It has taken over 250 years for the United States Supreme Court to clarify a very simple phrase in the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. The English phrase in the 2nd Amendment that has caused such an unnecessary stir for decades reads “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.”
Many anti-gun advocates have tried for years to argue that since we no longer truly have militias in the continental sense of the word, that the part about the right of the people to keep and bear arms is just null and void.
Thankfully, the high Court has issued two recent opinions dealing with the 2nd Amendment. Both the cases in Illinois and the District of Columbia held that an individual, not a militia, has the right to keep and bear arms. It’s amazing that it has taken this long to establish such important precedent. It’s also amazing that the Supreme Court was not unanimous in both decisions. In fact, they were both 5-4 decisions with the same justices on both sides. How could the same 4 justices not acknowledge such an clearly enumerated right?
So what is so important about guns anyway? Many of you know that I do quite a bit of hunting large game. Hunting game in the wilds of America is the definition of freedom. I bow hunt as well, but most people (hundreds of thousands of Americans) hunt game with rifles and shotguns.
Target shooting is becoming a very popular sport as well. This includes folks going down to the local gun range as well as urban residents practicing with their firearms at shooting ranges in metro areas.
But, the most important purpose of the 2nd Amendment is for personal home protection. The Founders knew that an unarmed citizenry was at the mercy of anyone and anything that chose to take advantage of the people. As I have mentioned in other columns, this was not their theory, they had first hand knowledge from the kings of England.
Another interesting note is that law enforcement officers (with the possible exception of government officials in metro Atlanta) overwhelmingly support the right to bear arms. I have had discussions with our local officers throughout west Georgia for years and have never had an officer tell me that law abiding citizens should not have guns.
Some folks think that I am a little extreme with my view on guns. However, I just believe that the Constitution is the law of the land regardless of the changes that society goes through as generations pass.
We are in the midst of a hot summer with hotter election contests. I realize that each position being sought by a candidate has different constitutional aspects. I also know that the economy is on the forefront of the American voter.
However, I would humbly suggest that you find out where each candidate stands on the 2nd Amendment. Some elected officials will deal with gun issues much more than others, but if you know where he or she stands on guns, you can learn a lot about the character and background of the candidate.
Lastly, take an opportunity to exercise your 2nd Amendment right (if you are eligible, which convicted felons and first offender probations are not) in your own special way. Try hunting, target shooting, or look into some products for home protection.
Another great way to keep up with issues revolving around our gun rights is to join the National Rifle Association (NRA). While they are lied about and bashed in many media outlets, this organization is the first line of defense in protection of the 2nd Amendment which is really America’s First Freedom.