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. – -(Ammoland.com)- “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…”

NO, IT DOES NOT!

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.

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Wesman78HenryFirewagonEjharbetUSA Recent comment authors
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Firewagon
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Firewagon

“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… Read more »

Ronald Nuxon
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Ronald Nuxon

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.

Firewagon
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Firewagon

“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… Read more »

timothy lyle kies
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timothy lyle kies

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… Read more »

Wesman78
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Wesman78

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.

USA
Guest
USA

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”.

Austin
Guest
Austin

Yes!
FREEDOM IS FREE!
It comes from God and the actions of men cannot bestow nor deny a right to it.

Bill
Guest
Bill

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.

JoeUSooner
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JoeUSooner

AMEN!!!!!

chuckbone56
Guest
chuckbone56

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.

Rattlerjake
Guest
Rattlerjake

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.

Bill
Guest
Bill

Angels and pins.

Tionico
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Tionico

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… Read more »

USA
Guest
USA

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.

USA
Guest
USA

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… Read more »

Ejharbet
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Ejharbet

Yeshua bar Joseph was is and will always be as jewish as it gets.this fact is going to surprise the heck out of some people but not me

StLPro2A
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StLPro2A

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.

USA
Guest
USA

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.

USA
Guest
USA

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.… Read more »

Rattlerjake
Guest
Rattlerjake

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!

USA
Guest
USA

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… Read more »

Bill
Guest
Bill

Having left every place that is falling, where did you go that is not? Would love to know.

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@Bill, Look at the voter maps. Big cities are black holes. The surrounding rural areas are still normal.

USA
Guest
USA

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.

Henry
Guest
Henry

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.

Huapakechi
Guest
Huapakechi

I would recommend reading “The Unabridged Second Amendment” by J Neil Schulman for an unfiltered objective examination of the right to keep and bear arms. I have yet to discover a more definitive treatise on the subject.

http://www.constitution.org/2ll/schol/2amd_grammar.htm

AggregatVier
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AggregatVier

Thank you! Saved and printed for future reference. Even though it’s from 1991 it’s just as accurate today!

RLD44
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RLD44

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 .

USA
Guest
USA

“ Reasonable” translation: Accuracy counts.
Right, got it.

PA1911A1
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PA1911A1

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.

USA
Guest
USA

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.

Mark R
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Mark R

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… Read more »

USA
Guest
USA

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… Read more »

Guesty McGuesterson
Guest
Guesty McGuesterson

@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… Read more »

Big Jim
Guest
Big Jim

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.

Firewagon
Guest
Firewagon

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!

Jeffery P
Guest
Jeffery P

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

Geary Mcdevitt
Guest
Geary Mcdevitt

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.

Nottinghill
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Nottinghill

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.

Jaque
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Jaque

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… Read more »

Bob Lang
Guest
Bob Lang

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… Read more »

USA
Guest
USA

The counter on JPFO.org 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… Read more »

ras 52
Guest
ras 52

Bob Lang, I don’t like that term either. Guns are not violent, but some people are.

CinciJim
Guest
CinciJim

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… Read more »

USA
Guest
USA

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.

Bill Wright
Guest
Bill Wright

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.

tomcat
Guest
tomcat

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)

USA
Guest
USA

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.