Right Fight, Wrong Ammunition

In the “Free State” of Maryland, the minions of Martin O’Malley in the General Assembly have taken upon themselves the opportunistic window of post-Sandy Hook America to further limit the right of the citizenry to purchase the weapon of their choice.

Earlier this week, several thousand conservatives traveled to Annapolis for a rally to support their 2nd Amendment rights. It was a huge success and hopefully opened the eyes of a few legislators that the people are not going to let this freedom slip into the nothingness of O’Malley’s presidential aspirations. While I applaud the collective action of my fellow conservatives, once again it seems that we may lose this fight because we are not using the correct message.

Simply put, the question should not be whether the people have the freedom to exercise a governmental supported right but if we as free people have the right to defend ourselves.

The focus of the two questions are as different as night and day. The first question gives the authority to the government to expand or limit the ability to purchase a weapon; the latter addresses the fundamental issue of self-determination.

If we stay locked into the first question, I believe that we will not be successful because the proponents of this weapon grab bill will point to the 2nd Amendment itself, which reads: “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 sentence as read puts the emphasis on the security of a free State. The free State (Republic) will be manned by a well regulated Militia made up of people who have the right to keep and bear Arms. The 2nd Amendment was primarily designed as a vehicle to protect the Republic against foreign invasion (England) and internal insurrection.

I know some people may take offense to my interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. However, it is important to keep in mind the writings of the founders – they did not trust anyone – themselves, the people and the government. One of the principal supporting documents of the Constitution is Federalist Paper #9 says in part, “Should a popular insurrection happen in one of the confederate states the others are able to quell it.” In fact, in the same year the Constitution was passed by the Congress, the state government used militias to end Shay’s Rebellion who were fighting for the farms of Revolutionary War veterans in Massachusetts.

If we are concerned about freedom, the correct question is not whether we have the right to own a weapon, it should be whether the people have the liberty to protect themselves, their families and their property. According to John Locke, whose Two Treatises of Government is the foundation of the writing of Thomas Jefferson, “The great and chief end, therefore, of men’s uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property.”

In our Democratic Republic, we the People transfer some of the authority to protect our property (our lives, liberty and estate) to the government; however, we do not renounce or give up the authority to do so. It is this crucial message that we are not making when we limit ourselves to just arguing that government should not limit our right to own a weapon. The weapon is just an instrument of how we choose to protect out property which we have a God-given right to fulfill for ourselves and our families. Even more importantly, in this debate, we are giving the government the decision whether or not to grant us the right to protect ourselves.

I am imploring my fellow Conservatives to not ask for the government to allow you to keep a piece of hardware; instead, it is paramount that the dialogue be changed to whether the people (or any individual) have the right to protect their families, their children and their property. Too often, we pick the right battles but pick the wrong ammunition to win the fight.

Author: TONY CAMPBELL, Columnist

3 Comments

  1. Hmm… I wasn’t aware of anyone proposing that one cannot protect one’s self and family. That appears to be a red herring.

  2. Nobody is worrying about you protecting your family in your home. We’re worrying about protecting our families out in public places.

  3. There are numerous ways to protect yourself that don’t involve bazookas and preparing for a dystopian, ‘Mad Max’ future of every man for himself. I happen to favor police, full background checks (doubly so before receiving concealed weapons permits), and serious penalties for high capacity magazines, armor piercing bullets or openly carrying loaded arms in public areas where hunting is not permitted. Mad Max is hyperbole for sure but so is the ‘we have the right do defend ourselves by whatever means we choose because damn the statistics that indicates we’re generally less safe with more guns in public, I feel an irrational need to arm up! I mean, Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster, at the recent bunch of ‘we love guns’ gun shows, multiple accidental discharges of guns the were supposed to have been empty injured several enthusiasts. You can own guns but even Scalia knows there are limits about how, when and where. So stop the BS attempt of framing it as an alienable right to’defend’ one’s possessions with any means necessary. We hear it and see right through the irrational fears and weak justifications for them.

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