Paul Jacob

You wouldn’t give up your life or property without a fight if a criminal assaulted you — not if you had any way to fight back.

Nor should you give up your right of self-defense when enemies of that right assault you — not when you have so much democratic armament at your disposal.

Foes of gun rights have long pretended that the Second Amendment’s explicit ban on infringing “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” pertains to something else altogether, maybe the right to reupholster furniture. But in 2008, a lawsuit financed and led by businessman-turned-lawyer and policy analyst Robert Levy resulted in a Supreme Court decision that affirmed the Second Amendment’s protection of our right to bear arms. The court recognized that the amendment “protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

District of Columbia v. Heller was a major affirmation of the right to bear arms. But as Levy understood, the ruling was merely the “opening salvo in a series of litigations” to be fought over gun rights.

Within this context, politicians and others persist in seeking to infringe our gun rights . . . as if the best way to help potential victims of murderous assaults is to make of us easy prey.

The strategy? Maim our gun rights first, finish them off later.

This means that they are eager to get just as close as they can, today, to annulling the Second Amendment without doing so explicitly.

Americans grasp the strategy and are fighting back. Consider just two states in which the right of self-defense has been under assault, Washington and Colorado.

The battle in the Evergreen State has taken the form of two competing ballot measures. Because enemies of the Second Amendment have failed to win new gun-control laws from the legislature, they are turning to the initiative process. Their anti-gun-right measure, I-594, would require background checks for every kind of gun purchase, pretty much killing gun shows, for instance. On the opposing side, a coalition of pro-Second-Amendment organizations has been collecting signatures for pro-gun-right ballot initiative, I-591, also known as The Protect Our Gun Rights Act.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.