Guns & Ammo Editor: All Constitutional Rights Need Regulation, Even 2nd Amendment

Guns & Ammo Editor: All Constitutional Rights Need Regulation, Even 2nd Amendment

In the December issue of Guns & Ammo magazine, editor Dick Metcalf uses his “Backstop” column to argue that all constitutional rights need regulation, including the 2nd Amendment. has scanned and posted a copy of the column online. In it, Metcalf explains why he chose to address the regulation of constitutional rights: “I bring this up because way too many gun owners still believe that any regulation of the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement. The fact is that all Constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”

Metcalf says he receives “bags of mail every year” from people complaining of the myriad regulations related to concealed carry permits. He says these readers “typically argue” that the 2nd Amendment “is all the authority they need” to keep and bear arms, to carry a gun with them where they go.

In response, Metcalf writes: “I [wonder] whether those same people believe that just anybody should be able to buy a vehicle and take it out on public roadways without any kind of driver’s training, test, or license.” 

Metcalf misses the point. The 2nd Amendment protects a natural right; that’s why it is not to be infringed. Owning and operating a vehicle is not a natural right, so comparing it to gun ownership is like comparing the ability to own and operate an airplane with the rights to freedom of speech and religion. 

This is an important point because our Founders’ central reason for creating the Bill of Rights was to hedge in a body of natural rights as off-limits to government regulation and interference.

The 2nd Amendment says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Metcalf has seized on the words “well regulated,” taking them out of context to the detriment of “shall not be infringed.” 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.


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