The Right To Keep and Bear Arms by John Brinson
All creatures on earth have a natural right to self-defense, and defense of their offspring. And all creatures on earth exercise that natural right, from the lowest little creatures to the highest and mightiest. This natural right was not created by law. It was and is a natural right, inherent in the existence of every being on earth, including humans.
Now in our case, if our enemies are likely to be dangerous, whether armed or not, we have a natural right to defend ourselves, and our families and neighbors, against them. And human logic says that we should defend with force equal to or better than our enemy’s. Thus, if a dangerous enemy is armed, we have a natural right to equal or better arms. This natural right was affirmed by the brilliant authors of our glorious Constitution, and its “Bill of Rights”, the first Ten Amendments, ratified in 1791.
Here is the Second Amendment to our 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.”
The opening clause of the Second Amendment stated a goal of the Amendment – to assure that the people would possess their own personal military weapons. But if the purpose of the Second Amendment had been to arm the militia, then the Amendment would have been totally unnecessary, because under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress has the power – and the duty – ”To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia…” To end the militia argument, the Supreme Court ruled, in DC vs Heller (2008), that the right to possess and carry firearms is an individual right. Now let’s turn to the current efforts by liberals to infringe our right to keep and bear arms. In essence, their efforts focus on banning the types of firearms that liberals don’t want us to have. The anti-gun people want to ban any gun that could possibly have any military use, and that includes almost all firearms. Failing that, they try to ban the ownership of semiautomatics, calling them “assault weapons.”
“Assault weapons” are fully automatic. They continue to fire as long as the trigger is pulled. Semi-automatics fire only one round when the trigger is pulled, i.e., one round at a time. Almost all pistols and rifles are semiautomatic, and some shotguns are as well. It is absurd to call semiautomatics “assault weapons.” They are simply common everyday firearms.
The people must fight infringements in court, and the key to defeating them is to focus on the clear meaning of the term ”Arms”. In 1776 and now, ”Arms” meant and still means weapons carried by individuals. The word ”Arms” meant personal weapons with a military use. With such weapons the people can defend themselves against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That was the purpose of the Amendment.
The Second Amendment does not create the right to self-defense, it affirms the natural right, and does so in clear language. We do not need to prove to the government that we need such weapons. The Second Amendment does not say that we are permitted with government approval to possess and carry firearms approved by legislators or bureaucrats or the courts.
Now, in a New York Times Op Ed, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has called for repeal of the Second Amendment. His argument is that because of the passage of time, there is no need for the people to be armed. He disagreed with the 2008 verdict in DC vs Heller, mentioned above (he was still on the Court), but he was outvoted in that landmark case. In his opinion, government should decide who should be allowed to possess “Arms”. He is sadly mistaken. Today, there is an even greater need for self-defense, with armed criminals and terrorists causing havoc on a daily basis.
The blame for almost all the gun violence in America is the failure of Local and State governments – and the FBI! – to report criminals and the mentally ill to the National Instant Check System. Those multiple failures allowed Nikolas Cruz to obtain the rifle he used to kill all those kids. Cruz should have been in a mental hospital. The NRA – the National Rifle Association – is being blamed for gun violence. How absurd. The NRA steadfastly defends the Second Amendment, but supports keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
The NRA does not buy politicians – it is not even in the top 50 special interest lobbying groups.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here