My Answer to “Why is the 2nd Amendment Important?”
Before getting to the main point of this article, which is answering “why is the 2nd Amendment important,” I’d like to make one clarifying remark about the image above. Yes, I know the Founders didn’t put the amendments in the Bill of Rights in any particular order of importance.
Reading The Federalist Papers or What the Anti-Federalists were For will help you see that. The amendments in there are all important, so Madison didn’t put them in what he saw as the order of importance. That’s not too important, I just thought it would be good to clarify.
But, otherwise, I think the image at the top makes an excellent point. Why is the 2nd Amendment important? Because the 2nd Amendment is the one that guarantees all of the others.
Sure, we need to defend free speech because without it we can’t express ideas (good or bad) openly or criticize the government. But can it back itself up on its own? No, if we had only the 1st Amendment but not the 2nd, we could lose our right to free speech at any moment. The government could simply take it away.
Just look at what is happening in Hong Kong; when its citizens tried to exercise their human right to free speech, the government responded with violence. Now, Hong Kong is a great example of why every citizen should have an “assault rifle.” It’s the right tool to fight tyranny and the 2nd Amendment enshrines our right to own one. That is the answer to “why is the 2nd Amendment important?”
Or, perhaps you are a strong believer in states’ rights and personal and deeply value the 10th Amendment. It’s undoubtedly important, but could it stand on its own? No, the 2nd is needed to back it up. That’s another answer to “why is the 2nd Amendment important?”
That line of analysis holds true for every amendment to the Constitution. They’re all important, especially the ones in the Bill of Rights. But the 2nd Amendment is the one that guarantees all of the others. Without it, the government would be free to take away our rights at any moment without fear of consequence.
Secondary Thought: Why You Need to Be Able to Correctly Interpret the Constitution to See the 2nd Amendment’s Importantance
I recently wrote an article about how to correctly interpret the Constitution. Understanding what the Founders wrote and what they meant by it is difficult, but crucial if we are to preserve our rights, as I discussed in my review of Restoring the Lost Constitution. As I described in that article, I generally lean towards an Originalist approach. At the time of writing it, I was more concerned about showing the unconstitutionality of Elizabeth Warren’s estate tax than again writing about the unconstitutionality of gun control.
But now, while writing about the “why is the 2nd Amendment important” question, I thought it would be a good time to revisit my thoughts on gun control.
I think any honest analysis (but especially an Originalist one) of the 2nd Amendment and the Founders’ views on guns would show that the current gun control regime is completely unconstitutional. The Founders understood that there are many reasons why one might own a gun. Hunting, self-defense, and resistance to tyranny are the main ones. But the most important one of those is the fact that guns allow us to resist government tyranny.
Read The Federalist Papers. Read The Anti-Federalists Papers. If you do, you’ll see that early Americans were obsessed with preventing a return of tyranny and, thus, would have no problem answering “why is the 2nd Amendment important?,” and in knowing that be unlike many modern Americans. That’s why they created a Constitution and Bill of Rights; they wanted to ensure that our rights remain preserved. Additionally, that’s why it’s a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs. Our friends on the left sometimes seem confused about that fact. We just need to help them understand it and learn that our right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.“
So, with that being the case, why on Earth would they be ok with gun control? It is a restriction of our rights and prevents us from being able to deal with situations such as the BLM and Antifa riots. That’s exactly what they wanted to prevent! I could go on for thousands of words about this issue. I think it’s important to understand and write about; Americans need to know that gun control is unconstitutional.
But to see that, you need to know how to correctly interpret the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Without that knowledge, your arguments about the 2nd Amendment, or your other rights, will be weak. Learn how to do it so that you can properly and effectively answer “why is the 2nd Amendment important?”