What Debate? The issue was settled in 1791

Article by – Shawn McDine

I say this with some trepidation, but here it goes: I am a ‘gun guy’. I enjoy talking about firearms. Punching holes into paper from 100 yards away makes my son and me happy. The closer the holes are together the happier we are. My hesitation in admitting I am a ‘gun no debateguy’ does not come from any sense of shame or guilt. It stems from the backlash that is coming. There is a growing anti-gun culture. In the area of the country I live the culture is small but can be very vocal. I have had conversations where I had to defend a constitutional right. Ironically the person on the other end of the conversation actually said “I have a right to say what I want.” I agree completely that they have that right.

I watch the media on television and on-line. Phrases like “you don’t need a 30 magazine to go hunting,” or the best way to defend yourself is to “fire a few rounds off your back porch” (got to love that one) are common. We can have discussions about hunting tactics and the best equipment to use. We can talk about the different ways someone can defend themselves or their families. As we have these debates we are doing a disservice to the pro-freedom issue. The water becomes muddy and murky. We all are missing the real issue.

Due to gun violence the government thinks that background checks, limited magazine capacity and banning certain weapons will save thousands if not tens of thousands of lives. What is next? As a paramedic I have firsthand accounts of motor vehicle fatalities. May we consider limiting the speed of the vehicle? Cars should be limited to 35 mph. Helmets and 5 point harnesses similar to racing would save lives. Maybe a law that would make it illegal to drive under the influence? Being in the healthcare industry I have noted that obesity is an issue (my mirror also reminds me that obesity is an issue). Diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac related health problems are rampant. Government mandated diets and exercise programs, mandatory health care and routine mental health screenings cannot be too far away. (Authors note: Mayor Bloomberg’s sugar policies were publicized after I began writing this. Ain’t I the smart one!)

Those who dare question the gun control agenda have counter arguments. They are usually based around the Second Amendment. “I have a right to go hunting” and “I have a right to defend myself”. Again they are right, but that is not what the Second Amendment states (more to follow). The biggest argument against the Second Amendment I have heard is that the Founding Fathers could not have foreseen the future. They could not comprehend the firepower of the modern firearm. Let us visit what the Founders did know.

Imagine going back in history. Back to a time when hunting was a matter of survival. There were no deer seasons, turkey seasons, rabbit seasons. Hunting was not a hobby, it was a way of life. The Founders did not include Second Amendment for hunters. Based on the Declaration of Independence hunters have the unalienable right for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Do you think the Second Amendment deals with self defense? Sorry. Think back to the Founders time. Self reliance was considered a virtue. The thought of giving up freedom for personal security was unthinkable.  “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  This quote is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers. Based on the Declaration of Independence people have the unalienable right for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

So what does the Second Amendment say?

 Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791

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.

That’s it. One sentence. Controversy after controversy over one sentence. 27 words, 3 commas and a period at the end. Read the words. Place yourself in the Founders era. A costly war was waged against a super power. The ideas of freedom from a tyrannical government and personal liberties fueled the fight. The Declaration of Independence states the exact reason for the Second Amendment. “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.” The Founders did everything they could to achieve a system of checks and balances with the people holding the power. If the Federal government is to listen to the people, the people need the ability to effect change. The securities of a free state is a responsibility of the people and to that end the right to bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I encourage everyone to re-read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Remember that these documents do not give these rights to the people. These documents recognize the fact these rights exist and are granted by “their Creator”. There are many issues we can debate. Tax codes, job creation, foreign policy, etc… The Second Amendment is not up for debate. The issue was settled in 1791.

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