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Consider This: If We Lose Our 2nd Amendment Right . . . We Lose Our 1st Amendment Right

Updated: May 4

BY: Steve McGill

In 1826, Thomas Jefferson said, “All power is inherent in the people . . . it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” Written 35 years prior, his statement was framed by words found in the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights: “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.” 

Unfortunately, the 2nd amendment’s syntax (linguistic elements and their order) has resulted in much scrutiny since its inception. In 1939, our highest court came to a decision that placed the right of the people to keep and bare arms into question. While they refused to address this right’s full Constitutional scope, the Supreme Court held that the “possession or use of a shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length” was not “any part of the ordinary military equipment” protected by the Second Amendment. Sixty-seven years later, a more serious battle for the preservation of the 2nd Amendment began in 2008 in the Washington DC vs. Heller case, when a majority of the Supreme Court affirmed that it “protects the right of the individual, not the collective right of a militia.” Thus, the hot war over gun rights began.

Given the brief history above, what is the debate and why is it important? Details often muck-up the issue, but in short, the argument regards the right of an American citizen to possess and publicly carry a firearm. The importance of this right first emerged during our War for Independence when British authorities (empowered by George III) began to occupy Boston and demanded that the occupants be disarmed. “Occupants” included soldiers who made up a standing army within the population. While the royalist-imposed government in Boston debated a prohibition on all private arms, search and seizures were taking place against those attempting to obtain arms. Repulsed by the injustice that had become tyrannical, the local citizenry took up arms, and when British troops invaded Lexington, Massachusetts, with the sole purpose of seizing weapons and ammunition, the “shot heard round the world” sparked the American Revolutionary War. That “shot” became the resounding message still hearkened by freedom-loving Americans today. 

By and large, America has no direct and impending threat from outside sources (for now), so why the continued debate? We have the strongest, most threatening military force in the world with no clear evidence of the need for civilian assistance; what is the importance of preserving such a longstanding right? As modern history has clearly shown in every historical case of democratic collapse, the will and the rights of the people (the primary foundation) were first breached, as seen in post WW I in 1928, post WWII in 1945, and following the end of communism in 1989. In each case, fascists claimed to give voice to the people, all the while obliterating the very institutions they claimed to be protecting. The 2nd amendment is one of a handful of rights that serve as the primary foundation of a free America. Those rights have been  at risk since our founding fathers recognized the need to have them, but never so much as now.

Ultimately, a free America is at stake. This erosion doesn’t end with a loss of just our 2nd Amendment right. It is followed by the loss of our 1st Amendment right, namely, the right to speak freely. And, unlike the long, drawn-out 2nd Amendment hot war, the process of losing our 1st Amendment right will happen swiftly and without debate. In other words, it will not be a war at all. A people without the ability to defend themselves is enslaved to the will of their oppressors. This is exactly how the process worked in Germany when democracy yielded to fascism. It’s precisely how the Russian Revolution managed to overthrow the Russian monarchy in 1922. This was the same method used by Mao in China, by Pol Pot in Cambodia, by Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and by a host of others throughout history. In every case, the outcome was the same, i.e., control from the top, fear from the masses, and much death.

Let’s listen to the echoes of our forefathers and continue to fight for our 2nd Amendment Right. Our freedom depends upon it. Our lives depend upon it. 

Proverbs 24:10-12: If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forebear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondered the heart consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his works?

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