A prominent Virginia lawyer by the name of St. George Tucker once described the right to keep and bear arms as “The true palladium of liberty” — a concept that has retained its relevance since day one of the United States of America.
National Rifle Association bumper stickers, pictures of ourselves posed with our firearms, and music that challenges an ever-expanding federal government to “come and take it” betoken our intrinsic allure toward liberty protected by an armed citizenry. Yet while all of these things are critical to the cause, we disregard other rights both constitutional, and God-given in favor of security over freedom.
The right to due process that every single American is entitled to was a unique concept that had never appeared in any constitution before ours in 1791; it was the first time a civilized society determined that the burden of proof lies with who declares, not denies. We now hear from the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States, the National Rifle Association, and others who are generally at the forefront of protecting our Second Amendment Rights that we are no longer entitled to due process; and somehow this has been skewed to look like it’s protection rather than another step closer to the federal government’s ability to strip anyone and everyone they deem unfit of their right to keep and bear arms.
People seem to forget that the Internal Revenue Service specifically targeted conservative groups, or that the Department of Homeland Security tagged words such as “militia” or “liberty” when monitoring internet users. A type of amnesia ensues when tragedy strikes, and we begin to disregard the precedent that has been set by those who are in charge of us.
What stops the federal government from determining that I am unfit to own a firearm because of my conservative values? What stops them from labeling my strict admiration for the Constitution as a mental disorder? This is not security everyone, it’s tyranny — the exact reason the Second Amendment was developed.
Kyle Gregory Ford, Woodstock