Our Constitution is designed to accomplish two very important objectives: (1) to prevent tyranny and (2) to protect liberty. Our Founders understood all too well that freedom decreases as the power of government—particularly the power of a centralized, federal government—increases. In addition to drafting a Constitution that created co-equal branches of a limited federal government so as to minimize the threat of an all-powerful federal government, our Founders adopted the Bill of Rights to further protect the people from the tyrannical power of government.
The rights protected by these first ten amendments to the Constitution are not simply privileges conferred upon the people by the government, as the Obama administration and other secular progressives on the far left seem to view them. Rather, they are specific limitations on the power of government. Indeed, they are, in a sense, man’s attempt at codifying transcendent and inalienable rights endowed by our Creator—rights that were alluded to in the very declaration that announced our freedom.
And first among those inalienable rights is the right to freedom of speech. This right allows the people to protest our government, to speak out against those in positions of power within that government, and ultimately to shape public policy by shaping public opinion. In short, this freedom allows the people to peacefully revolt against those in power. It is but one brake on tyranny.
As the U.S. Supreme Court has long acknowledged, “[Speech] concerning public affairs is more than self-expression; it is the essence of self-government.” NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886, 913 (1982). Without the freedom of speech we would cease to exist as a free people.
And next among those rights protected from government infringement is the right to bear arms. Our Founders also understood all too well that an armed citizenry was necessary to preserve freedom, or, as they stated in the Second Amendment, “necessary to the security of a free State.” Indeed, when the British troops marched on Lexington and Concord at the dawn of our Revolutionary War, the British were after the guns that the patriots were stockpiling. Thus, it cannot be gainsaid that our Nation owes its very existence to an armed citizenry which, when necessary, must bear arms in defense of freedom. Consequently, contrary to the misguided views of Joe Biden and others, the Second Amendment protects and preserves far more than the right to hunt deer, shoot skeet, or defend oneself against an armed burglar with a shotgun.
The Second Amendment, at its core, protects the right of a free people to defend itself from tyranny, specifically including the tyranny of its own government. It should come as no surprise then that the Obama administration, which has engaged in an unprecedented power grab by mandating health insurance and trampling on religious freedom in the process by also mandating morally objectionable services such as contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients, is also determined to come for your guns. Make no mistake, gun control is not about stopping crime or violence—it is about disarming law-abiding, private citizens—tomorrow’s “minutemen.”
Today more than ever our freedom is at risk because we are being governed by an administration that quests power and that views the Constitution as a mere inconvenience to that quest. But we, the American people, have faced such a crisis in the past. As Thomas Paine reminds us:
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.
Freedom is highly rated and tyranny is like hell. We must defend the former with all our might, and, with God’s grace, we will defeat the latter.