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THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
The Second Amendment guarantees our right to
self-defense — not only against outlaws (the right to
bear arms and to use those arms for lawful purposes
including self-defense) but also those who would
seek to use the power of the state against us.
The Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. Since then,
there has been plenty of debate over the Second
Amendment. Most of it has centered around the
word “militia.” Second Amendment opponents
argue that because the United States has a standing
military and we no longer depend on civilians
volunteering to associate with their neighbors for
the general security of our nation, the Second
Amendment is obsolete.
Don’t be misled. Our Founding Fathers saw far into
the future. What would matter then, as always, was
not the definition of “militia,” but rather the threat
of tyranny. They knew the history of the ancients
and had lived history as well.
The framers of the Constitution had waged war and
gave their flesh and blood for nearly a decade to
free themselves from the tyranny of the British
crown. And since it was through force of arms that
they won their liberty, guns were necessary to
defend it as well — or else forfeit freedom.
Consider for instance the words of Patrick Henry,
patriot and the first governor of Virginia: “Guard
with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect
everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately,
nothing will preserve it but downright force.
Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably
The framers of the Constitution understood the
Second Amendment as a bulwark against tyranny.
The Supreme Court of the United States further
explained the Second Amendment guarantees and
protects an individual right to self-defense, along
with lawful defenses of family and property in the
landmark case, District of Columbia v Heller 554
U.S. 570 (2008). The Second Amendment is
essential to protecting life, liberty and our pursuit of
What our Founding Fathers aimed to protect
against, was the threat of tyranny.