President’s Column | It’s Your Most Fundamental Freedom — So Set The Record Straight.

posted on September 19, 2023
Charles L. Cotton

There probably isn’t enough space in this entire magazine—let alone this one-page column—to list all the anti-gun lies being told by politicians and the press today.

President Biden utters so many falsehoods about firearms that it’s hard to keep count. Those who do keep count say Biden has lied at least 300 times about firearms since taking office. In 2022, Biden falsely claimed that mass shootings decreased 70% after Clinton’s 1994 semi-automatic gun ban was passed and then “increased seven times” after that ban ended. Yet even Bill Clinton’s own Justice Dept. admitted it couldn’t find “any meaningful effect” of that ban on firearm homicide.

Last year, Biden claimed “the velocity of a bullet coming out of assault weapons is three-and-a-half times as fast as a bullet coming out of another weapon.” Then he upped it to “five times faster.” Again, false.

Biden repeatedly claims that “the gun industry is the only industry in America you can’t sue.” Again, false. Like anyone else, gun makers can be sued for liability or prosecuted for criminal conduct.

No constitution or government or king ever “gave” us these rights.

In June, even CNN made the rare admission that on the issue of firearms, Joe “no malarkey” Biden was full of bull. Covering Biden’s gun-control speech in Connecticut, CNN noted that he “made at least five false claims related to guns, a subject on which he has repeatedly been inaccurate during his presidency.”

But far too often, legacy-media propagandists are happy to perpetuate the lies. Last summer, The New York Times, for example, dusted off a widely discredited 30-year-old “study” to claim that “keeping a gun in the home brought a 2.7-fold increase in the risk of homicide.”

What the Times didn’t report was that this “researcher” cherry-picked his data, looking only at homes where homicides occurred. Nor did they mention that as a result, he found that “living alone” or “living in rented housing” were far greater “risk factors” for homicide than having a gun.

Now, some lies in the gun debate are easy to spot, but false premises are more subtle and insidious.

Case in point: In June, California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a new 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would, in effect, rewrite the Second Amendment. Instead of reserving rights to the people, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, Newsom’s proposed amendment would ban the most popular firearms in America and institute other national prohibitions.

For the moment, set aside the fact that Newsom is widely expected to run for president, and that his gun-ban constitutional amendment is—as even the Los Angeles Times suggested—“a headline-grabbing political stunt to score political points.”

The bigger issue is that Newsom’s proposed constitutional amendment tries to establish, and the media would have us believe, and even too many of our allies accept the idea, that the Second Amendment supposedly “gives” Americans the right to keep and bear arms, as if it were some kind of permission or license granted by the government. But, that turns the Second Amendment, and the entire Bill of Rights, upside down.

As the U.S. Supreme Court said in 1876, “The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.”

Or, as former NRA President Charlton Heston once pointed out, the Second Amendment doesn’t “give” Americans the right to arms any more than a birth certificate “gives” us life. It simply sets down on paper, in concrete, codified terms, what everyone already knows: You are alive. And as a living being, your most fundamental right is your right to defend your life.

As the Declaration of Independence says, all free people “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” The first and most fundamental of these is our right to arms to defend ourselves.

So when you hear this kind of thing in your daily life, take the time to point out the truth: No constitution or government or king ever “gave” us these rights, so no constitution or government or king—or even Gavin Newsom—can ever take them away. As the American jurist Billings Learned Hand wrote, “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.”


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