Tale of two 2A perspectives: Ohio attorney and Alabama lawmaker

What does the right to keep and bear arms cover? (Dave Workman)

ANALYSIS – It’s an interesting and probably unresolvable dilemma; the divided opinion about gun rights, the Second Amendment and what the right to keep and bear arms really means.

Perhaps the last part of that question will be answered sometime in late June when the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling in a Second Amendment case challenging New York State’s gun permit law. The case is known as New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.

In the meantime, Ohio attorney Jack D’Aurora, writing in the Columbus Dispatch, declares, “A handgun for home defense. That’s fine. A gun for any other purpose or to carry on the street? Sorry, that’s outside the Second Amendment.”

Down in Alabama, according to WSFA, State Rep. Andrew Sorrell, backing legislation allowing permitless carry, applied some common sense to the controversy whether this is a good or bad idea by observing, “If you walk in with a concealed gun, nobody knows. All the criminals are still carrying to the football game. I think we need some law-abiding citizens there to protect us.”

Who agrees with D’Aurora? Who concurs with Sorrell’s reasoning?

The Second Amendment, which doesn’t give anybody anything, but instead protects what the Founders determined is a right to keep and bear arms, is considered by many to be the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights and the insurance measure against government tyranny, as well as foreign aggression. The authors hadn’t just finished a deer hunt, but had successfully led a revolution that would not have been possible without the ability of citizens to have their own guns.

If attorney D’Aurora is correct in his interpretation, the right to bear arms isn’t a right at all. Rights, as has been repeatedly observed by Second Amendment advocates such as Alan Gottlieb at the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, are not confined to the inside of one’s home. Rights extend beyond the front door, and go with you in public. Otherwise, there would be no free speech at political rallies, no freedom of the press or religion.

Sorrell, on the other hand, favors being able to carry firearms outside the home, in public places, without having to pay for a license or permit. According to WSFA News, the lawmaker “says people shouldn’t have to pay for their Second Amendment rights, and permitless carry would accomplish that.”

Ever since the 2008 Heller and 2010 McDonald rulings by the Supreme Court, the gun control lobby has been trying to paint the Second Amendment into a tight corner. The insistence that it applies only to the confines of one’s home seems ludicrous to people like Gottlieb. The Heller case established that the Second Amendment protects the right of an individual citizen to have a gun in his or her home, but nowhere does it say the right is limited to the home.

The New York case will help establish and possibly extend the parameters of the right to keep and bear arms well beyond the domicile. In six months, the country should have an answer.


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