Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

How to Defend the Second Amendment

            The topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday is the Second Amendment once again. There has been much written over the past two months about the Second Amendment from both sides. There are plenty of people on the left side who think that guns rights should be limited, and there are many more on the right side who say, “Not so fast!”

            Every single time that gun rights are threatened more people join the National Rifle Association (NRA) and purchase guns. If the leftists were really smart, they would realize that they encourage the purchase of the very guns that they are calling to restrict!

            There are many people, including this writer, who wonder what they can do different in defending the Second Amendment. Robert Curry thinks that he has the answer and posts his idea at the American Thinker site.  He says that “we need to remember what the Constitution does” in order to “understand the Second Amendment as the Founders did.” He continues with this idea.

It [the Constitution] defines how the federal government is to function – and the very purpose of its design is to secure our unalienable rights. Consequently, unalienable rights are senior to, on a higher level than, the Constitution and, of course, any amendment to the Constitution….

            Curry is saying that our unalienable rights come from God, not the U.S. Constitution. He continues by saying that the Second Amendment could be taken away, but we would still have our unalienable right to protect ourselves. He says that we should look at the Ninth Amendment to understand both the First and Second Amendments.

            The Ninth Amendment says, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” This means that Americans have certain rights whether or not they are listed in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

            Curry says that the Ninth Amendment “was intended to insure that enumerating some rights would not have the effect of narrowing our understanding of the vast range of our unalienable rights.” Curry then explains how his idea about the Ninth Amendment affects the First and Second.

Now, let’s consider the First Amendment before moving on to the Second. Please notice how it begins: Congress shall make no law …. Abridging the freedom of speech ….” The very first words of the very first amendment are “Congress shall make no law.” No rights are here grated to the citizen. They cannot be because those rights are unalienable, that is, already possessed by the citizen.

The First Amendment follows the logic of the Constitution as a whole; it restricts what the federal government – in this case, Congress – can do.

So does the Second: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” That “shall not be infringed” is strong language and perfectly clear. To infringe is to trespass, to intrude, to encroach. “Shall not be infringed” in plain language means “No Trespassing.” And it is the government that is warned to keep out.

            Curry has lots more interesting information in his article,  but I particularly like his reasoning for why our rights do not come from the government or the Constitution. He tells us that the Constitution is there to protect our God-given – or unalienable – rights. Since these rights come from God, neither man nor government has the authority to take them away.

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