Excellent editorial by Doug Crosse, a Ventura County Tea Party member, Simi Valley/Moorpark Tea Party Founder, member of PeopleProtectingFreedom.com and an organizer of the Day of Resistance Ventura County Second Amendment initiative.
Doug Crosse of Simi Valley is secretary of the Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party and a member of People Protecting Freedom.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
In the 1960s, civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. took the position peaceful — albeit at the time unlawful — civil disobedience was justified. It was a form of nullification; disobeying laws because they were obviously unconstitutional.
Firearms helped the movement be successful. A majority of civil rights activists carried firearms or had armed guards. There were people out to kill them.
It took a long time for liberty to be shared with all Americans, but we eventually arrived. So what’s my point?
What our Founding Fathers meant by the Second Amendment wording has little to do with a well-regulated militia.
“The right to bear arms” requires no interpretation. In several drafts of the Second Amendment, the individual right came first. In others militia was not mentioned. What resulted was a compromise between the states. The statements’ order is unimportant as they are separate points.
But it’s clear it guarantees and encourages the right to arms. Noteworthy is that it’s the second, not fifth, eighth or fifteenth amendment. That ranking shows just how important the Founders felt it was.
They believed that there could be no life, liberty, i.e., no freedom if citizens were denied the right to defend themselves — against crime, marauders, foreign invasion and, as intended, against their own government if it became tyrannical.
They knew the right to bear arms was the insurance policy protecting all the other rights. The framers knew the government does not grant our rights, rather they are natural “God-given” — ours because we are humans, not because the government bestows them. The Bill of Rights only enumerates, protects and reaffirms these rights.
Self-defense is an individual right. Second Amendment scholars overwhelmingly agree that the right is not dependent on a collective duty to be de-facto militia members.
Self-defense is the first law of nature and the Founders were dead serious about the “shall not be infringed” part.
The 14th Amendment solidifies our civil rights: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”
There are several proposed bills in Sacramento and Washington that are unconstitutional on their face. If it were other than guns, would anyone accept warrantless searches of law-abiding citizens without cause? Or be OK with the seizure of personal property and ex-post-facto laws or retroactive enforcement? Would we accept having to register like sex offenders because we own something constitutionally guaranteed as legal?
What’s the problem with limiting the right? We have free speech, but you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater — that’s true, but the punishment is for the injury caused by yelling fire.
There are hundreds of harsh laws in place for the misuse of firearms. Do we really need more with the lack of enforcement and abject failures of what’s already in place?
OK, we won’t take away all your guns, just restrict what you can own and their use. After all, you have to have a driver’s license, register your car and have insurance. This argument confuses a privilege — driving — with a right, self-defense. Privileges are not guaranteed under the Constitution and can be restricted; rights are guaranteed.
The easiest oft-posed question to answer: “Why does anyone need big guns that hold lots of bullets?”
Simple: because the bad guys have them (illegally obtained and unregistered). They aren’t afraid to use them and are not about to give them up.
I’m hearing lots of patriotic Americans saying “enough!” They believe they have no choice except draw the line in the sand and take a stand. Again — nullification. They will not comply with unreasonable — unconstitutional — subversions of rights.
They will stand strong and openly disobey. I fear it could get very nasty very quickly. I’m afraid it’s a real probability; it’s that serious.
Those opposed to gun ownership must understand our natural rights are civil rights. An attack on one of them is an attack on them all. Second Amendment rights are no less a civil right than free speech.
Citizens who are justifiably sickened by gun violence, who mistakenly impose a stigma of intrinsic evil on firearms, ought to support the right to bear arms — if for no other reason than to protect the rights they agree with more.
In the name of freedom and justice, I’ll defend your rights. Will you defend mine? Isn’t that what America is all about? Makes sense to me and I’d bet it would to Martin Luther King Jr., too.