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Public Statements

The Right to Have Guns

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

Samuel Adams talked about the three great rights, Life, Liberty and Property, "together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can." There is no question that defense of our Rights is itself a Right. Yet so many people are determined to remove our Rights and taking away our guns is the first step. In fact, any regulation of guns effectively removes deterrence from our arsenal of self defense weapons. Once the right to self defense is gone, we have no other rights.

How do we convince those who are determined to regulate guns that gun ownership is a right that should never be infringed? Let Supreme Court Justice Scalia address this for us through these two excerpts from D. C. v. Heller.

First: "Right of the People." The first salient feature of the operative clause is that it codifies a "right of the people." The unamended Constitution and the Bill of Rights use the phrase "right of the people" two other times, in the First Amendment's Assembly-and-Petition Clause and in the Fourth Amendment's Search-and-Seizure Clause... ... these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not "collective" rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body.

Second: "Shall not be infringed." The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right [to keep and bear arms] and declares only that it "shall not be infringed."

The concept of a right that pre-exists the Constitution is not new, but is important for all of us to understand. The Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights does not give us a right that can then be regulated. It only recognizes that right and mandates to Congress, for all time, that this right "shall not be infringed." The threat of force may attempt to deprive us of our guns, but as Samuel Adams states so well:

"... it is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power ... of men ... to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights when the great end of civil government from the very nature of its institution is for the support, protection and defense of those very rights... the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave."


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