Karl Rove vs. the 2nd Amendment

Guns don’t kill people, the Constitution kills people, at least according to Karl Rove, Republican strategist and architect of George W. Bush’s election and reelection as president. Rove, speaking on Fox News Sunday, and in the wake of the South Carolina church massacre, embraced the liberal mantra that there are too many guns on the street and went a step further and a step too far, saying the way to avoid more such tragedies is to repeal the Second Amendment and its guarantee of our right to keep and bear arms:

Now maybe there’s some magic law that will keep us from having more of these. I mean basically the only way to guarantee that we will dramatically reduce acts of violence involving guns is to basically remove guns from society, and until somebody gets enough “oomph” to repeal the Second Amendment, that’s not going to happen.

Say what?  Rove displays an ignorance of our history and our Constitution and how we won our freedoms thanks to private citizens bearing arms. The Second Amendment, it has been said, was written to protect the other nine in the Bill of Rights, and was an acknowledgement of the threat from tyrants and other domestic enemies such as the criminals and the crazies that would otherwise roam unchallenged among us. As Thomas Jefferson said in a letter to James Madison, dated December 20, 1787:

"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms."

In addition to the threat posed by tyrannical governments, Thomas Jefferson was among the first to embrace the concept that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun:

"The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

Tyrannical governments from the Britain of King George to Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia have sought to disarm their citizens, not as a public safety measure, but to safeguard their power and that of their governments. As Investor’s Business Daily has noted:

Which brings us to why we have a Second Amendment. No, it is not to protect the right of states to have their own militias. George Mason, called the father of the Bill of Rights, said, "What is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

James Madison, called the father of the Constitution, said of tyrants, "(They were) afraid to trust the people with arms," and lauded "the advantage of being armed, which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation."

The "historical reality of the Second Amendment's protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer," observes Judge Andrew Napolitano, a constitutional scholar and Fox News contributor. "It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, thus, with the same instruments they would use upon us."

Rove rightly notes that the nation has come together over this tragedy. But tragedies such as this, the shootings at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and the movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado all have one thing in come -- they were all gun-free zones were the victims could not shoot back. The Aurora movie theatre, for example, was chosen as a target for this reason:

John Fund, writing in National Review, notes that the Aurora shooter had a choice of seven movie theaters within a 20-mile drive of his home that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. The Cinemark Theater he chose wasn't the closest, but it was the only one that banned customers from carrying their guns inside, otherwise allowed under Colorado law.

Jeanne Assam was a security guard at New Life Church in Colorado Springs when on December 9, 2007, an armed predator by the name of Matthew Murray entered with the intent of killing everyone inside. He carried a Bushmaster AR-15, two 9 millimeter handguns, and at least 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Thanks to Assam and her gun in a church, many lives were saved that day. As Robert Samchez wrote in his account in the December 2012 edition of Denver Magazine:

Five years ago this month Jeanne Assam shot a gunman at New Life Church in Colorado Springs and saved countless lives…

Through the haze of gun smoke, Assam sees the man struggling on the floor. He props his head against a wall. Her weapon is up, trained on the man. She sees his hands moving near his shoulder. He’s trying to pull the pin on a grenade. He’s going to kill everyone around here, Assam thinks. She instinctively steps back and fires two more shots…

Matthew Murray did not succeed in his attempt at mass murder because an armed citizen, Jeanne Assam, was there to stop him. There was no Jeanne Assam at Columbine, at Sandy Hook, or at the movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. Karl Rove is wrong. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy, or gal, with one. The Second Amendment guarantees our right to defend ourselves, our families, our homes and our freedoms.

Lock and load, patriots.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.