Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Senator On Gun Rights
By Mike Blair
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) has launched a massive mail campaign to gather evidence on law-abiding Ame ricans who every year use firearms defending themselves or their families from criminals.
Craig's effort was in answer to several anti-gun senators who stood on the Senate floor to read the names of crime victims, implying that their lives could have been saved had Congress enacted anti-gun, anti-personal-protection legislation.
Craig countered their emotional ar guments by pointing out that de fen sive uses of firearms take place daily in America. Extensive research, he said, indicates that as many as 2.5 million times every year Americans utilize firearms for self-defense.
Craig set the record straight concerning the anti-gun crowd.
Many liberals misinterpret the meaning of the Second Amendment in order to promote their agenda of gun control, claiming that the reference to "a well regulated militia" merely means that it is a right of the government to keep and bear arms, he said.
"Under this standard," Craig said, "the Bill of Rights would protect only the right of a government to speak or the right of a government to criticize itself, if you were taking that same argument and [applying it] to the First Amendment [guaranteeing freedom of speech and press]. In fact, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of people from being infringed upon by government -- not the other way around."
Craig said the "framers of our Constitution wrote the Second Amendment with a greater purpose. They made the Second Amendment the law of the land because it has something very particular to say about the rights of every man and every woman.
"The first right of every human being [is] the right of self defense," he explained. "Our Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment to tell us that a free state cannot exist if the people are denied the right or the means to defend themselves.
"I encourage all listening today," Craig concluded. "If you have heard of someone using their Second Amendment rights to prevent a crime, to save a life, to protect another life, then send your story to me, Sen. Larry Craig, Washington, D.C. 20510, or send it to your own senator."