Guns & Freedom

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Of all the freedoms granted to us, the one that most distinctly makes the American people truly free and independent is the second amendment which gives us the right to bear arms. All Americans have the right, whether they choose to exercise it or not, to own a gun. That is a right and a freedom that is uniquely American and that is why the second amendment is so important. The second amendment reads as follows, “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.” At the time of the writing of the Constitution, “A well-regulated militia” was not a reference to a MINUTEMEN or NATIONAL GUARD type of organized armed force. The reference meant an armed civilian force. “The security of a free state” meant that the people (armed) can defend against any who would threaten their freedom, their life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness, including their own government. That is why the second part of the amendment is so logical when it states quite simply and clearly, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The whole concept of the true meaning of a free people comes from the Declaration of Independence. In this document the founders go to great lengths to establish a philosophy and a guide for a self-governing free people. It starts by saying that what they are about to reveal are self-evident truths. It goes on to list certain unalienable rights given to us, not by any government, but by our creator. Then it goes to the heart of a free people when it says, “whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.” So, if any government messes with the rights given to us by God, we have the RIGHT to get rid of them. Wow!

The second amendment and the right to bear arms is what makes the American people so uniquely free. When we are told that we are a free people and the government governs with our consent, the second amendment puts teeth into those words. It’s what makes us truly a free people. We are, and should be, a nation of guns. But today we have un-learned how to live with guns. We don’t teach our children the skill of marksmanship or gun safety or how to prevent the misuse of guns. Consequently, many Americans are afraid of them.

According to the Pew Research Center, legal gun owners own over 300 million guns in the USA. However, less than 3% of gun crimes involve a legally owned gun. If my finger math is correct, that means that 97% of gun crimes are committed with an illegally possessed gun. Now if logic serves me, the reasonable approach to reducing gun crime would be to focus on eliminating, or at least reducing, unlawful guns. Note: It is impossible to estimate how many illegal guns are out there since being illegal precludes any census. The talk from the anti-gun lobby about banning legal gun sales and other ideas challenging the people’s right to legally bear arms and the second amendment, is just “feel good” talk and it will accomplish nothing. The problem is illegal guns. If that is too difficult a problem for our lawmakers to deal with, they don’t deserve the job.

My two cents