In explaining his defense of the Second Amendment, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stresses that “the right to keep and bear arms protects all our other rights.”
He elaborates on the Second Amendment via his website, where he wrote:
The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.
The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right – it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.
It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights.
Trump stated that “the Constitution doesn’t create [the right to keep and bear arms].” Far from creating a right, the Constitution simply protects a right that has always existed. It–and the other rights protected by the Bill of Rights–are those that Thomas Jefferson described as originating in the benevolence of our Creator, when he wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
James Madison fleshed out the details of our rights to life and liberty when he penned the Second Amendment to hedge in the right to keep and bear arms for the purposes of self-defense and repelling tyranny.
Trump asserted that “the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights,” which is a point Madison made in Federalist 46, where he stressed that Americans were armed so they could band together to fend off threats against their liberties not simply from foes outside our borders, but within our borders, as well.
Trump’s observation that America is “the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment” is in perfect harmony with Madison’s. Madison emphasized “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.