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You Should Have a Gun

February 10, 2011

You should have a gun. You really should.

Politicians and news personalities and other talking heads will often tell you that you shouldn’t have a gun. They’ll tell you that guns don’t need to be useful beyond the narrow scope of hunting and personal defense. They’ll tell you that the Second Amendment must have limits so that criminals and maniacs and terrorists can’t have high-capacity magazines and machine guns.

But hunting and self-defense are two secondary reasons why the government isn’t permitted to infringe on your right, as an American citizen, to bear arms. In fact, let’s review the exact text of the Second Amendment right now:

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.

It doesn’t say anything about hunting. It doesn’t say anything about personal defense either. It contains two major parts: a justification of the right, and an unqualified declaration of the right.

The justification explains that the importance of this right is that it allows for local, organized defense (though nowhere does it restrict the right to this purpose). It is not referring to the National Guard of each state. It is referring to civilians maintaining the ability to organize themselves into effective military units if the need should arise.

The declaration does not specify what kind of arms, nor does it provide any room for exception to the rule. The word infringe does not include any connotation of flexibility. It means, “to encroach upon,” with its origins in a Latin word meaning “to damage, break off.” Any baby-step in the direction of restricting possession and carrying of arms of any kind is an infringement of the right.

It is not an oversight that the amendment was written this way. The founders of the United States were rebels and revolutionaries. Access to weapons is what allowed them to defend their country from the theft and oppression of George III.

It’s important to note here that monarchy was a very long-standing form of government as of the late 18th century. The founders were educated people who were facing massive disillusionment with a system that had been in place from time immemorial. The Second Amendment is a recognition that even the most trusted, powerful institutions around us can turn out be destructive elements that need to be stood down. They knew it could happen even in this well-considered arrangement they had created themselves.

That is why the people of the United States have a right—second only to free speech, free religion, free assembly, and redress of grievances—to own and to carry weapons of their choosing, with no limits. Everything from slingshots to missiles to laser rifles is forbidden to the government to restrict. And that right exists primarily so that we may defend ourselves against the government if it becomes necessary, with the same level of force that the government can employ.

Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past few decades, there’s no way you could not have noticed the government’s complete impunity in its actions. There’s no way you could not have noticed that, year after year, it looks a lot more like a permanent ruling class than any kind of democracy. There’s no way you could not have noticed that something has gone awry with the founders’ great experiment.

Governments cannot be trusted to correct themselves once they’ve gone bad. Human history does not contain many examples of that. Governing bodies exist to last indefinitely, so that’s what they do—preserve the structure of rule. Sometimes, when they’re acting badly enough, that preservation can take some really ugly forms. It can kill and destroy with an unimaginable ferocity. Human history is filled with examples of this.

Unarmed citizens command no authority and present potential government thugs no deterrent to abuse. Armed citizens represent a power to be reckoned with; any large-scale assault upon them risks running into effective resistance.

No one is saying you should keep an automatic rifle loaded under your bed, ready and waiting to be brought into battle. There’s no call to attack the government. There’s no need to join a militia if you don’t want to.

But you should have a gun, and you should learn to use, store, and maintain it properly. You should assert and protect your and your fellow citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. And you should never forget why.

[Many thanks to Merriam-Webster Online and the Online Etymology Dictionary for help with the "infringe" paragraph.]

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Vince permalink
    February 10, 2011 11:25

    1) You have the RIGHT to LIFE. That means you must have the RIGHT to self defense of your life.
    If they bar you from the MEANS of self defense, they are violating your RIGHT to LIFE.
    2) The first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the BILL of RIGHTS, is a List, an Enumeration, of INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. The Delegates to the Constitutional Convention refused to ratify the Constitution without this list of INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. Therefore, NONE of the 10 Amendments deal with government/state rights/powers. Therefore the 2nd Amendment does NOT have a single thing to do with government run “militias” such as the National Guard. The 2nd Amendment is about the RIGHT of the PEOPLE/INDIVIDUAL to keep and BEAR (CARRY for you ILLITERATE SCOTUS morons) Arms. And Arms are weapons, NOT “sporting toys”.
    3) The “police” have NO “Constitutional duty or obligation to protect individuals” they are only there to protect “society”. This has been repeatedly confirmed in the courts.

    The 1st 10 Amendments to the Constitution are an ENUMERATION of INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHTS called “The Bill of RIGHTS”. The first ten amendments are called The BILL of RIGHTS because they are a “bill” (a LISTING) of YOUR RIGHTS. The Second Amendment DEFINES the RIGHT of INDIVIDUALS to keep and CARRY ARMS. It has NOTHING to do with National Guards. Americans have the RIGHT to LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT of Happiness. If the government DENIES you your RIGHT to the MEANS of self-defense, it is denying you the RIGHT to self defense, and the RIGHT to LIFE.

    If they can take away Your SECOND Amendment RIGHT, they can
    Deny you Church attendance, Deny you access to NEWS, knowledge, Deny you FOOD to sustain LIFE, Deny you Bail/Habeous Corpus, Deny you a Lawyer, Search your house anytime they decide they want to, Deny you anything THEY decide ……….

    If they can take away the SECOND Amendment, they can reinstate SLAVERY— and incidently, any government that will TORTURE will ENSLAVE. Torture is the GATEWAY to SLAVERY.

    • Michael permalink
      February 10, 2011 12:42

      The redress for grievance in the first amendment is gone. See for yourself. DEC. 05 — Government Branches Collude Against Right to Petition — Time for a new game plan http://www.wethepeoplefoundation.org/Update/Update2010-12-05.htm

    • James permalink
      February 10, 2011 14:35

      WHY are you CAPITALIZING every OTHER word?

      Doing SO does NOT help YOU make YOUR point, as NOT everybody READS and THINKS with the same CADENCE you HAVE IN YOUR HEAD. Rather, it makes you LOOK LIKE A DROOLING MOUTH BREATHER that has LITTLE UNDERSTANDING of BASIC WRITTEN COMMUNICATION as it would be taught to a SIX YEAR OLD.

      • February 10, 2011 14:42

        Repeatedly capitalizing words is definitely not an effective form of emphasis and does tend to result in choppy reading. It’s something you may want to keep in mind in the future, Vince.

        James, I approved your comment in this light. But please keep the bashing to a minimum. Your point could have been made without insults or harsh language, just as Vance’s point could have been made without so many capital letters.

  2. MAL permalink
    February 10, 2011 12:50

    The Bill of Rights is NOT a list of rights. and the Constitution does not grant us any rights. Those rights are granted to us by our Creator.

    The Bill of Rights is a list of RESTRICTIONS the people put on the Federal Government (and it is not an exhaustive list). We the people granted certain enumerated powers TO the FedGov. The 1st 10 Amendments reinforce the idea that we the people did not grant the FedGov the ability to infringe on our lives in any other manor.

    For example; Our Creator endowed upon us the right to speak freely and the 1st Amendment prohibits the FedGov from infringing on that right.

    The people have a right (& a duty) to arm & organize themselves to ensure their State remains free of tyranny. To ensure this the 2nd Amendment PROHIBITS the FedGov from infringing on our right to keep & bear those arms what-so-ever.

  3. Dave permalink
    February 10, 2011 16:14

    I don’t care what any constitutional scholar says.
    I don’t care what any charismatic politician says.
    I don’t care what the supreme court decides.
    I don’t care what congress decides.
    I don’t care if we end up in some global government whose tyrannical leader invokes the death penalty for gun ownership.
    I shall never allow any man or government to confiscate my guns.

  4. February 11, 2011 00:43

    Let’s let the REAL law makers tell the REAL American law (and it’s not the stuff that passes as “law” from DC – that is actually a Foreign power since 1861) !
    “In a free nation Firearms are not licensed, regulated, registered or taxed.” – James Madison, Founder, Author of Constitution

    “Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.” — Thomas Jefferson

    And my favorite –
    “In regards to the right to bear arms: – It is in the Constitution for one reason and one reason only, so that the people of this nation can protect themselves from the tyranny and corruption of their politicians.” – - Thomas Jefferson, 1776

    “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

    WE have NO obligation to obey anything that coems out of DC – their legal authority and juristiction ends at the DC borders ! They have NO legal authority over any state !

  5. February 11, 2011 01:26

    Whats wrong with u americans? When r u going to wake up from your slumber? What rights, what constitution you think you are talking abt? All your liberties have been taken away from you & you could do nothing abt it. Look what TSA is doing. Your healthcare is pathetic. Washington, NY, Cali have insane gun laws.

    The truth is you have been deprived of your liberties, your rights & your privileges etc in a very very systematic way. I wish you people can take your country back and become the same nation that was known for its liberties/ quality & standard of living/ tolerance. God Bless America

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