Second Amendment Poll and Philosophy

USA Today is running a poll on the second amendment:

“Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms?”

Right now Yes is winning by a huge margin.

I voted yes but I do not like the question at all.  The truth is that the Second Amendment does not “give individuals” the right to keep and bear arms, instead it protects the inherent right of individuals to keep and bear arms from interference by government.  That is quite different in terms of philosophy and is what the Bill of Rights is all about – the founders enumerated  some things that were deemed very important and therefore had to be mentioned specifically, like freedom of the press and all of the other rights protected by the first 8 amendments.  But then they wanted to underscore how limited they wanted this federal government’s powers to be… those pesky 9th and 10th amendments.

Go look at the 9th and 10th amendments and tell me how most of what the federal government does is Constitutional.  The 9th amendment pretty much says that just because they listed some specific rights in the Bill of Rights we should not take that as meaning that the People do not retain many other protected rights.  The 10th is the clincher for those of us who argue for a more limited federal government (that and the very-specific Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution).  The 10th essentially says that anything not specifically listed as a power delegated to the federal government is instead something that is “reserved” for the States and the People.

Seriously, read that 10th amendment and then hold up your favorite federal law next to it.

Just my opinion.

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