2nd Amendment Foundation Drops the 2nd

2nd Amendment Foundation Drops the 2nd

In a recent Washington Times interview following the events in Charlottesville, Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the 2nd Amendment Foundation publicly stated,

“Firearms serve a purpose, and the purpose is not a mouthpiece. It’s to defend yourself. If you are carrying it to make a political point, we are not going to support that.”

That this is a departure from the fine work and steadfast positions they have taken for years is apparent. What is more startling is the incoherence in his statement, especially in light of the actual facts of the protest in Virginia.

First, despite the presence of firearms at the protest, only a single shot was fired which will need to be examined closely by authorities to determine if it was fired in self defense or not. The major attack that was carried out was done by vehicle, yet, there have been no calls for vehicle bans. Some have claimed that the mere presence of firearms escalated a tense situation but this is purely subjective based upon how one feels around firearms. I have no issues whatsoever being around many people with firearms whereas someone with a mindset opposed to the 2nd amendment may feel the need to retreat to a safe place at the mere mentioning of the word gun.

Second, while much focus has been put on white supremacists and neo-nazis, we should not also forget the nationwide violence perpetrated by Antifa, also in attendance. It is speculation, but it could be worthwhile to consider what actions by Antifa (and their like) were stopped by the presence of firearms. How distasteful or evil the beliefs of all these groups may be has no bearing on their rightful authority to defend themselves. If they commit an act of violence by injuring or killing someone, with a firearm or not, the guilty should be met with full justice. The point is, unless a crime is committed, the civil magistrate has no authority to intervene.

This brings me back to the statement by the SAF. Mr. Gottlieb first states that firearms are for defending yourself…true enough. But is that the only use? As vital as that is, and it can be claimed that is exactly what the protestors were doing, it is well known and documented that is NOT their only use. Resistance to tyranny is also an important use and one that our Founding Fathers certainly understood and applied in accord with the Biblical law that is the foundation of our Constitution.

The second and more egregious statement by the SAF deals with their position that they would not support the carrying of firearms for political statements. Well, Mr. Gottlieb, what do you think the men at Lexington, Concord, or Bunker Hill were doing when they stood off against the British?!?  Indeed, all open AND concealed carriers across this nation are inescapably making a political statement every time he or she straps on their firearm. To say on the one hand that you support the 2nd amendment and the “shall not be infringed” clarity of it, and then on the other hand to deny support of the 2nd for political purposes is nonsensical, inconsistent, and damaging to every hard fought success we have made in securing back our freedoms. I would be remiss to point out, also, that every case that the SAF has fought through the courts has likewise been a political statement. I wonder if Mr. Gottlieb left his personal firearm at home when working on them.

If this is representative of some of the best of the gun rights groups, then we are truly in a world of hurt. It may be time to become more focused on where and how we support these groups and, if they persist in joining the chorus with those seeking to disarm us, then drop support altogether and thereby shake off the chaff.

SAF: the ball is in your court.  Will you recognize your error and return to the fight?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USA Carry.

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  • OldWolf

    I agree that open carry or concealed carry is, in fact, a political statement. This statement from Gottlieb concerns me since as you say the people who were open carrying were not the problem. Disturbing to say the least.

  • Roy Payne

    Great article & especially loved the oft-forgotten reverence to the Bible as the foundation of our Constitution!

    Also, I’ll be contacting the SAF & demanding a retraction of their statement.

    • Pat

      Our Constitution is in no sense founded on the Bible. If it was, working on a Sunday and disrespecting your parents would both be punishable by death.

      • Confirmation bias and motivated reasoning from SoCons and Dominionists.

        • Pat

          I’m not a Dominionist or a socon. Don’t even know what that is.

          And I suspect that ‘confirmation bias’ doesn’t mean what you think it does.

          • I didn’t say you were and I know what it is. SoCon is social conservative. I was commenting about the post above yours, but to you.

          • Pat

            Ok. I misunderstood.

    • Thomas Paine went on to give his opinion of religion:
      “I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.
      But, lest it should be supposed that I believe in many other things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons for not believing them.
      I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
      All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”
      “An unjust composition never fails to contain error and falsehood. Therefore an unjust connection of ideas is not derived from nature, but from the imperfect composition of man. Misconnection of ideas is the same as misjudging, and has no positive existence, being merely a creature of the imagination; but nature and truth are real and uniform; and the rational mind by reasoning, discerns the uniformity, and is thereby enabled to make a just composition of ideas, which will stand the test of truth. But the fantastical illuminations of the credulous and superstitious part of mankind, proceed from weakness, and as far as they take place in the world subvert the religion of REASON, NATURE and TRUTH.”
      The founding of the United States of America took place in 1787 with the signing of the Constitution, which is a purely secular document. In relation to religion the Constitution states:
      Article VI: Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
      The Bill Of Rights was quickly amended to the Constitution in order to protect the rights of citizens because the original Constitution primarily just defined the powers of government. The third Article of the Bill of Rights (which became the first amendment) states:
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
      There is often debate about what exactly the First Amendment means, however, in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists, Thomas Jefferson made clear that the purpose of the First Amendment was to establish a “wall of separation” between Church and State in order to protect individuals’ right of conscience:
      Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
      There are four references to a deity found in the Declaration of Independence, which was primarily co-authored by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, both friends of Thomas Paine. Those phrases are: “Nature’s God,” “Creator,” “Supreme Judge,” and “Divine Providence.” Specifically, the Declaration starts out:
      When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
      The Declaration of Independence clearly asserts earthly authority, the words “Laws of Nature” are even capitalized. In addition to reading the usage of the word God in context, it is also important to understand the Declaration in its own historical context. Furthermore, Benjamin Franklin was a self-declared Deist and it was he who made the final edits to the document.
      When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ’tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.
      – Benjamin Franklin: in letter to Richard Price, October 9, 1780
      My parents had early given me religious impressions, and brought me through my childhood piously in the Dissenting [Protestant] way. But I was scarce fifteen, when, after doubting by turns of several points, as I found them disputed in the different books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough deist.
      – Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, 1793
      History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
      — President Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813
      Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
      -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
      If we did a good act merely from the love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? It is idle to say, as some do, that no such thing exists. We have the same evidence of the fact as of most of those we act on, to wit: their own affirmations, and their reasonings in support of them. I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in Protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in Catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D’Alembert, D’Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than love of God.
      — President Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814

      • And yet some believe the founders were born again christians just like themselves. :/

        • Belief is like throwing away your brain, no need for it…

    • You are confused because in the 1950s the Irish/Italian/Polish/Jewish Mafias taking over government have intertwined and Unconstitutionally gave power to the Judeo-Christian-Muslim Mafia.

      • Mikial

        So, do you make your tin foil hats yourself, or do you order them on-line somewhere?

        • That’s all you can come up with Kidiot ?

  • JungleCogs

    Sounds like Mr. Gottlieb got his knickers in a bun about something he heard and decided to offer a statement. Best not to do that after one’s evening cocktail.

  • Mikial

    Well, I sent the SAF a message expressing my concern over their statement of just when and where they feel our rights apply. I recommend the rest of you do the same. When any group begins to set limits on when Americans can and should bear arms, they are doing the work of the Liberal anti-Constitution forces, and giving them ammunition to drive a wedge into the gun rights movement. A key component of my message was that I will no longer support them financially until they satisfactorily clarify just what Mr. Gottlieb was saying.

    • Darkman

      Just did likewise. The Gottlieb character is either bowing to outside pressure or is looking for acceptance from the Liberal Media and their cohorts.

      • Mikial

        Thank you and good job. Either way he’s a traitor to the Constitution and law abiding gun owners.We can preach to the choir all we want on these gun blogs and forums, but until we get involved and take on the Liberals and backstabbers directly, nothing will change. I appreciate Chris and others on this blog, TTAG and others for alerting us to situations like this.

    • Mikial

      By way of a follow-up, I received an email from Mr. Gottlieb attempting to explain the comment. It was probably a form email, but I will give him credit for answering. He defended his statement and said he doesn’t appreciate being called anti-gun. I agree he isn’t anti-gun, but his statement was destructive and harms the gun rights movement but appearing to drive a wedge into it and by putting conditions on when Americans can execute their Constitutional rights and when they can’t.

  • I didn’t realize christians needed special firearms training.

      • Mikial

        Ridiculing people for their beliefs is a very narrow minded and Liberal thing to do. Freedom of religion is a constitutionally protected right under the religion clauses of the First Amendment, and has as much validity as any other constitutionally protected right such as the right to bear arms or the right to protection from illegal search and seizure. As long as they are not blowing themselves up or murdering kids at a concert as a means of murdering their way into heaven, people have a right to be believe in whatever god they choose. Personally, I haven’t been to church in years and don’t practice any specific religion, but I stop short of ridiculing people who do.

        • The constitution doesn’t protect people from ridicule from private citizens, just proscribes the government from having an official religion and preventing people from practicing religion. I would also tell you that your use of the term liberal is misused. Atheist might be more appropriate. I am not “religious” at all, but I just found it odd that the author runs a christian firearms training company. Does that mean he won’t train non-christians? I don’t know, but I find it odd and parochial if not narrow minded as you call it. In the end, people can believe what they want, in Santa, the Easter Bunny, invisible pseudo-omnipotent men in the sky, it’s no skin off my back until they want to legislate and create policy with it, which we’re seeing with Trump, who isn’t religious at all, but has to pay back those that put him in office.

          • Mikial

            Very true, the Constitution indeed does not protect people from ridicule. The whole PC thing has made my teeth ache for years, which is why I have always liked shows like The Simpsons that essentially makes fun of everybody. We all need to be able to laugh at ourselves. I guess what I’m saying is that anyone who has to ridicule others for their beliefs has some personal issues that need to be addressed. But I do appreciate your interjections and I certainly would never patronize any training facility that based their acceptance of clients on their religious beliefs. Okay, I need to take a breath and back up here . . . I would never patronize any facility that would put forth any religion before another or which would train people who might commit violence based on their religions beliefs. I was a Mormon for over 20 years, and they were the most miserable 20 years of my life. Religion is an evil that had caused more sorrow than gold in the history of the world. Christianity and Islam seem to be to two that have caused the most sorrow in history, although in modern times it is certainly Islam.

          • I’m from NY and I went to the George Carlin School of funny shit. I just think I have a front seat to the freak show. George came up with that one.

          • Mikial

            Brother, I think we all have a front seat in the freak show, it’s just that so many people don’t realize it. I just want people to open their minds before they open their mouths. I have to credit that one to the Motionless in White song Immaculate Misconception.

          • Mikial

            Sorry for the second responce . . . lot’s of rum at this point, but I too am from NY and got out of there at the tender age of 18.

          • I was stuck there until I was 40.

          • Mikial

            Well, often times it’s not about how long it took you to escape, but that you did it at all. I’ve lived all over the US and traveled the world, and I have to admit that upstate NY holds a certain nostalgia for me because of its beauty, but the politics don’t fit my personal beliefs. In truth, I don;t care for anyone telling me what I should or should not believe, and that has caused a few issue with both Liberal and Conservative associates. In the end, we all have a right to believe what we wish and to pursue our lives as we see fit so long as we don’t harm others. But the minute anyone tries to dictate what anyone should do or not do based on their own personal religious beliefs I stand up and argue with them. And I appreciate people like you who are willing to do the same. T

          • I am from south shore Nassau County.

          • But in the 1950s, they did create legislation – Marriage Laws by state, Divorce, Child Support, ALIMONY and failure to pay – Imprisonment. This parted a large divide between the 2 largest groups on the planet – the sexes. Divide & Rule, Divide & Conquer and Religion was always the right hand of Despots, Dictators and Tyrants. Putting religious statements on money and government buildings, to make sure the constitution is thoroughly trampled by a Tax Free Business.

          • It’s never been right versus left, men versus women, conservatives versus liberals or whites versus blacks. It’s always been about liberty versus authority, the vertical political axis. I don’t see a huge difference between left and right progressives, they both want to use the government to further their beliefs and create a world in that image, regardless of the rights of peoples and the consequences of many of their musterbating ill thought out ideas. To put it another way, Robert Heinlein said all politics and I would add religion, breaks down into two groups: Those that want other people controlled and those that do not. The true believers and useful idiots are the promoters and social enforcers of the tribe’s rules. It’ll be a better day when only one tribe matters, humans and the elitists and mouth breathers die off. It won’t be in my lifetime though.

  • John

    I had not heard this statement by Gottlieb. I completely agree with you. The left has made the 2nd Amendment and our Constitutionally guaranteed, God-given right to own and carry weapons a political issue. Any person who can make a statement like Gottlieb did is either under the influence or has been drinking the Kool-Aid.

  • The Tyrants always disarmed the populace before a massacre. The events you see unfolding is part of “Winning Hearts & Minds” by will or by force. It has never been a self defense proposition.

  • unknown3rdparty

    Consider those who parade about the city streets carrying kitted out ARs, AKs and other long guns slung over their shoulders simply to show that they can, that they’re not hurting anybody or doing something wrong. True, they’re not doing anything wrong, but they’re also not helping. They’re only trying to score points, especially in confrontations with LEOs, to prove/show that they know the law.

    I think that’s the kind of “political point” that Gottlieb is talking about …

    • Mikial

      I understand what you are saying and frankly I agree with you about people carrying long guns around just because they can, but the fact remains it is their right and misguided as they may be in their political approach, under the US Constitution no one can take that right away from them. My problem with Gottlied’s comment is that he is essentially agreeing with the Liberals who would like to see laws passed to curtail that right and his comment will be used by the antis against the adherents to the Second Amendment. History has proven this. Any time a prominent gun rights personage says anything like this, the Liberal media jumps on it and uses it to further their agenda. This is not a helpful thing for him to do.