This is what it all boils down to. James Madison nailed it 231 years ago. It’s We, the People.
“The ultimate authority … resides in the people alone. … The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any…” —James Madison (1788)
When I was 19, during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I graduated from a state police academy, which provided certification to work as a uniformed patrolman while completing my undergraduate degree. I was old enough to carry a sidearm as a police officer, but too young to purchase a handgun for academy training, so a department head purchased the gun for me to use for qualifications. These were the days just before semi-auto pistols became the standard sidearm, and my supervisor suggested a Colt revolver — a .357 Magnum Python with a four-inch barrel. It was my first sidearm, and I still have it.
I was the youngest recruit at the academy that summer, but on qualification day, I took the top marksmanship award with that Python — much to the mocking of the more experienced officers in my class. In the years that followed, I was involved in more than a few memorable calls ranging from humorous to life-threatening, and that Python was on my side for the whole tour. I even had the privilege of walking perimeter gun for two presidents.