Janet M. LaRue

In the midst of riots, arson and looting, British citizens armed themselves … with aluminum bats.

A Louisville Slugger is no match for a mob, but when your Socialist government makes it virtually impossible to own a gun, you grab whatever you can to protect yourself, your family, and property.

Online sales of aluminum bats on Amazon.com increased by 6,000 percent during the violence, according to CNN. Most British police don’t carry guns. The situation is a far cry from the right to bear arms enshrined in the English Bill of Rights, a forerunner of our Second Amendment.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia provided a historical summation of our Second Amendment’s origins in English law in his brilliant 5-4 majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). Holding that “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms,” Scalia wrote:

By the time of the founding, the right to have arms had become fundamental for English subjects. … Blackstone, whose works, we have said, "constituted the preeminent authority on English law for the founding generation," … cited the arms provision of the Bill of Rights as one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen. … His description of it cannot possibly be thought to tie it to militia or military service. It was, he said, "the natural right of resistance and self-preservation,"… and "the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.” … Other contemporary authorities concurred. … Thus, the right secured in 1689 as a result of the Stuarts' abuses was by the time of the founding understood to be an individual right protecting against both public and private violence.

Janet M. LaRue

Jan LaRue is Senior Legal Analyst with the American Civil Rights Union; former Chief Counsel at Concerned for Women; Legal Studies Director at Family Research Council; and Senior Counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families. Be the first to read Janet LaRue's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.