clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Right to guns pre-existent

I applaud Mr. Cannon's cry for better knowledge of the Constitution. He is an excellent example of what can happen when we forget the history and context of that document. He incorrectly infers that since the Constitution does not specifically declare an individual right to keep and bear arms, that right does not exist.

The rights enumerated in the Constitution, and many others not specifically mentioned, existed in the people, individually, before being granted to the federal government. All rights not specifically granted to the federal government were reserved for the states and/or retained by the people, as clearly stated by that same Constitution.Included in those unenumerated rights was the right to keep and bear arms. The people's need to be secure in their persons and property, and their ability to serve in those militias, preceded the Constitution and exist independently of it.

Mr. Cannon is correct that the right to own a gun is not specifically given him by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights or the other amendments. Neither is the right to be secure in his person and property. Fortunately for all of us, there is the obvious implication of the pre-existence of those rights.

If Mr. Cannon desires to not exercise his right to keep and bear arms, he is free to do so, but his lack of desire should not be allowed to turn into a constraint upon the rights of others.

It is already morally and legally wrong to harm other people and their property. Our time would be better spent reminding ourselves and our children of those truths, rather than attempting to distort history to justify our fears.

Dexter Francis

Salt Lake City