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Gun restrictions would not control violence

January 16, 2013


Discussions about gun control must include the Second Amendment that states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Please note a couple of things: no mention of hunting or shooting sports; and, the Amendment does not state, “Congress shall make no law….”

In other words, those who argue that the Second Amendment is about hunting or shooting sports are making fallacious arguments. And no government entity, i.e. Congress, the judicial branch, or the executive branch can constitutionally infringe an American’s right to keep and bear arms.

The Framers’ intent was clearly focused on “the security of a free state,” and they knew then that when the people keep and bear arms, the people are more likely to secure a free state. The Second Amendment is about freedom from tyranny.

Even a casual search of our Founders’ intent regarding the Second Amendment documents their reasons for setting into law the freedom of all individuals to keep and bear arms.

“We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists.” — Patrick Henry

“To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” — George Mason

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” — Richard Henry Lee 1788

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed — unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — James Madison

What can we do about gun violence or simply violence today? Controlling violence has more to do with controlling perpetrators than with controlling means perpetrators use to commit violence. A perpetrator with three 10-round clips can still kill 30 unarmed people.

Also, remember laws have never stopped lawlessness, but have merely functioned as penalties against those who break laws.

The strictest gun laws in America have had no effect on reducing gun violence in Chicago or Washington, D.C. In fact, neither of the perpetrators in Newtown, Conn., or Aurora, Colo., would have violated the strictest gun laws in America.

Those who argue stricter gun laws would have prevented these atrocities have no case.

No laws will ever end violence, mass or otherwise. Only personal intervention can prevent or stop a perpetrator from committing violence.

Efforts to prevent atrocities like those in Newtown or Aurora should focus more on identifying and treating potential perpetrators.

The Second Amendment is the law of the land and no government entity can constitutionally infringe an American’s right to keep and bear arms “necessary to the security of a free State.”

Gun control proponents can try to change the law, but they cannot legitimately or constitutionally infringe any American’s right to keep and bear any arms.

Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville. Contact him at

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