Is immigration bad for the Second Amendment?

AP Photo/Morgan Lee

Best-selling author and attorney Mark Smith is a Second Amendment advocate whose videos I watch on a regular basis. His YouTube channel titled “The Four Boxes Diner” is very popular and is a great source of information on legal developments in the Second Amendment world.


Recently, Smith posted a thoughtful video on the perils that mass immigration – both legal and illegal – pose to the Second Amendment. In the video, Smith himself did not take a position on the issue, but highlighted arguments on what could happen with mass immigration and rapid demographic change.

This piqued my interest for two reasons: one, I am an immigrant and a Second Amendment advocate myself, and two, I have also written about long-term threats posed to our right to keep and bear arms (shameless plug ahead!) in a book co-authored with Greg Camp: “Each One, Teach One: Preserving and protecting the Second Amendment in the 21st century and beyond.” 

In the above work, I touched upon how immigration plays into the various threats to the Second Amendment, not because immigration per se is dangerous, but as a factor that compounds the mass ignorance which is the real threat. Most immigrants, unless they’re naturalized citizens, cannot vote. So, the unrelenting attacks on the Second Amendment cannot be attributed to immigrants because the mass ignorance lies in the body politic of natural-born American citizens, who are the absolute majority of voters in this country. 


In fact, American political ignorance is so bad that most American adults cannot even name the three branches of government. Clearly, immigration did not cause that.

As expected, the comments in reaction to Smith’s video have their fair share of people who think that immigration itself is a problem. From my vantage point, I find it totally ironic because every single vocal gun control activist that I know is a white progressive and an umpteenth-generation American, some even being descendants of American revolutionaries. On the flip side, some of the most ardent supporters of the Second Amendment are immigrants, who have taken it upon themselves to do a job that many natural-born American citizens refuse to do: unapologetically defending the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

My religious roots, cultural background, and upbringing are all contrary to gun ownership. I grew up in India and was raised vegetarian in a religious Hindu family. People from my caste background historically have been academics and priests who don’t wield weapons. My grandfather is a Gandhian who was part of the nonviolent independence struggle against the British. Yet not only do I own guns, but I am also an evangelist for gun rights. How did that come to pass?

The gist of what I wrote in my book is that immigration, along with other factors, is a threat only if you let it be a threat. The core of my prescription for preserving and protecting the Second Amendment is outreach to groups that have historically not been associated with gun ownership, and included prominently in that are immigrants and new Americans.


If you want to save the Second Amendment, befriend an immigrant. Learn about his or her culture and introduce that person to a core part of American culture: the right to keep and bear arms. Take them to the gun range. Demystify guns. Point out all the lies from gun control groups that are parroted uncritically by the media.

Everyone on this continent is descended from immigrants who either walked across the Bering Strait or sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. A new arrival is in the same shoes your ancestors once were in. They will assimilate and become a part of the whole. 

It’s your job (and mine) to make sure that the assimilation process does not have a broken link in the chain with respect to gun ownership, because that will leave room for the weed of political ignorance to set root, and that’s where the danger really lies.

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