The Constitution specifically names areas in which the Federal government MUST NOT infringe upon the rights of American citizens.
This is a point that most present day Americans are woefully unaware of. However, a simple reading of The Constitution leaves little doubt.
The 2nd amendment specifically states; “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.”
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…” seems to imply that the government should have no power to restrict private access to weaponry up to the point where the private citizens and The State find themselves on an even technological playing field. This of course would open the door to private ownership of advanced weapons systems such as tanks, aircraft carriers and ICBMs. Obviously due to national security among other concerns, this would not work well.
However, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”, is far less dubious. This is a directive to the Federal government to stay out of the business of regulating arms to the citizens.
So how then do the citizens of America provide for their own security against an oppressive government that is better trained and equipped? Clearly, one way to ensure our security is to be as well equipped as national security concerns will allow. So where is that mark? What is “as well equipped as possible” while still not posing national security risks? Where do we draw the line?
Current opposition to gun ownership tends to draw the line around what THEY consider necessary for hunting. This is a flawed approach as hunting and providing for a well regulated militia have NOTHING in common. They also like to draw the line at the point at which weapons are clearly created solely for the purpose of killing other people. Again, this approach is flawed unless it’s conceivable that the founders believed America might someday face attack from a force of something other than humans.
Freedom is not free. Civilizations throughout history have learned the hard way that our leaders are not necessarily always driven to serve the people. Often world leaders have sought to serve their religion, their twisted ideological aspirations for world domination and their own greed and thirst for power. In each of these instances civilizations caught totally unprepared for a sudden swing toward tyrannical government oppression have been quickly killed or enslaved. Those more equipped to defend their way of life have always been and will continue to be a thorn in the side of any potentially oppressive regime. Our founding fathers were well aware of this fact having just defeated England with an army of farmers and shop owners.
We shouldn’t think that our liberties were secured for all time by a bunch of dead guys back in 1787. Especially with so many apparently willing to pick and chose which rights they like and wish to keep and which rights they would like to have repealed for all based strictly on their personal beliefs. Those who chose not to own firearms are free to not purchase them. Our Constitution guarantees them that right. Those who chose to own firearms with which to hunt, sport and if the alarms are ever raised, answer the call to protect the freedom and sovereignty of the United States against whatever enemy might threaten it have the right to do so. Our Constitution guarantees that right and strictly forbids the Federal Government from infringing upon that right.
The bottom line on the gun rights argument is that like it or not, the right to own firearms is protected by our Constitution. Not only is that right protected along with the rights to free speech, to worship as you like, to peacefully assemble in public, to a fair trial, etc, but The Constitution itself was clearly written in such a way so as to make clear the document’s intent to restrict the Federal Government from imposing on the personal lives of all Americans. The Constitution was never intended to be a document with which to control the people. The Constitution was intended to ensure the unique liberties America offers her citizens are respected and upheld by the Federal Government. It does so by specifically detailing limitations on government intrusion into the lives of American citizens.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” This famous quote has often been misquoted with the words “and are destined to lose both,” thrown in at the end. I’m not sure who originally modified Mr. Franklin’s common sense assessment but I truly wish the addition had been from the original quote as history has shown this statement to be remarkably accurate.
Those who would give up their 2nd Amendment rights have stepped over a line from which there’s little hope they’ll return. Once we devalue our rights and liberties to the point at which we allow government to give or take whatever they see fit they’ll do exactly that. Future leaders will have little trouble convincing a people of this slave like mindset to give up all that The Constitution guarantees as long as the politically illiterate can be convinced that doing so will somehow benefit them.