The Taliban's first act after taking over the Afghan capital city of Kabul offers proof that they're fully aware of what's required to convert a free society into a tyrannical one.
President Joe Biden's actions since taking office, however, demonstrate that he's wholly oblivious to the concept of what's required to maintain liberty.
While many Afghan citizens fled to the Kabul airport, seeking an escape out of the country, Taliban militants collected privately-owned firearms from civilians. They said it was for their own good.
"We understand people kept weapons for personal safety," a Taliban official told Reuters. ''They can now feel safe. We are not here to harm innocent civilians.''
Sound familiar? It should.
Throughout history, repressive regimes' first act has been to disarm its citizens. In most cases it resulted in government-sanctioned genocide, but at a minimum it left citizens defenseless against criminals and pro-government paramilitary units.
For example, after disarming its citizens in:
• 1911, Turkey slaughtered 1.5 million Christian Armenians
• 1928, the Soviet Union sent 20 million Russians to their death in labor camps
• 1935, China killed 20 million fellow Chinese
• 1938, Germany murdered 6 million Jews in the Holocaust
• 1956, Cambodia slaughtered 1 million intellectuals in ''The Killing Fields''
• 1959, Cuba murdered 141,000 dissidents
• 1964, Guatemala massacred 100,000 Mayan Indians
• 1970, Uganda sent 300,000 Christians to their death
• 2012 in Venezuela, leaving Venezuelans defenseless against paramilitary units
• 2018 in South Africa, leaving white citizens powerless against murderous gangs
We can now add to the list: 2021: Afghanistan — results pending.
Nevertheless, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen urged Afghans to remain calm.
''Our country needs them. This is their country, a country of all Afghans,'' he said, adding that the Taliban had promised there was no threat to lives. ''We are assuring them there are no risks to their lives, their property, their honor.''
Hayat, a 24-year-old Kabul resident, had mixed feelings after going out to see what his city looked like under Taliban rule.
''The only positive change was that there is no traffic,'' he said. ''But I did not feel safe and in the back of my mind, I kept thinking that they are going to shoot me now.''
Given what generally happens after citizens are deprived of their means of self-defense, Hayat's instincts were spot-on. And Taliban militants are reportedly manning checkpoints around the airport to encourage Afghans to remain in the city — by beating and whipping them if necessary.
But despite the self-inflicted problems plaguing the Biden administration — including an unsustainable border crisis, skyrocketing inflation, and now as many as 30,000 Americans left behind in Afghanistan under Taliban control — the president's eyes never left the gun control ball.
He knows he can't get Congress to approve his wish list, so he's proposed Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) rule changes instead.
Those changes, if successful, ''could have a major impact on our Second Amendment rights and even potentially lead to an attempt to ban AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles without a vote by Congress,'' according to Bearing Arms editor Cam Edwards.
One of those proposed rule changes would redefine ''firearm frame or receiver'' so as to allow the ATF to regulate items like unfinished frames and receivers — although they're not firearms, but rather component parts of firearms.
The Biden administration also seeks to redefine the word ''readily'' so it can claim that the standard, semi-automatic AR-15 sporting rifle can be ''readily converted'' into a machine gun, thus placing it in violation of the National Firearms Act.
Edwards observed that ''the ATF wants to adopt that same theory by defining the term 'readily' as broadly as possible, which would empower the agency to [theoretically] declare that even a block of aluminum could be 'readily converted' into a handgun. ...''
Meanwhile, the Biden administration left actual machine guns and other advanced military hardware and vehicles in Afghanistan, free for the picking by Taliban militants.
The following quote, sometimes attributed to Thomas Jefferson in "Commonplace Book,'' indicates that legislation limiting the right to keep and bear arms only promotes crime while burdening law-abiding citizens.
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes,'' he wrote. ''Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.''
And as those governments that confiscate weapons and prohibit the private ownership of firearms demonstrate, when the people fear the government, we have tyranny; but when the government fears the people, there lies liberty.
Biden's problem may be that he fears the people he was elected to serve. He should get used to it.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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