In 1776, America’s Founders came together in Philadelphia to draw up a “Declaration of Independence,” ending political ties to Great Britain. Written by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration explains people’s rights and how people create governments:
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.
By Robert Pew
In modern English: We don’t get our rights from the government; we’re born with those rights, and the government should protect them.
Eleven years later, after independence had been won, our Founders assembled once again to draw up a plan for governing the new nation. That plan became the Constitution of the United States of America.
During the debate over the Constitution, many Americans were worried that a strong federal government would trample on the individual rights of citizens, as the British had done. To protect the basic rights of Americans, the Founders added the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. Those amendments are known as the Bill of Rights. They represent the fundamental freedoms that are at the heart of our society, including the First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion, and the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms.
The meaning of the Second Amendment has been debated for decades. Does the Second Amendment protect an individual right for all Americans? Or does it only protect the right to keep and bear arms while participating in an organized force, such as the National Guard? Or does it only protect the “right” of the states to have a National Guard in the first place?
Some people have claimed there was no individual right to keep and bear arms. However, anyone who understands the Declaration of Independence knows that rights-by definition-belong to individuals. And in the Bill of Rights, the freedoms of religion, freedom of speech and the rest all refer to individual liberties.
The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is no different. The first Congress had no doubt about its meaning. Most of the Founders were gun owners and hunters. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson exchanged letters about their gun collections. The Founders had just finished winning their freedoms with guns in their hands, and soon passed a law requiring most male citizens to own at least one gun and 30 rounds of ammunition. They believed citizens should be able to protect themselves and their country against attacks on life and liberty.
So, where did anyone get the idea that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect an individual right? That theory was invented in the 20th century, by people who rejected what seemed like common sense to our Founding Fathers. Instead, they claimed that the Second Amendment only protects the government.
Now, the Supreme Court has thrown out that idea.
In 1975, Washington, D.C. passed some of the most extreme gun laws in the nation. Handguns were banned. All guns had to be stored disassembled and locked, making them useless for self-defense. City leaders claimed it would make the city safer. But Washington’s murder rate soared, and our nation’s capital soon became known as America’s murder capital.
In 2003, a group of Washington residents filed a lawsuit challenging these harsh gun laws. They said that Washington’s gun laws violated the Second Amendment because the laws took away the right to use firearms for self-defense, even in their own homes.
The first court that heard the case said that D.C.’s laws were constitutional. The residents appealed, and the appeals court agreed that the laws violated the right to keep and bear arms, after all.
Now, the city appealed. By 2008, the case, which by then was known as D.C. vs. Heller, had gone to the Supreme Court. To make their decision, the Supreme Court justices studied the words and history of the Second Amendment. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court agreed with the citizens: The Second Amendment protects an individual right, not a “state’s right.” The decision struck down the District’s laws that banned handguns and that kept people from using guns for self-defense in their homes.
No Supreme Court decision ever ends a political debate, though. Now, the NRA and citizens around the country are going to court to challenge states and cities with restrictive gun laws. But the landmark Heller decision provided a key answer to the most important part of the debate: The Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.
Whenever a politician or anti gunner proposes legislation and explains it as common sense, there is one thing you can be sure of, it is anything but common sense to gun owners or those who believe in the Second Amendment. Such is the case of the call from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for the enactment of a new one-handgun-a-month law to mimic a handgun rationing law that was repealed in 2012.
Michael Bloomberg has continued to pump money into state politics to find ways to infringe on the Second Amendment. His latest attempt was stopped in New Mexico on Monday, 13 March, 2017. A key vote against the measure came from Representative Eliseo Alcon (D) Milan.
It has been seven long years since the Supreme Court last heard a case dealing with the Second Amendment. However, with confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, there’s renewed hope that the nation’s high court will once again weigh in on one or more of the many cases having to do with our right to keep and bear arms.
The political party at the top may have changed, but the anti-gun faction is anything but silent. By rehashing old arguments—long since proven to be false—new attacks aimed at the Second Amendment, are still viable threats.
“It won’t be long… I can’t wait.”
While turkey hunter are growing increasingly excited about the coming spring season, amazingly, most turkey hunters don’t start scouting until just prior to the season opener. If you really are excited about bagging a longbeard this season, start scouting now.
When choosing accessories for an AK, optics seldom top the list. In fact, for most, optics are not even on the list. However, that does not mean that optic cannot or should not top an AK. For those who want a bit of glass on their AK, Bushnell has the optic built specifically for the task. Read the full review from the NRA.
Sharing the importance of gun safety with children is one of the most important things we can do as adults. Whether you own a firearm or not, it is imperative for children to know what to do if they find a gun—stop, don’t touch, run away, and tell a grown-up!
At a glance, eight-year-old Addysson Soltau looks like your everyday American girl: a straight-A student and cheerleader who loves being outdoors and spending time playing with friends.
Gun safety rules and principles are the set of rules and guidelines that are expected for preventing careless discharge or accidental release, or the negative results of gun glitches.
President Trump’s ascension to the White House has sent shock waves rippling through anti-gun groups. The activists that seek to undermine the Second Amendment rights of Americans and put the firearms and ammunition industry out of business, see the new administration as a threat to their goals.
The Shooter’s Log has covered (NRA: Social Security Administration Strikes at Second Amendment; Obama Seeks to Link Gun Control to Government Benefits) the recent actions of the Social Security Administration (SSA) that many believe would threaten, if not completely strip, recipients of their Second Amendment Rights in exchange for benefits.
Reports have shown that the second-highest-ranking official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives recently wrote a proposal to reduce gun regulations—including examining a possible end to the ban on importing assault weapons into the United States.
Pew Research has released a poll taken in the middle of 2016. Note that the Orlando night club massacre and the massive media hype calling for a ban on “assault weapons” occurred one-third of the way through the survey period for police. The shooting of five police officers in Dallas, with a rifle, occurred half-way through the survey period.