Skip to comments.The Right To Bear Arms Is A Risk Worth Taking
Posted on 03/10/2012 7:46:56 AM PST by marktwain
Washington DC - -(Ammoland.com)- The Founders who drafted and ratified the Second Amendment surely knew that the right they were enshrining carried a risk of misuse, but risk is an integral aspect of freedom.
For example, because we are free to speak our minds, we run the risk of hearing things we dont want to hear, and of saying things others dont want to hear. Because we have a God-given right to security in our own things, we run the risk of having people use their possessions in ways of which we dont approve, and they likewise run the risk that we might use our possessions in a way they find repulsive.
However, thats the price of freedom, and an overreaching government that tries to squash the right in order to remove the risk is a government that has violated the peoples trust.
This is what U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg was getting at in his March 6 ruling against Marylands bald infringement of the Second Amendment. That ruling contains the following sentences:
Those who drafted and ratified the Second Amendment surely knew that the right they were enshrining carried a risk of misuse, and states have considerable latitude to channel the exercise of the right in ways that will minimize that risk. States may not, however, seek to reduce the danger by means of widespread curtailment of the right itself.
Until Leggs ruling came down, Maryland had been awarding concealed carry permits only to citizens who could prove they needed to carry a gun for personal safety (i.e., they had to demonstrate that their lives would be in jeopardy if they didnt have a weapon in their possession). This requirement to demonstrate justification for a concealed carry permit was contained in the states good and substantial reason clause.
However, Legg wisely recognized that such a requirement turned the Second Amendment on its head, and basically placed Marylanders in the position of having to convince their government to grant them the right to keep and bear arms, one citizen at a time.
Wrote Legg: A citizen may not be required to offer a good and substantial reason why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The rights existence is all the reason he needs.
I do not attempt hyperbole by saying that our Founding Fathers would cheer Leggs ruling with enthusiasm, were they here to read it. For their purpose in adding the Bill of Rights to the Constitution was to call attention to a body of rights which the government did not give and was prohibited from trying to take away. These rights were risky and they remain so but they were ours because our Creator endowed us with them, so the risk was par for the course.
With his ruling, Legg has called attention to the enduring nature of these of rights, and has reminded Maryland officials that the very existence of the right to keep and bears arms is sufficient justification for keeping and bearing them.
About: AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for RedCounty.com, for Townhall.com and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like Americas Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRAs Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.
If you have questions or comments, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find him on facebook at www.facebook.com/awr.hawkins.
Read more at Ammoland.com: http://www.ammoland.com/2012/03/09/the-right-to-bear-arms-is-a-risk-worth-taking/#ixzz1ojGlE7MV
Yes. The Constitution itself was never meant to be perfect, it was meant to be a bulwark against unacceptable imperfection. We must accept minor annoyances, what we can’t accept is all-out war against the rule of law, liberty, and justice. Levin describes our current situation as a soft tyranny, but the problem with soft tyranny is that those in charge are always tempting to take out the only challenge to such a paradigm: courageous, free-thinking people.
Actually, they don't. The Second Amendment says the right shall not be infringed.
The Constitution does not say "shall not be infringed by the federal government" and it does not say "shall not be infringed by the states". It says "shall not be infringed".
Government has no latitude. But they ignore that, of course.
I think this is a very well written article. Thanks for posting it. You can bet I’ll be passing it on...........
A little history lesson for those who feel that we do not need firearms in this day and age. those in power who think that they have the right to rule by force using the power of a corrupt government better watch out.
The only problem with ANY history lesson regarding the Founders and the Second Amendment is that it does not account for the subsequent inclusion of women into the body politic, nor their propensity to value security over liberty.
Note that women have always had a numerical majority, and the first year this country spent more than it took in was the year after women gained the vote.
It always comes down to the matter of personal responsibility. If we as individuals demand it and we as a nation enshrine it in our Constitution then it is clearly our personal responsibility to stop those who would replace that responsibility with false security.
A government that has the power to give you something has exercised the power to take it from someone else.
From the abstract:
This paper examines the growth of government during this century as a result of giving women the right to vote. Using cross-sectional time-series data for 1870 to 1940, we examine state government expenditures and revenue as well as voting by U.S. House and Senate state delegations and the passage of a wide range of different state laws. Suffrage coincided with immediate increases in state government expenditures and revenue and more liberal voting patterns for federal representatives, and these effects continued growing over time as more women took advantage of the franchise. Contrary to many recent suggestions, the gender gap is not something that has arisen since the 1970s, and it helps explain why American government started growing when it did.
The abstract can be found at http://papers.ssrn.com/paper.taf?abstract_id=160530
And the full study at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/Publications/Working/index.html
So while I concur with your rightly celebrating the extension of the franchise to women, I have to demur at that extension without similarly altering the Constitution to restrain those forms of tyranny and oppression peculiar to women with power as it did so effectively with regard to the men for which it was originally intended.
Maryland "Freak State" PING!
I concur with your conclusions, except this:
“corrected an error in the Constitution”
There is no error. Nowhere is sex mentioned in the Constitution, or anything else regarding who should vote. It was up to states who voted. We all learned that Wyoming was the 1st to let women vote - but that was untrue. New Jersey let women vote right away, but they were shut out some 20 years later.
I take risk everyday - life would not be worth much if you did not stand up for what you believe and take risk