googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: The Second Amendment: It's Not About the Right to Hunt

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Second Amendment: It's Not About the Right to Hunt

In the wake of the Connecticut tragedy, as was in the case of other mass shootings, there is a lot of talk about gun control. It's unfortunate that people will exploit such an event for political purposes but they do. In 2009, there were 12,632 homicides by firearms (about 34 per day). Of course, many of those deaths are related to drug and gang violence but in the CT shooting, the victims were innocent children. So even though there are shooting deaths every day, it's easier to use the events in CT to stir up outrage against the seemingly increasing violent consequences of gun ownership. But such a blatant appeal to emotion is not the point of my post today.

In an apparent attempt to show sympathy and respect for the victims of the shooting, some sporting goods stores, like Dick's Sporting Goods, has suspended the sale of all semi-automatic rifles. Since they are a privately owned business, they have the right to decide what they want to sell and not sell. This is not the government pulling guns off their shelves; it's their own decision so I'm OK with it. I do, however, question the wisdom of it. By suspending the sale of certain rifles, they may send the message that there is something wrong with those rifles. However, neither is this the point of my post.

Those who oppose the private ownership of guns use several approaches to restrict their use. Some would like to see an outright ban on any gun but such a radical move cannot be accomplished in one stroke. Therefore, they seek to disarm us incrementally. For example, they want to ban certain “military style,” “assault” rifles. The Bushmaster, used in the CT shooting, fires a .22 caliber round. I'm not aware of any military in the world that issues a .22 caliber rifle so it could hardly be called a military rifle. It only looks like a military rifle and liberals hope the undiscerning masses don't understand the difference.

There has also been much discussion concerning high capacity magazines. I've heard some people make the argument that there is no legitimate, sporting reason to have a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds. The Bushmaster's magazine will hold 30 rounds so it can be fired 30 times without reloading.  Since the Bushmaster is used primarily in competition shooting, it's convenient in practice, when people are firing hundreds of rounds at targets, to have to reload less often. In hunting, the Bushmaster is not likely to be anyone's first choice. A rifle with a 30 round clip is too heavy and awkward to lug around in the woods.

But whether or not there is a legitimate sporting reason to have assault-looking rifles or high capacity magazines is all beside the point. The second amend guarantees our right to own guns – not to hunt and not to have shooting competitions. Read the second amendment for yourself:

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 reason the founding fathers wanted to protect our right to own guns is overtly stated in the text: they believed a militia was necessary to maintain a free state. Let's face it, it's harder to oppress a citizenry that is armed. 

Now, some people have interpreted the term “well regulated militia” to mean that the Constitution was guaranteeing the right of the military to own guns. That's absurd. The Bill of Rights are specifically intended to protect the rights of individuals and to restrict the powers of the government.  Are we really expected to believe the second amendment was written to prevent the government from infringing on the government's right to have guns?

When the Bill of Rights was written, the US had just won its independence from England because it was able to overthrow Britain through the use of arms. Not wanting to ever subject the People to tyranny again – even tyranny from the fledgling US government – the founding fathers promised they would never take guns away from the People. Yet here we are, 200 years later, listening to despots who are anxious to take away our guns.

I think, too, that we need to carefully consider the wording of the second amendment. Some people believe it's the second amendment that gives us our right to bear arms. Actually, the amendment presupposes that right and prevents the government from infringing upon it. Notice that it doesn't say, “the people will have the right to bear arms.” Instead, it says that the right to bears arms will not be infringed. According to the Declaration of Independence, rights are given by the Creator and it's the role of the government to protect our God given rights. The second amendment acknowledges the right to use arms to defend oneself and promises that the government shall not intrude upon that already existing right. Repealing the second amendment does not take away our right to bear arms – it only removes our protection from a tyrannical government if it decides to take away our guns!

Liberals are tyrants. They're despots. I've said before they want a peasant class to reign over and gun control is simply another link in the chain they wish to use to bind us. Unarmed peasants are far easier to oppress. They don't care about our right to hunt; they're worried about our ability to resist.

I realize as I write this that some people will think I'm some fringe, militant nut. They might believe I have a bunker dug out in my basement where I'm just waiting for anarchy to begin. Let me say that I don't have any sort of Patrick Henry complex. I'm not calling people to arms (literally). I'm simply trying to wake people up to the fact that tyranny is real and liberty is something that must be zealously guarded. Any little threat to liberty must be beaten back.  Our first line of defense is the first amendment and I'm using my blog to bring the threats to light (we'll talk another time about liberal threats to the first amendment).

Tragic events like what happened in CT can cloud our judgment. We need a cooling off period before we react. Should we mourn? Certainly! Should we looks for ways to prevent similar tragedies? Absolutely! But if I may borrow the wisdom of Ben Franklin, we shouldn't give away liberty in the pursuit of safety or we'll end up with neither.


Todd Williams said...

Thanks for the post. My wife is a kindergarten teacher, so imagining her in the situation those teachers were in has been very disturbing.

I agree with your stance on gun control. However, the M-16 and M-4 both fire 5.56mm NATO rounds, basically the same diameter as a .22 caliber. (I used to be in the Army) The reason our military's rifles are so much more lethal is the amount of powder (size of the shell casing), as well as the ability to fire 3-round bursts (M-16A2) and fully automatic (M4). I'm not sure what rounds his Bushmaster was loaded with, but I think it's safe to say that it was very close to being as lethal as an M-4 at the close range he was using it. (I don't mean to come across as a know-it-all on this)

I think that's the part that is most disturbing to me, the fact that he shot them all multiple times with what is very close to what I would consider an assault rifle.

Now, what to do about it? Not sure. Maybe an armed guard stationed at every school, or requiring all school campuses to be closed (all doors locked at all times like my wife's school), less privacy restrictions between family members when it comes to mental health. I don't know.

RKBentley said...


Thanks for your comments and thanks also for your service in our armed forces. I'm the son of a Korean War veteran but I grew up in a different era. I'm too young to have been in Vietnam and a little too old to have been in the first Iraq War. Yet in spite of never have served myself, I've always respected those who have.

Thanks too for correcting me on the use of .22 caliber rifles by the military. My gun ownership experience is limited primarily to hunting guns or handguns. The .22 caliber rifle we just gave our son for his birthday has a 10 round clip and is bolt action. With a game load, it works well for hunting rabbits or squirrels but I couldn't imagine it being useful in combat – even with a 30 round clip. Certainly, even a normal .22 is dangerous but I guess it should be obvious that more powder can make even a small diameter bullet more lethal.

You have also brought up a controversial point that I need to make clear. As I said before, the second amendment was intended to protect us from a tyrannical government and not meant to protect our right to hunt. That means it is to the military assault rifles that we need access! It is not a coincidence that those are the very guns that liberals wants to ban. It's not that we don't need more regulation – we also need to remove many of the restrictions already in place!

As to what we might do about this, I would recommend you read the book, More Guns, Less Crime. It's a 20 year long, case study that looked at gun violence in every county in the US. It demonstrates conclusively that those places with the most generous, gun ownership laws always have less gun violence than more restrictive counties. Furthermore, every city that passes new laws allowing more access to guns (like concealed carry laws) is always rewarded with a reduction in gun crime.

In the same book, it was noted that fully ½ of home break-ins in England occur when the occupants are home. Only about 10% of US burglaries occur when the occupants are home. The difference in the US is that if you enter a house when the homeowner is there, you might get shot! The burglars get it. “Gun free” zones, like schools or movie theaters, are safe havens where criminals can shoot people without fear of anyone shooting back. Armed police, security guards, or even armed teachers could serve as deterrents. If violence should ever break out, they could intervene and possible reduce the loss of life.

Finally, we must realize that we live in a fallen world and in spite of all our efforts, we can be sure death will visit all of us. It's foolish to believe we could ever bring about a paradise on earth until the Prince of Peace returns. We should strive to live in obedience to Him and trust that our eternal rewards will be in the next life.

Thanks again for your comments. God bless!!


Todd Williams said...

Interesting that your father is a Korean War vet. I've been reading a lot about the Korean War the past year, mostly memoirs from veterans. I'm a Desert Storm vet myself. I was a heavy equipment operator in the 844th Engineering Battalion out of Knoxville, TN.

Also interesting is the idea to allow assault rifle permits. I would love to own an M-4, myself. Although, my wife wouldn't like it one bit!

What do you believe is the reason for the much lower murder rate in the UK, if not for the lack of access to guns? I wonder about that myself, although I think we'd have a war on our hands if the government tried to remove guns from our society!

RKBentley said...


I'm not sure that the over all crime rate in the UK is lower than ours; in fact, I suspect the reverse. And while it would not surprise me if the homicide rate by guns is lower there than here, I'm almost certain that the crime rate PER GUN is higher in England than here.

You know as well as I that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens are not a danger. It would not worry me in the least if you, a veteran, owned an M4. It's the criminals who commit crimes and criminals are not deterred by gun laws or signs that say, “No guns permitted here.” A law that bans a certain gun – or all guns – only prevents the law abiding people from using them. Criminals would still continue to use them. That means fewer guns but more crime per gun.

But there's a bigger picture here. If guns could be completely purged from the world, there would be no more gun related deaths, right? In that same manner, if cars could be completely removed from the world then neither would there be any more deaths in car accidents. Of course, who wants to live without a car? We all tolerate a certain amount of cost – even the loss of life – for the liberty that comes with owning a car. It's the same with any right. We have to put up with flag burning, pornography, and attacks on our faith all because of the freedom of speech. I don't like hearing people malign Christianity but I prefer that over the alternative of not having the right to speak.

If we live in a free society and people have the right to own guns, there will occasionally (though very rarely) be tragic events like the one in CT. There are a lot of things we can and should do to prevent them but taking away our liberty is not an option.

Thanks for your comments. God bless!!


Carvin said...

We more than one mass shooting every day last year. Three incidents were stopped by someone having a gun that was not a member of the police or the person who started shooting killing him or herself. One incident was likely turned into a mass shooting because of responder; one occurred where the only survivor was only able to protect himself; the assailants killed the rest of his family. Meanwhile, one incident occurred where ten people were injured by an accidental misfire inside a sporting goods store.

Canada has as many guns as people, last I checked, but their gun violence rate is much lower. This is because they highly regulate their gun ownership.

It's also worth noting that there was an armed guard present at Columbine High School, April 20th 1999. Guns can't stop gun violence- we can tell because they don't.

RKBentley said...


We are a regulation nation. Did you know that more toddlers drown in buckets than are killed by guns. what's the solution? Should we regulate buckets?

If we live in a free society, we have to take the bad with the good. It's like driving a car. People die in car accidents every day. I still choose to drive because I want the freedom to drive more than I fear dying in a car accident.

Some people want to give up their liberty in exchange for safety. Ben Franklin correctly pointed out that when we make that trade, we eventually end up with neither.

If you think giving up your liberty with make you safer, you're fooling yourself.

Carvin said...

A liberty that threatens other's right to life and prosperity is not much of a liberty. We don't have the liberty to marry animals, but I don't think I'm giving up much letting that happen.

The statistic, which I couldn't verify independently, though seems roughly accurate according to the studies I saw, is misleading. While children shouldn't be around firearms, filled buckets- as well as other drowning hazards- are expected hazards of domestic life. You are using specious logic. There are more child deaths due to dogs than wolves, doesn't mean wolves are safe. It just means that wolves don't live near children.

And I have not problem with cars, I just want them regulated. I want people who own and operate them to prove they can control them, use them responsibly, won't have seizures and so on. I want cars to be identifiable in many ways- if one is found randomly, we know who owns it; if it used in a crime, it can be identified. That's why we require people to have a driver's license, have license plates, put VIN on cars in various spots. We test for vision and try to make sure that people with impairments don't drive. We require seat belts and child seats to protect everyone if something goes wrong. That's what I want.

Also, there is regulation on larger buckets- they are required by OSHA to display warnings about drowning hazards. I know, my father worked construction and at times brought home empty barrel buckets.