The Constitution doesn’t confer rights, it confirms them—rights citizens already have. If you want to win gun control arguments, start by asking if people have a natural right to defend themselves. The answer is yes, and that right is regardless of the Second Amendment, which only memorializes the preexisting right to defend one’s self with the most effective means of doing so: firearms. From Andrew Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:
“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.”
— Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
President Joseph R. Biden Jr. recently announced his determination to use his powers as the chief executive of the federal government to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms. This is a profound violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution.
It also perpetuates an attitude about the Second Amendment that was prevalent in state and federal officeholders in both major political parties from the FDR to the George W. Bush eras. That attitude was based on a misreading of the Second Amendment, which characterized the right to own a gun as a collective and not an individual, personal right. In 2008, the Supreme Court corrected that misreading.
Here is the backstory.
In the mid-1930s, Jack Miller reduced the size of his shotgun by three inches and transported it in his automobile from Oklahoma to Arkansas. The FBI got wind of his travels and stopped his car and searched it. When they saw Miller’s sawed-off shotgun, they arrested him and charged him with violating a 1934 federal statute that prohibited the transportation of shotguns across state lines with a barrel below certain lengths. The shotgun was lawful in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The offense consisted only in its interstate transportation.