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Gutting the 2nd Amendment imperils freedom

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POSTED April 5, 2010 1:02 a.m.
I don’t drive a pickup truck with a gun rack.

I don’t hunt.

I’ve never fired a weapon and never intend to do so.

With all of that said, I consider attempts to gut the words of the Founding Farmers in the Second Amendment as an assault on our collective freedom.

Those 27 well-chosen words are what set us apart from other people.

“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 vast majority of guns rights advocates have no qualms with efforts to keep automatic weapons out of circulation or to establish reasonable gun control standards.

The assault on the Second Amendment in many quarters of this country is absolute. There is a growing clamor to severely restrict all guns or to favor outright bans. This is wrong-headed thinking for many reasons.

Use and knowledge of guns should not be reserved to the exclusive control of the state.

Most of the ideas that the United States is founded on weren’t all that radical back 234 years ago. Principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence and original Bill of Rights have existed in one form or another since the days of Ancient Athens.

The radical departure in 1776 was the ability of a people to set themselves free of tyranny. The gun - whether you like it or not - is what gave birth to the United States of America. The ideals espoused in the two founding documents wouldn’t have been worth the paper they were printed on if it hadn’t been for guns and the willingness of many to fight and die for liberty. Our freedom was won by guns and blood, not debate and diplomacy.

The world - especially Europe - claims we have a fascination with guns in this country. It was just 69 short years ago that an America fascinated with guns came to the rescue of the people of Europe and Asia.

It is amazing the level of commitment a truly free people takes to brothers and sisters around the globe they have never seen or met. We are a nation of strong believers in personal freedom and liberty. It is ingrained in the knowledge that the state doesn’t hold absolute control over us.

Why, one might ask, would individual Americans need the right to bear arms? The government provides protection. The government isn’t going to turn against the people and enslave them to the point where an armed uprising might be the only solution.

A people who rely 100 percent on a government for their safety and well-being aren’t free. If government succeeds in completely banning weapons, it will succeed where King George and much greater tyrants have left off. Complete trust in any government is much more dangerous than the problems America in 2010 is wrestling with when it comes to the subject of gun control.

Believing in the power of the Second Amendment doesn’t make you a gun nut. It makes you a true believer in the principles this nation was founded upon.

Gut one of those basic inalienable rights and you might as well take a match to the entire document. This nation would never have been borne and prospered without all the rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

The spat of school shootings helped create a clamor for more restrictive gun control. It’s interesting, considering the overall death toll from guns on campus was much higher in the 1980s. But the multi-killings are etched on our conscience because of the sensationalism they bring. It also reeks of double standard. A kid killed in gunfire in an inner city, drug-infested school isn’t considered innocent. He should have known better because of his environment. Those killed in the suburbs at random, though, are true victims.

A potent argument can be made the shootings are the outgrowth of our government’s severe restrictions placed on educators and parents - through courts, legislative and bureaucratic actions - in efforts to impose discipline and standards.

Individual rights never mattered absolutely until the last generation. You can’t order a strange-acting 16-year-old into psychotic evaluation without a due process padded by red tape. One can’t take the risk of overstepping boundaries and trampling on individual rights. Taking away the individual rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment from law-abiding citizens because that 16-year-old ends up killing is OK.

America is not an armed camp. Nazi Germany was. The big difference is the Nazis had the “legal” power to ban all private weapons. The United States government doesn’t - yet.

The state of mind created by the Second Amendment is more powerful than any gun.
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