by David Bottomley
stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are
the American people's liberty teeth and the keystone under independence...
The rifle and pistol are equally indispensable... The very atmosphere
of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference
- they deserve a place of honor with all that is good."
I firmly believe in the right to bear arms. It is the bedrock of any free society, and in the United States, it is the only right with the force to protect other rights- such as freedom to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom against unreasonable searches and seizures, etc. The purpose of the Second Amendment is not to ensure hunting, nor for target practice (though I have no problem with either), it's purpose, according to the founding fathers, is to ensure that the populace may always keep the government in check, and consequently the criminal element as well. This is confirmed in the Federalist Papers, and in the words of Jefferson and others when they wrote the Second Amendment- they were very clear as to its purpose. It is incredible how many people remain misinformed as to the very clear purpose of the Second Amendment.
Additionally, the mere presence of firearms reduces violent crime. The safest cities, states, and communities are the most armed. When Washington DC banned the private ownership of handguns, the murder rate TRIPLED. Why? Because if the crackheads, robbers, rapists, and murderers know you are unarmed, they know you are helpless to defend yourself and your likelyhood of bring attacked increases dramatically. The bottom line is that you, and only you, are responsible for the protection and preservation of yourself and your family (Warren v. DC). While Police are an excellent deterrent, they cannot be everywhere- and we would not want them everywhere- for that would be a totalitarian state creating many more problems than it would solve. By definition, criminals do not obey the law. Criminals do not surrender their weapons to police, nor do they obtain them via lawful means. Fortunately, in the US, most states recognize a citizen's right to carry firearms, and in those states, crime is dettered (see More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott). Criminals do not know who is armed or not, and therefore are less likely to commit violent crimes against people, like murder, or rape. When you take that deterrent force from society, crime grows exponentially because there is nothing to stop the criminal from committing crimes. This is nothing more than common sense.
For a great essay on the farse of gun control, read "A Nation of Cowards" by Jeffrey R. Snyder which I have reproduced here for your convenience.
I am very pleased that the US Supreme Court finally ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment is an individual, not a collective right- as some liberals erroneously claim. Anyone with a knowledge of the Constitution and the ability to read has known that it is an individual right- and fortunately, now the US Supreme Court has affirmed that in the case of D.C. v. Heller that finally overturned the illegal 33 year old ban on the rights of citizens in Washington D.C. to own handguns, and now that the 2nd Amendment is incorporated via McDonald vs. Chicago, in the States as well. Here are just a few quotes from the Supreme Court's 2008 ruling:
Brother, Mark and I on Thanksgiving Day, 2001
Here are some links of interest:
The National Rifle Association of America