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2ndAmendment_s640x427I had a humbling day last week. You know me, this blog is also my diary so you get to listen to my mishaps as well as my successes. Ever have hindsight about what you wish you would have said in an interview or conversation? When you walk away and think of all the smart things you should have said? Last Wednesday I had a correspondent from a big international news network come and interview me. It is for a story about I-594 and also how bills are brought to ballot anymore rather than going through the Legislature.  He found me through the NRA ad I did opposing 594 and my blog. I took him to the range and they filmed me doing what I do and I let him shoot one of my rifles also. (Funny, that might not be legal shortly without going through extreme measures of getting background checks) We then had a question and answer session. The correspondent was great and he made no bones about digging right into the questions of the day. I was fine with that. What I was not fine with were my answers.

(As a side note, I am so concerned my interview was not good that I am not going to mention the news source. I don’t actually know when or if it will air. I can’t watch.)

It is not so much that I said anything bad. In my opinion I just felt my answers were weak. I have unintentionally become a voice for our gun community. I am proud to do so and I want to make sure I do it well for us. That is my number one priority. I am my worst critic but I felt I was not at my best when I should have been. I have done so many interviews recently that I thought I was immune to any questions thrown at me. I realized I got complacent. Like a job interview you need to have 5 well rehearsed statements you can fluidly use no matter the question. Then from there you can elaborate using your personality. I feel bad for the correspondent. This is just my personal criticism but I would not be surprised if he were disappointed in the effort. The good thing I will take away from this is that now I know what I need to work on for future things like this. I learned a big lesson. But the question I am most upset at my answer was “What does the 2nd Amendment mean to you?”

To those of us in the gun culture that should be an easy answer correct? That question is actually very loaded. It is an emotional subject for many of us. I have answered this question before many times in my head. But I realized yesterday that I never had answered it verbally on the spot. Especially when I am outside in 35 degree weather and an international news network is in front of me. Can you answer it quickly and in a couple of sentences?

The 2nd Amendment is more than about owning cool guns and competing and being able to carry concealed. It is even more than feeling the need to have a gun in my nightstand to protect my family from bumps in the night. These activities were not the reason the Amendment was written. These activities have developed over time just like the 1st Amendment and the progression of typewriters, computers, CNN, and Facebook. No one predicted the future of our world back then for any of the Bill of Rights. The musket was the technology of that time. It is was equal to what we were defending against. Currently our firearm technology has advanced. We as citizens should have the same technology to defend ourselves. The Amendments, especially one through ten were meant to guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government’s power in judicial and other proceedings, and reserve some powers to the states and the public.

I wish I could have a Mulligan on my answer I gave him for this question. I asked him later if he would not use that. It just was not a good answer defending the 2nd. I thought my response stupid looking back. So what does the 2nd Amendment mean to me and how did I wish I had answered him?

Here it is. “To me the 2nd Amendment has a romantic side to it. We are sovereign. We are free. We, as citizens, are equal to the powers of the king. Yes, it is still applicable over 200 years later. We are at least equal in power to our government. We as citizens should actually be more powerful than the government as the Constitution was intended. But it seems as though we are letting them strip away our freedoms little by little. Like a frog to boiling water. We are not seeing it coming. I believe that without the 2nd Amendment the entire Constitution would crumble. We would just be another homogenous society. Why would any citizen of the United States of America want that?”

Okay, so right now, off the top of your head, what does the 2nd Amendment mean to you? You don’t get to contemplate and polish your answer. You must say it out loud as though a camera just appeared in your face. Then you can take your time and write down your compelling brief answer in the comments section here. I want to hear your answers. Now Go.



14 Responses to “What Does The 2nd Amendment Mean To You?”

  1. Joe Huffman

    I would use the same reason I gave in my Why Boomershoot? post:

    If it ever becomes necessary to start shooting tyrants and “jack booted thugs“ in our country I want as many people on my side as possible. And I want them to have the equipment and the skills to be able to hit head and chest sized objects many hundreds of yards away.

  2. Dave B.

    To me, the 2nd is not even a right granted by the Constitution, but rather a guarantee that our right by birth will not be usurped or even eroded by those we choose to govern. Although I find myself occasionally drawn into the arguments, my real belief is that they are but a distraction, academic at best. The founders allowed for a process by which the Constitution could be amended, and it was intended for it to be challenging, so that it could not be done frivolously, or without the broad consent of the citizenry. For those who believe it (the 2nd) is outdated or unnecessary, or that it should be diluted, there is a process by which, if they can muster enough support, it can be changed. But that level of support is unattainable, so they choose to argue the merits of the 2nd, and when we engage, tempting as it is, we unwittingly give credibility to their utopian, emotion-based views.

    I digressed from the main question, so in closing – to me, the 2nd means that we the citizens of this great nation have not only the right – but more importantly a duty – to ourselves, to those whose blood was spilled for our benefit, and to our children and their children, to preserve and protect the liberties and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, at any cost, and by whatever means at our disposal.

  3. Rich

    Without rehearsing, the 2nd Amendment is the essence of freedom. It literally gives people the right to arm themselves against any oppressor. You are only entitled to the rights you are willing and able to defend. If you lose the ability to legally possess the means to resist tyranny and oppression… subjugation is what follows.

  4. SunwolfNC

    The 2A is the tool of a free people. The ability to protect myself and family. The responsibility to take care of oneself and others. The means to provide substance and protection. The allowance for those of us living under the Constitution of our country to rise to the defense of the country and its peoples when needed. To be the militia once again if the need is great enough.

    There. Off the cuff like you asked for. I think it’s pretty weak, too 🙂 I blame my sleepiness. I’m waiting for the meteor shower to start so I can wake up my lil girl and take her outside 🙂

  5. Evan

    The Second Amendment is backbone, the security of all other rights. Without it, what is to stop an enemy, foreign or domestic, from stripping all other rights from the citizens? A man is not truly free unless he has the means and intention to defend his freedoms.

  6. Praveen

    2nd amendment is a protection for a right that exists with all free people. It doesn’t grant any right but rather protects the right of free people to defend oneself against all aggression whether it be from a street criminal, a hostile majority or their own government.

  7. Ed

    It says a lot about your character to admit you messed something up. Better yet, you are taking it as an opportunity to get your 2A elevator speech down. Well done!

    As for me, the Second Amendment represents freedom. Most importantly, it is not a freedom granted by government. Instead, the 2nd Amendment recognizes an inherent right that one has as a free person.

    Somebody also described the Second Amendment as the “reset button” on the Constitution.

  8. Kevin Thompson

    You’re right. It was a loaded question. Considering the volumes written about what our freedoms mean, the millions of cases argued before judges and juries and the blood spilled with no words spoken by those who battled for the concept that is America, “The Great Experiment,” it is by no means a simple task to instantly transfer the philosophy of the Second Amendment from mind to tongue. It means so much that a thirty second sound bite could never define it.

    I am certain I would feel the same way as you even if I had the good luck of mumbling a perfect answer. I may attempt to write what it means to me on your blog but, it took me fifteen minutes just to write what I have so far!

    I do have one suggestion though. When I was majoring in communications and broadcast news journalism, a professor suggested I take an acting class or two. The reason for that was to learn how to use body language, facial expressions and intonations to better convey information and to become more comfortable, interesting and, most importantly, credible to the viewer. Worked for Reagan!

  9. trjnsd

    I see noting wrong with your answer! Considering the stress of the “on the spot” interview I think you did fine. And I think you are correct in the points you made. I would add, that to our way of thinking here in the USA, our Condtitutional Rights are not just something written on paper; they are rights granted by our Creator, not by men and government; and cannot be taken away by men unless we give men that right by our complacency. Stand tall, 30CalGal – you did alright.

  10. Bruno Di Fabio

    As written by definition of the times (late 18th century), by definition it translates into this:

    A well, unobstructed, body of free-men choosing to band together to keep there sovereign country free, the right of the people to keep and use fire-arms, shall not be violated.

  11. Tom Shafer

    Just found your website yesterday (11/17/2015)
    So forgive me for being late to the party. I saw very little to complain about your answer. And I’m like you – I can rehearse the proper answer in my head, but then fall short when actually articulating it to someone.
    To me, the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or sport shooting, just a little bit to do with self-defense, and everything to do with preventing tyranny of government – especially our own.
    I think it’s falsely attributed, but there’s a story about General Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy, in response to one of his peers suggesting that Japan invade America. His response was something like “Why do that? Behind every blade of grass is an American with a gun.”
    My wife also defined the 2nd Amendment in an anecdotal manner. She for the longest time could not understand why citizens insisted on owning semi-automatic and full automatic guns. But in the face of the soft tyranny we are experiencing now, and how federal, state and municipal police forces are being armed, and sometimes using excessive force against citizens, it finally occurred to her, and she stated so, that “we should be armed as equally as our government”.
    Personally, I feel it is a responsibility for me to exercise my 2nd Amendment Rights for all of the reasons above, and my chest swells with pride every time I walk past my gun safe. It is about taking ownership of one’s God-given freedoms.
    Feel free to respond via email. I’d very much like to hear your response.

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