Georgia State Senator Bill Heath (R-Bremen) shared his thoughts today to select media about the attacks that continue against the Second Amendment of the Constitution in Georgia and on the national level and why the right to bear arms is as valid today as it was over 200 years ago.
Heath stated that sadly, the attacks on the Second Amendment in the Constitution is based on a debate that is erroneously grounded in emotionalism and devoid of empirical data and historical facts. That anti-gun opponents continue to deride pro-Second Amendment policies and supporters, while Americans across the nation are rallying to maintain their right to bear arms.
“With the federal government continuing to take aim at this inherent constitutional right, it is time to have an honest conversation about the future of Second Amendment rights in America, “Heath said.
“The first shot fired by Patriots during the American Revolutionary War was known as “the shot heard round the world.” The Patriots that selflessly gave their lives to form our new republic understood that self-defense was essential to the preservation and protection of our young nation.
A few short decades after the war to secure America’s independence from Great Britain, the founders drafted the Second Amendment to the Constitution as part of the United States Bill of Rights.”
The Second Amendment reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
“The language is clear as day, but many gun control activists are trying to argue that since there is no longer a militia presence in the United States, there is no need to bear arms. This argument only fuels a false sense of security and misconstrues the Second Amendment’s original intentions – A free state’s ability to ensure its citizens the right to bear arms is our surest line of defense. Samuel Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the father of the American Revolution, once said, “The Constitution should never be construed to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms”, said Heath.
In the United States each year, more people die as a result of car crashes and vehicular homicide than gun-related violence. Heath said on such data, he will discuss in future press releases. He said that it is important to point out that the instruments themselves are not the cause of death, people are.
Heath said, “Congress under the Obama Administration has been quick to push for gun control measures while the underlying issues that cause gun violence are not properly resolved. In effect, the Federal government’s proposals to ban or restrict sales or enforce a national gun registry are vain attempts to mask the symptoms of a misguided and increasingly amoral culture.
While the emotional tide of gun control has swept the nation thanks to a growing swell of media attention and national tragedies, the voice of the citizens continues to trump efforts to dissolve Second Amendment rights. When Congress recently attempted to enforce burdensome regulations on lawfully abiding gun owners, the American people reacted by petitioning the government against infringing upon their rights to own anything from a dual-barrel shotgun to a fully automatic rifle. This is nothing new, however. The law – and the citizens of this great nation –has always been on the side of protecting our Second Amendment rights.”
Heath pointed out that in 2008, the United States Supreme Court clarified the Second Amendment’s intent by ruling in favor of an individual’s right to keep and bear arms – regardless of whether it’s connected with military service or used for lawful purposes such as protecting one’s self and family. This landmark court case, known as the District of Columbia vs. Heller, “codified a pre-existing right” by extending protections to lawful gun owners.
The District of Columbia vs. Heller case was also the first time in U.S. history that a decision was made on whether the Second Amendment allows individuals the right to own and bear arms for self-protection and defense.
On the question of the District of Columbia vs. Heller case, Heath stated, “The District of Columbia vs. Heller case did not specify whether Second Amendment rights were subject to rules or regulations. The preliminary ruling in the case stated that “the right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose”. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized that determining concealed weapons carry laws should be left up to the states, but restrictions for convicted felons or the mentally ill should remain intact.“
“This brings us to today. Many states, including Georgia, are considering legislation to reduce complex regulations that seek to erode our rights as law abiding citizens. Now, more than ever, it is time to call your statewide and federal officials about securing “your” constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I look forward to continuing this discussion in the upcoming weeks and months ahead. I encourage all citizens who are legally eligible to possess a firearm to make your voice heard, “Heath said.
“It is not simply the National Rifle Association’s job to protect our rights, the responsibility is ours. By working together, we can help protect this constitutional right for future generations.”