Huffington Post: Misleading Americans Saying 2nd Amendment’s Not An Absolute Right

2nd amendment is my permit
The 2nd Amendment is My Concealed Carry Permit
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -( July 9 2012, the Huffington Post ran a column by Geoffrey R. Stone, the goal of which was to demonstrate that the rights protected by the 2nd Amendment are not absolute, and that we can know this because Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes told us so. ( Editors Note: found here if you can stomach this anti american speech

To be clear, Stone didn't say Holmes said that about the 2nd Amendment per se. Rather, Stone said Holmes made a comment about not shouting “fire” in a crowded theater which means, in Stone's mind, the First Amendment is not absolute, ergo the 2nd Amendment is not absolute either.

Stone approaches this by first informing us the 2nd Amendment does mean what we think it means. Then, for the sake of argument, he says he's willing to pretend it means what we think we it means so he can make a point.

Writes Stone: “Let's assume…that the Second Amendment reads: ‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'”

After rambling on for a bit, Stone then argues that the right is not absolute, and all the hayseeds and toothless southerners who think it is are wrong. And proof is that is that you can't shout “fire” in a theater.

What Stone conveniently overlooks is the fact that all natural rights have limitations. But they aren't limitations set by man, they are limitation set by nature. 

In other words, the exercise of my right to free speech ends where it begins to infringe upon your rights. Because of this, those who went before us in this country sought to harmonize civil law with the laws revealed in nature. They recognized that it ought to be illegal to yell things in a crowded area because someone might get trampled in a rush, and that infringes on the right to life of those trampled.

Does this mean the First Amendment isn't absolute? That's a silly question. The First Amendment remains absolute because the right it protects is always there, and always will be, because it's a God-given right.

What it means is that I can't use my right to speech to dissolve your equally valid God-given rights.

To argue that the First Amendment is not absolute because you can't use it to endanger the life of another is like arguing that the right to private property is not absolute because I'm forbidden from picking up my property and hitting my neighbor in the head with it.

The bottom line: the 2nd Amendment does mean what we think it means (it means what it says): “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

And this amendment “shall not be infringed” because the right it protects is absolute.

AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America's Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA's Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

If you have questions or comments, email him at [email protected] You can find him on facebook at

  • 22 thoughts on “Huffington Post: Misleading Americans Saying 2nd Amendment’s Not An Absolute Right

    1. The current national dailogue on gun control is just one more example of government capatalizing on local tragedy. The govt. of the U.S. will continue to chip away at the laws they enact. What excactly will constitute mentally ill?, Today it may be paranoid schitzoprenia, but tomorrow it may be any one with a misdimeaner.If you break the law you must be mentally ill. The action taken now by state, and federal law makers may lead to a more hightend distrust. General Eisenhower(?) warned us against the indusrial military machine and now we must ask how do americans protect themselves from criminals,or whomever.

    2. Pepe, I’m from Texas; learned to shoot at 5, got my first .22 at ten, and have slept with a gun under my pillow my entire life. I’m also fed up with the pro-gun crowd in America making things difficult for gun owners with their misrepresentation of the 2nd Amendment.

      The framer’s intent was clearly that a citizenry, armed with military-quality arms, would constitute and serve in a militia under the control of the government – similar in function and style to Switzerland.

      But the pro-gun crowd in America insists on quoting the 2nd by starting in the middle of the sentence and capitalizing from where they start. This is deliberate misrepresentation and it HURTS our cause.

      THAT’s what I’m complaining about: that misrepresenting the 2nd is detrimental to defending the 2nd. It’s just sad that so many in the pro-gun crowd are so stupidly blind that they immediately jump on any criticism of the way the way the 2nd is being defended as an attack on the 2nd itself.

      Ad Hominem attacks – look it up – are laughable and immediately alienate everyone with any form of critical education.

      Sadly, most of the people standing up for the Right to Bear Arms are bag-of-hammers stupid, and shout so loudly those of us with reasoned, possibly effective arguments are drowned out by the crazy.

      Oh, and to provide you with a basic education in how armies work: being a member of a government-directed militia mean EXACTLY that the government can tell you what gun you MUST own as a member. It has to do with a thing called Logistics – which all wannabe warriors ignore.

    3. There are several major FLAWS in this often used argument:

      First and most important is that the Second Amendment is one complete sentence that was written in legal form to mean everything in that sentence. You can’t conveniently drop the first half because the second half is dependent on the first half.

      “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,
      the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

      The second major flaw is that all rights are “God given rights”. There is no proof of that anywhere.

      Another is that there have ALWAYS been restrictions on the kind of “arms” that a person could own.

    4. Somewhere Free. Let me try to explain this to you. “A well regulated (regulated back then meant, finely tuned, properly maintained and properly functioning) militia (all male citizens not affiliated with any government, from the ages 17 to 47) being necessary to the security of a free state, (a need to defend the state of being Free, from any and all who wish to take it from us) the right of the people (we the people, you, me, everyone and in this day and age I would add women, since we are equal) to keep and bear arms (own and carry military weapons, not military “style” weapons (1939 U.S. vs Miller) Shall not be infringed. (messed with) In other words, the bad guys cannot tell the good guys what types of guns can be used to defend themselves from the bad guys. I hope that clears things up for you. By the way, what country are you from? Other that the obvious misinterpretation of the old English in our constitution, you seem to have a pretty good grasp of the English language.

    5. Leave it to the mentally dysfunctional libtards at Huff-Puff, and its KosKids for that matter, to suffer from a reading comprehension disorder. The radical left has broken this country and has created a new generation of “basement bums” that have the same drive and ambition of tree moss. Welcome to the new Ameritopia, folks!

    6. Chelsea – The 2nd Amendment reads: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
      And by the way, ‘state’ was capitalized in the first draft.
      By stating the amendment as “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” – implying a sentence, and hence a complete idea, where they are actually quoting a sentence fragment – implying an incomplete idea, AmmoLand is deliberately misquoting the amendment.
      Learn to read and comprehend before you let YOUR blind hatred of anyone who doesn’t immediately kowtow to your limited, grade-school understanding of political history lead you to make inane ad hominem attacks.

    7. Larry, go live in a cave somewhere you nut job, if you seriously think America is a communist nation you need help. Go live in China for a while and tell me America is a communist nation.

    8. I get tired of people justifying the ban of modern firearms on the strength that they didn’t exist at the time the constitution was ratified. Why are those same people using the internet and a word processor to exercise their first amendment rights instead of quill and pen.

    9. It amazes me how so many self appointed experts of the constitution screw up the phrase “you can’t shout fire in a crowded movie theater”. They claim it is proof that the first amendment is not absolute and that accordingly the second amendment is not absolute. The fact is, it is not entirely unlawful to shout fire in a crowded movie theater. It is totaly legal to do so if it is part of the entertainment and to do it if there is a real fire. In fact it is incumbent on some one to do so as a warning to evacuate. It is only unlawful to shout fire in a crowded movie theater if is is with the intent to create harm and/or mayhem.

    10. The Ten Planks That Are Destroying Our Country – COMMUNIST MANIFESTO.

      1. Abolition of private property: The foundation of this nation was ownership of property. The settlers came here to insure private ownership of land and our Founding Fathers made it unlawful for government to own land except for the ten square miles of Washington D.C. and such as may be needed for erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, Dockyards and other needful buildings. Today you don’t OWN your home, car, farm or most property. You are just allowed to use it as long as you pay your property taxes, buy a car license, pay for building permits and get permission from the zoning commission. Individual OWNERSHIP is only by virtue of government. To use property we must be in accordance with law and subordinate to the powers of government.

      2. Heavy Progressive Income Tax: I believe all Americans understand the IRS. What most of them don’t realize is that we didn’t have an Income Tax until 1913. Before that year Income Taxes were considered unconstitutional.

      3. Abolition of all rights of Inheritance: We now have Estate Taxes, Inheritance Taxes, also called the Death Tax. Many a farm and small business could not be passed on to the next generation, but had to be sold in order to pay the estate taxes. Many times the IRS forces the sale, as it did in the case of the Roy Rogers Museum sale.
      L. wants to add,,,
      4. Confiscation of property of all emigrants and rebels: Government seizures, tax liens, private land under Eminent Domain, the IRS taking property without due process and even taking “suspected” drug money from anyone carrying large amounts of cash is nothing but government confiscation of private property

      5. Central Bank: The Constitution called for Congress to “coin Money and regulate the Value thereof,” but since 1913 the Federal Reserve Bank has taken over that duty. The Federal Reserve is a “private” bank that sets interest rates and creates money out of thin air.

      6. Government control of Communications & Transportation: Today we have the Federal Communications Commission, Department of Transportation, Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration. You are not allowed to drive your car without a license.

      7. Government control of factories and agriculture: Our government has gained control of the banking industry, finance, automobile production, energy and health care. Department of Commerce, Department of Interior and the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Agriculture; all of which control land use.

      8. Government control of Labor: The Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the minimum wage law control all aspects of American businesses.

      9. Corporate Farms, Regional Planning: Corporate Agriculture now controls markets and prices of farm production. We now have Planning and Reorganization and zoning all across the nation.

      10. Government control of Education: State and Federal Departments of Education, National Education Association, Outcome Based Education, No Child Left Behind; all paid for with tax dollars.

      Karl Marx stated that these ten planks in the Communist Manifesto would be the test whether a country had become communist or not. Is America a Communist nation?

    11. @Somewhere Free, that is the funniest thing I have ever seen, you are so blinded by hate for the second amendment you think that AmmoLand has it wrong? Man,,, another stupid person.

    12. @b1itsjustme you dummy, god did not give us the right to have guns, God or Nature take your liberal pick, gave us the right to “Self Defense” and for most people today that is done with guns. Stupid people like you are the problem today.

    13. yes..the right to bear arms, but it does not define what arms are. I have absolutely no problems with people keeping bayonets, muskets, knifes, etc. Therefore, you can basically ban the weapons you want and still keep in the spirit of the constitution. Second amendment also refers to “A well regulated militia” not some nut job without training

    14. I try to listen attentively and to understand where each speaker is coming from. Right up until some idiot says “God Given Right”. Right then and there I know I’m dealing with a moronic zealot. As if having a gun is a law put down on the stone tablets… (if you believe in that sort of thing). That’s the exact moment that you know somebody really, really, stupid is talking and it’s time too walk away. Maybe even run.

    15. Anonymous, you miss the point. This isn’t a public place, per say. This is the site owners house, and if they don’t like what you’re saying, they can ask you to leave or not talk about a certain subject. If you don’t like guns in your house, you have the right to ask anyone to leave or not bring them in. That doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights, including yours.

      And you always have the right not to access sites you don’t agree with.

    16. I think its called the huffington post since they must all be huffing on either paint or exhaust fumes to say anything as stupid as that. Maybe the First Amendment should have some restrictions placed on it banning stupid people from making stupid comments.That way libtards wouldnt be able to say print or express their anti American garbage.

    17. If legally it was absolute, we wouldn’t have any gun restrictions in place already. It’s been infringed for a long time sad to say.

    Leave a Comment 22 Comments

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *