These clear and concise words were written 222 years ago and introduced by James Madison to the 1st United States Congress along with nine other constitutional amendments known as the Bill of Rights. Before they would vote to ratify the Constitution, Anti-Federalists insisted that these amendments be added to it because they felt that the Constitution gave too much power to the federal government and they wanted to make sure that the unalienable rights of the people and the states were protected.
The Purpose of the 2nd Amendment
Our right to keep and bear arms gives us the ability to hunt wild game for food and for sport, but this is not the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. It also gives us the chance to protect our property and ourselves from criminals, but this is not its purpose, either. In order to understand the purpose of the 2nd Amendment, one must only look at what the founders had done just 8 years before it was written. They had just fought a war (with guns and cannon) for their independence from a tyrannical government. Many had given up enormous treasure for this cause and many others had given their lives. The founders knew that, without the right to keep and bear arms, a people could not and would not remain free. So, the purpose of the second amendment was to preserve the ability for the citizenry to protect ourselves from our government and to keep both the federal and state governments from restricting that ability.
Shall Not Be Infringed
These days, we are not allowed to purchase, keep or bear certain kinds of arms under certain federal and state laws without first obtaining a permit. These are infringements. These permits suggest that the right of men to protect themselves from their government is given to them by their government and not by God. I would contend that any law that inhibits the ownership of a firearm by a law-abiding citizen is an infringement on our natural God-given right and a violation of the 2nd Amendment. A law-abiding citizen should be allowed to own any kind of firearm they choose. Some may consider this to be an extreme view, but I would contend that those people do not understand the 2nd Amendment or the natural rights of man.
Let’s say that our government, some day, became so oppressive that the American people were left with no choice but to fight for our very survival. The majority of our own military would probably not fight against us, so the government would probably be forced to bring in foreign troops under the UN banner. The truth is we would not stand a snowball’s chance in hell against them. Most of us cannot even own a fully automatic weapon, so we would have semi-automatic guns, at best, while the UN troops would be armed to the gills with machine guns, rockets, tanks and planes….not to mention the drones and biological weapons.
We all know that power corrupts, and our government grows more and more powerful by the day. Our founding fathers knew that the only way to keep a Constitutional Republic from evolving into a tyrannical oligarchy was to give the people a means to defend it. The right to keep and bear firearms gives teeth to our Liberty, but the government has pulled most of those teeth out over the years, one by one, in the name of safety and security. Nowadays, we couldn’t do much more than gnaw on the leg of an oppressive government.
This is why I oppose any and all anti-gun legislation. I would never vote to limit, impede or infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens to purchase, keep or bear arms. I am also in favor of amending the Texas Constitution by altering the wording of Article 1, Section 23. It reads: Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime. The first part is great, but the last part is not in keeping with the natural rights of man OR the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution. I would support striking those words and altering the rest so that Section 23 would read: Every law-abiding citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State. This right shall not be infringed. Maybe it sounds crazy to some, but I think it’s crazy to give up any of our God-given rights to a government. Gun control does not deter crime, it only serves to inhibit the actions of those who obey the law. It’s time to get our Liberty teeth back!