With President Obama imposing new “background check” rules and related requirements on gun purchases and ownership, it is worthwhile, may I suggest, to recall the meaning and significance of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution concerning the right by the citizenry to bear arms.
I published an article on “The Importance of the Second Amendment” in May 2014 in which I pointed out that gun ownership helps to secure the right of every individual to defend his or her life, liberty and honestly acquired property from those who would rather live by plunder than peaceful, productive work. A firearm is a great equalizer for those otherwise unable to ward off an attack by someone attempting murder, theft or rape.
But it should be no less forgotten that there have been times in human history when the oppressors and plunderers have not been private individuals, but tyrannical governments under which people have lived. The right to bear arms is a right of final recourse when all other peaceful and patient means of redress against violent and dictatorial governments have left citizens no other course of action that armed resistance and opposition.
Both threats to life and liberty – private aggressors and political tyrants – were behind the thinking of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That thinking is as important today as when the Bill of Rights were established.
And we should not allow the hubris of imperial presidents who presume to impose changes in law through the arrogance of “executive orders” to further erode the rights of the citizenry, including the right to bear arms.