Original Oratory speech


November 16, 2008, 11:54 PM
I just took second place at the Furniture City Forensics Tournament Original Oratory with this speech. First ever forensics tournament. I hope you like it- without this forum, I definently wouldn't have been able to write this.

It was a blur of lights, noises, and most of all, pain. I was lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to more machines and monitors than the average jet before takeoff, and with a six inch scar in my chest. I had just had open-heart surgery, and had been under full anesthesia for close to eight hours. After I was finally extubated, the first thing my mother asked me was, “Can you recite the Second Amendment?” To see if I had fully recovered from the anesthesia, she decided to ask me a memory question. The question was not what my best friend’s name was, or where I had vacationed last summer, but if I could recite the Second Amendment. She knew what mattered to me and what didn’t, and the thing she thought that would jog my memory the most was the Second Amendment.
I answered, as I had done so many times before, “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.”
Now, while I am an avid recreational shooter, the Second is not paramount in my mind because it allows me to head to the range and prodigiously perforate a few coffee cans. To me, the right to bear arms is what allowed Americans to create their freedom. In fact, it can be argued that it is the definition of American freedom. While the First Amendment guarantees that the government can’t control what we say and think, the Second gives us the option to change the government if the need ever arose.
Patrick Henry once said, “Let us not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists.” Those guns, privately held guns, fired against the British when we expelled them; they fired against predators when they raided sheepfolds; against Native American braves on the warpath; against racists in the Deep South; against criminals in the dark streets of modern America; and against foreign enemies. Superseding all of these, however, is what those privately held arms have not yet had to do: fire against our own government.
Granted, the Second Amendment does protect us from other things. In modern-day American cities, the gun has as much place as it did on Lexington Green or the Oregon Trail. With murderers, rapists, and muggers stalking the streets, a gun takes some of the guesswork out of staying alive. Firearms give ninety-pound women the ability to successfully defend themselves from two-hundred pound rapists. And while proponents of gun control will argue that the police are there to protect, this simply isn’t the reality. The policeman’s job is to catch a criminal, not to stop him. And even if it were the policemen’s sworn duty to stop crimes as they happened, it’s simply impossible for them to do so. There are many fewer policemen than there are citizens, and they can’t be everywhere at once. As one anonymous concealed-carry holder once said, “I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.”
On September 11, 2001, our country was attacked by terrorists using hijacked airliners as cruise missiles. Firearms might not have been much use in that situation, but it shatters any illusions of invulnerability we might have had. If we were attacked on our home soil, what would be the first line of defense? While our excellent military would no doubt come to our aid, by that time, it might be too late. The rifle at home would provide vital defense against invaders, be they independent terrorists or soldiers of a hostile nation. As the Japanese admiral Isaroku Yamamoto famously said, “You cannot invade mainland America--there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”
After those attacks on our country, a new malevolent power rose up: our own government. It had always been there. Since that fateful day in 1776, when John Hancock placed his elaborate signature on the Declaration of Independence, tyranny sowed its seed into American government. Plagued by wars, this tyranny was steadily allowed to grow, until it became as it is today, when one cannot so much as place a phone call without the possibility of the government listening in. Looking at all tyrannical governments throughout history, one notices a trend: arms confiscation. Tyrannical governments always fear an armed populace. This is the crux of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is not about shooting a deer every fall, or even about stopping a murderer--it is about stopping a murderer of thousands. The Second Amendment was put in place to always give Americans a means of revolution, a crucible from which a new nation could be forged.
Change is a popular word in Washington these days, but the type of change promised by politicians is nowhere near the amount of change it would take for the Second to be used for its original purpose. However, many leaders throughout history have turned into Draconian tyrants, and it is extremely arrogant to think that the United States is exempt from this unhappy fraternity. I don’t think this necessarily has to happen, or even will happen—-but it very well could happen. We must remain vigilant. It’s been a long, hard fight. A great hammer blow has just been struck, in the form of a Supreme Court ruling. On June 26 of 2008, the Supreme Court struck down the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, affirming that the Second Amendment protected an individual, rather than collective, right to bear arms. But the iron is still hot and malleable, and the hammer could easily swing in the other direction. We must keep striking, keep fighting for our Second Amendment rights, never letting our guard down, until the iron is shaped, set, and cooled into an immutable bastion against tyranny.
Copyright 2008 Preston Parham as of 08-11-17

Yep, that story at the beginning is actually true.
Thanks for enabling me to write this,
-Preston Parham

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November 17, 2008, 08:23 AM
Damn,boy !! That was outstanding !! One of the very best essays on the subject I've seen submitted here.

November 17, 2008, 08:54 AM
About the best and most eloquent summation I have read. Kudos to you! This would be a great document to send to congress-critters, newspapers, etc. (giving you credit and with your permission of course)

Phil DeGraves
November 17, 2008, 09:38 AM
Nicely done!

November 17, 2008, 09:55 AM
Great work but I'm not sure I would include the dubious "behind every blade of grass" quote.

As great a point as that supposed quote it makes I would stick to solid established facts.

November 17, 2008, 06:29 PM
I wasn't aware that quote was dubious :confused:
Feel free to circulate it- but please do list me as the author. I'm not concerned about glory or credit, but things spread around the internet like wildfire, and I'd hate for the NFL to think I was plagiarizing.
Thanks for the positive responses.

December 7, 2008, 08:54 PM
I've come across a lot of great Oratory speeches while researching, but none that have been good enough for me to join a forum I'd never heard of on a topic I'm not interested in just to leave a comment.
Brilliant work.

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