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Why is the Second Amendment So Important?

September 23rd, 2012

If you Google the term “repeal Second Amendment”, more than two million results pop up.  You’ll find articles blaming the Second Amendment for the July mass-shooting in a Colorado movie theater, for the Arizona shooting that wounded Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, and even for arming the Mexican drug cartels.

There’s no doubt that guns can do horrible things, but does that mean we should change the Bill of Rights?

The 27 words that make up the Second Amendment are clear:

“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.”

Back in 1791, there was no National Guard.  Instead, Americans had militias that could be called upon when things got rough.  In fact, Colonists had been relying on these militias ever since they first arrived at Jamestown in 1607.  Without them, America may not have been able to break free of England in the first place.

Back in those days, you weren’t just ALLOWED to have a gun.  You were EXPECTED to have gun.

But Thomas Jefferson took it one step further.

Remember, the Declaration of Independence makes it clear that the government works for the people — not vice versa.  In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson talked about what would happen if the government failed to protect its citizens.  What if the government actually became the enemy of the people?

In that case, Jefferson said, the people were allowed to overthrow the government.

But doing so wouldn’t be possible without weapons.  Therefore, Jefferson reasoned, the federal government could never forbid its citizens from bearing arms.  If it did, the people had no way to prevent the government from running right over the top of them.

Don’t we face the same threat today?

If we repeal the Second Amendment, does it give the government an opportunity to stop working FOR us and start working AGAINST us?

 

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