Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Remember Tiananmen Square!

Lone protester resisting Chinese tanks in the Tiananmen Square MassacreToday is the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. For those who do not remember the events surrounding this draconian power play by China's communist party, you can read more about it in this article at The Free Dictionary.

The massacre followed an amazing peaceful demonstration that had lasted about 51 days between April 15 and June 4, 1989. I remember watching it unfold day by day on the news and hoping that the Chinese people were about to peacefully earn their freedom and democracy. However, that was not to be the case.

On June 4, 1989 the Chinese government managed to roll into Tiananmen Square with its tanks (in spite of non-violent attempts to prevent them from doing so) and began killing its own unarmed citizens, effectively ending the protest. Student leaders were rounded up, and based on the treatment given to Chinese Christian leaders that fall into the hands of the government, were most likely tortured and/or murdered by the government.

Chinese sources downplay the lives lost in the massacre saying that there were only 200-300 people killed. (Only?! Compare this to the Kent State shootings in the 60s and the outcry that erupted over that.) However, Chinese Red Cross reported numbers of 2,000-3,000 killed.

I remind you of these events for a number of reasons. First of all, I want to to realize that if the Chinese government is willing to do this to its own people then it will do even worse to its enemies.

Secondly, I want to point out that freedom of speech cannot survive in a land without the freedom to bear arms. The students had no recourse other than to run away and toe the line after the government appeared with its big stick. As George Washington said, "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."

Finally, I want to encourage you to remember Tiananmen Square when some politician starts talking about how the American people should be unarmed (or that their right to possess arms should be diminished.) First they will use fear to get you to give up your right to self defense, then they will use fear to rule you with a rod of iron.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

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