In 2013, I got my first clinic in standing up to insufferable leftists when I watched Ben Shapiro demolish British gun-grabber Piers Morgan on CNN.
Conservatives need to stop approaching some of the debates with liberals on a conciliatory basis, but recognize that a) people on the left don’t want to change their minds, and b) it’s not going to be a civil debate anyway, so stop crying when they don’t play fair and denigrate themselves into name-calling and demagoguery.
I have revisited that debate/discussion/denounce-fest a number of times over the last few years, but I watched it again with a deeper fascination and appreciation.
I specifically honed in on the fundamental argument Shapiro asserted repeatedly regarding the United States’ citizenry and our desire to maintain not just the Second Amendment, but to allow for the possession of assault weapons. Shapiro asserted: “The basis for the Second Amendment is not really about self-defense and it's not about hunting. It is about resistance to government tyranny. That's what the Founders said and that's what the right believes in this country.”
Of course, the part that was the most insulting, an attempt by Piers to disrupt Shapiro’s unflappable demeanor, was this snobby retort from Morgan: “Do you understand how absurd you sound?”
Of course, the only thing that was absurd was Piers’ naive belief in the basic goodness of government. Survey what has happened around the world for the last four years, a number of democratically-elected governments have indeed become tyrannical. It’s crystal clear that indeed democracies—and democracy itself—are not the solution to the world’s problems and, in fact, can turn tyrannical as well as rapacious.
Let’s consider what happened in Hong Kong, the former British colony, in 2019-2020.
When the Beijing mainland government announced that it was going to direct the Hong Kong Region to start trying criminal suspects in mainland China, protests rocked and blocked daily business in the city state. These protests rollicked the region for months, and riots and other violent tumults broke out against the Hong Kong policy. Pro-freedom, anti-Beijing protesters held demonstrations, broadcast to the world, where they held American flags and sang our national anthem. Hong Kong dissidents not only cried out to America for help, but they also cried out to enjoy the rights which our political class is determined to undermine: our right to self-defense, memorialized in the Second Amendment.
Imagine if the Hong Kong protesters had been allowed to carry guns? They could have fired back at the rogue police officers, challenged the mainland Chinese military in their subtle usurpation of the region’s autonomy. I am shocked, though perhaps I should not be, that Piers Morgan and the rest of the self-righteous liberal chattering classes in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth ignored this perverse development.
Look at Canada now, a frozen banana republic because of the abusive, autocratic tendencies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his illiberal Liberal Party. He imposed some of the harshest federal health mandates in the world, preventing Canadian citizens from even leaving their country. He has maintained an onerous, unnecessary vaccine and mask mandate for national and international travel. He forced returning Canadians into two-week quarantines, whether they manifested COVID symptoms or not. And then there was the outrageous crackdown on freedom of speech and assembly manifested against the Canadian truckers and now every single gun owner in the country. Trudeau has outlawed the sale of firearms and has even declared that Canadian citizens do not have a right to use firearms in their own self-defense! The Huffington Post predicted it: Trudeau has become a dictator, a petty, soy-boy tyrant visiting wrath and condescension against his fellow Canadian citizens, or should I write “subjects” at this point?
And this contagion of tyranny is spreading. Democratically re-elected Emmanuel Macron of France has declared that citizens should not use firearms to protect themselves, either. Last week, leaders in Germany’s new governing center-left coalition declared that members of right-wing Alternative for Germany should have their guns confiscated. How outrageous, arrogant, and tyrannical can one get?
In 2021, South Africa descended into critical race theory-inspired mass riots, another country that had enacted severe gun restrictions. Gun control did nothing but empower the ruling black supremacist regime in the nation and its widespread acolytes. The police were powerless, forced to rely on local guerrilla groups to stock up on munitions.
And Australia (throw in New Zealand, too). In a recent interview, in which Shapiro and Morgan revisited the topic of gun control, Piers vaunted the Land Down Under as a model of peaceful residents who turned in their guns after a mass shooting.
Yet, Morgan conveniently forgot to share that the federal government enacted some of the most crippling COVID-19-related lockdowns and health mandates, with outright government surveillance creeping over the entire nation. Anyone who failed to check in at certain times throughout the day on a government-run app received a not-so-nice visit from the cops. Whether they manifested Covid symptoms or not, the police had the authority to drag them to Covid quarantine centers. Is anyone seeing a pattern here?
Across the globe, we have witnessed so-called western democracies shred the natural rights and constitutional liberties of their people, ignoring the limitations placed on the governments, all under the guise of keeping everyone healthy. The people had no guns, and they had no recourse to fight back.
Morgan’s myopic progressive arrogance was on display during his 2013 heated exchange with Ben Shapiro. He was wrong then; he owes us all an apology now. Of course, Shapiro made one small mistake during his interview with Piers Morgan: democratic governments turned tyrannical less than 10 years after his remarks, not a century afterward. Such trying tyrannical times have come upon us, and we must fight to safeguard our natural right to self-defense from the government all the more.