On the Right to Bear Arms

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.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

– The Second and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution of the United States.

The below was my plank on the right to bear arms when I ran as an independent for US Congress in PA-15 in the 2010 election. It was originally published on August 25, 2009.

At no point would I vote for limits of any sort on the right to bear arms as a federal congressman. There is simply no authorization in the Constitution that delegates this power from the people and the states to United States Congress. States and localities can decide details for themselves based on state constitutions, local preferences, and the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.

As for my personal view, I have spent several years of my life in China, which bans guns, and this changed how I personally view this issue. There are four exceptions to China’s rule, and the first three naturally belong to the State. The power to use force against citizens is retained by the armed forces, the police, and the banks’ security personnel who transfer the paper currency.

China’s fourth exception is, of course, the criminal class, and they are not disposed to leaving victims alive since the penalties (if caught) are severe. I believe Americans should always be very wary of efforts, especially good-intentioned ones, to regulate the right to own guns and bear arms. One should always remember that unscrupulous individuals, just like criminals in China and everywhere else for that matter, will always avoid and find ways to violate the legislation as they commit theft and assaults.

I believe the only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights life, liberty, and justly acquired property against aggression. I also respect the natural rights of those who do not bear arms, and the rights of individuals to forbid the presence of arms in their homes or privately-owned places of business or worship. I am against prior federal acts to control gun ownership as the consequences are often unintended.

Let me be clear and speak plainly. The Second Amendment is NOT about shooting game or even defending your home. It is not even about retaliating when assaulted by criminals; these are all protected de facto. Read it again: “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.”

The Second Amendment protects your natural right to freedom from tyranny by using force.  It matters not if the tyrants come from our own government.

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