During a September 8 speech to the National Press Club, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) suggested right-wingers claim gun rights are “God-given” out of fear.
He suggested the claim is part of “anti-government positioning” by Republicans, who are afraid of losing power via the coming election or through a successful gun control push.
The CT Post quoted Murphy saying:
In an era where anti-government positioning is a hallmark of the modern right, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that increasingly Republicans are absolutist in their views on the right of citizens to own guns. They want to preserve the right of revolution as a means of showing how much they truly hate the current government, administered by President Barack Obama.
Murphy went on to claim the number of people buying guns is actually on the decline, that the gun industry is surviving by selling more guns to fewer people. He said:
Only one-third of Americans today are buying guns, as opposed to half of Americans 30 years ago, meaning that the industry is reliant on a smaller number of gun owners buying large caches of expensive weapons like the AR-15. The number of buyers has shrunk, so the simple solution, the industry realized, is to just sell more weapons to this smaller-sized market.
In reality, FBI figures show that August 2016 was the sixteenth consecutive month of record background checks for retail gun sales in America. This is pertinent because background checks are not conducted on firearms, but on the buyers of firearms. So 16 consecutive months of record checks stand in opposition to Senator Murphy’s claim that the pool of gun purchasers is shrinking.
Interestingly, Murphy has been bashing claims that gun rights are “God-given” for some time; this is not a new issue for him. In fact, when the Senate rejected new gun controls in the wake of the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School, an angry Murphy reacted by assuring Second Amendment supporters that gun rights were not “God-given.” He told MSBNC’s Rachel Maddow, “The Second Amendment is not an absolute right, not a God-given right. It has always had conditions upon it like the First Amendment has.”
Thomas Jefferson and his founding contemporaries, however, argued that we had “certain unalienable rights” with which we were “endowed by [our] Creator.”
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 email@example.com.