Americans Have the Inalienable
Right to Keep and Bear Arms
October 20, 2001

October 20, 2001

Stanley for U.S. Senate Campaign
Web Site:
Contact: Jim Frye, (303) 329-0481


The following editorial opinion piece is offered for your use by Libertarian Candidate for U.S. Senate, Rick Stanley.

Americans Have the Inalienable Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The right of American citizens to keep and bear arms has been under attack by the U.S. government for many years. The very specific right of all Americans to keep and bear arms is a constitutional right, mandated by our forefathers at the federal level. The Second Amendment overrides and outweighs any state or local law infringing on this guaranteed right. 

All federal, state and local laws that deny this basic right of any American citizen to keep and bear arms, concealed or otherwise, are illegal. The Second Amendment does not say that we have the right to keep and bear arms except when they are concealed! The federal government has never successfully passed an amendment to the constitution allowing them to prevent any American citizen from exercising the right to keep and bear arms. Period. 

I am therefore suggesting that all American citizens keep and bear arms to protect themselves, their families and others from criminal and terrorist acts, at all times. I recommend that every man carry a holstered pistol that is loaded with the safety on and in plain sight, so that everyone knows you are prepared to defend against any criminal or terrorist act. I also recommend that every woman carry a concealed pistol that is loaded with the safety on. Both men and women should be prepared to defend against any criminal or terrorist act. 

A national emergency exists. I call on American citizens to prevent criminal and terrorist attacks in the future by keeping and bearing arms. Every unbiased study ever performed has proven that an armed citizenry prevents criminal acts. Any police officer or government bureaucrat who tries to stop you from protecting yourself is violating your constitutional rights, and should be ignored. 

Any American citizen arrested for exercising this constitutional right must insist upon a jury trial. All potential jurors must learn about this constitutional right that overrides any judicial decisions, or jury instructions, by any judge at any level. All jurors should also be aware of their right to judge both the law and the fact in every criminal case. Every conscientious juror will find a fellow citizen not guilty of violating any law that is unjust or unconstitutional. 

Some people think my view of the Second Amendment is extreme. However, it now appears that the federal judiciary agrees with my stance on this issue. 

Writing for the Washington Post on October 17, 2001, staff writer Charles Lane said: A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that the Constitution guarantees individuals the right to have a gun, the first time in recent history that such a high-level legal authority has explicitly endorsed such a view. 

The case, U.S. vs Emerson, involved a 1994 federal law that prohibits people who are under restraining orders because of domestic violence from owning a gun. A Texas man, Timothy Joe Emerson, said a federal prosecutors effort to indict him for breaking the law violated his Second Amendment right to possess a gun. 

A federal district judge in Texas agreed and ordered the indictment dismissed. In yesterdays [October 16] 77-page ruling, the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the district court was wrong to dismiss the indictment because of Emersons violent and unstable behavior. 

But in a long and detailed discussion of the history of the Bill of Rights, the court said that, while Emerson may have forfeited his right to own a gun, other Americans still have the right because history shows that the framers of the Second Amendment intended to guarantee the right of law-abiding individuals to have a gun, just as the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech of individuals. 

Americans must accept responsibility for their safety and the safety of their families. The government cannot guarantee your safety. Police are good at filing incident reports after the fact, but are rarely around when a crime occurs. 

American citizens must insist that all the provisions of the Bill of Rights are upheld in every facet of our daily lives. We cannot be physically secure until our rights are secure. 

Rick Stanley is a Libertarian Candidate for U.S. Senate from Colorado 
( . Stanley is a Denver businessman with 27 years 
experience serving the construction, plant maintenance and fleet 
maintenance industries. He is currently the owner and CEO of 
Stanley Fasteners and Shop Supply.



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