need to be ready to throw off.

Brittany: Usurp. Tell me what that means. That seems like a little bit of a confusing word if you haven’t heard it before.

Connor: Yeah. It usurps our rights, meaning it violates them, it abuses them. You know, there are many.

Brittany: take them kind of.

Connor: Yeah, there are many, predators out there. Government can be one of them. I’m not advocating anything against the government necessarily right now, but we can understand from our his, yeah. For the government folks listening to this, I’m not suggesting anything, but we know from our history that this is kind of the trend of government and it is important for people to always be able to protect themselves. And so, you know, whether you’re, officially in a militia or think that we don’t need them or whatever, the Second Amendment is important for a reason so that we maintain that right to protect ourselves. And so, all of us have a chance to fend off the predators in our lives. It’s just an important thing to be able to have, to make sure not only that the bad guys are gonna have the tools, which they’re always gonna be able to get access to, but that we good guys can get access as well. And that’s what’s important. So, Brittany, good conversation. Thanks as always. And until next time, we’ll talk to you later.

Brittany: Talk to you later.