A deeper reason for your right to keep and bear arms?


Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2009
San Diego, CA
The 2nd amendment is simple and clear: For such-and-such reasons, ordinary people's right to own and carry guns and other such weapons can't be taken away or restricted.

The people who wrote and ratified the 2nd, could have put in exceptions for "more than ten guns per household", or "Feds can't restrict guns but states still can", or "except around schools or post offices", etc. But they didn't. And that omission was careful and deliberate.

The reasons why you should be able to own and carry a gun are many. Knowing a victim may be carrying, can make a thief or mugger think twice. It can also make a corrupt sheriff who wants your property or your daughter, think twice. Or make a poisonous legislature who wants to put, say, all blacks into chains or all Jews into an oven, think twice if those blacks or Jews (and/or their friends) own guns and regularly have them with them.

But the main reason you should always have the right to own and carry guns, has to do with the basic reason the country was founded.

Hundreds of years ago, people started coming to this continent, mostly from Europe and adjacent areas, to get away from the restrictions and oppression placed on them by kings, feudal lords, etc. - often placed without their consent. They came here to get a fresh start, and eventually they came up with the idea of having a country where the citizen's decisions would be supreme. No king would tell him what to do, no politbureau, no feudal lord. Even the government that was necessary, would be elected by the citizen - and could be kicked out by that citizen. This idea was a first in the history of mankind's attempts to form large countries, outside of a few ancient and unwieldy democracies such as the one tried by ancient Greece. It was soon dubbed "The Great American Experiment" - the idea that no one could overrule the citizen's own decisions, other than government offficials that the citizen could kick out if he didn't like them. In a word, the citizen would be sovereign - suubject to no rule above his own.

The idea behind the Great American Experiment, assumed that individual people will do a better job running their own lives, making their own decisions, making mistakes, taking the consequences themselves, and learning from them; than an all-powerful government will do making those decisions for those people. And that includes making decisions on how and when to protect yourself and your loved ones... which necessarily includes YOU deciding what instrument(s) you will use to do it.

The freedom to own and carry any gun you want, is the ultimate expression of the sovereignity of the private citizen. Nobody (and that means NOBODY) can try to mess with him without facing the severest consequences. The sovereign citizen's own decisions, good or bad, are the ultimate determinant of his fate and his life. And his ability to own and carry deadly weapons, capable of harming or even killing those around him and subject ONLY to his own personal decision, is what makes sure it stays that way.

Even the possiblity that a man with bad judgment might use his weapon to unjustly threaten, injure or kill an innocent person, is not sufficient reason to take away EVERYONE'S right to own and carry such weapons. The Framers made the hard decision that even with the occasional (and inevitable) injury or death of an innocent person at the hands of a careless or criminal gun owner, the right of all people to be gun owners must be held sacrosanct... that society would be better off under those circumstances, than under a system where government could restrict citizens' rights to own and carry weapons. Partly because the Framers knew that the power to restrict that right, was ultimately the power to take it away completely - and the Framers knew that society would be worse off under those conditions, than under the conditions where an occasional mistake or criminal's act could result in an injury, possibly a fatal one.

Under the Great American Experiment, people were to be free to make their own decisions and take the consequences of them... including the bad or wrong decisions. Assigning third parties to make those decisions for them, would make them worse off, not better. And so government's only function, was restricted to only protecting those rights of the people. NOT making decisions to "help" them... even if some people thought govt "helping" people was a GOOD idea.

In a very real sense, the right to own and carry a gun is the ultimate manifestation of the Great American Experiment - the ultimate manifestation of freedom. Because it is the best way to ensure that you are left alone to make your own decisions, even if some else doesn't want you to. And only if you violate someone else's rights - say, by injuring or killing an innocent person, for whatever reason - can your own ultimate rights be taken away. Not because you MIGHT - that's not a good enough reason, because anybody might. Only because you DID.

And the Framers were careful to make the 2nd amendment part of the Supreme Law of the Land, to make sure it stayed that way.

Your right to keep and bear arms, isn't just for hunting, or sporting, or even defending yourself against burglars or rapists. It's to make sure that nobody - including government - can take away your ability and your RIGHT to make your own decisions and sink or swim with the consequences yourself.

And even if someone abuses his right to keep and bear arms, injuring or even killing an innocent person... it still remains that your right to have them - the right on ALL citizens to be sovereign - is far more important than the (relatively rare) tragedy caused by people who abuse that right. The loss of sovereignity of millions of citizens, does the country far more harm than the relatively rare tragedy.

That is why the right of the people to keep and bear arms, has been held inviolate for more than 200 years - despite 200 years of opportunities to change it by amending the Constitution and its 2nd amendment. The American people have repeatedly refused to make any changes to it - a trend that shows no signs of slacking, despite the occasional tragedy or even (very rare) mass murder by criminal or insane people.