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The Libertarian Case for Gun Rights

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The Right to Bear Arms, the Second Amendment, is debatably one of the most important aspects of the United States Constitution. Unfortunately, through the test of time many opposing forces have and still are trying to: deride, dilute, degrade, and suppress our right- be it the Obama Administration or the UN gun ban. As citizens of a free country, we should all do our part in preserving our heritage and freedoms because there is a blatantly obvious need for the protection of citizens’ ability to own and maintain firearms. This alone should be enough concern for you to ask yourself the question: “What should I do about it?”
Ask yourself: “Why do citizens need the protection of the right to own firearms?” There are multiple answers to this simple question. The Founding Fathers saw the need for such a protection as they were familiar with the political reasoning of Baron de Montesquieu, William Blackstone, and John Locke; that governments derive invested powers from the people to protect and serve its citizens. On the same timeless reasoning, if the citizens of the government deem the government to have failed to properly serve the people or have broken its obligations to the people, then the social contract between the people and the government is severed; and it is the citizens’ duty and obligation to overthrow an unjust government infringing on the citizen’s rights. “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” - Thomas Jefferson

However, if the citizens’ ability to possess firearms has been suspended or suppressed, then the citizens would be helpless to fight back at an unjust government and would be put into an extremely dangerous position. For that reason, there was intense arguing of why protection of the right to bear arms had been left out of the constitution during ratification. Once the Constitution was ratified, a Bill of Rights was quickly added that guaranteed many freedoms; one being protection of the ability to own firearms. Enabling citizens to own firearms also allows citizens to protect themselves from domestic disputes that turn ugly and also from people who may intend to harm them. Robberies, muggings, trespassings, and other crimes are often kept in check by legal gun-owning citizens.

A great example is 69 year-old Ethel Jones. When Ethel heard strange sounds outside her Alabama home at 3 A.M. she grabbed her gun from underneath the pillow next to her. She ended up finding an intruder inside her bedroom, forcing her to shoot him in the abdomen. The intruder survived and faced charges of second-degree burglary. Another example is the case of career criminal Kevin Duane Dudley. In November of 2009, Kevin Dudley walked into an Alabama business with a shotgun to commit armed robbery. Shoppers were able to distract Dudley long enough for the owner of the store to retrieve his gun and defend himself. The owner ended up shooting and killing the criminal. Later, the police found that Dudley had been tied to several robberies in the area as well as a recent murder.

On another note, America’s first freedom, the First Amendment, protects freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, and of assembly. However, in retrospect, it is the Second Amendment that allows any “rights” to be guaranteed at all. The freedoms listed in the First Amendment are defended and backed up by armed citizens; who in turn are protected by the right to own arms- all governments are intimidated by armed citizens. The United States has always been all about personal freedom and integrity for her citizens, and the privilege to own arms ranks just as importantly. Possibly the most iconic image in the U.S. is the privileged freedom of the right to bear arms. You can view our Socialist neighbors in Europe, and see what a difference this makes in the relationship between the people and the government, and even the mentality of the citizens of those governments. They do not mind the government exercising more power or imposing on their “rights” because in that part of the world for the longest time, the citizens there have always been subordinate to the governmental authority; and have at times suffered the consequences.
Speaking of consequences, now would be a good time to again ask yourself, “What are the dangers without the guarantees of the Second Amendment?” There is no such thing as a “free” country where civilians are not allowed to own arms, but members of law enforcement are. (quoted from freedomkeys.com) “In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated. China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. The total number of defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.” The devastating numbers are a testimonial of the grim possibilities when you couple a tyrannical government with unarmed and defenseless citizens. As previously stated, all of the rights that we enjoy are protected by the Second Amendment. “[The right to bear arms] is America’s first freedom, the one right that protects all others, [perhaps most importantly], “…it alone offers the absolute capacity to live without fear.”-(Charlton Heston, February 11, 1997).

Granted that the effort to suppress the Second Amendment ever succeeded, then what is to prevent other Socialistic individuals or organizations to nullify or deride other listed rights? Such an action would subject all other rights to potential jeopardy. Once allowed a foot into the door, it is not very unlikely that people with similar Socialistic ideals and agendas would be encouraged to wage war on our other freedoms that they do not find necessary. In fact, one of the main arguments behind the “anti-gun movement” is that because guns kill and are used in crime, gun control is therefore crime control. While it is true that murders and crimes in the U.S often involve firearms, removing firearms from the equation is not the answer.

Contrary to popular belief, statistics indicate that gun control increases crime. In 1976, the Washington D.C. City Council found it in its best interests to pass a handgun ban; consequently, D.C.’s murder rate was raised by a whopping 73% in the years to come- becoming the nation’s murder capital in 1991, despite the fact the national murder rate dropped by 11% during that time period. On June 26, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller deemed the handgun law unconstitutional by a vote of 4 to 5. In the first two years since the ban was lifted, the murder rate has decreased by 11%.

In closing, there is one final question that we should ask ourselves: “What should we U.S. citizens do? What is our responsibility?” The answer is, first of all, to be aware. Stay aware of the politics affiliated with your right to bear arms. Elect politicians that have faithful and solid ideologies- the politicians are the people who will make critical decisions while holding positions of power. The Eighteenth Amendment made alcohol illegal and the Twenty-first Amendment made alcohol legal again. It is all too possible that if everyone was not attentive, educated, proactive, and aware, that a bill in congress or an international treaty could be signed ending or suppressing the Second Amendment. We Americans, the leaders of the free world, would then wake up to a grim reality where all of a sudden, our right to arms would be non-existent. It is critical that all Americans know that the right to bear arms is just as essential to liberty as the right of free speech and not to get too comfortable with our government. As Benjamin Franklin said, “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” The tyrannical monsters of Pol Pot, Castro, Mussolini, Mao, Hitler, Idi Amin, and Stalin began to drench the earth with the blood of millions of their own people after expropriating their arms. Don’t let history repeat itself. Especially in this day and age, the liberal media has branded an extremely negative image onto firearms and gun-owners; an image that has been indoctrinated into the American public. Both guns and gun-owners alike are portrayed as rough, edgy, and uncivilized. The logic behind gun-control is illogical, but it still manages to have an immense impact on Americans. We must defend and value our right to bear arms and never let anything convince you otherwise. Our troops overseas die so that we may live in freedom, but freedom is never free. I pray that we never let the sacrifices of our own fathers, brothers, and sons go in vain.


DP Veteran
Jan 19, 2011
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A very good argument for 2nd amendment.
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