Thursday is Bill of Rights Day in the United States, and while Joe Biden ignored a major tenet of the BOR in his White House proclamation, ironically after calling for a ban on semiautomatic rifles, two gun rights organizations came out swinging in their focus on the right to keep and bear arms.
The Washington Examiner highlighted the irony, pointing to Biden’s remarks commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy, in which he said there should be “societal guilt” over alleged foot dragging on gun control. He said “we have a moral obligation” to adopt new gun restrictions.
But while Biden’s BOR address focused on such things as voting rights and “reproductive health care,” the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms went right to what many consider the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights.
“For more than 200 years, our nation has been a bastion of liberty thanks to our unique Bill of Rights,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “The first ten amendments to our constitution protect individual rights—including the right to keep and bear arms—from government overreach and infringement. That is the way the Founders designed it, and that is the way it must always remain.”
Biden touted his signature of the Respect for Marriage Act, while the joint SAF/CCRKBA statement lauded the Supreme Court’s June ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The groups said Justice Clarence Thomas’ majority opinion in Bruen “strengthened” the Second Amendment.
“We are especially gratified the Supreme Court reminded the nation in June that law-abiding citizens don’t need to provide a ‘good cause’ to exercise the right to bear arms,” said Gottlieb, who also chairs the Citizens Committee. “Rights are special. They stand apart from government-regulated privileges and no citizen needs to justify why he or she chooses to exercise a right. We should not be required to get a permit, nor should there be a prerequisite course of instruction before any citizen in this great nation can exercise a fundamental right.”
It was a not-so-subtle reference to the ongoing fight over Oregon’s Measure 114, which requires a permit, issued by law enforcement, in order to purchase a firearm. The issue is being challenged in federal court and in Harney County Circuit Court. SAF is involved in two of four federal lawsuits filed against Measure 114.
There is also a proposal put forth by Washington State gun prohibitionists to require purchase permits. That proposal will be considered by the Washington Legislature, as part of the agenda announced by the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a billionaire-backed gun control lobbying organization.
“All rights are equal,” Gottlieb observed. “The rights of free speech, freedom of the press, due process, legal representation and personal privacy are sacrosanct, and so also is our right to keep and bear arms.”