Please quit claiming there's no right to carry a gun

Please quit claiming there's no right to carry a gun
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

A lot of people who write about politics don’t like guns. They may pay lip service to the Second Amendment, but they’re not a fan of you or me being able to go and buy a firearm. Some even have guns, figuring they should be the exception, not the rule. After all, they think they’re completely trustworthy with a weapon.


But a lot of them don’t really understand the Second Amendment at all.

I’m not saying they’re not constitutional scholars. That’s pretty obvious, to say the least, nor do they necessarily need to be. Yet as people who use the English language for a living, they should at least understand words to some degree.

A lot of them apparently don’t, such as the writer of this op-ed out of Palm Beach.

Florida lawmakers are checking another box on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign to-do list by making Florida a “constitutional carry” state.

“I can’t tell you exactly when, but I’m pretty confident that I will be able to sign ‘constitutional carry’ into law in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said last year. “The Legislature will get it done.”

Encouraging Floridians to walk around in public with a loaded weapon, a weapon they can carry without any training on how it should be safely carried, used or stored, dovetails with his “free state of Florida” presidential campaign.

I’ll explain. But first, it must be mentioned that the term “constitutional carry” is a political fiction meant to confer bedrock rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, rights that aren’t there.

“Constitutional carry” is like “legitimate rape.” It doesn’t exist.

Historian Garry Wills put it this way:

“Easy access to all these guns is hard to justify in pragmatic terms, and as a matter of social policy,” Wills wrote. “That is why the gun advocates appeal, above pragmatism and common sense, to a supposed sacred right enshrined in a document Americans revere.

“We must put up with our world-record rates of homicide, suicide and accidental shootings because, whether we like it or not, the Constitution tells us to,” Wills continued. “Well, it doesn’t.”


Um…doesn’t it, though?

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”


“…the right of the people to…bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Found it. I found the right to carry a gun. It’s right there. (And yes, I’m opting to skip the “shall not be infringed” part for the sake of argument, though that is also a legitimate reason this nonsense is, well, nonsense.)

This, of course, has been a line of debate for some time, and it’s kind of baffling to me. I get the debate over the phrase “well regulated.” The definition of that phrase means something very different today than it did when the Founding Fathers wrote it, so there’s a reason to be confused. Sure, some don’t want clarification, but that’s a different topic.

But the verb “bear” may not be as commonly used as it once was, but it’s not that archaic of a term, either. We all have our crosses to bear, after all.

So the term isn’t that odd to our modern vocabulary. As a result, people who claim there’s no right to carry a gun, such as this “historian” and the author of this screed, are willfully ignoring the actual words of the Second Amendment in order to pretend what they want is in keeping with the Constitution.


It’s not. It’s not even remotely in line with the Second Amendment’s text.

They don’t like guns and will mangle the Bill of Rights in every way imaginable to justify the very infringements they say the Second Amendment doesn’t protect. What they don’t get is that this is the very way things like the right to a free press will be stripped in time as well.

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