Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The 2008 Republican Party Platform on the Second Amendment

Given I detailed the Democratic Party platform on “Firearms” for 2008, I thought it reasonable to compare the Republican Party Platform this time around. The differences are quite striking, starting with the title. In the Republican Platform the section is entitled “Upholding the Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms” rather than “Firearms”. That should tell you something right off the bat. Here’s the actual text:

“We uphold the right of individual Americans to own firearms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller affirming that right, and we assert the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. We call on the next president to appoint judges who will similarly respect the Constitution. Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend themselves, their property, and communities.

“We call for education in constitutional rights in schools, and we support the option of firearms training in federal programs serving senior citizens and women. We urge immediate action to review the automatic denial of gun ownership to returning members of the Armed Forces who have suffered trauma during service to their country. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, which are transparent attempts to deprive citizens of their rights. We oppose federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners and national gun registration as violations of the Second Amendment. We recognize that gun control only affects and penalizes law-abiding citizens, and that such proposals are ineffective at reducing violent crime.”

Well now that’s a striking difference! They pretty much get full marks for understanding that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms PREDATED the Second Amendment and that said right is affirmed (in their words, “confirmed”) by the Bill of Rights, not granted by it. I particularly like the focus on education as well. The “zero tolerance” position of most school districts on anything relating to firearms is teaching our children that the gun itself is evil, not their Constitutional Rights. Such a major distortion in the curriculum cannot be allowed to continue.

Again, if the Second Amendment is one of your major concerns this election cycle (and it should be!), then the choice is clear between the parties. At this point the Democrats are trying to play both sides of the fence while in reality coming down firmly on the anti-Second Amendment side of the equation. The Republicans, for their other faults, seem to have a clear understanding of the Second and stand up strongly for our right to self-defense.

Until next time!!!

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