As the debate rages over the interpretation, and even the relevance of the Second Amendment, we must look to history in order to understand why the Founding Fathers wrote this amendment.
The most obvious point of reference is that the men who wrote our Constitution were revolutionists. They had just used arms to overthrow a government they believed unjust, and they wanted to insure the future citizens of this great country the opportunity to do the same, should the need ever arise.
Those who doubt this need only reference the individual writings of the founders. As only one example, Samuel Adams wrote, The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.
There is nothing ambiguous about that statement!
The Founding Fathers did not create the concept of an individuals right to keep and bear arms. This and many other rights outlined in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, pre-dated colonial America, and many were rooted in the English Bill of Rights. Our founders, when writing the Second Amendment, voted, as did the English representatives in 1699, to reject a motion that would have added for the common defense after the phrase keep and bear arms.
The right to bear arms, in England and in America, was derived not only from the need to defend against external aggression, but also for the purpose of defending oneself from civil strife, religious and government persecution and for personal self-defense and self-sufficiency.
Not only is the right to bear arms a constitutional right, it is also a fundamental natural right. Throughout history, civilian disarmament has been a precursor of oppression. During the 20th century, approximately 262 million people were murdered by their own governments. From Russia, China, Cambodia and Germany to Turkey, Guatemala and Uganda, the history and statistics are horrific. In every nation where this genocide was perpetrated, the segment of the population to be victimized was disarmed before the killing began.
Today, the argument on gun control, in America, is focused on violent crime prevention. After the Newtown shootings, President Obama, many Democrats in Congress and the mainstream media began an intensive campaign to encourage the American public to demand strong gun-control legislation. It always amazes me that after any well-publicized shooting spree, there are people who exploit the tragedy and suggest that the answer is to take guns away from the people who didnt do it. In fact, there is no evidence that restrictive gun laws protect anyone other than criminals. Preventing law-abiding citizens from carrying guns simply makes them more vulnerable to attack.
Lets look at some statistics. Gun ownership has been steadily climbing for the past two decades, with the FBI statistics showing record permit applications for the last several years. During that same period, according to the Department of Justices Bureau of Justice Statistics 2011 study, U.S. gun-related homicides have plummeted 39 percent, while non-fatal gun related crime fell 69 percent. As gun sales sky-rocketed beginning in 2005, violent crime began dropping at an even more accelerated rate. FBI crime data consistently shows that law-abiding gun owners are not the problem.
A recent study published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy concluded there is a negative correlation between gun ownership and violent crime, internationally. The study showed that, in general, nations with strict gun-control laws have substantially higher murder rates than those who do not. In fact, the nine European nations with the lowest gun ownership rates have a combined murder rate that is three times higher than that of the nine European countries with the highest gun-ownership rates.
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Timeless protection of the Second Amendment