As we watch freedom-starved Iranians stand against an extremist regime bent on retaining power, it is a safe bet that Iran’s rank and file would benefit from a Second Amendment.
The power structure in Iran right now is such that the right to keep and bear arms is not guaranteed by law. Additionally, only certain types of guns are allowable for private ownership, and those guns only go to people with special permission to own them.
According to The University of Sydney’s GunPolicy.org, “possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law” and “private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted with official permission.”
Who do you suppose gets “official permission” to possess pistols and revolvers?
Do you suppose it is those who wish to defend themselves from the extremist regime, or those who believe their fellow, liberty-deprived Iranians should learn to shut up or, at the least, grin and bear it?
These are questions the Founding Fathers did not want citizens of the United States to ask about themselves. Thus they placed the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights to prevent the government from infringing on the people’s right to bear arms. Moreover, the Founders made clear that the people kept weapons for the purposes of repelling tyranny, whether from within or without our national borders.
In fact, James Madison used Federalist 46 to argue that Americans in the late 18th century were exceptional because they were armed. And he explained that their possession of arms provided a means whereby they could band together and fend off an overreaching central government, should such a government emerge. He was clear in noting “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.”
In other words, the Second Amendment was placed in the Bill of Rights to prevent the government from inserting itself between the people and the people’s right to bear arms for self-defense. I bet the Iranians fighting for freedom yearn for protections that would provide a guarantee that they could be armed for self-defense.
As it now stands, Iran’s government effortlessly silences freedom’s fighters. On January 2, 2018, Breitbart News reported the protesters are “increasingly met with state-sponsored violence in Iran as they take to the streets to voice their opposition to the country’s hard-line Islamic government and its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.” And the AP reports that the head of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court is warning that arrested protesters could potentially face death penalty cases when they come to trial.
Again, this is a scenario against which the Founding Father’s risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. They put the Second Amendment in place to be sure the U.S. government could not run roughshod over Americans, dragging them into court, trying and executing them as political dissidents.
The natural rights of Americans include the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and the right “peaceably to assemble” in pursuit of “a redress of grievances.” They also include the Third Amendment protections which shield private property from government intrusion and the Fourth Amendment rights protecting our ability to be secure in our “persons, houses, papers, and effects.”
Ultimately, these rights rest on the people’s ability to guard them via the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. I bet defenseless, freedom-starved Iranians wish they had a Second Amendment.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.