Straight Shootin': Our forefathers knew best

In my column last month, I stated that our forefathers intended for the Second Amendment to guarantee INDIVIDUALS the right to keep and bear arms, as opposed to only a militia. I said that not only the Second Amendment but the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights pertained to INDIVIDUAL rights and was largely enacted to protect us FROM government.

I have received many responses to that statement wanting to know how I can know what our forefathers’ intent was. While it is true I am not quite old enough to have spoken with our forefathers directly, here are some direct quotes from many of our forefathers that should clarify their position:

Samuel Adams—“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States…from keeping their own arms.”

Thomas Jefferson—“The strongest reason…to retain the right to keep and bear arms is to protect against tyranny in government.”

George Mason—“I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people…to disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them.”

James Madison—“Americans have the right and the advantage of being armed, unlike the citizens of most countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Patrick Henry—“The greatest object is that every man be armed…Everyone who is able may have a gun.”

George Washington—“A free people ought to be armed but disciplined.”

John Adams—“Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self-defense.”

I don’t know how they could have made their point any clearer. Fear the politician who fears your gun!

I also mentioned in last month’s column that Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states in the country that do not allow concealed carry. This is true, even though statistics prove that allowing law-abiding citizens the right to carry arms to protect themselves has REDUCED the crime rate everywhere it is allowed.

In Chicago (and some other municipalities), you cannot even legally buy a handgun! How these local and state governments can presume to override the Constitution and get away with it baffles me. It is blatantly unconstitutional!

Every individual in these locales should be up in arms (pun intended). How can our Constitution and federal laws permitting us the right to keep and bear arms have any meaning if any city, county, state or even private institution (i.e., Virginia Tech) overrules it? Who are they to pick and choose which laws of the land will be allowed in their domain?

Aside from being unconstitutional, these conflicting laws just don’t work. Can Chicago Mayor Richard Daley tell us that banning handgun sales to responsible law-abiding citizens has reduced the crime rate in Chicago? Can the administration at Virginia Tech say that even though four of the 32 victims had concealed carry permits, not allowing them to carry on campus made them safer?

PLEASE!!! There is NOWHERE in this country where it is not against the law to commit any kind of crime using a gun. In the isolated instances where people do commit those crimes, they ought to be dealt with on an INDIVIDUAL basis.

The answer is not restricting the constitutional rights of honest, responsible citizens. Here is a news flash for these gun-grabbing politicians: more than 80 million gun owners killed no one and commited no crime last night!

Hope everyone had a great INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Eric R. Sonnenberg is a Federal Firearms Licensed gun dealer who owns Forest City Firearms, 137 N. Chicago Ave., Rockford. He can be reached at (815) 262-4279 or via e-mail to

from the July 5-10, 2007, issue

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