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John Browning: Firearms Designer and American Hero

Rich Mitchell’s series on gun control is sparking memories in me of my mother’s early history.

John Browning

Mom was born on December 21st, 1921 in Blackfoot, Idaho. She didn’t stay in Idaho for long, though. My grandparents packed her up up along with the furniture soon after that blessed event and moved to Ogden, Utah. One of their neighbors in Ogden was an elderly man named John Browning. At that stage of his life Browning split his time between his boyhood Ogden home and the design and manufacturing facilities of Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN) in Liege, Belgium. He died on November 26, 1926 in Liege, while working at his design bench. You may have heard of him. After all, he is one of the greatest firearms designers and gunsmiths to have ever walked on planet Earth.

It is interesting to see the Obama Administration pervert the meaning of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. As pass by the Congress, the Second Amendment reads thusly:

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.

And as ratified by the States, the text reads:

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 Second Amendment was greatly influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. That historic document reads:

Whereas the late King James the Second by the Assistance of diverse evill Councellors Judges and Ministers imployed by him did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant Religion and the Lawes and Liberties of this Kingdome (list of grievances including) … by causing severall good Subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when Papists were both Armed and Imployed contrary to Law, (Recital regarding the change of monarch) … thereupon the said Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons pursuant to their respective Letters and Elections being now assembled in a full and free Representative of this Nation takeing into their most serious Consideration the best meanes for attaining the Ends aforesaid Doe in the first place (as their Auncestors in like Case have usually done) for the Vindicating and Asserting their ancient Rights and Liberties, Declare (list of rights including) … That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.

The Obama Administration’s bald-faced attempt via the Fast and Furious scandal to create conditions in which they could claim that guns were inspiring violence—thus giving them an excuse to infringe upon our constitutional right to bear arms is downright scary.

Browning Automatic Rifle

Their escapade with Fast and Furious, deliberately setting up a pretext to deny us our right to bear arms bears a strong resemblance to the way the Nazis started World War II. You may recall that the German military staged an attack on one of their own radio stations along the Polish border—providing them with an excuse for invading Poland. That is exactly what the Obama Administration attempted to do with Fast and Furious. They provided guns to the drug cartels and the cartels then engaged in attacks on both Mexican and American citizens. The only problem for the Obama Administration is that their role in the delivery of arms was uncovered. Now they can’t claim that uncontrolled guns were instrumental in civilian deaths. The blood lies directly on the hands of the Obama Administration.

There is an undeniable link between personal liberty and the right to bear arms. John Browning is a living testament to that fact. John Browning was hardly a radical extremist. In fact, he held quite conservative views. He even spent time in Arkansas in 1887 serving as a missionary; not exactly a favorite left-wing pastime.

Some of Browning’s most important contributions to firearms technology include his invention or contributions to various aspects of auto-loading weapons.

Order of Leopold

By developing the telescoping bolt, Browning made possible the first reliable and compact auto-loading pistol. This invention, which integrated the bolt and barrel shroud into what is now known as the pistol slide, is now incorporated into virtually every modern semi-automatic pistol in existence. Browning also developed the first gas-operated machine gun, the Colt-Browning Model 1895. It was a technological breakthrough and far surpassed the legacy mechanical recoil operations of the day. It became the de facto standard for most high-power self-loading firearms designs.

Browning came along at exactly the right time in history. His weapons were critical in defense of freedom during World War I. Weapons he created that were used in that war included the M1911 pistol, the Browning .50 caliber machine gun, the Browning Hi-Power pistol, the famous Browning Automatic Rifle, and the Browning Auto-5, which was a revolutionary semi-automatic shotgun.

In addition to his own company, Browning designed both military and civilian small arms for Winchester, Colt, Remington, Savage, and Fabrique Nationale de Herstal. Long after his death, Browning’s weapons were seeing service in defense of freedom around the globe during World War II and the Korean War. To this day the Browning Hi-Power remains the standard side arm of the Australian, British, and Canadian armed forces. The M2 Browning machine gun, which Browning designed in 1918, is still in active service nearly a century later with the US Army and Marine Corps. Additionally, the M4 cannon, which is a 37mm auto cannon, which Browning designed in 1921, was used in both aircraft and on the U.S. Navy PT boats during World War II.

Obama can say what he wants about our right to bear arms. But we all know that the Second Amendment to the Constitution gives us the right to bear arms, in effect protecting us against would be tyrants just like Obama. And our ability to bear those arms was made possible for us by a giant in American history—John Browning.

Browning was awarded the John Scott Medal by the Board of Directors of City Trusts of Philadelphia. The criteria for the award is that it is only presented to men and women whose inventions improved the “comfort, welfare, and happiness of human kind” in a significant way. That Browning did by giving patriots everywhere the ability to defend themselves, their families, and their nations from tyranny.

Browning was also awarded the Order of Leopold (Ordre de Léopold) by the nation of Belgium. This award is given to Belgian nationals or distinguished foreign persons who have made very important contributions to the Belgian state of society. This is the highest award presented by Belgium and it made Browning an honorary knight. Other persons awarded this honor include George S. Patton, Bernard Montgomery, and Dwight Eisenhower. Browning is in elite company.

Thanks to John Browning, we have the ability to protect ourselves from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Let us pray we never have to avail ourselves of that right. But we stand ready and able to do so if the need arises—thanks to an American hero, John Browning.

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