Taking the Second Amendment Seriously

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The Second Amendment to the US Constitution reads “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.”

It’s time to take the Second Amendment seriously. You should not need government permission to exercise a fundamental right. The prohibition on the sale of new automatic weapons must be repealed. Import restrictions on arms and ammunition should be lifted. The First Amendment prohibits the licensing and regulation of publishers and booksellers. Why should gun dealers need a license? If you don’t need a background check to read or write a book, why should you need one to purchase a gun? How is it that the severe restrictions currently in place do not constitute “infringements?”

There should be no more compromise or capitulation on this issue! History offers no example of a people who obtained their rights by politely asking for them. We need to stop playing defense and demand unequivocally that our rights be respected and restored.

The common sense solution to gun violence is to have more guns in the hands of responsible, law-abiding citizens and fewer in the hands of criminals. People who misuse firearms should be prosecuted. There should be no “gun free” zones. Experience has shown that keeping guns out of schools only makes them stalking grounds for psychopaths.

We should not be cowed into surrendering our rights on the basis of hysterical emotionalism. Dianne Feinstein wants to ban semi-automatic rifles. Why? According to the FBI, in 2011 rifles of all types were used in 323 homicides. That same year, 1694 people were killed by knives and 726 by fists and feet. The UK essentially outlawed all private gun possession and it now has the highest rate of violent crime in Europe — a rate five times higher than the United States

Mass shootings publicized by the media remain rare. But defensive uses of firearms are commonplace and usually go unreported. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck has found that guns are used about 2.5 million times each year in the US to prevent crimes. More guns in the hands of responsible people results in less crime, not more. For the last twenty years, gun sales in the US have surged even as the violent crime rate has fallen dramatically. According to data from the ATF and FBI, between 1992 and 2010, the number of firearms manufactured in the US increased by 31 percent while the violent crime rate fell by 47 percent.

In 1995, the violent crime rate in my home state of Oklahoma was 664 per 100,000 people. The following year Oklahoma adopted a “shall issue” concealed-carry law. By 2011, the violent crime rate in Oklahoma had fallen to 455. People who keep guns in their homes even protect those who don’t own guns by reducing the likelihood of home invasion.

Make no mistake about it. The people who hate guns will never quit until they confiscate every last one. They banned automatic rifles in 1986 and now they’re back for the semi-automatic guns. A recent Bill proposed in the State of Illinois would have outlawed all modern firearms including pump-action shotguns. New York governor Andrew Cuomo has openly spoken of gun confiscation. President Obama has stated that he wants a national database of gun owners. What for, if not to go door-to-door and pick them up? In an infamous 1995 interview, Dianne Feinstein confessed “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them…I would have done it.”

If you are a responsible and law-abiding person who does not own a firearm, you should buy one. No, buy ten. If you already own ten guns, buy ten more. For each semi-automatic rifle you own, purchase at least a dozen high-capacity magazines and a thousand rounds of ammunition.

If you want to see what happens to people who are unarmed, review the video of Reginald Denny being beaten during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Or read about the 1974 Hi Fi murders in Ogden, Utah. Defenseless people were tied up and tortured. A young woman was repeatedly raped. A man had a ballpoint pen kicked into his ear. The sadistic killers forced their victims to drink liquid drain cleaner. Criminals love it when people don’t have guns. So do tyrants.

Of course if you don’t mind being victimized by criminals, you don’t need a gun. And many people around the world live without guns. An armed citizenry is only necessary in a “free State.” People content to live in totalitarian slave States don’t need guns.

David Deming [send him mail] is professor of arts and sciences at the University of Oklahoma. His book, Black & White: Politically Incorrect Essays on Politics, Culture, Science, Religion, Energy and Environment, is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

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