Opinion: Hong Kong Is Proof That We Need the 2nd Amendment Now More Than Ever


By Aidan Higgins, Assistant Editor

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution for the United States, perhaps the document’s most controversial and frequently discussed article, guarantees the American people’s right to possess weapons and vaguely – very vaguely – outlines the Founding Father’s vision for American firearm legislation. This inherent protection, unique to the United States in its (relative) lack of harsh restrictions, has often been the subject of misinterpretation in recent years, as is evidenced by calls from former Supreme Court justices to repeal the Amendment and the push for aggressive gun control reform that now characterizes the democratic platform. However, as public sentiment for the Amendment wanes and strict firearm regulations appear increasingly attractive, the imposition of governmental tyranny in foreign territories like Hong Kong demonstrates that the need for the right to keep and bear arms is still very much alive today.

This “imposition of governmental tyranny” in Hong Kong – the imposition being performed by the Chinese government – has prompted millions of Hong Kong residents to participate in rallies and protests since early June against Communist China’s policies. The protests were originally spurred by the proposal of a bill in the Hong Kong Legislative Council that would have allowed China to extradite anyone present in Hong Kong by accusing him or her of breaking Chinese law. The members of the Council, the majority of whom belong to the Pro-Beijing camp (the party that usually supports Chinese policy), have since formally withdrawn the bill, but Hong Kong residents have continued to protest against the violent and corrupt actions of the Hong Kong police and the Chinese government.

Despite their tireless protests, the citizens of Hong Kong have accomplished next to nothing in respect to obtaining the degree of freedom and political autonomy that they desire. However, the protections of the 2nd Amendment, a self-proclaimed necessity to the security of a free State, likely would have prevented the Chinese government from infringing on Hong Kong’s autonomy in the first place. The ability of a citizenry to mobilize into an organized militia would deter the imposition of governmental tyranny through force; hence, China’s attempts to establish Communist rule over Hong Kong would require a completely different approach. As conservative pundit Charlie Kirk wrote, “It’s Reagan’s ‘peace through strength’ doctrine in the context of a citizenry’s relationship to its government.”

Hong Kong’s failure to maintain their presidential limited democracy without the 2nd Amendment underscores the true purpose of the Amendment: to enable citizens to protect their liberty against potential governmental tyranny. Inherent in this protection is the right of the citizens to hold and bear arms, referring the laypeople of America, not the members of the National Guard or the military.

“Aidan, the 2nd Amendment references a well-regulated militia. Do we not already have a well-regulated militia in the form of the National Guard?” Good question, reader. While the National Guard technically is a well-regulated militia, it is dually controlled by the Federal and State governments. Hence, in the theoretical circumstance of an authoritarian government that the 2nd Amendment seeks to prevent, the National Guard, as a government-controlled institution, would not fight on behalf of the people. The duty of protecting American liberty and freedom against totalitarian rule would fall upon the citizens…and it would be impossible to resist a well-armed, government-funded military without any weapons.

Unfortunately, residents of Hong Kong are not quite as fortunate as Americans. Without the ability to arm themselves, Hongkongers’ political autonomy is contingent upon compliance by the Chinese government, the odds of which are slim. Now, reader: I am not advocating for the use of violence in protests. I am a firm believer that the best defense against governmental tyranny is civic education and engagement. However, I do maintain that the protections of the 2nd Amendment are an absolute necessity if a citizenry intends to maintain a high degree of freedom.

With corruption continuing to permeate American politics and radical liberalism and conservatism growing increasingly popular, Americans must look to Hong Kong as an example of the intrinsic value of the 2nd Amendment protections in the retention of freedom. In the wake of school shootings and frequent gun violence, the right to hold and bear arms has largely lost its dignity and has come to be viewed with cynicism; however, the Hong Kong protests evidence that we need the 2nd Amendment now more than ever.