Second Amendment Right vs All Other Rights

Second Amendment Right vs All Other Rights

I just spent a few minutes watching Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) make compelling arguments to the left over a series of subjects. One of the most argued over rights as granted in the Constitution, is the Second Amendment. In one of the exchanges, the honorable Mr. Gowdy points out that if the federal government decided to start imposing tests in order for someone to exercise other rights under the constitution, the left would be apoplectic. For instance, my writing this right now. What if freedom of the press under the First Amendment meant you had to take a test first? You have to take a test to exercise your right to carry a firearm. Why not take a test to make sure you’re not a flailing idiot when writing for public consumption? Perhaps every blogger should also be administered a test to ensure he or she has all the facts (as the test administrator sees them) to be able to express their opinion. It’s an interesting and compelling argument.

The Second Amendment is the only Constitutional right that, in most states, is being hampered by some sort of qualification before you are legally able to exercise that right. Free speech does have some limitations, such as the old, “you can’t yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater” discussion. There are also laws on the books about liable so that one can’t slander someone with free speech without there being some ramifications. But those are not qualifiers. Those are limitations after-the-fact. They are put in place to punish someone after they have abused their right to something granted under the Constitution. We have the right to life, liberty and happiness. Despite who it might offend. Our nation was founded on the notion that while my activities might indeed offend someone else, I am still free to do (mostly) what I like. Even if that means someone else doesn’t like it. For example, freedom of religion springs to mind. There are religions of all sorts across this country. Some of which, in my opinion, really have no business being called a religion at all. But, the mere fact that I may disapprove of them doesn’t allow me to find ways to have them shut down, persecuted, prosecuted or otherwise silenced.

Generally, the left is constantly decrying the fact that guns are the only tools under that list of rights, that in the wrongs hands, causes the death of another. At least that’s the basis for most of their arguments. But, if you take a moment, you’ll find that isn’t the truth at all. I think there is a very strong case for cause-and-effect because of the very immediate affect a firearm has, however, there are other mechanisms that cause as much or more death in the world that don’t have that immediate and very visceral effect that a firearm does. Let’s take life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness down to its core for a moment and discuss the very non-PC notion of having children. Indeed, it is another God-given right that you have to bring children into this world. Here in the United States, there is no limitation on having children whatsoever. If examined closely though, one might find that there is very real damage going on with our children because of this doctrine.

People can produce children with no limitations and without proving that they have the means to support them. Obviously, you don’t have to be married to have children, you don’t even have to have a father/mother/partner/significant other in place opposite you to have a child. There mere fact that biologically you can produce one is all you need (adoptions, oddly enough actually mean you have to qualify to become a parent). Arguably, there is a very real need for children, in order to grow up healthy and happy, to have a mother/father and the financial means for support throughout their childhood and adolescence. Despite the fact that there is a great deal of anecdotal and other evidence that these children are often at risk, the government and the left feel no compelling need to protect them from inadequate or harmful parenting. Further, there are those that use having children as a payout system from state welfare systems. In these cases, the goal is to have as many children as you can tolerate to ensure the government provides you with housing, medical and other benefits “for the children” that otherwise might not be as lucrative without all those children around. The eldest children get roped into becoming surrogate fathers or mothers of the younger ones because the parent(s) have no real intention of raising the kids themselves. Once again, these kids are at risk. There are even stories of child molesters either moving into single mother’s homes to get access to children, or marrying to have children to then molest their own kids. While the latter might be reviled by all concerned, there still no precautionary tests or interviews to have these kids. You have to get a license to get married, but no qualifications whatsoever to have a child!

Yet, despite this, no one gives a test to ensure they have the means or the know-how to raise a child or children. There is no license to have them. There is no renewal of a license to determine if they are properly caring for these kids. I realize that CPS has been created to try and stop the abuse, but it is largely underfunded and ineffective when compared to the sheer volume of cases they must review. Yet, I had to take a test to carry concealed. I must renew that license at specified intervals. I must demonstrate that I can safely handle a firearm according to the State and county rules (which vary from place to place).

In my opinion, if the intent here is to prevent the potential death of human beings overall, shouldn’t all aspects of life be under the microscope? These unfortunate children are far more likely to either become victims of abuse, crime, drug addiction and overdoses, and a myriad of other high risk, life threatening situations than merely having a firearm in my house does. Heck, backyard pools present more of a threat, but no one administers a swimming test to the household to ensure they aren’t going to drown. Perhaps there should be a ban on having a swimming pool in your back yard until such time as it can be proved that each household member can pass a government administered swimming test. In addition, the mere presence of that pool would preclude you from having BBQ parties, parties that include alcohol or other guests that don’t present you with a validated swimming license.

I know the above example is fairly absurd. I know that perhaps my mentioning that kids might be at risk by some people because of their having more than they can clearly afford to raise might be offensive to some. But, I want to illustrate the hypocritical, pick-and-choose method that the left uses to define what is and isn’t life threatening.

As the honorable Mr. Gowdy pointed out, the Second Amendment is the only one that you must first pass a test in many places, in order to exercise. Just to be clear, I am not advocating that we start testing everyone for all things, on the contrary, I’m suggesting that you stop imposing more and more restrictions on the only right that is constantly under fire.

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  • David Smith

    The Constitution grants no rights, it recognizes them.

    It is a fairly important distinction, and one we must be sure to remember.

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  • upblackbelt

    Excellent article while your comparison to having children is a stretch, but maybe it shouldn’t be, your point is right on.

  • Now if we could leave god out of it…It’s an appeal to authority fallacy and requires that we all believe the same thing. We don’t. It’s true that it’s been said that the constitution recognizes rights, but the truth is that it’s made up by man. To put it another way, if I have to suspend disbelief, it’s bullshit. I’d like to believe we have rights, but in truth, they are only as good as what we all agree on. When we stop agreeing, then those rights don’t exist and that’s in a democratic or republican society. In an authoritarian regime, it’s different. You’re told what the deal is and that’s that. No matter what and no matter who gets elected though, I think, I see that we’re moving in a more authoritative direction. It just depends on the party in power and whose rights they want to “manage”. In the end, it’s about power and with any body like a government, it’s going to want to grow. Just the way it is…Anyway, too much dissertation. If you want your right to keep and bear arms protected, they I hope you make the argument that most would agree on, irrespective of personal beliefs.

  • KUETSA

    After all the tearing down of the second amendment through REINTERPRETATION into the “ALLOWANCE” of limited, low capacity sporting arms, (of the type “allowed” around the world where there is NO second amendment), progressives scream and prop up constitutional rights for hanging pictures in the capital depicting police as pigs, the right to assemble is now the right to riot, freedom of religion is now the right of foreigners to immigrate unregulated . . . etc.
    It is OUR duty as Americans to NOT SURRENDER ANY of the one right that enables “THE CAPABILITY” of keeping secure our freedoms. Citizen disarmament is designed to “TAKE THE CAPABILITY”. There is no point to a second amendment that can be incrementally taken as a political party “EVOLVES” toward totalitarianism. There is no security with the reality that as a political party becomes more oppressive, they will limit firearm ownership so that by the time firearms are needed, they will have been already taken! The reality is that if Americans surrender their semi-automatic AR15 type rifles and standard full capacity magazines – THEY NO LONGER POSSESS “THE CAPABILITY” OF KEEPING SECURE THEIR FREEDOMS AND SECURING THEIR SAFETY.
    TRUMP’S new, improved Supreme Court MUST reverse state laws that have “TAKEN THE CAPABILITY”!

  • Rod Markland

    Look, I completely support the second amendment but this is one of the weakest, lamest arguments I have ever heard. I am a concealed carry permit holder and a believer in the right to defend oneself and ones family, or even other members of society. I support our second amendment. That said, there are plenty of people in our society that should under no circumstances, be in possession of a weapon based on the fact that they are not qualified to use it and lack the judgement of when to use it. Carrying a weapon of any sort, carries with it a grave responsibility to ones self and society.

    Free speech is and should always be guaranteed because it guarantees expression of an opinion. It is then the responsibility of the listener to determine if the information is useful and valid. This is where many people have gone astray; they assume because somebody said it, it is true as long as it supports a notion that they either want to or need to believe is true, whether it is or not. By the same token, they refuse to believe anything that does not support their own opinion, even when presented with facts to support the opposing opinions, if it is not convenient for them. It would make more sense to regulate the listeners that are too thick to understand that what they are hearing is an opinion and not necessarily the facts, especially some of the outlandish, or huge opinions that are being tossed around. For the record, I suggest that in jest, I would not actually regulate either side of speech, the speaker or the listener.

    To yell fire in a theater, when there is no fire, is not an example of free speech. One is not expressing the opinion that there is a fire in the theater, but rather committing an act of terror with the intent of causing panic and mayhem. You do not even need to be real bright to figure out why that is against the law. You also don’t need to be real bright to see the disparity in the differences between regulating weapons that are capable, in and of themselves, to be deadly and regulating speech. Speech is never deadly. Period. What is deadly, is the actions that humans choose to take, based on their interpretation of speech, whether it is true or not. People need to be more responsible listeners.

    I agree with your point about religion but am also grateful there is no regulation beforehand of religious beliefs. Again, any religious belief, no matter how extreme or degenerate it might be, is only as dangerous as the people who choose to embrace it to further their own personal agendas and buy into whatever vile hatred it might be spewing. There are plenty of faiths out there that people find a lot of peace in and a lot of faiths out there that are full of hate and anger and violence, whether subtly or outwardly expressed. Again, the listener has a responsibility to choose what is the truth.

    I am baffled by your point about having and raising children, whether it was just to make a point or not. The very party and people that would have you believe they support your right to own a gun are the same people that refuse to let people choose to have control over their own bodies. They regulate the use of birth control and it’s administration through laws that allow insurance companies to not cover it at their will. They oppose abortion but refuse to step up and offer support for the child that was born to a life of abuse and poverty. I guess my question would be if there is a difference between regulating someones “God given rights” through legislation and forcing ones religious beliefs on another through legislation. They both seem equally offensive. These same religious folks would ask you to turn the other cheek rather than smite your enemy with a jacketed hollow point. My point is the logic simply doesn’t add up. Additionally, the same party and people that have you convinced that they care if you get to have a gun or not, are the ones that are responsible for underfunding the departments you are speaking of. Nobody ever accused the left of underfunding social programs, yes that department is considered a social program. I would say the right is just as guilty of picking and choosing causes.

    There are plenty of examples in our society that, as a result of experience, we have made rules or laws that regulate the use or ownership of certain items. I am confident you are intelligent enough to find examples in your own community so I won’t bore you with a list. One example to make a point though would be nuclear weapons. I can tell you there have been times in my life that I might have sent one to make a point if I had one. However, fortunately, we can not own nuclear weapons. Personally, I am very grateful for this. Really, what is the difference though? I think we would agree that generally, it would be considered “arms”. I am guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms. The idea that I should be able to have a small ICBM and only be held to account after I have wiped out a small country or a few states that made me mad is ludicrous. Any human being with a modicum of logic would agree that is a ridiculous idea. There is definitely a difference between owning a nuke and owning a .22 rifle. What is the difference? It lies in the administration of understanding what is reasonable. We simply disagree on where to draw the line. I am unsure why the requirement to be trained in the use and proficiency of a weapon that you are going to use to defend yourself, potentially in a public place, is so offensive. If you are in Burger King and a bad guy with a gun comes in and some unqualified whack job with a gun in his waistband tries to shoot the guy and instead kills your wife, daughter or son, then what? God bless America? I am sorry but I just can’t buy into that. You are a responsible, law abiding citizen; how about the day you walk into Burger King after working in the yard all day, looking disheveled, and the same unqualified whack job with a gun in his waistband gets a glimpse of your weapon printing or somehow gets a glimpse of the weapon itself, misinterprets the situation and decides to take out the threat and be a hero? God bless America? Give me a break, as responsible gun owners, we have a responsibility to promote safe and legal use of these tools.

    Let us remember, these tools, in regards to concealed carry handguns, are bought, carried and promoted with only one thing in mind, the taking of a human life. When we strap that gun on and leave our homes, we understand that if we pull it out to protect ourselves, we are likely going to kill someone, on purpose. This very website promotes that theory in various articles promoting shoot to kill, not shoot to neutralize, don’t fire warning shots, don’t shoot someone in the leg, etc. I agree with all these theories and take that responsibility seriously but would no sooner carry that pistol without appropriate training than put a child behind the wheel of a corvette without training. People do not buy Corvette’s with the intent of killing someone, yet their use is regulated. Not mentioned in the Constitution? It’s because they didn’t exist. The constitution does however allow for states to make laws about the manner in which they are used and who can use them, based on ability. What is so offensive about that expectation? I have to believe that you agree with that as a responsible person. Is it simply that you feel your power is being taken away by society asking you to prove that you’re qualified? Part of me has to believe that the largest part of the people that object to this, do so because they are not in fact qualified. If you do not want to have guns regulated, because guns don’t kill people, people kill people; then it stands to reason that there should be some reasonable regulation of people.

    The Constitution is a living document. We have a responsibility to embrace the procedure laid out for us by our founding fathers to use it in a way to find a balance between the rights of individuals and the rights and the betterment and protection of our society as a whole. Some would have you believe that the Constitution is written in stone and delivered from God himself, that it is unchangeable and is perfect as it is written. To believe that the founders had any idea where this world would go and the changes that would come about; and would expect that that document would never change is ludicrous. Let’s not forget that the very language in the Constitution that allows one to keep and bear arms, was an amendment, a change. If this conversation was taking place before the second amendment, it would be a whole different discussion. These people would be making the same arguments for change.

    Don’t fool yourself, the not so honorable Trey Gowdy doesn’t give a damn if you get to have a gun. He wants your vote. He has chosen a horse and will ride it and repeat it’s various mantras to further his own agenda of maintaining his very lucrative position within our government. He has a formidable donor in the NRA and garners support through blowing its horn and gets the benefit of the members who believe he is on their side. I’ll bet he’d feel differently if he or his family were the innocent bystander in Burger King that was killed by someone’s Constitutional right…

  • KUETSA

    Yea, “you can’t yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater” – BUT – You aren’t required by law to leave your vocal cords at home before going to the theater!

  • Tom Joyce

    “Why not take a test to make sure you’re not a flailing idiot when writing for public consumption?” For one thing, a writer would demonstrate the knowledge of the difference between libel and liable.

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