Friday, March 22, 2013

What amendment gives you the right to keep and bear arms?

By Dave Dargo

Did you answer the second?  If you did then you are wrong.  The second amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America does not give you the right to keep and bear arms.

It is a common misconception that the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution confers certain rights on the citizens of the United States.  Nothing could be further from the truth and no other belief, if widely held, could be more threatening to our liberties.

Does the first amendment give you the right of freedom of speech?

If  you answered positively then, unfortunately, you are wrong about that one as well.

In fact, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States of America confer no rights to you.  And, believe it or not, this is good news.

The second amendment of the Constitution of the United States prohibits the government from infringing on your right to keep and bear arms.  This is a critically important distinction - the distinction between the Constitution granting you a right vs. the Constitution prohibiting the government from infringing on a right.

In 1876, the Supreme Court of the United States of America said, in United States v. Cruikshank, "...This is not a right granted by the Constitution.  Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.  The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed..."

The Supreme Court recognized that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right that would exist whether the Constitution of the United States recognized it or not.

The right to keep and bear arms is tied directly to the right to self defense and the chain goes as follows:
  • We, the people, have the right to life
  • In order to have a right to life we must, therefore, have a right to defend our life
  • If we have a right to defend our life then we have a right to use the tools necessary to defend that life
  • Therefore, there exists a fundamental right to keep and bear arms in order to defend our right to life
It is critically important that we stop saying the second amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms.  The second amendment actually says something much stronger - it says the government shall not infringe on our fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

In the next posting I'll review just what the Bill of Rights does say and what it is meant to accomplish.  But if you like to say that the second amendment gives you the right to keep and bear arms, please stop.  You are granting powers to the government that they don't have and helping the foes of civil liberties infringe upon your rights.

No comments:

Post a Comment