Everytown’s Linguistic Gymnastics: 2A Doesn’t Really Mean ‘Bear’ Arms

By Larry Keane

Everytown Open Carry
Everytown for Gun Safety is now claiming the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is a loophole that needs to be fixed. IMG NSSF.org

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Everytown for Gun Safety is now claiming the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is a loophole that needs to be fixed. They’re so convinced, they’ve listed this loophole as a “fact” of the Second Amendment.

It’s beyond a misunderstanding of the text of the Second Amendment. It’s an attempt at a wholesale revision of it.

The maneuver, however, is hardly surprising. Everytown labeled protestors carrying firearms as “extremists” and say gun owners are using recent protests “as opportunities to openly display military-style firearms to incite fear, suppress civil discourse, and threaten public safety.”

Fear Mongering

Even in gun-owning circles, there is debate as to whether protesting with firearms is effective. The denigration of those publicly carrying firearms using fear-inducing labels is hardly new as well. Moms Demand Action, a gun control group affiliated with Everytown, previously maligned protestors as “white supremacists” and invoked fears that protests last year in Richmond, Va., would descend into the chaos of Charlottesville protests. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam fanned the flames. He declared a state of emergency, banned firearms on the state capitol grounds and fenced off the area. In reality, Richmond protests were peaceful. Over 22,000 attended, representing all gun owners in Virginia, black and white together. A single arrest was made, but charges were later dropped for wearing a mask. Protestors even cleaned up their own trash.

Just days ago, black gun owners marched in Tulsa on the same day President Donald Trump held a campaign rally. The incident went unnoticed by Everytown for Gun Safety or Moms Demand Action. That show of support for the right to keep and bear arms was also peaceful.

Everytown, though, clutched the pearls upon learning it is perfectly legal for law-abiding Americans to openly bear arms in 41 states. “Open carry is a dangerous policy opposed by the public,” Everytown wrote in their “factsheet.” “A visible gun has been found to make people more aggressive; therefore open carry makes it more likely that disagreements will turn into violent conflicts.”

Ignoring Real Problems

Yet, not a single act of violence occurred during the demonstration by African American gun owners in Tulsa nor the protest last January in Richmond. Contrast that with what’s going on in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) Zone, where one was killed and another wounded by gunshots in a police “no-go” zone. In fact, CHOP “protesters” blocked the police and EMTs from responding to the crimes and aiding the injured. Residents are understandably fearful. That forced Seattle Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan to walk back her claim the protests were a “summer of love.” In Chicago, 14 were killed by criminal violence over the weekend, including four children, and another 100 were wounded.

Everytown is mum about these events, but has a pretty bold opinion about labeling an explicitly delineated right as a “loophole.”

“… And Bear Arms, Shall Not Be Infringed.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas seized upon this very notion when he drafted his recent dissent in Rogers v Grewal.

“Thus, the right to carry arms for self-defense inherently includes the right to carry in public,” Justice Thomas wrote. “This conclusion not only flows from the definition of “bear Arms” but also from the natural use of the language in the text. As I have stated before, it is ‘extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen.’”

In that dissent, Justice Thomas explains that Second Amendment rights are pre-existing, or that they predate the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  As Heller explained, “[a]t the time of the founding, as now, to ‘bear’ meant to ‘carry.’” The rights to bear arms outside the home, he explained, are rooted in English law, which provided the foundation for U.S. law. Justice Thomas noted the Statute of Northampton from 1328. That law provided no one was permitted to bring force as a means to threaten the peace, but was hardly a complete ban on bearing arms, as officers were instructed to arrest only those bearing arms to disturb the peace. In fact, the same statute was used by England’s King James II to disarm the public, but judges then ruled the law only applied to the use of arms for the crime of terrorism.

King James was ultimately deposed, and the English Bill of Rights was drafted and accepted, which included the right to privately bear arms which were “‘ an individual right protecting against both public and private violence.’ And for purposes of discerning the original meaning of the Second Amendment, it is this founding era understanding that is most pertinent,” Justice Thomas wrote.

Rights, Not Loopholes

The Founders and those who ratified the U.S. Constitution acknowledged the right to carry arms in public. Justice Thomas noted the racist post-Civil War laws aimed to disarm freed slaves, but courts then found the right to bear arms in public was often the only way black citizens could protect themselves from mob violence.

Even today, states place “justifiable needs” or “good cause” requirements to exercise the individual right to publicly bear arms, which caused Justice Thomas to dissent to the Supreme Court’s decision to avoid answering the question when history and the law are so clearly evident.

Justice Thomas is correct. The Framers didn’t write a giant loophole, as Everytown alleges. The right to own a gun goes hand-in-hand with being able to carry that gun. It’s not a mistake or an oversight. It’s an explicit right. “In short, it would take serious linguistic gymnastics—and a repudiation of this Court’s decision in Heller — to claim that the phrase ‘bear Arms’ does not extend the Second Amendment beyond the home.”



National Shooting Sports FoundationAbout The National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. www.nssf.org

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Arizona Don
Arizona Don
14 days ago

Open carry has “always” been legal in Arizona. So we here in Arizona should know if it makes people more aggressive. It does not however, it does have a tendency to make people more polite and LESS aggressive. Even with open carry Arizona was, a few years back, becoming the carjack and kidnap capital of the US. I suspect because of our proximity to Mexico. Our state congress knew something had to be done. So they got together and passed a law allowing constitutional (concealed) carry. Actually no law should have been necessary to be passed because the second amendment provides for all kinds of carrying. However,… Read more »

AnotherLEO
AnotherLEO
14 days ago
Reply to  Arizona Don

Reason and logic are the curse of conservatives and the educated. By that I mean that we search for reason and logic where there is none to be found. This is not about public safety or crime. It is about making americans subservient to democratic socialists. It is obvious and irrefutable.. even more confusing is how these Democrats hope to actually confiscate and then enforce their prerogatives. They have alienated all of Law Enforcement… Trump has the hearts of the men and women in Law Enforcement and the Military. Democrats are charging head first into eradication. Once this progresses into… Read more »

Wass
Wass
14 days ago
Reply to  AnotherLEO

Dear Another LEO, Your logic in critique of the Left’s lack of logic is inviolable. Just keep in mind, dishonesty, ie, rejection of logic, ignoring truth and fact, in promotion of a Left advanced narrative, is the nucleus of their strategy.

pureamericana
pureamericana
14 days ago

Grandfather, a salesman in late 1890’s always carried a sidearm thru KY,Indiana. You just didn’t know what or who was down the road . No permission was required.
Streets in some zones today are far more dangerous and the people are heartless
violent scum that Does Not Matter . Be prepared.

Vince
Vince
14 days ago

MDa is a cult. If you look up the ten signs of a cult, MDA exhibits most of the signs.

nrringlee
nrringlee
14 days ago

Those who fund groups like Everytown and the March as well as the Women’s March gang hire the very best Madison Ave can produce to produce their propaganda. This is one such example. Bloomberg and company spend millions hiring linguists trained at the George Orwell Institute of Newspeak to spew this garbage. It falls flat when confronted by critical thinkers. The only problem is this: critical thinking has been eliminated from our public schools right along with the history of our great nation. Drones will soon outnumber the thinking people. And that, my friends, has been the intent of the… Read more »

USA
USA
14 days ago
Reply to  nrringlee

nrr) I have read that the anti-gun propaganda is created by the FBISIS and funded by the tax payer. Another one of those special programs We The People support to destroy ourselves.

RoyD
RoyD
15 days ago

“Everytown wrote in their “factsheet.” “A visible gun has been found to make people more aggressive; therefore open carry makes it more likely that disagreements will turn into violent conflicts.”

“Everytown” seems to be proving that old saying, “You never think to look behind the door when entering a room unless you have stood behind a door yourself.”

USA
USA
15 days ago

“My concern is the large number of white nationalist(s) in our city and other threatening communications I’ve been receiving,” wrote Jenkins in an email.

“white nationalist(s)” defined as white folks they say they are/going to murder.
Their victims are “white nationalist(s)”.

Q) A takeover?
A) Yep.

Q) The law is what they say it is?
A) Yep.

Q) Will a Supreme Court ruling stop them?
A) Never has, never will.

Q) Constitutional Republic?
A) Nope.

https://bearingarms.com/cam-e/2020/06/28/council-members-armed-private-security/

The Collector
The Collector
14 days ago
Reply to  USA

What is REALLY making lefty gun grabbers and the sneaky Demorats mad is their b*llsh*t financing, left only media enhancements, constant promoting Civil Unrest due to racial inequalities, and threatening to defund and remove our Police…along with the teaming up with China to heavily push fear mongering and financial ruin they have ran with over Covid-19…all in just yet ANOTHER attempt to remove Trump from the Presidency…IS BACKFIRING! Gun and Ammo sales have skyrocketed AND their use of BLM and Antifa to cause havoc HAS BEEN the GREATEST RECRUITMENT for White Nationalism Organizations …among BOTH the Constitutional Conservatives AND THEIR… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by The Collector
USA
USA
14 days ago
Reply to  The Collector

Collector) I’m not into left and right paradigms because it’s a suckers philosophy based in deception and I don’t need a leader to follow so organizations and groups are of no use to me. I lived in the KKK stronghold of the south in Florida so I’m not easily fooled into joining white stuff there. You dig deep enough you’re likely going to find a bunch a Freemasons in that stuff phuking each other up the ass and I’m not into that kind of entertainment. Groups and organizations are heavily corrupted, just look at all the so called pro-gun groups… Read more »

JayDubya
JayDubya
16 days ago

The Bolsheviks will never quit.

USA
USA
16 days ago
Reply to  JayDubya

Yeah but the attorneys are quite happy about that, business is good.

Q: What’s the one thing that never works when it’s fixed?
A: A jury.

Green Mtn. Boy
Green Mtn. Boy
16 days ago

Oh how Marxists try to contort plain english,liars figure and figures lie well as Marxists.

badlands
badlands
16 days ago

“Keep and bear” means “own and carry”.

This stuff isn’t hard.

Cam
Cam
16 days ago
Reply to  badlands

Well for someone with higher than a 20 IQ it’s not, but it appear they all have a 19 or lower IQ.

USA
USA
16 days ago
Reply to  Cam

Cam) 9th protocol.

JoeUSooner
JoeUSooner
14 days ago
Reply to  Cam

Luckily, Democrats and Leftists and socialists (and whatever the hell they call themselves THIS week), along with Antifa and BLM, have only one number to remember… it’s their IQ and shoe size!

Vanns40
Vanns40
14 days ago
Reply to  badlands

An 8 year old has the common sense to understand that. Unfortunately we have a dramatic shortage of folks, in politics and the courts, with the common sense of an 8 year old.

Phil in TX
Phil in TX
14 days ago
Reply to  badlands

And use if necessary!

Phil in TX