In full disclosure, I am a National Rifle Association Life Member who owns a 9mm, 40mm, and .45 cal pistols, along with a Mossberg tactical shotgun, a Baretta skeet (sport clay) shotgun, and an AR-15. I believe in the words of the Second Amendment to our U.S. Constitution, “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.” However, there are those who believe that this individual right should be repealed, controlled.
I find it interesting that recently the U.S. Supreme Court used the 14th Amendment to painstakingly create a new right based upon individual behavioral choice and redefined the meaning of marriage. Yet we have the liberal progressive left who believes that a long-established individual right – the Second Amendment, accepted as part of the Bill of Rights in December 1791 – should not be a right.
Consider this: if the Supreme Court decided that states could not prohibit same-sex marriages, then why can certain states prohibit the Second Amendment rights of Americans?
President Barack Obama recently made this statement in an interview with the BBC:
“If you ask me where has been the one area where I feel that I’ve been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient, common-sense gun safety laws – even in the face of repeated mass killings … And if you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands. For us not to be able to resolve that issue has been something that is distressing, but it is not something that I intend to stop working on in the remaining 18 months.”
And a Salon headline from last Friday read, “How many Americans must die before we rethink the Second Amendment? We have too many guns. We have too many shootings. And too many people die. A misinterpreted amendment is no excuse.”
The American left fails to realize the underlying issue, which has nothing to do with law-abiding citizens and their granted right. President Obama doesn’t seem to understand that we do not need him, or his ilk, to develop a policy of “gun safety laws” – guns already have safeties on them. What we need are for people to stop leveraging the actions of individuals who break the law in order to make others defenseless. If you examine the gun violence in Chicago or Baltimore you will find that they have the most stringent of gun control laws on the books. According to President Obama and Salon, there should not be any gun violence. The sad incident in Lafayette, Louisiana or Aurora, Colorado was not caused by guns. They were the result of individuals who raised serious, unattended red flags, just like the shooter in Sandy Hook.
The left fails to acknowledge the issue of the mentally unstable being able to gain access to firearms. Yet, the liberal progressive left wants to restrict veteran gun ownership by way of diagnosis of PTSD – and then folks wonder why many veterans do not want that stigma.
The left’s ideological animus towards the freedom and right granted to the individual American for gun ownership can only be explained in one way – it is threatening to their design of complete power. There is little, if any, debate about gun control in Chicago. As a matter of fact, it was a senior Black man who challenged the gun control laws in Chicago. Why? He wanted to be able to defend himself, and why not? Why deny this man the ability to be safe in his own home? After all, it was classical liberal philosopher John Locke who first introduced the concept of individual rights – “life, liberty, and property.” Why should an individual not be armed to protect those God-given rights, as Locke argued, against divine rights theory by advocating for natural rights? Thomas Jefferson advanced that concept in the Declaration of Independence. James Madison codified it in the U.S. Constitution, which was not ratified until the Bill of Rights – of which the Second Amendment is one – was added.
I suppose this is part of Barack Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America?
Here are two quotes from former U.S. President’s on the second amendment:
"A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined ... ." - George Washington, First Annual Address to both Houses of Congress, January 8, 1790
"The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. … Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776
I have always asserted that an armed American is a citizen; an unarmed American is a subject.
At a time when our borders are unsecured, at a time when we have sanctuary cities providing free operating zones for criminal illegal immigrants being released by our government, at a time when we have the domestic threat of militant Islamic jihadists and at a time when we are decimating our U.S. military capacity and capability, we must reject the notion of making America defenseless.
President Obama and the liberal progressive left must never forget the reason why Americans stood at Lexington Green and Concord Bridge. A tyrant wanted gun control – the answer was the “shot heard ‘round the world.”
The lesson to be learned from American history is that you can push law-abiding people only so far.
A former member of Congress, Allen West is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and is the President & CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis.