“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed…”
These words were penned by educated, enlightened men in the late 18th century. The choice of words was not fuzzy or vague. It was clear and explicit and was inserted into the U.S. Constitution, the bedrock of American law. It clearly gives the right, not just the power [to the people] but the right under the law to not only own arms but to bear [carry] them as well.
Admittedly, technology since that time has made weaponry vastly more powerful and deadly than at that time, but the right of lawful citizens remains.
Why did they incorporate this 2nd Amendment and make it law in the first place? Answer: not for protection from hostile native Indians, encroaching French traders, or renegade Redcoats. Its purpose was primarily for protection of the citizens from government.
This is why having standing [regular] armies was extremely suspect. The added reason of defense on the western frontier and the fact that municipal police forces did not yet exist to ensure safety, even within cities. Good cause, albeit different, exists today.
Locally today, we are blessed with relatively low crime rates, unlike those in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, etc. Still, we live in dangerous times. Chances of car-jacking in Fairfield are quite low; road rage violence, however, is just as likely here as there, as are home invasion, burglary, etc.
The police/sheriff cannot be an individual’s first-line defense against crime; the individual has primary responsibility for his/his family’s safety. The law enforcement people come after the crime, after the break-in, after the damage has been done.
They usually apprehend the criminal, but they cannot protect you in the time of danger. That’s the duty and the right of the individual. God gave us the duty to do so, and the Constitution gives us the right.
Gun control advocates have something of a point, however. There is no current rationale for a shopkeeper, farmer, merchant, etc. to own machine guns and other hi-tech weapons unless he is a serious collector of war memorabilia. In such instances, current laws already stringently control ownership.
Unfortunately, the gun control element actively lobbies for the elimination of gun ownership in private hands – period. It is as ludicrous as it is unworkable: people lining up to “sell back” guns to the authorities are not the ones who commit crimes with guns. Criminals do and will not sell their weapons.
These programs are merely window dressing for the liberal agenda. Chicago has the toughest gun control laws of any city in the country; it also boasts the highest homicide rate by gun in the nation. Mexico has even more severe laws regarding gun ownership; it is in fact the wild west due to armed cartels.
I have owned and from time to time, carried a pistol since I was 23. Over 50 years. I have never committed a crime with a gun. Three times in that period having a pistol saved me from serious bodily harm or worse.
My gun is just like my spare time/jack in the trunk: wonderful if needed and not bothersome if not. I regret the recent horror in Las Vegas, but depriving citizens of the right to self-defense will not help prevent crazies from criminal acts.