December 10, 2018

The second amendment is more important than you think

This Piece was written by Lars Dalseide, a NRA Public Affairs Media Liaison

The Second Amendment is your fundamental right to self-defense. It’s the right to defend your home, your business, your loved ones and yourself. It is not a right given, granted or allowed by the Constitution, as it existed before our nation was born.

The founding fathers said as much several times.

  •      “No free man shall be debarred the use of arms.” – Thomas Jefferson
  •      “[A]rms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property … Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.” –  Thomas Paine
  •      “The great object is, that every man be armed.” Patrick Henry
  •      “[T]o preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms.” – Richard Henry Lee
  •      “The said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” – Samuel Adams

Those beliefs were echoed 90 years later in the Supreme Court case U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876), “This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.”

Another 130 years later, in the landmark case D.C. v. Heller (2008), those beliefs were reaffirmed when the court ruled the Second Amendment “protects an individual right to keep and bear arms”, and the “right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution”.

So why are some so eager to sacrifice this right? First, a willing ignorance of the facts.

The fact that the number of firearms has tripled in the last twenty years while the firearm homicide rate has been cut in half. The fact that gun control advocates openly admitted that using the term “assault weapons” will help them ban handguns because “[t]he weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

And secondly, the fact that they ignore the experts.

Experts like Florida State Criminologist Gary Kleck who found there are approximately 2.5 million defensive gun uses every year. Experts like John Lott who argues that allowing law-abiding adults to carry concealed firearms significantly reduces violent crime. Experts like Harvard Instructor David Ropeik who discovered that school shootings are down and the likelihood of being killed by a gun in school is one in 614 million.  

Every year the FBI releases a Uniform Crime Report. The report begins with an explanation of how to use the data. In that section, they caution that “many factors that cause the nature and type of crime to vary from place to place .” Some of these factors include;

  •      Population density and degree of urbanization.
  •      Variations in composition of the population, particularly youth concentration.
  •      Stability of the population with respect to residents; mobility, commuting patterns and transient factors.
  •      Economic conditions, including median income, poverty level and job availability.
  •      Modes of transportation and highway systems.
  •      Cultural factors and educational, recreational and religious characteristics.
  •      Family conditions with respect to divorce and family cohesiveness.
  •      Climate.
  •      Effective strength of law enforcement agencies.
  •      Administrative and investigative emphases on law enforcement.
  •      Policies of other components of the criminal justice system (i.e., prosecutorial, judicial, correctional and probation).
  •      Citizens’ attitudes toward crime.
  •      Crime reporting practices of the citizenry.

What’s missing from that list? Weak gun control laws. Guess the nation’s premier law enforcement agency doesn’t believe respecting a law-abiding citizen right to keep and bear arms is a contributing factor to crime.

Bottom line is the Second Amendment is your fundamental right of self-defense. It’s recognized by the Constitution, by our founding fathers, and by the Supreme Court of the United States. So before you think about surrendering this right, consider the facts and ask yourself – what right will you consider surrendering next?

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