Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Splitting Hairs

A friend of mine sent me the URL of a poll being taken by USA Today which had to do with the Second Amendment. I read the question and immediately responded to his request with an observation. I took a picture of the results as a means of showing it rather than relying on a link to it.

“Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms?”

I sent back a short answer which hopefully caused him to rethink; not so much his position but what was being asked.

“The Second Amendment does not give individuals the right to bear arms; to the contrary, the Second Amendment provides the protection from government of a God given right to bear arms. The individual has rights bestowed upon him by God; powers and entitlements are granted by government and it is a wise person who can differentiate between them.”

We had the right to bear arms before our government was formed; the Second Amendment was an attempt to explain this most basic right. Unfortunately, there are many who would have us believe otherwise and have used the archaic language of our forefathers to muddy the waters.

One of the challenges in America today is our understanding the most basic elements, the foundation upon which our great nation was built. Read the Declaration of Independence where these ideas are clearly established.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Rights are endowed from God, not from government; rights are unalienable and cannot be created or taken away by government. The purpose of government is to secure these rights so that no individual’s rights may be trampled upon, either by other individuals or groups of individuals to include foreign and domestic. When this most basic concept is forgotten or ignored our nation stands in great jeopardy of falling from its foundation and into ruin.

Returning to what may have been an intentionally poorly designed question, “Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms?”, it would appear that 98% of those responding to the USA Today poll either ignored the wording in favor of the general idea that individuals have the right to bear arms or ignored how they might be manipulated by a simple splitting of hairs.

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