SOTU Address Launches Opening Salvo Against the Second Amendment

In a disturbing example of demagoguery, the president attacked the constitutionally protected right to “keep and bear arms” by evoking the memories of those recently slaughtered by armed killers in Aurora, Chicago, and Newtown. To a building crescendo of applause, the president proclaimed that those affected by gun violence “deserve a simple vote” on gun control legislation. The president chose to crudely politicize tragedy. Sadly, his attempts to thwart the Second Amendment will erode freedom while failing to eradicate future violence.

In one respect, the president is right. Victims of past crimes and potential victims all “deserve a vote” on gun control. However, the vote should not be one which bans high-capacity magazine clips or certain “assault” weapons. Rather, state legislatures should approve legislation which (1) enables law abiding citizens to purchase firearms with minimal bureaucratic red tape, (2) permits school personnel with proper training to conceal and carry on school grounds, (3) expands the ability of private citizens to conceal and carry in additional venues, and (4) imposes severe penalties on convicted criminals possessing firearms.

The president implies that his gun control proposals could have prevented the loss of life in Aurora, Newtown, and Chicago. In actuality, stringent gun control and anti-concealed carry policies increase the capability of evil-doers to inflict pain on the innocent. The movie theater in Aurora prohibited concealed carry, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown prohibited teachers from being armed, and Chicago still imposes severe regulations on gun ownership.

Of course, the chief policy makers in the current administration understand that the present gun control proposals will not necessarily reduce homicides. However, immediate reduction in homicides is not the primary goal of the ideologues within the executive branch. Gradual consolidation of power in the hands of the state through incremental erosion of our Second Amendment rights is the true end goal of the gun control lobby. The left will continue to use tragedy to push for “assault” weapons bans, licensing for gun ownership, gun registration, and — ultimately — confiscation.

No one should take false comfort in the Supreme Court’s continued affirmation of our Second Amendment enumerated rights. Only five out of nine Supreme Court justices recognize an individual right to keep and bear arms. For this reason, concerned citizens must remain especially vigilant as elected representatives plot to further restrict essential constitutional guarantees of liberty. This nation is just one Supreme Court justice confirmation away being susceptible to a full legislative assault on our Second Amendment rights. President Obama launched an opening salvo last night.   

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Joel Griffith

Joel Griffith is a licensed attorney, admitted to the California State Bar. He graduated from the Chapman University School of Law with a dual emphasis in alternative dispute resolution and tax law. At Chapman, Joel was a charter board member and Treasurer of the Investment Law Society, served on the board of the Chapman chapter of the California Republican Lawyers Association, competed on both the mock trial and mediation teams. Joel has experience in public policy research, legislative analysis, and campaign leadership. Most recently, he worked with a Republican presidential campaign as MI state field director, OH state operations director, and parliamentarian/assistant delegate strategist in WA. As a journalist, numerous outlets have featured Joel's work, including redalertpolitics.com, breitbart.com, biggovernment.com, policymic.com, and safehaven.com. In addition to law and politics, Joel continues to manage an equities portfolio, focusing primarily on the banking sector. Joel's seeks to advocate for economic freedom and individual liberty.

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