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As I wrote last week, the Biden administration is just getting warmed up when it comes to attacks on the Second Amendment. In fact, Biden will test the Second Amendment like never before in U.S. history; both in the ferocity of attacks, and in finding new ways and methods to undermine its place in American culture. Making matters worse, conservatives are woefully underprepared to properly defend it.

This is the central thesis of my report on firearms published this month at The Heritage Foundation. In it, I assert the current “needs-based” defense of the Second Amendment not only is inadequate to withstand today’s onslaught by Democrats but also fundamentally misinterprets the spirit of the Amendment. Instead, conservatives must learn to defend the Second Amendment as their natural right; one that is far beyond the reach of gun-grabbers at all levels of government. 

Consider what is the most common response from liberals when arguing whether a particular firearm or accessory is covered by the Second Amendment’s guarantee. It is almost always some version of, “nobody needs that;” as if there is some unwritten, but obvious list indicating which specific items are protected by the Amendment and which are not.

The 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban was based on the argument that citizens did not “need” modern sporting rifles; a sentiment that persists to this day, long after the legislation expired a decade later. Bans on high-capacity magazines and certain types of ammunition, monthly limits on purchases of firearms, and similar legislative efforts are all premised on the same justification of a perceived lack of “need” by law-abiding citizens.

Kevin Drum, a contributor to Mother Jones, encapsulated the extremes to which this mentality is applied when responding to calls to ban all semiautomatic weapons – leaving just revolvers, pump-action shotguns, and bolt- or lever-action rifles available to citizens – by saying, “that’s plenty for self-defense and for hunting…no one outside of the military or law enforcement really needs the high-speed shooting of a semiautomatic” (emphasis added). There is no limit to how, why, and when liberals use this “need” standard, and conservatives attempting to defend on the liberals’ playing field only play into their hands.

Take, for example, when in 2019 a Twitter user responded to singer Jason Isbell’s ignorant comments about the “need” for “assault weapons,” with a question about how otherwise he was to “kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into [his] yard within 3-5 mins while [his] small kids play?” To Midwesterners or Southerners for whom this is a very real problem, it was a legitimate question; but to progressives who just saw it as “gun nut” craziness, it quickly became pop culture fodder to mock and ridicule. This is precisely how liberals have constantly won through the years, by nibbling away at what people “need” or don’t “need.”

It is not only what Democrats have taken away using a needs-based argument against the Second Amendment, but also how they use it to manipulate Republicans. For instance, in spite of the objective health and safety benefits of firearm suppressors, Republicans for years have failed to pass the Hearing Protection Act – even when they had majorities in Congress and controlled the White House – because they did not know how to counter Democrats’ claims that citizens do not really “need” such devices. 

Then there was the “bump stock” controversy following the 2017 mass shooting at an outdoor concert on the Las Vegas Strip. Because such a device was used by the assailant during his rampage, President Donald Trump directed that the Department of Justice ban them by regulatory fiat (which it did), because such devices were deemed not “needed.”

Clearly, defending against this “needs-based” gun control strategy is not working for defenders of the Second Amendment, and it will continue to fail with disastrous consequences as gun control advocates up their game with the anti-Second Amendment Biden now in the White House – such as going after pistol braces. It is time for a change in strategy, and next week I will outline why a natural rights defense of gun rights is the approach conservatives should adopt if they want to preserve gun rights in America.

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.

Bob Barr represented Georgia's Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s.


    1. It’s all about controlling the people. But us millions of gun owners should and can stand with one voice and say HELL NO!!! And there’s plenty of democrats that own guns. Some even have so called assault weapons. Stick together people. I for one refuse to comply with any laws infringing on our gun rights.

  1. Well…all the Karens out there that base their arguments on “needs” should fully understand that, “It is far better to have and not need than it is to need and not have.” There, fixed it for you…

    1. I use this to their ( who needs ? ) who in the USA needs a car that exceads 75 MPH ? who needs a phone that will work while moving / driving ??? both are technological advancements , but neither is enumerated in the BILL OF RIGHTS ! while bearing arms is a Protected right !

      I never use their terms , if they say ( WHO NEEDS ? ) I respond with the car & Phone anolagy. Never defend always attack , if we always defend we have already lost ! AR stands for Arlamite rifle , I show them the original logo ! Assault is either a VERB or a NOUN , not a object or a thing ! they always like to corect gramer so I like to set them straight on that ! LOL

      Lastly I use the people like them through out history Anology ! people like them pop up through out history, they dislike a BOOK ? they BURN it ! fear a object outlaw it, fear a race of people enslave them or exterminate them ! they have gone by many names , Communist , National socialist, facist, KKK, ETC. always the same , telling others what they can or can’t do, or say, or write, how to act,what to own / not own , buy, not buy , worship what god/ or gods, based on their feelings !

      1. This is one of the best and simplest and history proven arguments for the preservation of the 2nd Amendment.

      1. In that case who ” Needs” an abortion let alone a late term abortion since there are ways to avoid pregnancy in the first place and “abortions kill”.

  2. I think that the better strategy is not to discuss what we need and do not need, but to turn the discussion to the matter of who decides what we need or do not need. Will it be us ourselves, or fascist or communist Demo’rat tyrants.

  3. The bill of rights isn’t a list of what we the people can do ! READ IT, Congress shall make NO LAWS that abridge the rights of freedom of religion , speach, peaceful asymbly, & petition of greivences ! Shall Not be infringed , Shall not be quartered , etc. those are the first 3 , it is a LIST of what the government has NO Power to abuse ! SHALL NOT , is pretty simple language !

    As for NEED …….. No one in the USA needs a phone that works while moving ? Prove me wrong ??? No one needs a CAR that exceads 75MPH, ???? care to argue ???? both of the privious mentioned Devises kill more people each DAY , then firearms ( under 18 yoa, killed by texting & Driving averages 11 a Day so 4,015 > a year 11 times more killed than ALL Rifle class firearms !

    Lastly the technology is erevelent , remember the Civilan Yeager rifle or Kentucky long rifle were owned by civilians , the Musket was military , one fired 3 a minute the other 4 but the rifle killed at 300 where the musket was lucking to hit at 50 ! Technological advancement isn’t the issue , only if you use their TERMS and fight them based on their Ideals !

    Example ( UN- Documented immigrant, is their term ) it is legally Illegal Allien in writen law , they turned that into Illegal immigrant , then UN- Documented immigrant , & people using their TERMS created a Change in perception ! example UN Licensed Pharmicist ??? a drug dealer is a UN Licensed pharmacits RIGHT ????

    MY POINT ????? don’t use their TERMS , DO NOT USE their aguments , if you are defending, you already lost ! every time they say { WHO NEEDS ? } reply who needs the phone that works while moving , or a car that passes 75 MPH ! they too are techological advancements , but unlike a firearm they are NOT Inumerated at all in the bill of rights ! it is a RIGHT , not a Privilege !SO QUIT ACTING LIKE IT !

  4. The senile old fool in the White House has zero business telling me what I “need”..it’s none of his damned business.

  5. The Constitutional Second Amendment is fundamentally misunderstood by most Americans and essentially ALL politicians. Here’s a proper understanding. To wit:

    1. Americans had just fought and won a truly horrible war against the world superpower of the day – the British Empire. The destruction done to the American colonies was truly terrible, and we would not recover our economy or society for many years.
    2. American politicians of the times drafted a document called the Articles of Confederation, which was designed to coordinate governmental and economic policies among the colonies. This document DID NOT have the power to lay federal taxes, which was something the Founders (mostly) stood strongly against, since this is what England had done to the colonies before (without representation).
    3. But politics in the colonies, even after the war, were a lot like they are now, and individual state legislatures began to interfere and even tax goods and services from other states. Evil and greedy men exist today, and they existed in the colonies as well.
    4. State politicians decided some sort of agreement among the states was required and they met in the fall to address these tax problems, and some other problems as well. But the interest in this fall meeting was so sparse, not many states even bothered to send representatives. It was a failure.
    5. The following spring saw another meeting called, and due to a raft of communications over the winter, this meeting was well attended. The “big government” politicians were all there and insisted strongly that an organizing document much more centralizing than the Articles was needed. They gave us the Constitution (unfortunately) since the Articles were working well, and simply needed to be strengthened about inter-state taxation. The Constitution DID allow federal taxation – a big mistake.
    6. Having made a very dangerous step in the direction of a more European type of central government, the Founders, who had just fought a ruinous war against a central government in England was VERY distrustful that ANY set of written laws could keep the peace and keep freedom at the same time.
    7. This, more than anything else, was the reason for the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to that Constitution) and especially for the inclusion of the second amendment, which they thought (along with the first amendment) was the ONLY way freedom could be maintained in the new country.

    8. So! Contrary to modern anti American politicians, the second amendment was not written to promote better hunting clubs, or even primarily for home defense. People were given the RIGHT to own and carry firearms – a right that could not be infringed – so they could shoot government agents who might try to violate the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and protect themselves against dictatorial government. It really is that simple.

  6. if you’ve seen the MyPillow guy’s vid you’ve seen the hacking logs where china helped rig the election.
    then biden put a person on china’s payroll in charge of the cia (which will result in who knows how many us spies and allies getting killed or worse)
    now biden is disarming america for china
    china is winning a war against america without firing a shot

  7. Las Vegas Strip shooting: It was my impression that the shooter was found to have possessed a bump stock. I think it was not established that he used it. As I recall, he had a lot more equipment in his room than he used. Bump stocks (which I think are absurd, but that is irrelevant), pistol arm braces (which I don’t doubt improve accuracy), noise suppressors – How many crimes have involved the use of these appliances? Is there any probability that those crimes, if any, wouldn’t be committed if those items didn’t even exist? Or, if the criminal felt a need for them, any laws would prevent him from having them?

  8. Article I states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” 

    If there is enough of them in congress (both houses) to pass any kind of anti gun legislation they will and you and the President have no say. Not only can they override a President’s veto they can override a Supreme Court decision. The only way to save firearms (the 2nd Amendment) is to vote the gun grabbers out of office. Anything else won’t work.

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