There is an inspiring story out of Portland, Oregon that reiterates just how important it is to never take freedom for granted. On Friday, during an Oregon Senate committee hearing on gun control, Manuel Martinez, a Cuban refugee who immigrated to the United States over 40 years ago to escape the Communist Cuban regime, delivered an impassioned defense of the Second Amendment.
On radio this morning, Glenn played a portion of Martinez’s remarks. Below is a video and transcript of his testimony courtesy of Daylight Disinfectant.
My name is Manuel Martinez. Born in Cuba. American Citizen for more than 40 years. I oppose any manipulation, any regulation or disruption of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
In 1957 a Revolution … individuals … malicious individuals, masquerading as Democrats, revolutionaries, established a regime … a dictatorial regime … in my nation. Called Communism, Socialism, Stalinism, Marxism, and whatever other named -ism you want to put on it. The reason why it was done was to take away the guns from the People. The right of the People to wear guns. That is a God-given Right. It’s not given by anybody. It’s not given by any group. It’s the same thing as freedom, which is a God-given Right. And no one, absolutely no one, has the authority to take it away. To cease to defend the Second Amendment, and my God-given Right of freedom, will cease only with my death.
I’ve been through it. I’ve been there. You people don’t know what freedom is because you never lost it. You haven’t been tortured. You haven’t been [sic] assassinations, you haven’t been mothers begging for the life of their son not to be killed because the only reason is they wanted to be free. And they killed the mothers and they killed the sons.
So my way to protest, the way to oppose, because if we keep tangling with the Second Amendment, we are open the same way that Cuba was open for Communism. China, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Venezuela, on and on. A dictatorial regime that will destroy this country, in the same way that it destroyed those ones that I mentioned to you.
Gun Control does not protect anybody. It doesn’t protect the citizens, it doesn’t protect the People. The only reason for gun control is for the Government to be protected from the Citizens. In that way the Government can manipulate the People and subjugate them. That’s what’s happened in Cuba for 52 years … 54.
I came here for freedom. At the time I came here it was different. This country opened their arms for me … I couldn’t get it in Cuba. And they opened their arms for me, I probably wouldn’t get it here today. I hope that I get clear with you, and you understand my point of view. I think that concludes my testimony.
“The way he said that is phenomenal to me,” Glenn said.
What Martinez speaks of is the inability of people to realize what is being taken away from them until it is too late. Glenn spoke of some of the things that have happened in the last 10 years alone that would have previously seemed inconceivable: the breakdown of the family; the loss of religious freedom; the devaluing of the dollar; the threats to the Second Amendment; the consolidation of power under Barack Obama; the indoctrination of our children through Common Core, CSCOPE, and higher education; growing media bias; the movement away from personal responsibility toward the collective. The list goes on and on.
“Do you think that that’s going to be better or worse in seven years,” Glenn asked. “If you answered better on any of those, I’d sure like you to call me and tell me how. I’d like a ray of sunshine. I will tell you, the only way I know of is if we become a better, stronger, more self-reliant, and, quite honestly, religious people. I don’t care what religion you go to but more self-reliant and more self-regulated. Get out of the system of the government and into the system of God. It’s the only way. Miracles will have to happen. If you have another way besides that I’d sure like to hear about it.”
“Can you look ahead,” Glenn continued. “And will you take the steps to stand peacefully, calmly. and help others understand? It’s getting to be too late to have the arguments anymore. Don’t argue with anybody. Just prepare and have your family know what the truth really is. And stand with each other. And stand for the principles that you know to be true, if you don’t know what is truly real, you don’t know what freedom is because you’ve never lost it, maybe it’s time that you actually think about it because this is the high stakes table. We’ve gone from the Tuesday night bingo to the high stakes table where every chip is on the table.”