12/6/2021 2 Comments
By: Jaime Land
No amendment is more contested or attacked than the Second Amendment to the Constitution. While the language seems straightforward, some interpret the simplest of sentences so distinctly from the rest of the document. Amid the jargon of academics and activist judges, rights are diminished to those of sportsmen rather than citizens. Or to the collective, rather than the individual. The right to keep and bear arms is infringed upon every day, sometimes by an Act of Congress, but mostly by a Progressive agenda that diminishes the power of the individual.
It’s no coincidence that the protection of the people’s right to keep and bear arms follows the First Amendment, which lays out what’s often called the “Five Freedoms.” I believe the Republican Party Platform summarizes this best when it states, “Without the right to own and bear arms to serve as an individual’s hedge against government overreach and as a means for self-defense in our home, on our property, and of our person, none of our rights and freedoms can be guaranteed.”
The interpretation of the language most often centers on a few key phrases. The key language that’s most often misinterpreted is “the right of the people.” This language seems self-explanatory, but to many in the academic community and other “Constitutional scholars,” they interpret the right of the people as a collective of the public, rather than the rights of an individual citizen. However, you will also find this phrase repeated in the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments in the very same Bill of Rights. Either the Left chooses to view the Second Amendment as an exception to individual rights, proving their own biases, or they hold no appreciation for the principle of individual liberties at all. Such logic is inconsistent with American values of personal responsibility or freedom and allows a worldview that makes rights government-ordained rather than God-ordained.
Secondly, many of these so-called scholars focus on that qualifying phrase, “a well-regulated militia.” The Progressive argument holds the idea that the right to bear arms refers to the upkeep of a civilian militia or of a police force, but the decision of the Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, better known as the Heller case, stated that the militia clause of the Amendment cannot limit the operative clause of “shall not be infringed.” The Founders understood that limiting gun ownership only to the military would create the very state-sanctioned force which the Amendment was designed to protect against. The Heller case affirmed the founding principle of individual means of defense by stating that laws that ban handguns are an infringement upon the Second Amendment.
Most comical among the arguments of the Left is the sportsman defense. “You don’t need an AR-15 to go hunting,” they say. Well, maybe we don’t. Any Arkansas deer hunter can explain that the typical .223 round is not near as effective in the woods as the .270, the .308, or the .300 Winchester Magnum, a few favorites around here.
But the Second Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with my desire to hunt, shoot clay pigeons, or visit a gun range. The Amendment’s very purpose is the use of deadly force as a deterrent to the loss of life, liberty, or property. Each tragic shooting at a school or public event serves as a reminder of the necessity of law-abiding gun owners to prevent the loss of innocent life at the hands of criminal actors.
Displayed as a visceral hatred for those “who cling to their religion and their guns,” as former President Barack Obama liked to put it, the Left often searches for any reason to attack the Second Amendment. Whether it’s the interpretation of our stated rights within the Constitution itself, taking advantage of tragedy, or attacking the intelligence of the average gun owner, the battle exists over a simple worldview difference.
We know that the role of our government is not to create our rights, but only to protect those rights which God has ordained and entrusted to us. The personal right to own and bear arms has nothing to do with entertainment, sport, or ego; but, it has everything to do with the power of the American citizen to protect themselves, whether from a home invader or from the government itself. So regardless of the names we’re called or the attacks upon life and liberty, you can rest assured that we will be clinging to our religion and our guns.