Bill Connor penned a pretty good pro-gun piece that was published in the Orangeburg, SC paper yesterday.
2nd Amendment, constitutional bedrock
By BILL CONNOR Sunday, March 29, 2009
“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.” − Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In early February of 2009, possibly due to the economic crisis and other world events, many Americans missed a story important to the constitutional rights of all free Americans. White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage stated at the beginning of February: “He (President Barack Obama) supports common-sense measures (of gun control).” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote about the message: “Brundage said Obama supports reviving the expired ban on assault weapons and making it permanent. And he backs closing the ‘gun show loophole,’ whereby individuals may buy weapons from other individuals without background checks or other regulation.” The administration is also calling for drastic tax increases for ammunition.
These Obama administration actions must be taken seriously by Americans for the danger to gun rights in the future. The following was the National Rifle Association’s 2008 account of the record of (then) candidate Obama. “Back in 1999, Obama called for a laundry list of gun-control measures, including a 500 percent increase in taxes on firearms and ammunition. He called for bans of affordable handguns. He called for mandated ‘smart gun’ technology. He demanded that FFLs not be allowed to maintain their business within five miles of a school or a park. In short, he wanted to regulate the Second Amendment out of existence.”
Why is it so important that Americans speak out against the plans of what the NRA called “the most anti-gun president in history?”
First, on principle, Americans should fight against anyone who would seek to curtail our freedom, including the right to bear arms. As Lt. Gen. Russell Honore told those of us about to deploy to Afghanistan in 2007: “A man has a duty to die free.” We owe it to our forefathers and children to ensure we live as free men and women and that we pass that freedom to future generations. Our founders admonished: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
They meant we should be sensitive to any attempt to diminish our freedoms, before we are powerless to act. Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence: “We are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.” He went on to tell the world that government was meant to secure those rights. That the reason we went to war with Great Britain was that our God-given rights had been violated. When our founders wrote our Constitution, they spelled out specific rights deserving particular attention to ensure government would never again trample rights. The Second Amendment was written in that vein.
Some who don’t understand history will disregard the clear intent of the Second Amendment: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This means every adult has a personal right to bear arms. Liberals will focus on the prefacing statement, “a well regulated militia,” and claim this refers only to state-organized military and not personal rights. However, this interpretation is just wrong. The ideal of the “militia” goes back to England and the right and duty of every able bodied man to bear arms. Primarily, this meant archers before the advent of firearms. The “militia,” which came to America with the founding of the colonies, meant that every man had a right and DUTY to bear arms. Since government was to be small, and due to the tough environment, all men must be prepared to protect his family, his community and his state/nation. Thomas Jefferson made clear that a primary purpose of the Second Amendment was as a check on government power. Jefferson understood that budding dictators will always seek to disarm the populous as the first step to tyranny. We have seen this throughout history, but quite noticeably in the rise of Adolf Hitler. Interestingly, after the fall of the Soviet Union Soviet, senior officers admitted they would never have been able to occupy America (in the event of WWIII). The reason was the armed population and the problems that would pose for occupying forces.
Beyond the moral arguments against the gun control measures being planned, there is a practical concern. Local and state governments allowing concealed weapons permits have seen a dramatic drop in crime. The most recent and noticeable example of this dynamic was seen in Florida. When Florida allowed concealed weapons’ permits, murders dropped 40 percent. Criminals usually have enough common sense to know they will not fare well committing crime against a known armed population. They will focus on that locales known to be disarmed. Additionally, as we have seen with the high-profile college massacre in 2007, “gun free” zones allow the criminals the unhindered ability to kill.
We, as Americans, must speak out against any curtailments of our right to bear arms. We have a “duty to die free” and give our children the America they deserve. God Bless America,
A frequent contributor to The Times and Democrat editorial page, attorney Bill Connor is author of the book: “Articles From War” about his experiences in Afghanistan. www.billconnoronline.com