Gun Column Makes Good Points But Spreads One Wrong Idea

William Penn receives the charter for Pennsylvania from King Charles II. (Jean Leon Jerome Ferris, Library of Congress)

U.S.A. – -( “The job of gun control falls upon gun owners,” Gary Cosby Jr.,  photo editor of The Tuscaloosa News, writes in a Friday opinion piece. “If you are a gun owner, gun control is all about what you do. Take it seriously and control your firearms.”

He makes some good points.  Gun-grab edicts don’t work. It’s up to us to be responsible, to make sure our firearms are under our control or secured.

“Guns don’t shoot themselves,” Cosby asserts. “Guns are always fired by a human. If you are going to own a gun, be responsible enough to control that gun. The government can’t do that job. Gun control is total, one hundred percent, up to gun owners.”

Bravo. Right on. He gets it. Except when he doesn’t, and then he misses so widely it’s a forehead slapper. With a brick:

“Then there is the Bill of Rights, which grants Americans the right to have firearms…”


Why are we still seeing otherwise sensible gun owners demonstrating such a profound misunderstanding of what rights are?

Let’s look at what the Supreme Court said in Heller:

“[I]t has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it ‘shall not be infringed.’ As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), ‘[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed…”

The Founding Fathers believed in “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” and that men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” They believed “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

There is no section in the Constitution where the power to grant rights is delegated to any branch of government. Rather than bestowing rights, the first 10 Amendments in effect, establish guarantees and boundaries where government abridgments are prohibited.

The Second Amendment didn’t create a right to keep and bear arms — it acknowledged a right that was already assumed and accepted. The underlying principle, that natural rights are inherent to the condition of being human, remains unchanged. It is our job to understand this, and to never allow these rights to be construed as mere grants or privileges that, if they can be bestowed, can also be withheld or revoked.

Nobody in government gave us that right, so it’s not theirs to try and take away.

That’s why even if the Second Amendment were repealed, we would still have a right to keep and bear arms, no matter what that subversive old coot John Paul Stevens says. So if you hear someone talking about your rights being granted, correct them —gently if they’re well-intentioned, or scathingly if they’re not.

It’s also why the popular (among some gun owners) slogan “The Second Amendment is my gun permit” is a pet peeve of mine.  That’s almost as irritatingly wrong-headed and self-defeating as “Enforce existing gun laws.”

Let’s hope Mr. Cosby sees such critiques, takes them well, and advises his readers with a new understanding.

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

  • 48 thoughts on “Gun Column Makes Good Points But Spreads One Wrong Idea

    1. “The Second Amendment is my gun permit” LOL! First time reading my own ‘personal’ beliefs. As noted, any “permit” granted by any government is all but worthless. My credo pretty much sums up the author’s points: “I will obey no ‘man-made’ law that would deny me my “God Given Right” to self-defense of myself or mine, by ANY appropriate means, ANYWHERE.” That dastardly 2nd Amendment is appreciated but NOT required!

      A prime example of ‘giving up you rights’ to some entity of government, such as those 9 magpies in robes, who are deemed one of the final arbiters of all things Constitutional, is their latest ‘farcical’ ruling that “We The Serfs” have the right to keep and bear arms “in the home!” Those highly intelligent(?), highly regarded(?), judges just MODIFIED that 2nd Amendment by decree, in adding some “place” it was lawful to “keep and bear arms.” Proving, once more, how those Founders were FAR superior in intellect and education than any of our ‘esteemed’ academics today! That SINGLE declarative sentence purposefully DID NOT list specific ARMS, nor any specific PLACE those arms might be kept or borne! Today, our ill-educated advise you that the elements of the Constitution are subject to “interpretation.” America’s problems have been exacerbated, due to the ‘attempted interpretation/addition’ to the stated purposes outlined in that Constitution – resulting in this Government of The People, By The People, and For The People being no longer ANY of those things – and is an out-of-control, bloated sow, over officious, behemoth NOT envisioned by those Founders!

    2. If advocates for civilian gun rights want to back their cause by the wording of the Bill of Rights’ Second Ammendment, they will lose often in the Supreme Court. As long as there is a cabal of liberals sitting on the bench, they will always rule: “No right is absolute and states have the right to restrict gun ownership.” However, if we frame the issue as: “The American citizen has the right, when necessary and when no alternative exists, to use deadly force in defense of him or herself”,then we have a stronger argument.

      1. “No right is absolute and states have the right…..” We are at risk for losing our “Unalienable Rights,” as outlined in the preamble to our Declaration of Independence, as the nation has progressed(?) from a more religious society to a now completely secular one. Atheists/Darwinists, or even believers in something called “natural selection/progression” have no ties to any “Creator,” so they see no issue with granting you rights, restricting rights, even denying any rights, since they only acknowledge those granted by man!

        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    3. I am never disappointed when reading anything written by David Codrea. He is a modern day Paul Revere, of sorts, shouting from the highest point, trying to warn us of the coming danger. While we all should recognize it, and make preparations for the very real possibility of a coming attack on our gun rights, yet again, the fact is that only a small number of gun owners have their eyes opened enough to see and know that our 2nd amendment rights, which of course are just a qualifier for an existing right, are under attack that is more insidious than ever before, because it is being done out in the open. And most gun owners are blindly ignoring the fact of the assault on our freedom.
      Many of those gun owners are proud of the fact that they take every new firearms class offered, and attend the big name schools every other year, like Gunsite, or Thunder Ranch. And they think that by improving the time splits between shots, or between drawing and shooting, that makes them prepared to defend any threat that comes their way. What about the threat of the loss of some or all of their gun rights, due to laws set in place by gun control advocates? It is great to say, Molon Labe!, or to say, they will get my guns when they pry them from my cold, dead hands. It is quite another thing when a SWAT unit, complete with an armored vehicle surrounds your house when you and your wife and two children are sitting down to dinner, with a knock/no knock raid, and with guns drawn and pointed at your wife’s head and your children who are laying face down on the floor, demands you surrender all the guns listed on the data base that they have, courtesy of the list that was obtained from the BATFE, compiled when the latest law passed 2 years ago, and you didn’t bother to fight against it, or to put your money where your mouth is, and join one of the gun rights groups, such as the NRA, or the GOA, because you don’t like the politics of them, or you feel that the NRA is too corrupt. Let me give you some news that is not news. The NRA could very well be corrupt, but you cannot change that culture or fix it, from the outside, complaining on Facebook, or Twitter to all your friends who feel the same way.
      Am I saying that now, more than ever, it is the time to actually JOIN the NRA, or one of the many other groups fighting for our gun rights? You bet your behind I am. Joining the NRA is not a vote of confidence in their leadership, but it is putting some teeth behind your voice, and it is telling the anti gun people that we as a group of gun owners, are not falling apart, but we are strong and united in our belief that our gun rights are important and we will never stop fighting for the right to keep and bear arms, even if our leadership lets us down, at times.
      Of course I am just as concerned about the NRA and the problems that they have as much as anyone. But I am more concerned that we can’t allow the anti gun people to make hay our of our inside the family fighting.
      What I am trying to say, with this entire comment, is that we mustn’t allow ourselves to be like the people of the United States Revolution, with only about 3% doing the heavy lifting of gaining their freedom from the King. It has been estimated that we have anywhere from 60 to 100 million gun owners in the United States, if I remember correctly. Don’t let us lose ground in our eternal battle for our enumerated right to keep and bear arms, because you were one of the ones who were willing to sit back and allow someone else take care of the fight. Yes, it is about spending the 40$ or so to join an organization that is fighting for our rights. But even more than money, what is also needed is pressure. Pressure on Senators, Representatives, and the President, always staying on message, that we as a group of gun owners, are not willing to sit on the sidelines and let them take our freedom away from us. And that we will do what ever is necessary to keep those freedoms, including spending our money with groups who are fighting for us. And writing to our representatives, and telling them our opinion of upcoming legislation. And making phone calls holding them responsible for their votes. We must make sure that our leaders, both on the national and at the state level, get to know our names, because we have contacted them so often. And if we get form letters too often, as I did, I make sure that I call and let my Senator know that it is not acceptable and that I expect a response from at the very least their office, acknowledging my concerns, and telling me their opinion and plans on which way they intend to vote.
      I ran into that issue with Carl Levin, and the gun control issue. I made sure that I got a personal response from him on the Thune amendment, and while he was voting the way that I disagreed with, I at least had the satisfaction of making him write to me personally and explain why he was voting that way. And while I still disagreed with him, I got a much greater respect for him simply due to his willingness to go on the record and in writing tell me why he was voting against it. By doing such things as that, you put your representatives in both Washington and at your state level on notice that they are being watched carefully.
      Speaking of the State level, at times it seems as if I spend more time with my state government than with my federal government officials. Simply because I feel like I have more pull, or am able to affect my state more than I am as one person. That is not to say I ignore the federal level, but at the state, you have a better chance of sitting down with your representatives or their staff, and speaking with them on the issues that you are most concerned with.
      I know this is a long comment, but I feel that now we are at perhaps one of the more important crossroads of our nation’s gun rights and the anti gun coalition. They are like sharks, once they smell blood in the water, like they have lately, they go crazy, and their focus tightens. Our focus must also be razor sharp, and we must stand as closely together as we ever have. Hunters simply cannot afford to ignore those who are just target shooters, and vice versa. We will either win together or we will lose separately. But the choice is up to each individual. Choose wisely, for not only our sake, but that of our generations to come.

      1. Why would you use the NRA as your first example of a gun rights organization? They have repeatedly compromised our rights away again and again! I would recommend someone like NAGR that actually sends lawyers to fight on our behalf instead of having stupid sweepstakes and fundraising to make their hierarchy rich.

    4. Current system is collapsing under the weight of its own corruption. Like a raging car fire pour gasoline on it when you can to keep it burning hot. Plenty of pro 2A court rulings going on right now so keep them rolling. Reverse the process of death by a thousand slash’s to freedom by a thousand slash’s. Hell, even liberals on USSC are ruling in favor of 2A. It’s not going away any time soon regardless of what any state legislature scratch’s on paper.
      REFUSE TO COMPLY, tell em “fuck off”.

      1. Of course, the price to keep that free thing called freedom can be very high. A right that people cannot or will not defend is a right that becomes lost, even though it is in every ethical principle right to have it. Unfortunately, nothing guarantees that right and rights will prevail except the devotion and sacrifices of moral, committed, and adequately strong, prepared, and united people. Otherwise, the jackboot in the face prevails.

    5. A government killed Jesus. What will it do to us? Anything it wants if allowed. May God protect our minds so we may repel our governments attempts to enslave us.

      1. It wasn’t the government that killed Jesus, it was the people (JEWS)! The Roman government only did what the people (JEWS) pressured the government to do. The government had no right or authority to so without him being found guilty of a crime, which he was not. It was solely because of Jews in the government and population that feared him.

        1. Pilate had the authoroty to deny the mob their request to crucify Jesus. READ the historical accounts. Those were written by men who were there at the time.

          Had the government of Missouri or St. Louis acquiesced to the demands of the mobs to surrender the officer who had fired the shots that killed Michael Brown, and he had been mynched by that mob, would government be responsible?Absolutely.

          It falls to the God-apponted civil government to bear the sword against those who do harm, and to stand against those who WOULD do harm unjustly.

          Back in the days of the KKK and lynchings in the south, were government officials complicit in most of them?Absolutely. Partly by enacting laws to unconstitutionally disarm the negroes (EVERYONE knows a disarmed population are far more controllable than one armed….. which, do not be mistaken, is the present goal.)

          But make no mistake, it is God Himself who moves in the hearts of men, both good and evil, and thus even Pilate was God’s servant at that time.

          1. There was a little sign along the highway where I grew up in Credtview Florida that stood just above the height of the grass that stated, “Niggers don’t let the sun hit your backside” and it was enforced by the citizens. These things really are not only in far back history and I can drive you through Denver and you will know this is true.

          2. During Jim Crow era whitey got lynched also just not written about in history as much. Non publicized. Whitey got lunches for aiding and/or abetting blacks and for being Republican. Class warfare created by the Jews knows no bounds and if they had their way they would divide each person from the next and program them with conflicting values and beliefs to create conflict otherwise we might realize we don’t need gov nearly as much as most think therefore tyranny would not be easily created like it is today. For the past 13 years in a rural neighborhood not far from here cops have been going door to door with no reason other than to pit each neighbor against each neighbor for today’s conflict. Without them there would far less conflict and tyranny. Jews taught them well.

      2. Jesus did not resist the Romans because that was God His Father’s plan for man’s redemption and salvation. Fortunately, We The People are not destined to be the world’s savior, so Heaven help the Libtards/Progressive/Socialists if they continue on their path.

        1. That’s right.
          May GOD in heaven have mercy on their souls because we will not.
          Shoveling more sulphur into the boiling pit as I type so it’s nice and hot.

    6. In Colorado, the state Constitution states no person stalled be called into question for defending themselves and open carry is not questioned. People who have committed a crime are equally allowed to have firearms once their sentence in completed just like back in the Wild West of which Colorado is still identical to those Clint Eastwood movies once you get out of the city. Sure, they want to confiscate guns but not a person will hand them over and there you have it. Just because some fag psychopath demands surrender it doesn’t mean shit. Fags make demands and who cares. They’re sickos. They can go jerk each other off in their safe spaces.

      1. Colorado is on it’s way to collapse, with all of the anti-gun legislation and now Denver elected a devout COMMUNIST as Mayor! Back in the early nineties I tried to transfer to Colorado when 10th Special Forces moved there, I now thank God that I didn’t. I’m also glad I left Texas when I did, because they are going down in flames and can’t see it; all of their major cities are leftist controlled! Good luck!

        1. Collapse is exactly what we want, our goal. Rural counties are pro Constitution and have declared independence by proclamation from the capitol and we have everything needed to survive so yeah collapse is the agenda. When they come flooding out of the collapsed city to loot us we’re going to shoot them all and cure the disease. The anti gun legislation you state is simply not true and any that is in place at the capitol is no longer enforced in rural Colorado so you really don’t know what your talking about. You will not escape to your safe place due to the NWO is now rapidly spreading to all states so keep brushed up on the special op training it will come in handy wherever you’re at. Good luck.

            1. As normal as can be expected in today’s society with the exception of a few loose “madmen”. It’s us who keep the balance in check. Lol.

        2. All of every state’s major cities are leftist controlled, with very few exceptions. Comes wth the territory of being a major city. You attract the non-self-reliant.

    7. Very well said ! We have a right that shall not be infringed. God gave us the right , not government ! Thank you for stating these facts . keep your powder dry and be responsible for your firearms .

    8. Finally someone has written the actual truth about the 2nd Ammendment. It is key that “We the People” begin acting like “We the People” and remind all our members of government they work for us, and expect them to abide by the constitution, that so many have given their lives to protect.

      1. Codrea is 100x Times the American of any NGO NRA members. America is who is listed in Codrea’s “asset column” unlike that blowhard cowboy at NGO NRA.

    9. Cosby, from the start makes several mistakes, intentional or not. You can never expect a felon or any person intent on committing a crime/murder to be “responsible” for having a gun. That is an oxymoron. This is why we must always distinguish between “law-abiding” gun owners and every one else. The communists, owning the media and using the it to spew their agenda(s) never make that distinction, lumping “gun owners” together with criminals in their sheeple’s minds.

      “Nobody in government gave us that right, so it’s not theirs to try and take away.”
      This would be great if those elected to defend and protect that right adhered to the Oath they took. But they don’t.
      ALL politicians, on both sides of the same coin, have, and continue ignoring this point. We have a paper document our Founding Fathers used to declare to the world what would be the foundation of a radically new country; a form of government based on Freedom and individual rights, placing those principles above those of a king or any other form of totalitarianism.

      We are at the precipice of a radical change meant to destroy our country and the principles laid down over 200 years ago. I am sickened not only by the “liberal/progressive/leftist/democRAT/communists and their continued efforts to take over and destroy but deeply frustrated and angered by the cowardly, passive conservative/republicans who really do NOTHING to prevent this. The percentages of so-called conservatives voting is inexcusable and they should be ashamed of themselves for sitting on their rears, whining about what the left is doing. If you don’t like what’s going on, become politically active, stand up to the enemies and save our country.

      The ONLY purpose for the 2nd Amendment is to prevent and/or fight off tyrannical attempts by elitists who believe it is their God-given right to control the populace. Their beliefs of being above the rest of us and therefore their right to govern is in direct opposition to the Constitution that G W Bush claimed as “…that damn piece of paper..”

      All politicians lie (Trump is guilty of this as well) to get what they want. They tell us what they believe, as provided by their “think-tanks” we, the people, want to hear. Trump is a master at this – just look at the immigration issues.
      When it comes to the 2nd, we are betrayed by left and right politicians. How we are to stop this, I do not know as it has become acutely obvious, voting soen’t work. Very few of those who are elected, actually hold to their promises. Once in office, all their promises fly out the window and yet we keep voting in the incumbents.

      1. 2A does not state any language about being “Law abiding” as you reference in first paragraph. You sound much like the NGO NRA seeking to dictate who can and can’t have a gun. If the Founders were alive today they would not be law abiding to any other than the Constitution. “Law abiding” is a myth, don’t be sucked into its narrative. Founders did not put your “Law abiding” concept into 2A for a reason so please don’t push your liberal agenda here. Everything Hitler did was lawful so your “Law abiding” concept is now blown to hell. Fuck that law abiding scam. The term “felon” was created by the King to label those bad slaves who disobeyed his rule so please stop propagandizing this board. Ex felons in my state can have guns. It’s their right.
        Stop spewing propaganda.

      2. @Mark,

        So when does society consider a person’s “debt” fulfilled after a crime is committed? Here in CA, we have multiple registries (the usual Sexual Offender, Arson, Gang, etc.) that keep people under the thumb of the State for the rest of their lives. And thanks to reciprocity agreements between states, such oversight usually follows you forever.

        For example, if you grab a pretty waitress while you’re drunk and ask her to come to your room, that’s certainly inappropriate and you should be ejected from the establishment. But here in CA, it’s considered sexual battery and can land you not only behind bars, but on the SO registry permanently. And that means bye-bye to your ability to exercise your right to defend yourself via 2A. Punishment is often disproportionate to the crime. It’s like using a steamroller to drive a nail.

      3. It is true Repubs are not moving any firearm legislation forward. The Demoncrats would have snuck something thru when they had a chance.
        We get betrayed by these Repukelickins too often.

        1. Perzactilly so! I’m old enough to know, those GOP (Grand Old Putzes) flakes are competent at one thing only, being incompetent! After being ‘given’ control of government by ‘We The Serfs,’ they shoot themselves in the foot and give in to almost ANYTHING their cohorts in crime, the DemonRATS, want! I have maintained, for decades, that, yes, there is a two party system of government in this country, the Democrat party, and the Democrat Lite party!

    10. Gun control requires a steady hand and a calm mind.

      Seriously though, too many people in this country are ignorant of our history and the principle of natural rights. These are sometimes called “God given rights.” None of our rights are granted by the state. The USA may be the only country in the world where are rights are not granted by the goodwill of the government

    11. This has been the progressive lefts plan from the get go. Pound it into peoples heads that only government has the control of everything. It is 180degees from the founding fathers idea.
      The left will keep up the propaganda until enough people believe it, then it won’t matter.

    12. This is one of the best articles read on 2A rights. If it were a song. I’d play it over and over again… in the car with the windows down loudly through a USCPA city. Might even turn up the bass like urbanignorants.

      Okay going to listen to ‘God’s Country’ and ‘When You Come to Take Mine (acoustic of course)’ now.

    13. I would like to see the NRA stand tall tell Comgress and the American people all about the 2nd Amendment, and tell it like they mean it. Shout it loud and clear. Gun rights are not granted by the government. The 2nd Amendment does not exist for hunting and target shooting. The 2nd Amendment does not grant any American the right to own guns, just as the 1st Amendment doesn’t grant people the right to speak. Americans are born with the right to own and use guns. The NRA must tell America the right to bear arms exists to give the people the tools they will need to remain free from government tyranny. Tyranny of the kind many Democrat are promising to carry out if they are elected to the presidency. Yes, the NRA must tell the truth, that Armed Americans are necessary for the preservation of the Free US Republic. And for the preservation of an armed American population. I will likely die of old age before the NRA takes such a courageous step. And that is why the NRA will wither and die, because it has failed by omission to be truthful in many areas, especially why the 2nd Amendment exists.

      1. Exactly, the NRA is allowing the “progressives” to whittle away at the peoples right to protect themselves and family from evil and the very ones in government doing the whittling. Since 1934 “common sense” laws are being enacted in the guise of safety.
        Just the term “gun violence” makes my blood boil I never hear knife violence or hammer violence it’s violence USING a gun or knife or whatever and violence is what the issue should be not what the method is. And by the way all the numbers the anti-gun zealots spew include suicides which may be terrible but to count those as “violence” is absurd.
        How about those same zealots start calling news coverage of violence as “we need common sense violent news laws” after all the coverage incites copycats doesn’t it? But heaven forbid we look at limiting the press.

        1. The counter on on the right side of the page lists suicides using a gun independently and the number for homicides using a gun IN NO WAY COMPARES to the number of people using a gun for self defense. The anti gun agenda is a lie and would continue if only a single person was murdered using a gun in a years time. Simply put, they seek to murder us and guns are stopping them. I never Hogg boy the fag or Antigua strip by force a gun from the hands of Smericans be cause they are pansy ass fag communists too busy sucking each other’s cocks. System of tyranny collapsing. If they don’t get recalled and/or Trump don’t arrest them alternative remedy’s will cure the issue prescribed by nature tyranny will ultimately cease to rule. When they flip the switch on the grid it will take no more than 72 hours and every citizen will be hunting them and it won’t be for conversation. They’re already playing with the switch here and cops aren’t driving marked vehicles and wearing uniforms anymore due to hiding. It’s coming.

          1. That makes at least 3 of us. I’m constantly refuting the term “Gun Violence”. An inanimate object has no ability to feel pain, hatred, anger, jealousy or envy. An inanimate object has no mind to become diseased.

            The human however, has and is capable of all these things. A human mind intent on inflicting pain, injury or death upon an innocent human will attempt to do so whether the tool of choice is a firearm or a knife, hammer, bomb, motor vehicle, or a piece of piano wire. Most of us however, can control our emotions and do not wish harm upon those of whom we do not agree.

            The term should be “Human Violence”, which explains all violent actions, regardless of method or means, and is the root of all violence. My opinion is that the root cause of “Human Violence” is mental illness; something no politician seems to want to address.

            1. You forgot “suffocation” of which more people die from each year than murdered using a gun yet no suffocation laws exist or falling laws and more people die from falling that murdered using a firearm. You will never hear a gun group use these statistics due to keeping you under the wing of control is the real agenda of NGO pro gun groups.

      2. GREAT article! The radical libs are clueless…”repealing the second amendment” will render the entire constitution null and void. Then it’s Katy bar the door.

    14. But David, the democrats say they are going to strike the second amendment from the Constitution. It just goes along with eliminating guns. Could it be they are wrong? I just don’t know what to say. (sar)

    15. Yep, that sums it up just fine. Only thing 2A does is grant authority to shoot tyrants. My attorney says know where they live for the upcoming conflict.

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