Advocacy / Second Amendment

Conservatives Must Defend the Second Amendment

secondThe recent school shooting in Parkland, FL was a tragedy. 17 students and teachers lost their lives at the hands of a mentally unstable gunman. The bravery and selflessness shown by those who sacrificed their lives to help others to safety is a humbling example of the best of American virtues.

What adds to the tragedy in Parkland was the fact that it could have been prevented. The shooter was known to local Parkland law enforcement, which responded to calls at his house more than thirty times. The Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to forward a chillingly specific tip about the shooter—one in which he self-identified as someone who intended to become “a professional school shooter.” Moreover, the Broward County sheriff’s deputy tasked with protecting the students at Parkland heard the shots but remained outside the school.

Laws and procedures that might have prevented the shooting in Parkland were not followed or enforced, and those charged to “protect and serve” failed. A thorough investigation needs to be conducted to determine what actually happened and why. All of this makes concerted efforts by liberal activists and the media to infringe upon Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens misguided.

The Supreme Court has affirmed the plain text of the Second Amendment, which states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The language of the amendment—confirmed by the Supreme Court in the seminal case of District of Columbia vs Heller—clearly indicates this is a pre-existing individual liberty, one that is referenced in the 1689 English Bill of Rights. The language “shall not be infringed” indicates recognition, not creation. In addition, every state constitution includes language similar to the Second Amendment, most of which have been upheld by state supreme courts.

Taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens to possess firearms will not prevent future tragedies like Parkland. Neither will the creation of massive databases of lawful gun owners.

Evil cannot be regulated. However, measures can be taken to diminish the frequency and scope of mass shootings. As a Florida Teacher of the Year Kelly Guthrie Raley said recently, parents must be more involved in regulating bad behavior. Gun-free school zones should be done away with, and teachers who want to be trained to possess firearms in the classroom should be given the support to do so.

Finally, enforcing existing laws as they relate to addressing troubled individuals might have prevented the Parkland tragedy, and can likely prevent others. When law enforcement fails, as it did in Parkland, there must be accountability.

As conservatives, we affirm our commitment to the Second Amendment and oppose any legislation that would infringe upon the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families.

Reprinted with Permission from - Conservative Action Project

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