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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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January 28, 2013 - 6:59 am

President Barack Obama and other gun control advocates miss the point of the Second Amendment. It is not about hunting. It is not about skeet shooting.

They miss the point on purpose, to make themselves seem like everyday people, and to make the politics of gun control more palatable. But they’re not being honest about the true purpose of the Constitutional guarantee of American citizens the right to keep and bear arms.

When the Second Amendment was written, it and the Constitution of which it is a part, was not about hunting. It was never about hunting. The Constitution was about securing liberty by setting imperfect elected and appointed leaders as checks and balances on each other. The Second Amendment was about securing liberty through the force of arms. The people were to be a check on the government.

An armed citizenry can do at least two things. An armed citizenry can face down the threat of government tyranny. An armed citizen can also protect themselves when government is not on hand to offer protection. The first is a check on government power. The second is a check on anarchy. The first keeps the government on its leash. The second ensures that government does not have to become all-powerful. The responsible, armed, informed citizen is the lynchpin of our system.

Government cannot be everywhere, all the time, to keep law-abiding citizens safe from criminals. A government capable of protecting liberty all the time across every square inch of this vast country is a government capable of extinguishing liberty. We do not need nor do we want a government so powerful. Liberty cannot thrive if government is overly powerful.

With liberty comes responsibility. An American adult must assume many responsibilities, and among those is the responsibility to protect their loved ones, themselves, and their property from thieves. The government cannot do that for us. We should not want the government to do that for us. We should do it for ourselves. In some cases, we must, because our own government is irresponsible.

Citizens do not need anyone’s permission to protect ourselves from criminals.We certainly don’t need the permission of anyone who is part of the reason we need to defend ourselves.

I live in a state that borders a Third World country that is currently in the midst of a violent drug war. That drug war is spilling over into Texas. The federal government on the southern side of the border is not strong enough to crush the drug cartels. The federal government on the northern side of the border is strong enough to keep the violence out, but is choosing not to. Some on the left want the border porous so that it can become a vote factory. Some on the right want the border to remain porous so that they can use it to get cheap labor. The citizen who has to live with the consequences of both of those positions finds themselves dealing with lawlessness. Those of us who write about that lawlessness may have additional risks on us. Is it wise to depend on the government that is promoting lawlessness, to help defend my family and my home from the consequences of lawlessness?

Molon labe.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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