The past Monday I decided to visit the Minuteman Park in Lexington and pay tribute to Captain John Parker and his fellow minutemen. A thought came to my mind, that the founding fathers of the United States and Chairman Mao had one thing in common: they all realized that guns are important political instruments. Their similarities, however, ended there:
Chairman Mao wrote: ‘Political power grows out of barrel of a gun’, and he dictated: ‘The party shall command the gun’. James Madison and his compatriots, however, believing that the power of the state is derived from the consent of the governed, ratified that ‘the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed’.
23 years ago, I was a college freshman exercising my freedom of speech and assembly in Tian’anmen Square, much like we are doing here today. We grew frustrated by the restriction of personal freedoms and the corrupted Chinese government, and we thought peaceful protest would make the country better. Our young passion and patriotism was crushed by hails of full metal jackets out of AK47’s. (Some AK purists here would argue they were really type 56’s). We could not fight back, because we did not have an inch of iron in our hands, to borrow a Chinese expression: we were unarmed.
Gun owners like us often say: the Second Amendment is the protector against a tyrannical government. Some may argument that a man with a rifle is no match to the military machines of today, so such beliefs are no longer relevant. However, 20 million peaceful Beijing citizens in 1989, sure wished that they had a few million rifles in their hands!
Freedom is not free. Liberty has costs. We recognize that in this free society, criminals or mentally deranged could get weapons and murder the innocents. The answer, however, is not to disarm the law abiding citizens. Not only criminals and the deranged will violate the laws anyway, but more importantly, when a government turns criminal, when a government turns deranged, the body count will not be five, ten or twenty, but hundreds, like in Tian’anmen Square, or millions, counted in the 90-year history of the Chinese Communist Party. （注：演讲中用滴是rule, 不是history，应该是口误）
Our constitutional republic may look fuzzy and loving today (if you think so, I’ve got a TSA agent you should meet), but keep in mind that absolute power corrupts absolutely! And when a government has monopoly on guns, it has absolute power!
Do you know that the Chinese Constitution guarantees almost all the nice things we have here? It is written that Chinese citizens enjoy freedom of speech and religion, they have human and property rights, and that such rights cannot be taken away without due process of the law. And do you know what? Chinese people do not have the right to keep and bear arms. I assure you all those nice guarantees, are not worth the paper they are printed on, because when the government has all the guns, they have all the rights.
I was not born a citizen of the United States, I was naturalized in 2007. In 2008, I became a proud gun owner. To me, a rifle is not for sporting or hunting, it is an instrument of freedom. It guarantees that I cannot be coerced, that I have free will, and that I am a free man.