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We Need to Know Where We Come From to Know Where We Are Going

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. YOHO. I thank the gentleman from Texas for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I have heard many gun control supporters say that the Second Amendment is outdated. They point out the phrase ``a well-regulated militia'' as their proof that armed and alert citizens belong in the 18th century and not the 21st century. We saw last week in Boston that they couldn't be more wrong.

When the Constitution and the Second Amendment were written, the story of the Boston struggles during the Revolutionary War was still fresh in America's memory. British troops looked at every American as a threat and treated them like virtual prisoners in the communities that they built. That's why our Founders made sure that it would be law, and a birthright for every law-abiding American, that everyone would have the freedom to protect themselves.

These days, many of America's enemies don't wear the uniforms of a nation. They try to avoid confrontation with our military and our police force; and they lurk in our streets, they hide out in our universities, and they wait for our defenses to go down. They don't save their hatred for our heroes in uniforms. They unleash it on anyone who is free.

The line between crime and terror is a thin one. Any victim of a violent crime has experienced terrorism in its most intimate and intense form. When we talk about guns and we look at the true meaning of the Second Amendment, it's clear that the passage of a couple of centuries hasn't changed its intent much.

The Second Amendment is a uniquely American value, as relevant today as when it was written. No other nation before ours has trusted the people to arm and protect themselves. When tragedies happened in Tucson, in Aurora, and in Newtown, guns were to blame. When the tragedy happened in Boston last week, we rightly blamed the person and not the instrument.

Allowing law-abiding citizens to exercise their freedom of self-defense can help keep us safe, and I will fight to protect this precious constitutional right.


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