Bob Barr April 1st 2020
For more than 150 years, gun laws in the United States were essential, as written in the Bill of Rights: “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.” It was not until the second half of the 20th Century that gun control as we know it took hold. By that time, of course, the United States had survived a bloody civil war, expanded territorially from the eastern seaboard to the Arctic Circle, fought in and emerged victorious in two World Wars, and was the only superpower to stand against the expansionist communist regimes in the Soviet Union and Red China.
To say that the Second Amendment was instrumental in these iconic American stories is an understatement. Guns are intimately woven into the fabric of America’s unique, rugged individualism that has seen us survive numerous hardships in our country’s short existence; all without losing our quintessential grit and spirit of freedom. At least, it seems, until now.
With the stroke of their pens, a number of far-left local mayors and state governors responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, have declared the Second Amendment “non-essential.” Based not on centuries of American history and decades of legal precedent saying otherwise, these anti-gun officials saw a window of opportunity to make irrelevant, even if temporarily, a sacred constitutional right.
Closing down firearms retailers and shooting ranges effectively prevents large numbers of citizens from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to possess a firearm for self-defense; it also impedes the ability of police officers in many parts of the country from accessing those gun ranges to maintain their shooting skills.
Making matters even worse, many localities may now claim the authority, in declaring a “state of emergency,” to arbitrarily confiscate firearms from citizens, such as we witnessed in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Fortunately for the Bill of Rights, Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton is our president during this crisis.