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In my column last week, I argued the needs-based defense of the Second Amendment by conservatives had failed to adequately repel attacks on gun rights through the years; a situation that looks only to deteriorate with both Congress and the White House controlled by Democrats. And, with the news last week that President Joe Biden was ready to move on sweeping gun control proposals, conservatives have no time to waste in adjusting tactics.

The only lasting, effective way to defend the Second Amendment is to view it as our Founding Fathers did; not as a utilitarian concept, which it necessarily becomes when considered as a “needs-based” right, but as a God-given, natural right of all mankind. Framing the Second Amendment in this original context completely changes the playing field from that on which the debate rages today, according to which it is the responsibility of citizens to prove why they need firearms in the face of government restrictions. Instead, when considered in its proper and historic context, it is the government that should be required to show verifiable cause to justify taking firearms away. This distinction makes all the difference, and clearly undergirded the crafting of our founding documents. 

John Adams, one of the brightest luminaries of America’s Founding, stated that “resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature.” Samuel Adams then defined this “duty of self-preservation” as the “right to support and defend them in the best manner [the colonists] can.” Without question, the Founders believed self-preservation as one of man’s most sacred natural rights, and the Second Amendment was designed and purposed to ensure government does not encroach on it. For many decades following our independence, the Amendment did just that. 

Tragically, the notion of government restricting citizens’ access to firearms (“gun control”) originating in the mid-19th Century as a means to disarm freed black citizens, exploded in the latter decades of the 20th Century as Democrats came to see exploiting gun violence as an effective tool for gaining political capital. Other cultural factors as well played a part in the surge of gun control legislation and regulations, such as pressure from police departments unwilling to share the burden of public safety with responsibly armed citizens, the “war on drugs” launched in the late 1960s, and the three-decades-long crime wave starting in that same decade. More recently, a spate of mass shootings, which understandably shock our sensibilities as humans, has made gun rights more vulnerable than ever. 

These cultural factors have been made all the worse by society’s weakened understanding of gun rights as a fundamental natural right, which opened the door to so-called “common sense” restrictions that increasingly conditioned citizens to believe such encroachments were not just tolerable but were the responsibility of government to make in the first place. There was no way a needs-based defense of the Second Amendment could survive this changing cultural perception of gun rights, especially with the emotional manipulation of gun violence having been mastered by Democrats across all sectors of our society — in government, in the media, and in education.

Fighting these challenges is where the natural rights defense of the Second Amendment proves its worth. Not only is this defense more philosophically consistent with the origins of gun rights in America, but using it actually helps educate Americans on the Second Amendment’s origins. By reawakening citizens to their natural right of self-preservation, and reminding them the Second Amendment ensures, as Sam Adams described, that citizens can protect themselves “in the best manner” they believe, conservatives will find new allies to bolster their efforts to reject the Left’s gun control gambits, and in so doing begin to reclaim freedoms stolen from them by government over the past century. 

The historic rise in gun purchases in 2020, spurred by civil unrest, COVID-19, and a threat of gun control from a potential Democrat victory in November, proves that Americans still cherish their natural right to self-preservation, even if not understanding the full constitutional underpinning for its preservation. For the sake of the future of gun rights in America, conservatives must seize the moment and channel the great Charlton Heston in asserting that Americans will only surrender this God-given right when it is pried “from their cold, dead hands.”

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. There is a major issue with fire-arms possession in our country. Switzerland mandates its citizens to be firearms proficient. And the natural companion of firearms is martial arts of all kinds. Tae Kwan Do is an example. When U.S. citizens are trained in physical education, firearms proficiency, and martial arts proficiency, then we will be safe. A good example of this the organization, “Fruit of Islam.”

    1. Firearms safety – yeah… so most killings are by mistake, right? The problem really is the criminal aspect and too many people want to defund the police. The police need to be expanded, better protected, and better armed. And the courts need to process gun crimes to the fullest extent of the law.

      I agree that every handgun purchase should be made with an affidavit saying they have had some handgun safety training.

  2. Why do so many people not understand how and why the founding fathers wrote the amendment as they did? It was placed in the bill of rights to prevent states from infringing on it.

    1. Murray, the 2nd Amendment defends the First Amendment and all of the Constitution for that matter. Those trying to infringe on 2nd Amendment rights need to be impeached, from the top down.

  3. The Founders knew what tyranny was, and they made sure the country formed from their efforts would remain free by the Right of the American People to employ the force of weapons against tyrants and criminals. It’s ironic in the extreme to hear liberals demanding their ‘right’ to terminate the lives of unborn children, but we cannot keep and bear arms to protect ourselves, which is also a Right. No one ever said liberals are logical.

    1. A wayward finger took my +vote from your well stated comment. Your analogy,as presented, is an excellent one. If the second goes, the country goes as well. Thank you David

      1. I’m sure the framers never thought we would have such disgusting people like, Catholics inside our government.

        1. Oh ya ! That’s why they made a point to declare freedom of religion. Are you confusing The word Catholic with communism?

      2. Sorry but I think they did indeed know, that is why they created the 2nd amendment. They were very far seeing, and blessed of God.

      3. Democrats are actually altruists. They believe in the power of government to fashion their idealistic version of our cultural structure. There are two problems with this notion: Our government is not authorized to focus their attention toward specific factions; women, minorities or illegal aliens (Except the latter faction are supposed to be kept out of our country) and by the same token, our government is not authorized to expand the scope of their functions to minister to, or recognize/advantage those groups with legislative actions. Only a tyrant would take advantage of cultural issues to derive powers beyond their designated functions, as Numb Nuts (Biden) has demonstrated.

    2. I’m sure the framers never thought we would have such disgusting people like,CATHOLICS inside our government. The VATICAN is a hostile NATION which is at perpetual undeclared war with all other nations. The VATICAN has a ‘holy book’ called the bi-babble which is a work of fiction. The VATICAN has a flag. The VATICAN has a ‘top person; called the poopie. I have a religion which has a SUCCESSFUL NATION which is not at undeclared war with anyone. I have religion which has a holy book called the CONSTITUTION of the USA. I have a religion which has a flag. I have a religion which has a ‘top person’ called the president of the USA. Now, what is the ‘difference’ between the religion of a fairy tale and a real, live, successful NATION and a fairy tale failure forever? I like success! I like real!

      1. Hmm. I was raised Catholic, and I didn’t hear about all this stuff. In fact, it was all I could do to stay awake, or find a comfortable position to park my posterior on hard wooden pews during those interminable masses.

  4. I wonder sometimes, like today, the Supreme Court today ruled against the fraudulent vote changes in the States, 6-3 voted not to hear the suites , the Supreme Court has been a real looser of late, but i wonder how these 9 Justices will rule on any Liberal gun suits brought. Biden just can’t write a executive order and come after our guns, The Conistitution is what we have for all ELECTED OFFICLAS INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT.

      1. Well he is wrong, ONLY a Constitutional Convention can do such a thing. Nobody on either side wants to try that gig.

      1. What the hell are you, al? Satanist ? Church of the stone? Tree Hugger? You lump Catholics into a lump, well they are individuals and can worship GOD in an manner they want, without you to censor them. Or has God given you the responsibility to speak for him? If so, please present your proof. Otherwise yours is just a hate filled self made justification of your hatreds.

  5. No law abiding citizen should ever surrender their rights to the government. We need freedom loving people across America to speak with one voice and let the commiecrats know that we aren’t going to comply with any more attacks on our guns. Let’s get a grass roots movement in every state. They need to enforce the laws already on the books that is designed to prosecute violent criminals. And stupid laws like the people in New York and some other states need to be removed. Then violence in America will greatly decrease. Having a license to own and carry guns is a slap in the faces of free people. In our bill of rights we don’t have to kiss the government’s ass to enforce the other nine rights. Do we have to be licensed to worship or refuse to self incrimate ourselves? Hell no!!!

  6. In order for them to recognize that the second amendment is a god given right they would have to give up their atheist/atheist agnostic beliefs which people without a soul does not have the capability to understand.

  7. When your elected official(s) write, sign, co-sponsor legislation that is not in pursuance of the Constitution this is called breaking their oath. This means these officials are complicit in “rebellion” against the United States.
    They must be arrested and removed from office for violating their oaths of office. All have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, but they have violated their oaths, so says the Fourteenth Amendment. 

    14th Amendment Section 3.
    No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

  8. The only true way to save firearms (the 2nd Amendment) is to keep or the gun grabbers out of office. Anything else won’t work. 
    Aristotle wrote in “Politics” (trans. T. Sinclair, 1962, p. 274): “Those who possess and can wield arms are in a position to decide whether the constitution is to continue or not.”

  9. All I know is that any Government that seeks to disarm its citizens has malvoleant plans to control you and possibly worst.

  10. Our Bill of Rights are there to protect us from an overbearing, overreaching government and specifically politicians. The trouble with this is our now overbearing, overreaching government and especially the politicians are tasked with enforcing our Bill of Rights. And now even our Supreme Court is complicit in the steal. To me, the Convention of States is the only Constitutional solution but there will be a fight because the establishment won’t just let go and leave.

  11. And the democRATS proclaim “protection for me, but not for thee” as they build a wall around the nations capital.

  12. The entire Bill of Rights is just that – showing rights that belong to all citizens, and all people within our borders. Later, laws covered the specific penalties for breaking the law, but the second amendment is the only one that protects the others. That is why they are so steadfastly attacking it. Once the population (of law abiding citizens) is unarmed, then the real stuff happens. All criminals will become more brazen as only police with have firearms and the government will have absolutely no fear of any type of strong defense from the citizens when they decide to do whatever they want.

  13. I’m a law abiding citizen and I see any gun law as an infringement on my right to self preservation. Let’s not fool ourselves. There is a power at work in the word to bring about a one world government. Controlled by greedy people wanting power, wealth and control. So many people have already been brain washed by their propaganda. They now control the media and it will be almost impossible to organize against them. Basically, each individual must now decide to submit or fight for their freedom. God help us all.

  14. The God-given (Human) Rights argument doesn’t work with Democrats and gun-control advocates, because they don’t believe it at all. So starting an argument based on that premise is starting with something that there is basic disagreement about, and that you can not adequately prove to the other side. It is (and always has been) a losing strategy.

    The major gun-rights organizations (including the NRA) have been involved in this fight for a very long time. They know which tactics work and which do not. The Human Rights argument is good for “preaching to the choir”, but terrible for “changing hearts and minds”.

    The only tactic that is effective against anti-gun politicians is Voting Bloc Power. When the politicians know that they will be voted out if they support gun-control, then they stop supporting gun-control. This is why the NRA (and other orgs like it) are such a strong influence in DC and the states. When an NRA lobbyist says, “I represent the NRA. We have 5 Million dues-paying members and many times more followers.”, politicians listen.

  15. This is going to be an opposing point of view regarding guns. I really haven’t seen any such views here, so here’s to a singular view of guns. I first have to question the usage of the phrase, the natural right of man. What are natural rights of man. We live in a collective society. Certain acts are denied us for the simple reason that we consider the rights of all. But, let’s also take into account that the Founding Fathers never foresaw, weren’t able to foresee, the extent to which our mastery of technology has taken us. We’ve gone from the sword and
    musket to nuclear energy, nuclear destruction. Do I have a right to carry a nuclear armament? Do I have the right, if I’m mentally ill to walk around with a weapon of mass destruction? If I’m a felon, a threat to society, an unstable person, do I have a natural right to carry a firearm?

    These are issue to think about. The Founding Fathers embraced many things we would not embrace today.
    Slavery immediately comes to mind. They accepted that and we do not accept that today. Women voting was certainly not even considered, when the Fathers met to construct the Constitution. To unabashedly accept the notion that everyone has the right to carry a lethal weapon ignores the reality of living in a civilized society, where rules prevent us all from killing each other. At least they should.

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