In the wake of the murders committed at a Florida high school on February 14, the chorus of voices calling for curbing gun rights has crescendoed. The proposals range from “sensible restrictions” on the ability to purchase a firearm, to calling for complete repeal of the Second Amendment.
Here’s a handful of the headlines:
• An op-ed published in the New York Times on February 16 is an example of the full-throated fascism: “To Repeat: Repeal the Second Amendment.”
• The headline of an article by Case R. Sunstein published by Bloomberg on February 15 claims: “Nothing in the Constitution Prevents Sensible Gun Rules.”
• A letter published by the Chicago Tribune on February 17 insists that “America Has Outgrown the Second Amendment.”
• Max Boot, a columnist for the Washington Post foments the fear mongering, writing: “The Second Amendment is being turned into a suicide pact.”
Basically, all of these “respectable” news outlets are using the tragedy of the senseless murder of children as cover for their never-ending quest to disarm civilians, who would then become sitting ducks to would-be mass murderers. Tragically, such was already the case with the students and teachers at Parkland, Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School, which was, after all, a gun-free zone. And such is the case in many other locales across the country where guns are prohibited.
Mind you, liberals who insist on depriving fellow citizens of the fundamental right to defend themselves are the same people who insist it is a fundamental right of every woman to have her baby murdered in utero. As an aside (this isn’t the point of this article), 56.1 million babies have been killed by abortion since 1973. By comparison, since the year 2000, there have been 130 children killed in school shootings. That's still tragic, as is every murder, but the number of victims would undoubtedly be fewer if, as indicated above, the schools were not soft targets that the perpetrators knew could be attacked without fear of armed resistance.
Back to the point of this article: the Second Amendment and whether it is outdated and whether it protects the right of the individual to keep and bear arms.
First, regarding the claim that the Second Amendment was not intended to protect the right of the individual to be armed, the following information should be sufficient to settle that question in the minds of the reasonable researcher.
Our Founding Fathers very well intended that every American be armed, believing that such was the only way to avoid being enslaved by tyrants. They knew from their study of history that a tyrant’s first move was always to disarm the people, and generally to claim it was for their safety, and to establish a standing army so as to convince the people that they didn’t need arms to protect themselves, for the tyrant and his professional soldiers would do it for them.
Consider this gem from William Blackstone, a man of immense and undeniable influence on the Founders and their understanding of rights, civil and natural.
In Volume I of his Commentaries on the Laws of England, Blackstone declares “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.”
Would anyone in America — or the world, for that matter — argue that the “sanctions of society and laws” are sufficient to “restrain violence” or oppression?
Thus, the people must be armed.
Commenting on Blackstone’s Commentaries, eminent founding era jurist and constitutional scholar St. George Tucker put a finer point on the purpose of protecting the natural right of all people to keep and bear arms. He wrote:
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty.... The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.
The historical record of the intent of the Second Amendment is an important consideration in any effort to understand why gun ownership must be protected, even though some may use those guns to commit unspeakable crimes against children.
Surely, however, despite the rhetoric, those reacting to the heart-rending event in Florida surely understand that there is no law, regulation, or executive order that could ever dissuade someone from committing murder in cold blood.
The very premise is laughable. Such acts are the result of mental instability and are the product of a perversion of purpose inscrutable to most regular folk.
Moreover, even the most discerning minds in the fields of medicine and psychology are now and are likely to remain woefully ignorant of the vortex of abnormalities that combine in ones mind to produce such anti-social behavior. Inside every cranium there is a universe, and no explorer has successfully navigated the myriad spheres of influence that orbit therein.
While the attempt is noble, the presumption that there are explanations to be found in this or that shooter’s mad rantings or threatening social media posts is naive at best and purposefully misleading at worst.
Furthermore, regardless of the headlines, there is no constitutional authority given to the federal government to restrict purchase of firearms, ammunition, or component parts. In fact, the Second Amendment explicitly proscribes any attempt by the federal government to infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.
Besides, reasonable people understand that the ready availability of guns is no more responsible for any armed massacre then an all-you-can-eat buffet is responsible for obesity.
Temperate appeals to right reason will instruct the thoughtful person that a propensity for such an act is not born of opportunity, but of instability.
Let us not dishonor the memory of those killed and of the massacre of children (or any person) by allowing pundits, professors, or progressives to force lawmakers in state or federal government to take away the right that protects enjoyment of all the other rights.
As the shameful manipulation of the Florida school massacre demonstrates, though, there will always be those with public pulpits who will stop at nothing to take advantage of suffering to call for new and increasingly dictatorial restrictions on the right that protects the enjoyment of all the other fundamental God-given rights that were once the inheritance of all Americans.
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