Right Hooks

An Outstanding Post-Attack Defense of the Second Amendment

Republican Mo Brooks steps up, while Demo Gov. McAuliffe blames the attack on "too many guns on the street."

Thomas Gallatin · Jun. 15, 2017

Inevitably and almost immediately after crazed leftist James T. Hodgkinson shot and wounded five, including Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, as they practiced for a baseball game, gun control came up. A reporter asked Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who had just survived the harrowing attack, “Congressman, does this change your views on the gun situation in America?” Yep, leftists are once again exploiting an atrocity to trot out the tired, flawed “guns are the problem” anti-Second Amendment narrative. But Brooks didn’t take the bait. In fact, he tactfully and expertly exposed the flaw in the argument against the right to bear arms. Brooks responded:

Not with respect to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that we always have a republic. And as with any constitutional provision in the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspects to each of those rights that we enjoy as people. And what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly. But we’re not going to get rid of freedom of speech because some people say some really ugly things that hurt other people’s feelings. We’re not going to get rid of Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights because it allows some criminals to go free who should be behind bars. These rights are there to protect Americans, and while each of them has a negative aspect to them, they are fundamental to our being the greatest nation in world history. So no, I’m not changing my position on any of the rights we enjoy as Americans. With respect to this particular shooter, I’d really like to know more about him — whether he was an ex-felon, by way of example, who should not have had possession of a firearm — I’d like to know other things about his background before I pass judgement.

If anything, this latest attack proves to illustrate just how important and essential the Second Amendment is to protecting American Liberty. Imagine if the Capitol Police detail had not been there, the carnage and death toll would have been significant, due to the fact that all the congressmen were unarmed. How many Americans have their own police detail following them around offering protection? The obvious answer also points to the foundational purpose of the Second Amendment. See here where Mark Alexander has written extensively on the Second Amendment.

But statists like Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe seem to care little for protecting Americans’ rights and liberties. Rather he takes this latest horror as an opportunity to find fault and blame American Liberty for the crime rather than the crazed individual. Less than an hour after the attack McAuliffe said, “This is not what today is about but there are too many guns on the street. It’s not just about politicians, we worry about all of our citizens.” Gov. McAuliffe is in need of a history lesson. As Benjamin Franklin stated, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” And it was James Madison who wrote, “The ultimate authority … resides in the people alone. … The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition.” Thankfully, Rep. Brooks understands and embraces these truths.

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