The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

“A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (2nd Amendment to the Constitution)

“Shall not be infringed…” So, just what is the White House doing right now? And what just happened in the state of New York as its chambers passed more gun legislation? I guess it depends on what your definition of “infringed” is.

Thousands of gun-rights protesters traveled to Albany, New York to protest outside the Capitol and the state’s recent gun-control law. The January 15, 2013, law bans assault weapons and limits the number of bullets in a magazine to seven. It also expands permit requirements for gun owners.

Particularly irksome to many protesters was how the law was passed— introduced, approved by both chambers and signed by the governor in less than 24 hours. Many are calling for changes to the bill; others are already counting the days until the new law is contested in court.

At the nation’s capitol, you have the Obama administration doing by fiat what it cannot organize by legislation: the threatening executive privilege to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.

Let’s ask ourselves why millions of Americans feel the need to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. It’s pretty simple. We live in troubled times. There are bad people among us, people who have no problem with an illegal entry, with breaking down and breaking in, people who will take what is not theirs and will not stop unless they are stopped. That is why Americans own guns.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Human nature didn’t suddenly change a few years ago. Take a walk with me back to the beginning—back to when Cain killed Abel—there have always been those who will take what is not theirs, who have no aversion to getting what they want by any means available to them.

No free-state law has ever controlled this sort of person. No free-state program has ever appeased this sort of person. These people aren’t trying to get what they need to live; that isn’t what they want. They want everything they can get. They want the things other people have. They are willing to break and enter, to lie, cheat, steal, rob, rape, and murder.

Look at how we live. The one thing that is absolutely everywhere in our society is the reality that there are always people laboring to take from you something they have no right to have. That is why more Americans, not fewer Americans, choose every day to keep and bear arms.

As recently as 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller the Supreme Court ruled in favor of individual gun rights. In that ruling, the court found that the phrase “well regulated Militia” referred not to federal or state-organized militias, but to the pool of “able-bodied men” who were available for conscription. That Court ruled that the right to bear arms included the context of self-defense.

The Supreme Court of our country upheld this “individual rights” approach to gun rights when it struck down a District of Columbia law that banned all handguns and required all other guns to be dissembled or bound by a trigger lock at all times. In that ruling, the Court noted that dissembled and trigger locked guns were pretty much useless. They upheld handguns as the “most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home” (128 S. Ct. at 2817 n.27).

Folks, those rulings occurred less than five years ago. And yet there continues this relentless push to get one more law of infringement passed. How can this be anything other than the old story of the camel getting its nose into the tent? Every time legislation is passed to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms, consider the day when the camel is alone in the tent and those who once had refuge find themselves outside in the sandstorm.

What is the most disturbing thing about new gun laws? That’s easy. In a country called a Democratic Republic—meant to give its people an irrepressible voice—we find a determined ideology that tirelessly infringes upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

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