Posted: Friday, March 22nd 2013 at 10:37am
Collins: Defense of Second Amendment honors nation's past, guards our future
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The following article is an op-ed column written by Georgia's Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins:
"The battle to protect the Second Amendment rights of all Americans rages on in Congress. Gun control advocates prey on the fears of parents, claiming that stricter gun laws will result in reduced violence. As a father of three, there is nothing I want more than for my children to grow up in a world free of fear. But I believe that security can only come through the preservation of individual liberties, such as the right to defend one's home and family.
"I never want my children to be in a situation where they must use a gun to defend their lives. But I firmly believe the Constitution protects their right to do so. Unfortunately, those who share my belief are often portrayed as the trigger-happy cartoon Yosemite Sam.
"Our country's founders enshrined the right to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. The founders didn't perceive gun ownership as a practice merely to be tolerated; it was to be cherished and protected. Based on their study of history, the founders knew that Americans' liberties had the best chance of standing the test of time if citizens had the means to defend their lives and property. For this reason, I believe Congress should protect the right to keep and bear arms as fiercely as we seek to protect the rights to free speech, freedom of religion, and due process.
"We are right to reel in horror from tragedies such as the one that occurred in Newtown; we all ask why such things happen. But well-meaning Americans can disagree on how we should legislatively respond to such incidents. Reactionary legislating may give us a sense of national catharsis, but it does not result in sound policy. The founders cited this very problem when they proposed the creation of a bicameral legislature. "There are particular moments in public affairs when the people... may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn," wrote James Madison in Federalist 63.
"My issue with legislation that seeks to ban specific types of firearms and magazines is that it does nothing to prevent a future Newtown. Such bills try in vain to protect the public from madmen at the expense of constitutional freedoms granted to law-abiding citizens. Instead of recognizing that violence is a result evil in our fallen world, we delude ourselves into thinking that the right law, or enough laws, will make people live in peace with each other. No gun control legislation or universal background check requirement will stop homicidal maniacs; individuals bent on destruction will simply use another instrument to carry out their evil intentions.
"As your voice in Washington, it is my obligation to make sure the government maintains a limited role in Georgiansí lives and stays focused on preserving our constitutional liberties. Current legislative and regulatory efforts to undermine Americans' right to keep and bear arms donít fly with folks who recognize the importance of the Second Amendment. I'm committed to preventing this Administration and its congressional allies from imposing gun control on law-abiding citizens.
Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09) is serving his first term in office, and is a member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Government Reform.
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