Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Sporting Purpose" and Guns

There is a mounting call for restricting privately-owned firearms to only those arms with a "sporting purpose". Gun-grabbers argue that firearms with a military appearance or with a caliber larger than some arbitrary number have no "sporting purpose". Now, even gun manufacturer advertising is careful to note the "sporting purpose" of the firearms they make. This superfluous standard runs contrary to the intent of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

When working out the wording of the Second Amendment, the nation's founders were not thinking about duck hunting or any other "sporting purpose". They wanted to ensure that everyone understands that the Constitution guarantees (not grants) the individual and personal God-given right to own and use firearms.

In referencing the militia (defined by 10 USC § 311 as all able-bodied adult males -- not a formal military force) it is clear that they intended for us to have arms comparable to those commonly used by any armed force that might be employed against the citizens by a tyrannical government or enemy nation. (Some of the artillery used by George Washington's army was reportedly on loan from, purchased from, or donated by, private citizens! In fact, until the Gun Control Act of 1968, a US citizen could buy surplus military cannons -- by mail!)

The authors of the Bill of Rights saw gun rights as essential to our ability to protect ourselves, our families, our neighbors, our communities, our states, and our nation from criminal attack, tyranny, and terrorism. The Second Amendment is the nation's original "Homeland Security".

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