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Op-Ed

Rep. Chip Roy: The Right to Bear Arms Isn't Government’s to Take Away Because It Wasn't Government’s to Create

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Once again, a truly horrific crime has occurred and Democrats seem far more concerned with punishing law-abiding gun owners than the perpetrator of the act itself.

But while the anti-gun tactic of never wasting a crisis has been a perennial threat to the liberty of the American people, the danger to their safety is even greater now than it has been in the past.

Last week, a gunman walked into a store in Boulder, Colorado, and ended 10 lives, including that of the heroic police officer Eric Talley. While many were quick to attribute the shooter’s motive to white supremacy, no such link has been established, and mental illness appears to have been a bigger factor than ideology. But that’s why we have criminal courts: to assess the facts of a case, determine guilt and mete out punishments to those found guilty.

But that’s not how the gun control mob sees it. No, their brand of “justice” requires that people who never had anything to do with a crime be disarmed by the force of government.

Case in point, President Biden wasted little time in calling for a resuscitation of the 1994 “assault weapons” ban. He must have forgotten that two Justice Department-commissioned research studies found that the ban didn’t work.

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Of course, the end goal of the gun control mob isn’t just to ban certain kinds of guns with certain features, but all of them. So any current failures are just future reasons to call for even more gun control.

Private gun ownership saves lives, period. Americans use guns defensively anywhere from 80,000 to over 1 million times a year, depending on the parameters set by researchers. This statistic alone shows that disarming average Americans would endanger countless innocent lives just by itself, but the bigger problem lies in the rest of the political left’s current radical agenda.

The new gun control push comes not even a year since cities across our country were engulfed in riots and homicide rates spiked across the nation. Today, criminal activity and violence are spilling over our border into our neighborhoods. The last thing any reasonable person would suggest is making law-abiding citizens less capable of defending themselves.

Yet, at the same time that Democrats are working to erode your ability to protect your family and your home, they’re also working to defund and hamstring police departments around the county while the Biden administration is empowering cartels and other criminals with lax border and immigration enforcement.

Do you think gun control is antithetical to liberty?

Altogether, it’s a poisonous recipe for a perilous future — one where the American people cannot be secure, even in their own homes.

But the reality of that kind of peril is why our Second Amendment exists in the first place. It’s not about just muskets or the right to form a state militia, as many desperately claim these days. Simply put, the right to keep and bear arms is not government’s to take away because it was not government’s to create.

It is no accident that the Second Amendment discusses the right to keep and bear arms in similar fashion to how the First Amendment discusses the rights of conscience and speech. In each case, the amendment describes a right that already existed before the creation of government and should not be “infringed” or “abridged” as a result.

These are, as James Madison described in his speech introducing them to the House, “pre-existent rights of nature” and “are retained” when we entrust some of our powers to the legislature in forming a government. And while our gun-hating cultural and political elite may not see it that way, those who deliberated on, passed and ratified the Second Amendment certainly did.

As long as arms of any kind exist, criminals will use them to do evil things. There is no way around that; we live in a fallen world. Disarming law-abiding men and women will not and cannot change this situation; it will only make our families more vulnerable to the deeds of the violent and the vicious.

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That’s why those of us who believe in the Second Amendment will continue to fight the gun grabbers tooth and nail, regardless of what horrific crime they seek to exploit for their own political gain.

Rep. Chip Roy represents the 21st District of Texas.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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