Lanterns: The 2nd Amendment: Barrels, Bolts, and the Bottom Line


The 2nd Amendment: Barrels, Bolts, and the Bottom Line

There are few, if any, rights that have been as successfully defended as the right to keep and bear arms. Though under almost constant attack, there has been more done to not only protect but expand gun rights in America in the last couple decades. As we witness NSA spying, EPA tyranny, and BLM criminality, we also witness more states signing on to the idea of constitutional carry and open carry. I am here to bolster the debate by discussing the reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment.

The 2nd Amendment is based on the right to life. You have a right to live. It is unalienable. Life is the most fundamental right you possess. Without it, free speech, trial by jury, or any other right you enjoy is moot. The obligation to defend that life is yours and yours alone. No one else is responsible for your life. Along the same lines and because of their relation to life, the idea of protecting one's liberty and property is also important to acknowledge.

Liberty, the ability to live your life how you want, and private property ownership were ingrained in the thoughts of the people of early America. It was commonplace for people to carry pistols, rifles, or even swords to protect themselves and their property. Most ships were armed. Crime has existed throughout human history. It is part of the human condition. Our ancestors acknowledged that people had to defend themselves from the depravity of others.

Protecting your life, liberty, and property is your responsibility. Because of this, the Founders put into words very specific restrictions on the government's ability to infringe on that right. There are many ways that your life can be put in danger. There is equally a myriad of ways that you could be enslaved and your property damaged or stolen. Our Founders realized governments were on the top of the list of perpetrators. Long before Mao, Hitler, and Stalin, our Founders realized that government was the biggest abuser of human rights that had ever existed.

It was understood that a well-armed populace would keep a tyrannical government in check. It is difficult for tyrants to rise to power when citizens can defend themselves. The colonists were subject to arbitrary gun laws throughout their history as Englishmen and were experiencing the same treatment from King George. The British knew that an armed populace was dangerous to their plans, so they took measures to counter the threat.

Our Revolutionary War truly began after the British tried to confiscate gunpowder and weapons. The British moved a force which had dispersed a militia in Lexington to Concord where a large supply of arms and powder was stored. This force was quickly routed and retreated because of the action of the militia at Concord. This incident is often referred to as "The Shot Heard 'round the World". This event, though almost 15 years earlier, was fresh in the Founders minds when they crafted the Bill of Rights. It was also fresh in the minds of the legislators that ratified those 10 amendments.

So, when you hear a person criticizing the "power" of a weapon, the amount of ammunition in a magazine, or the wisdom of “We, the people,” having access to guns just think: How nice it is to be alive? If something threatens your life or the lives of the people you love, why wouldn't any sane person want the most lethal of weapons to defend themselves? Having the ability to defend yourself and those around you if you so choose infringes on no one else's rights. It does just the opposite. It strengthens them. The best way to stop an evil person intent on violence is a good person with a gun. A gun is a great equalizer.

Constant application of the above principle gives criminals a new perspective on life. Most criminals look for victims, not people willing to fight back. When there are more armed people the number of criminals willing to take their own life into their hands goes down. The same ideal applies to government. More guns in the hands of citizens equal a safer society. This ideal has been proven throughout our history much to the chagrin of the gun grabbers out there.

Remember that the 2nd Amendment, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, is a sentinel to warn us when government is becoming tyrannical. Our rights are unalienable and not given to us by the Constitution or by the government. Government exists to secure our rights and when they begin to infringe on them, people should realize our life and liberty are being threatened. It would be a better country if the rest of the Bill of Rights was as well defended as the 2nd. 'Nuff said.

One last thought— whether we have the 2nd Amendment or we don't, the right to keep and bear arms is still an inalienable right. The Bill of Rights was not included in the original Constitution, and yet we still possessed our rights. I have written about the creation of the Bill of Rights here. The important message—  the legacy of the United States of America is that we realized that our rights are inalienable and created our federal government around that idea. There is nothing more important than that thought in our founding documents. Everything we have accomplished as a nation originates with that belief.

I give kudos to those people and organizations out there that have fought to preserve our 2nd Amendment protected rights. Their success in this area should be a blueprint for the rest of the conservative movement battling other inroads into our rights. This is one of the few areas where we have been proactive. Attacking the problem allows movement forward and keeps the opposition in a vulnerable position. Action beats reaction. The continued preservation of gun rights is critical to our continued liberty. Patriots Awake!

Join me at Constitutional Cappuccino to get plugged into a website that is all about the education Americans need to move our country back to its proper trajectory. My new book “Patriot Ammo: The Words Behind Our Flag” is also available and teaches of our founding documents and principles. The book would make a great present for anybody 16 and up.

Written by Frank Caprio

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