Guns & Ammo Editor: ‘All Constitutional Rights Need Regulation, Even 2A’..?

By AWR Hawkins

Dick Metcalf Backstop column
Guns & Ammo Editor: All Constitutional Rights Need Regulation, Even 2A..?
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -(  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.

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

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Chris Rakes

i was shocked and dismayed at the article. it did show something i have always said, “the people who are supposed to be on your side can be your worst enemies” the examples he gave of other rights regulations were just things that kept your rights from violating others rights. the main jest is my right to carry does not interfere with others rights. an example is his statement of the “yelling fire in a crowded theater”. my point is i shouldn’t shoot my gun in a crowded theater either, but there is no reason i can’t carry in the… Read more »


People today don’t understand the meaning of the words ‘Well Regulated’ when used during the time the Bill of Rights was authored.

Well Regulated means in working order, functioning properly.

Your watch is well regulated.

Well Regulated has nothing to do with restrictions.


Mr. Metcalf is no longer with G&A.


The Constitution was made to control Washington D.C. , NOT US. But we are only fooling ourselves because we have traded our rights for benefits and priveleges by signing into Social Security . That contract you signed with them gave them all the contropl they need to keep screwing you around. Metcalf is just a little more deluded then the rest of usbut to tell the truth ; if you ever expect to end the tyranny you’re gonna have to turn in that Soc. Sec Card . Tell them to shuve it and demaned all the money back that you’ve… Read more »


I read Guns and Ammo for years and at one time it was probably the best firearms periodical on the market back when Bob Peterson still owned the publishing company.
I haven’t read a copy of G&A in several years because the last copy I read was so bad, I mean just terrible.


This Metcalf idiot thinks that our rights should be regulated well then he does not need to have any guns unless someone else says he can have them. What is going to happen if and when the government regulates our rights, right out of our lives? As I have said and have been saying we have a DICTATOR in the house and he is hell bent on taking everything he can from us the people. The only thing we can do is to stand up and be counted as one of those that are willing to defend this nation. We… Read more »


It’s pretty plain that the purpose of the 2nd is to enable the violent overthrow by force of arms of a tyrannical government.

Given that, what sort of moron would give a not-yet-completely-tyrannical government a veto over which arms might be used for its eventual overthrow or which persons might be permitted to participate in that overthrow?

P.s.: Metcalf has been sacked and his superior has opted for early retirement.


Looks like the gun enthusiast media is beginning to fold under “political pressure”, just like ABC, CBS, and NBC already have. Hopalong, like many others, is crossing off Metcalf. There are plenty of other “gun scribes” out there, right? Ever notice how political agendas result in having fewer choices?

TSgt B

I contacted the staff at G&A shortly after I heard about this, and they confirmed the story. I then informed them that, as a decades-deep reader and purchaser of G&A, I had bought my last copy, unless and until Metcalf apologizes and either resigns or retires.

Hit ’em where it hurts, people! Right in the wallet. We don’t need any more turncoats.


He left out, the right of the people to keep and bear arms. I shall cross him off my list.