Historical reality

The following are excerpts from a column written by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, which expresses his understanding of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

The essence of humanity is freedom. Government is essentially the negation of freedom. Throughout the history of the world, people have achieved freedom when those in power have begrudgingly given it up. This constitutes power permitting liberty.

The American experience was the opposite. Here each human being is sovereign. Here the delegation to the government of some sovereignty by each American permitted the government to have limited power so that it could have the authority to protect the freedoms we retained.

To assure that no government would infringe the natural rights of anyone here, the Founders incorporated Jefferson’s thesis underlying the Declaration into the Constitution and, with respect to self defense, into the Second Amenment.

The historical reality of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, with the same instruments they would use upon us. Did you empower the government to impair freedom because of the mania and terror of a few?

Phillip G. Miller