If the Second Amendment Goes, the First Will be Next

The Second Amendment to the U.S. 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.

The whole basis for outlawing guns, according to that position, is that ‘the people’ refers not to individual citizens, but to the military (i.e. militia).

They use the first clause of the Amendment to invalidate the second clause. This, despite the fact that the second and main portion of the sentence could not be more clear: ‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms.’

Imagine if the same sort of reasoning were applied to the First Amendment.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Imagine if somebody claimed: ‘Because the first part of the sentence refers to religious freedom, the refusal to ‘abridge the freedom of speech’ only applies to religion. We certainly cannot have freedom of speech abusing the free exercise of religion.’

This is, in fact, what some dictator of the religious right—some Rick Santorum, or future equivalent—might some day claim. It’s what the Islamic fundamentalists whose rule of law is gaining ground in Canada and Europe already claim, in their quest to impose fanatical Islam on portions of the Western world.

Likewise, some present-day leader of the socialist democratic persuasion could make the claim many are already stating openly: ‘Free speech doesn’t apply to hate speech.’ What is ‘hate speech’? Anything involving disagreement with the ruling regime. Opposed to Obmacare? That’s hate speech. Opposed to higher taxes? That’s hate speech. Dislike socialism and call Obama’s policies what they are—government ownership of the means of production? That’s hate speech.

The point is: If you want to obliterate the basis for a principle of any kind, all you need is a rationalization. Rationalizations are the easiest thing in the world. They don’t require intelligence or even all that much thought. All they require is self-deception, i.e. a refusal to let relevant facts into one’s mind. The rest is easy.

This week, the advocates of curbing the Second Amendment lost a significant battle in Congress. However, they’re still confident about winning the war. If they can just get enough people to either (a) not pay attention, or (b) believe that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms’ means something other than what it says, they’re all set. They will win in the end, if they can do that—just as they ultimately won with socialized medicine and all the other extra-Constitutional things the federal government does.

Some states, such as Maryland, easily won the gun battle on that basis. On the federal level, it’s more of an uphill climb. One important reason for this is that groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) understand what I’m saying about principle. They understand that the best defense against outlawing guns is to simply cite the Second Amendment. You’re either in favor of the U.S. Constitution in that regard, or you want the Amendment repealed.  Such principled opposition puts proponents of ‘gun control’ on the defensive, something the established regime of leftists don’t like and are not used to, not at all.

All that stands in the way of totalitarian dictatorship, in America or anywhere else, is a principle such as the First Amendment—or the Second.

Mind and body: This sums up what we all are. The First and Second Amendments cover the whole terrain. The Second Amendment refers to your inalienable right to protect yourself physically. The First Amendment refers to your inalienable right to speak and think as you see fit, on your own time and property, of course.

Advocates of control over your life, over your mind and body, understand all this. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s no secret plot. It’s done, they hope, with your full consent. Or, failing that, it’s done with the aid of your inattention coupled with indifference. This is why, although they lose the occasional battle, statists and collectivists ultimately keep winning the war. They’re morally and intellectually weak, and nothing about them makes victory inevitable. They win because too many take their freedom and liberty—their individual rights, applied to guns or anything else—for granted.

Our Constitution is already eroded, if not in tatters. The First and Second Amendments are all we have left. We should not let them go.

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