The right to keep and bear arms

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that U.S. citizens have an individual right to own firearms, just as they have an individual right to freedom of speech and due process of law.

Throughout history and in many different cultures, denial of the right to own weapons and denial of access to the courts have been ways in which disenfranchised groups have been held down.

Ownership of firearms by responsible law-abiding citizens is not a social problem.

That said, even fundamental rights, such as the right to vote, are subject to reasonable regulation consistent with their purpose.

That said, taking firearms to Tea Party political rallies is an extremely bad idea.  I am old enough to recall the exercise of Second Amendment rights by the Black Panther Party of Self-Defense. That didn’t work out well.

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