Taking a Second for a Second Look at the Second Amendment

A rising chorus of gun-control advocates attributes violent criminal behaviors to firearms.  Following such a course of logic, the Centers for Disease Control would attribute obesity to table knives, dinner forks, and teaspoons.

So much of the public discourse is around the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms“.

Allow me to point to a never-quoted phrase of the Second Amendment: “being necessary to the security of a free State.

The Second Amendment - necessary to the security of a free state - outlined

What did the Founding Fathers mean by the word ‘state’? What’s a state?

State: a politically unified people occupying a definite territory; nation1

Those original thirteen colonies of Great Britain were, by definition, states while under the authority of the Crown. They became truly independent and politically unified states through the process of the American Revolutionary War. This historical war was a rebellion of British citizens against a tyrannical government.

Why did those early British citizens revolt against the King of England? Look to the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.2 Skip down to the last sentence of the second paragraph.

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.2

Subsequent to the second paragraph, the founding fathers enumerated grievances against the tyranny of King George. In summary, King George became a dictator who refused to follow the law that existed to protect all British citizens, regardless their homestead.

Moving forward to the Texas Constitution of 1876 in which Article 1 states our bill of rights. Section 23 is pertinent to this discussion.

Sec. 23. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS; REGULATION OF WEARING OF ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.3

Let’s look again to the Declaration of Independence in order to further buttress this idea of defense against tyranny.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed4

The principle that it is impossible to govern without the consent of the governed was first articulated by John Locke in his Second Treatise on Government written in 1690, 86 years before the American Revolution.

What precipitated the American Revolution? Gun control by the British government. Tyranny was ongoing throughout most of the years leading up to the revolt against the crown. The triggering events were the 1774 import ban on firearms and gunpowder; the 1774-75 confiscations of firearms and gunpowder; and the use of violence to effectuate the confiscations.5

Our natural right to keep and bear arms is at the very foundation of republican government.

The ill-informed and uneducated and willingly-ignorant fellow citizens of our great nation must not be the final word. Guns harm no one. Evil people are the culprits whom we must deal with.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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