domestic terrorism

Second Amendment: Domestic Terrorism Shows the Wisdom of the Framers

Only the First Amendment generates more controversy than the Second Amendment.  Both sides of the debate are determined, organized, and well-financed.  Unfortunately, there is a great deal of hypocrisy and some unconscionable tactics associated with the “anti” side of the debate.  Gun-control advocates tend to ignore the Constitution as well as the facts concerning gun ownership in America.  Worse yet, they exploit the grief of families who have lost loved ones to gun violence in an effort to undermine the Second Amendment and gloss over the facts relating to gun violence.

But an interesting phenomenon has inserted itself into the debate; a phenomenon that is making things difficult for gun-control advocates.  That phenomenon is domestic terrorism.  In spite of President Obama’s on-going efforts to portray acts of terrorism as workplace violence, events such as the Boston Marathon bombing, the recent assassination of four Marines and a Sailor by a domestic terrorist, and numerous other similar incidents are combining to show the wisdom of the Constitution’s framers in establishing the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment is simple in its wording and its intent is obvious to anyone who is not blinded by anti-gun bias: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  Only those afflicted by anti-gun bias could turn this amendment into anything but a clear right of the American people to “keep and bear arms.”  Now that domestic terrorism has become an everyday reality in America and since it is obvious that the government cannot protect its citizens from domestic terrorists, the right to keep and bear arms has never been more critical to the “security of a free state” or the safety of its people.

Gun-control advocates have always been averse to the research that is readily available concerning gun ownership and crime rates.  Because the facts do not accord with their anti-gun bias, gun-control advocates simply ignore the facts; fact such as these: 1) gun violence goes down when gun ownership goes up, 2) gun-control measures proposed in the aftermath of gun-violence tragedies typically would not have prevented the tragedies, 3) the Second Amendment is clear and requires no special or creative interpretation, 4) when stricter gun-control laws are passed, only law-abiding citizens obey them (as a result only criminals have guns), 5) more comprehensive, more aggressive treatment of mental illness will do more to reduce gun-violence tragedies than ill-conceived gun-control laws, 6) with domestic terrorism on the rise, Americans are well-advised to be armed and proficient in the use of guns, 7) getting guns out of the hands of criminals not law-abiding citizens is the most effective way to reduce gun violence, and 8) guns are just inanimate objects—gun violence is caused by people not guns.  As the Boston marathon bombing showed, criminals and terrorists will find ways to do their dirty work with or without guns.

One of the reasons the gun-control debate has become so intense is that America has never had a more anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment president than Barack Obama.  Strict enforcement of existing gun laws is an effective way to reduce gun-related violence.  The research on this is clear.  Unfortunately, gun-related prosecutions have steadily declined during President Obama’s tenure in office.  The obvious conclusion to be drawn from this is that when it comes to gun control, the president is not interested in the facts.  His opposition is based on political opportunism. He is joined in his perfidy by other gun-control advocates on the left for whom the debate isn’t even about gun control but politics.  One would reasonably think that a president who puts so much energy into pushing for new and more restrictive gun-control laws would instruct his Justice Department to actively prosecute those who violate existing laws.  But those who think this would be mistaken in the case of President Obama.

Too many gun-control advocates are more interested in political posturing than actually reducing gun violence. They are masters at publically wringing their hands and crying crocodile tears every time another psychologically disturbed individual uses a gun to act out his emotional disorders.  But ask them to stop talking and do something—something like enforcing the myriad gun laws already on the books and they simply change the subject.  If gun-control advocates were really concerned about gun violence, they would demand that the Justice Department do its job and prosecute the gun-related cases recommended to it by law enforcement agencies.  Don’t count on this happening.  Under the current administration prosecutions of violent criminals have decreased drastically.

Over the past 20 years, criminal weapons prosecutions by the Justice Department hit their high water mark in 2004 under President George W. Bush, a supporter of the Second Amendment.  But under President Obama criminal weapons prosecutions have plummeted.  Writing for The Washington Times of July 28, 2014, Kelly Riddell made the following point: “While President Obama decries gun violence and presses for more laws to restrict ownership, his Justice Department has prosecuted 25 percent fewer cases referred by the main law enforcement agency charged with reducing firearms violence across the country…Federal prosecutors brought a total of 5,082 gun violence cases in 2013 recommended by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, compared with 6,791 during the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency…”

The next time you run into a gun-control advocate who is blindly singing the same tired old song about the need for more gun-control laws, ask this question:  Why pass more laws when your president refuses to enforce the ones already on the books? When he cannot answer this question, ask another: Which new gun-control laws do you think domestic terrorists, criminals, and mentally-disturbed individuals are going to obey?  When he cannot answer this question either, recommend that he buy a gun.  If things keep going the way they are in this country, he is going to need one.

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Jacob "Jake" Steele

Dr. Jacob Steele is a professor of Political Science and the author of numerous books and articles in this field.

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