The Second Amendment Isn't for Playing



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By Kurt Hofmann, July 22nd 2015
JPFO writer contributor, © 2015.

Some variation of the words "for sporting purposes" can be found repeated over and over again in the interminable list of "gun control" laws burdening the American people. Given the history of those words, used that way, JPFO readers have plenty of reason to want to see them excised from American legal code, like the cancerous tumors they are.

But it's more than "merely" the fact that the "sporting purposes" requirement for firearms and ammunition appears to have been lifted directly from the gun laws of Nazi Germany, but the fact of why a government would want to limit the people's access to firearms to those that are better for recreation than for the deadly serious business of defending one's family, liberty, and life. There can be only one reason for that: the government does not wish the people to possess the means to effectively defend those things.

Now why would a government be bothered by that? Well, on the "good" end of the spectrum of possible reasons, a government may wish to deny the people effective defense tools simply because it wants the people to depend on it for their defense. A dependent populace, after all, tends to be a compliant, docile one. And that, remember, is the least troubling possible reason. At the other end, a government might try to deny the people the means to defend those things--because it may some day want to take them.

Every time a politician justifies his or her desire to ban so-called "assault weapons," because, "You don't need an AK-47 to hunt deer," what he or she is really saying is that your right to outdoor recreation is being protected, so don't worry that your right to the best means of defending your life and liberty is about to be trampled upon.

Rep Rob Bishop (R-UT)

A bill recently introduced in Congress would lift those odious words from American federal gun law. H.R. 2710, introduced by Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT), is titled the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act," and has garnered 73 co-sponsors. One of those is Representative Henry Cuellar, of Texas, and he might be feeling mighty lonely, being the only Democrat among the co-sponsors.

The name chosen for H.R. 2710 describes the bill accurately, because in essence, all the proposed legislation would do is replace "sporting purposes" with "lawful purposes." Suddenly, we would no longer be asked to believe that the Founding Fathers devoted ten percent of the Bill of Rights to sport.

This is of course not at all to disparage hunting and the shooting sports, and the millions of Americans who enjoy them. Participants in such sports are a vital part of the gun owners' community. If we continue, however, to allow the government to render our access to arms contingent on those arms' usefulness for sport--and to assume for itself the power to decree what is an "authorized sport," and what is not--we permit the banning of everything that is deemed too dangerous to aspiring tyrants and their hired muscle.

Protecting oneself and one's family from rapists, murderers, and tyrannical governments is not a "sport." It is ugly, brutal, bloody business, and no sane person does it for fun. But that makes the right to do so no less a vital and fundamental human right.

A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column. Kurt Hofmann Archive.

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