THE SECOND AMENDMENT
"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."
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, The Declaration of Independence states, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
On March 23, 1775, the Second Virginia Convention had been moved from the House of Burgesses to St. John's Church in Richmond, because of the mounting tension between the Colonies and the British Crown. It was there that Patrick Henry delivered his fiery patriotic oration:
"For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery...It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country... Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm that is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned with contempt... An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!
Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the Holy cause of Liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.
Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God who presides over the destines of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battle for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave...
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
It seems quite ironic that Patrick Henry spoke these words in Virginia, where today we see the Democrat Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, and the newly elected Democrat majority in their legislature put forth some of the most dramatic and sweeping gun-control measures ever witnessed in what use to be considered a southern state. They wanted to go out and confiscate a bunch of hand guns and rifles that they outlawed. However, the push back from the people of Virginia has been amazing, but that battle is far from over. It may even cause an armed conflict with the people if the state government of Virginia continues to push these unconstitutional attacks on the 2nd Amendment. It is so bad in Virginia that on May 19, 2020, President Trump called Governor Northam "Crazy." But let us NEVER FORGET that our freedom was secured by Americans who used the same type of guns as tyrant armies of King George.
Needless to say, many Americans are very troubled by the recent proposals made by politicians to ban certain firearms, limit magazine capacity, and push the VERY DANGEROUS proposition of "Red Flag laws" or "Emergency Risk Protection Orders" which would allow law enforcement to seize the guns of any individual based on the accusations or the opinions of another claiming them to be mentally unsound or an imminent threat (without them having committed a crime). This is not only a violation of an American's Constitutional rights, but it opens the door to all kinds of abuse, harassments, and presumed guilt on the whim of any person who might have a grudge or ill-will toward a perfectly sane gun owner. This is an attempt to set up some kind of pre-crime prosecution like in the movie Minority Report. Bills like H.R. 5717- Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act of 2020 are already pushing this attack on gun owners and cannot be allowed in America.
As an American and a proud southerner, I have always been pro-gun for both hunting and self-defense. I have also always believed that the 2nd Amendment should be the ONLY "gun permit" an American needs. We shouldn't need permission from a local sheriff to conceal-carry a gun. I always carry a hand gun and I have had to stop a crime in progress on several occasions. One occasion was a day or two after Christmas in the early 1990s. I was visiting my great aunts for Christmas for a few nights. My aunt and cousins lived next door. At around 3:00 AM, the phone rang and woke me up. My aunt was screaming for help because a man was trying to breakdown their front door. I have no idea what the man planned to do, but he knew that people were in the house. I quickly picked up my gun and ran outside. Once the man understood that I had a gun pointed at him, he put his hands in the air and begged, "Don't shoot." I told him not to move and held him there at gun point until the Alabama State Trooper arrived. Now I truly thank God that I did not had to use lethal force to stop that man, but the presence of a gun in my hands diffused a dangerous situation.
On another occasion just a few years ago, my neighbor across the street, who was a Lee County Deputy Sheriff at the time, warned me about a gang of three men who were threatening and robbing people in our area with the very cheap, yet very accurate TEC-9s. Knowing these guns have a 32 round capacity, that is when I decided it was time to buy an AR-15 so that I would not be out-gunned if I needed to defend my family from group of well-armed criminals. It is also lightweight with very little recoil which my wife loved. She had never fired a rifle, but she hit the bullseye the first time she fired the AR-15 from 50 yards with just iron sights.
An article entitled, "8 Times Law-Abiding Citizens Saved Lives With an AR-15" the question is answered and illustrated “Why would any law-abiding citizen need an AR-15?”
"This question has been a favorite talking point of gun control activists in recent months, grating the ears of many lawful owners of the popular semi-automatic rifle.
Never mind that rifles of any kind account for only a fraction of gun deaths every year, or that some of the worst public mass shootings in American history have taken place with nothing more than handguns.
Never mind that the gun has been readily available to civilians since 1963, and yet has only recently been considered a serious public safety threat worthy of a complete ban.
Never mind that the AR-15 is not an automatic rifle, that it is not particularly powerful compared to other “less scary looking” rifles, or that prohibitions on it have shown no correlation to a drop in gun violence.
The reality is that law-abiding citizens purchase millions of AR-15s (and similar rifles) for one very important overriding reason—the same reason, in fact, that law enforcement officers often use them: They are great for self-defense.
In the words of Andrew Napolitano, the Second Amendment an extension of the natural right to self defense that “protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, with the same instruments they would use upon us.”
The AR-15 is a preferred weapon of law-abiding citizens because it does precisely that: It effectively confronts the violent threats from tyrants, oppressors, and—most often in post-Revolution America—criminals.
Unlike handguns, the AR-15 is braced against the shoulder and has two separate points of contact for the shooter’s hands. This means the firearm is much more stable, making it easier to handle and fire accurately for smaller or less-experienced gun owners or for any gun owner facing a life-or-death situation. They are easy to use, easy to maintain, and reliable.
On many occasions where armed self-defense is necessary, simply brandishing a firearm will be enough to deter criminals. But sometimes there is more severe need for the average law-abiding citizen to gain an advantage over multiple or heavily armed attackers.
Those situations, though infrequent, do occur—and when they do, the AR-15 can be the difference between living and dying. Consider these recent cases where the AR-15 made all the difference.
1. Harris County, Texas (2013)
A 15-year-old boy saved both his life and the life of his 12-year-old sister by fending off a pair of home invaders with his father’s AR-15.
2. Rochester, New York (2013)
Two armed burglars retreated from a college student’s apartment after coming face-to-face with an unloaded AR-15. The rifle itself instilled enough fear to cause them to flee.
3. Ferguson, Missouri (2014)
During the Ferguson, Missouri, riots, nearly all businesses within a particular 2-square-mile area of the city were looted or destroyed—except for one. African-American men guarded the gas station and convenience store of a white friend from looters and rioters. They did so armed with an AR-15, a MAC-10 “machine pistol,” and a variety of handguns.
4. Houston, Texas (2017)
A target of a drive-by shooting successfully fended off the attack by using his legally owned AR-15 against his three armed attackers. He was able to hit all three men in the moving vehicle.
5. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (2017)
A homeowner’s 19-year-old son used an AR-15 to defend himself against three would-be burglars who broke into the home in broad daylight. The 19-year-old was later determined to have acted in justifiable self-defense.
6. Sutherland Springs, Texas (2017)
After a gunman opened fire on congregants inside First Baptist Church, a man living near the place of worship grabbed his AR-15 and engaged the shooter. The shooter subsequently dropped his own firearm and fled the scene as the courageous neighbor pursued him.
7. Oswego, Illinois (2018)
A man with an AR-15 intervened to stop a neighbor’s knife attack on a pregnant woman. The rifle’s “intimidation factor” was credited as a reason why the attacker dropped his knife.
8. Catawba County, Illinois (2018)
After his 17-year-old relative successfully used his own firearm to fend off three would-be robbers who attacked him in the driveway of his home, a man used his AR-15 to stop a threat from one of the would-be robber’s upset family members.
Law-abiding Americans regularly choose the AR-15 to defend themselves, their families, and their communities against threats of violence. These Americans hope they never have to use that AR-15 on another human being. But they also know that, should the situation arise, they will have one of the best self-defense firearms to level the playing field against any attacker."
Amy Swearer, the author who wrote the article above, is a senior legal policy analyst at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
The Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights to protect the rights of individuals. The freedoms of religion, speech, association, and the rest all refer to individual liberties. The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is no different. When the first Congress penned the Second Amendment in 1789, it took the wording, with some style changes, from a list of rights introduced by James Madison of Virginia.
Of course, some people claim that there is no individual right to own firearms. However, anyone familiar with the principles upon which this country was founded will recognize this claims most glaring flaw: in America, rights--by definition--belong to individuals.
Congressman Madison had promised the Virginia ratifying convention that he would sponsor a Bill of Rights if the Constitution were ratified. The amendments he wrote would not change anything in the original Constitution. Madison repeatedly insisted that nothing in the original Constitution empowered the federal government to infringe on the rights of the people, specifically including the right of individuals to have guns.
In constructing the Bill of Rights, Madison followed the recommendations of the state ratifying conventions. Though they ratified the Constitution, several of those conventions had recommended adding provisions about specific rights. Five conventions recommended adding a right to arms; by comparison, only three conventions mentioned free speech.
Members of Congress had no doubt as to the amendment`s meaning. They and their contemporaries were firearm owners, hunters and in some cases gun collectors (George Washington and Thomas Jefferson exchanged letters about their collections). They had just finished winning their freedoms with gun in hand, and would, in their next session, pass legislation requiring most male citizens to buy and own at least one firearm and 30 rounds of ammunition.
The only reason there is a controversy about the Second Amendment is that on this subject many highly vocal and influential 21st Century Americans reject what seemed elementary common sense--and basic principle--to our Founding Fathers. The words of the founders make clear they believed the individual right to own firearms was very important:
Thomas Jefferson said,
"No free man shall be debarred the use of arms."
Patrick Henry said, "The great object is, that every man be armed."
Richard Henry Lee wrote that, "to preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms."
Thomas Paine noted, "[A]rms . . . discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property."
Samuel Adams warned that: "The said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms."
The Constitution and Bill of Rights repeatedly refer to the "rights" of the people and to the "powers" of government. The Supreme Court has recognized that the phrase "the people," which is used in numerous parts of the Constitution, including the Preamble, the Second, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to people as individuals. In each case, rights belonging to "the people" are without question the rights of individuals.
Dozens of essays have been written by the nation`s foremost authorities on the Constitution, supporting the traditional understanding of the right to arms as an individual right, protected by the Second Amendment.
As Governor of Alabama, I would do everything in my power to stop a foreign army, United Nations troops or even a rogue United States Federal Government from any kind of firearm registry or seizure. I would call on the Alabama National Guard, the Alabama Defense Force, and any able person to take up arms against any attempt to violate the Constitutional right of Alabamians to bear arms. I would work to pass a Constitutional Carry law in our state and I would not allow any federal "Red Flag" laws to be enforced in Alabama. I would also work to recruit gun and ammunition manufacturers to move to gun-friendly Alabama. Together, we must KEEP ALABAMA FREE!