From the Editor: Ukraine Showed the World Freedom is Worth Fighting For

posted on April 21, 2022
Frank Miniter

When Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, unleashed World War II-style horrors on the Ukrainian people, those Ukrainians stood up to this tyrant and showed the world why, to really be free, the people need their natural right to keep and bear arms.

Just after Russian forces began the invasion in late February, a member of Ukraine’s parliament told Fox News he got a gun from a local police department that was “handing them out like candy.” Indeed, more than 25,000 firearms were handed to residents of Ukraine just after Russia began its attack. One estimate determined that, before Russia invaded, about 700,000 Ukrainians owned firearms. As this was being written, there was no way to know how many had bought, borrowed or otherwise obtained arms to defend themselves and their nation.

And it wasn’t just Fox News reporting on the need for armed citizens in Ukraine. With enemy forces coming to take Ukrainians’ liberty—their very futures—even CNN’s typically anti-Second Amendment talking heads were acknowledging the bravery of civilians in Ukraine who were willing to take up arms to fight for their nation, for their children and for their basic human rights.

Even The New York Times, a publication that typically detests America’s Second Amendment rights, ran articles celebrating the civilians in Ukraine who took up arms. “When I heard the explosions I decided that I am ready,” The New York Times quoted Olena Sokolan, a Ukrainian business manager. Sokolan got her rifle. “I am adult woman, I am healthy and it’s my responsibility.” 

Now sure, these typically anti-Second Amendment news outlets will surely make the distinction that America is not a war zone. And though parts of America in 2020 resembled a war zone, it’s a fair point; but then, when a rapist, murderer or other monster attempts to break into a home, to carjack a mother with her baby in the back seat or to attack someone on a street, isn’t that normal, law-abiding individual in just as much danger? There is a huge difference in scale, but to the potential victim, the danger is the same, as is the need to have access to a real means to self-preservation; as in the right to keep and bear arms. Only with this right intact can good citizens defend themselves from evil.

This truth is so plain that gun-control groups here in America just want to shut down the conversation; for example, Peter Ambler, executive director of the gun-control group Giffords, said it is “deeply irresponsible” for gun-rights advocates to cite the Ukraine crisis.

The trouble for the gun-ban crowd is reality just keeps deflating their false messaging. Much of the mainstream media can ignore or downplay what armed citizens do in America, but they can’t ignore or talk away an entire people grabbing guns to repel a liberty-destroying horror.

Even agnostics to this fundamental issue are learning this. Oleksandr Mykhed, a Ukrainian writer who was awoken by Russian helicopters trying to take an airfield outside Kyiv at the onset of the war, ended an essay for Financial Times in March with: “I’d never held a gun in my hands till February 2022. My wife and I had several hours of training just to figure out what to do with it. Just in case. And now I regret like hell that I didn’t do that training before.”


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