Constitutional Freedoms

‘I Don’t Need My Rifle, but It’s My Constitutional Right to Have It’

From an Army vet and law-enforcement pro, a few points about the Second Amendment

Image Credit: iStock Photo

Recently, during a very one-sided debate, I was shouted at and asked why I “needed” any AR-15 or other rifle like that.

I was also told that only the police and government should have those types of firearms.

Those comments made me shiver.

People are discussing basic constitutional rights without acknowledging what the basis of a right is, and why we should not allow rights to be restricted or removed anymore than they already are.

The first question as to why I “need” an AR-15 or other firearm is one of the core reasons for the Second Amendment. I do not “need” anything.

I have the “right” to peacefully and lawfully possess an AR-15 or other firearm because it’s my entitlement, my free choice. A “right” is just that: I can exercise it if I want to or not. Just like I can exercise my right to free speech or not. I can choose to be silent if I do not want to exercise that right.

But if I do, as I am here, then there is nothing that should stop me if I am not harming anyone — just as my right to own firearms is just that, my right, and should not be restricted if I am not harming anyone unlawfully.

That’s why it’s a right and not a “need.”

Related: Leave My Guns Alone

And when they asked why I thought I should have them and not just the police and government, I almost fell out of my chair.

Did they not know basic history? Our forefathers went to war to divest themselves of a government that was trying to do just that: remove arms from the citizens to make ruling over them easier.

The numerous countries where the removal of the ability of the citizens to defend themselves, especially against a government that became tyrannical, dictatorial or worse, resulted in millions dying at the hands of that very government.

Then there is the minor issue of only the police having the guns.

Having been one for 35 years, I am here to tell you cops cannot protect you all the time.

Related: Survivor of Two Mass Shootings Is Ready for Fight for the Second Amendment in Afghanistan

You are not able to rely on the few police officers out there that might just be lucky enough to be around the corner and arrive in the nick of time to save you.

And there’s the minor issue that the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled: It is not the duty of the police to protect you as an individual.

So, if not theirs than whose is it? It’s yours!

So when you ask why does someone need an AR-15, we don’t need them. We have the right to have them.

We don’t need them, unless of course we do to defend our family or country from the government itself. Then it may be too late, since some want them all removed because of the actions of a few murderers.

And please don’t use that old worn out material: You can never defeat the U.S. military with AR-15s.

I don’t expect a lot of military folks would go along with orders to attack or harm U.S. citizens. But that is coming from a U.S. Army veteran. Had I been ordered to do so, I would have simply refused.

I am here to tell you cops cannot protect you all the time.

So good luck with your “we-don’t-need-these-firearms” arguments. No, we have the right to have them — and until such a time as that right is repealed (that’s another topic), you have no right to tell me, a law-abiding U.S. citizen, that I don’t.

As a side note, the Bill of Rights contains the words “shall not be infringed.”

Why? Maybe because our forefathers had keen insights: a government potentially trying to infringe on the citizens it was supposed to serve, not rule.

Chris Wagoner is a U.S. Army veteran and senior OpsLens contributor. He has been in law enforcement the past 35-plus years. He specializes in LE Firearms Instruction and is in charge of a large police academy in North Florida. This OpsLens article is used by permission.

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