Defending Your Rights in a Sporting Manner — T.F. Stern

By T.F. Stern,


Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society never seems to go away; it keeps on destroying America a little at a time.  Take for example the 1968 Gun Control Act (GCA), a knee jerk reaction intended to limit the general citizenry from obtaining “assault rifles” like the kind used to assassinate John F. Kennedy; recently the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms wants to limit ownership to “sportsman” shotguns as opposed to assault type shotguns.  Supposedly the ATF is looking for public input prior to rendering a final decision; yea and they listen to the public all the time.

“The 1968 Gun Control Act added a “sporting purpose” test which barred imports of military surplus rifles (a goal of many domestic gun makers) and a “points system” for imported handguns which barred from importation handguns based on penalizing features (short barrels, small caliber, short overall length or height, non-adjustable sights, etc.) believed to define the Saturday night special class of handgun.”

The progressive minded in positions of power have been working to write the 2nd Amendment out of existence, or at least relegate it to a meaningless scrawl at each turn of the screw.  They see individuals with the ability to own and bear weapons as a threat to the safety of the collective.  Often you hear these very same folks bemoaning conservatives as clinging to God and Guns as if there was a diminished mindset, even a form of instability worthy of concern for anyone who actually believes the Constitution was intended for our day.

“[I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens.” — The Federalist, No. 29 – Alexander Hamilton

If you think about what Alexander Hamilton proposed, it is exactly the opposite of the intent of 1968 Gun Control Act.  Citizens should have at their disposal weapons equal to those of a standing army which would be used against them.  In Hamilton’s day that would have been the long gun or musket; but today that would mean average everyday citizens having access to fully automatic assault weapons, weapons just as deadly as those carried by the military.

“Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth”    George Washington

It boils down to the 2nd Amendment; does it really mean what it says or has it evaporated down the rabbit hole of history.

“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.”

It has taken nearly two hundred years for our Supreme Court to validate the 2nd Amendment and clarify our founder’s intentions; that Individuals have the right to own and bear arms; that this right was not singularly for those serving as militia members.  That ruling did not specify ownership depended on whether or not the weapon was to be used for “sporting purposes”.

“Prior to the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the courts had yet to definitively state what right the Second Amendment protected. The opposing theories, perhaps oversimplified, were (1) an “individual rights” approach, whereby the Amendment protected individuals’ rights to firearm ownership, possession, and transportation; and (2) a “states’ rights” approach, under which the Amendment only protected the right to keep and bear arms in connection with organized state militia units. Moreover, it was generally believed that the Amendment was only a bar to federal action, not to state or municipal restraints.

However, the Supreme Court has now definitively held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that weapon for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Moreover, this right applies not just to the federal government, but to states and municipalities as well.”

It’s time to tell the ATF where to stick their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment and the types of weapons the general citizenry may own.  Shucks, the next thing you know the ATF will begin restricting how much enhanced uranium we can put in our home made nuclear devices.

The Moral Lib­eral’s Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer, self-employed lock­smith, and gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since Jan­u­ary of 2005.

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