Sporting Purpose

The Second Amendment Foundation is mounting a legal challenge to the “Sporting Purpose” language that is used in several laws and previous rulings to restrict gun ownership.

The common propaganda sound bite used by anti-gunners is “you don’t need an assault weapon to duck hunt”.

Let me bring up another common excuse used by the anti-gunners: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” In other words, the only part of the Second Amendment that they seem to be able to remember.

Considering that this prefatory phrase as a grammatical construct is clearly intended as a statement of purpose, isn’t it obvious that the statement of the right (“the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” ) has absolutely nothing to do with hunting?

The right, stated in more modern terminology, basically says “Because freedom from tyranny, oppression and invasion depends upon the people being capable, sufficiently trained and properly equipped to fight as a militia, the right of each and every capable person to own, use and carry their own military grade firearm shall not be infringed.”

What the heck does that have to do with duck hunting?

The thing that bothers me about this is that we in the pro-rights crowd tend to get wrapped around the axle arguing these two points separately. They bring up the “militia” statement and the “collective rights” argument and we enter into a discourse about why the clear verbiage of the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what they insist upon twisting it into.

Often in the same conversation, they drop the “don’t need a howitzer to hunt ducks” bomb and consider the argument closed. We then exclaim “the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting” but don’t explore the blatant hypocricy of their competing points.

If their first assertion is correct…i.e. that the Second Amendment only protects gun rights as they pertain to military service, then their second argument…that we don’t need a specific firearm to hunt, is moot. Hunting has no constitutional protection at all other than as one of those nefarious “unspoken rights” protected by the oft ignored 9th Amendment.

So, if hunting isn’t specifically protected by the Constitution, why do we need guns at all?

BECAUSE OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT which clearly states that the right to keep and bear arms is about being prepared to act as a militia in times of need.

Therefore, their argument about which arms we “need” would be more appropriately used to deter ownership of non-military pattern weapons (as in the Supreme Court case U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) wherein the court decided that laws prohibiting weapons that have no military application are Constitutional under the Second Amendment).

The arguments in support of hunting as a sport are for another discussion, but any arguments in support of hunting and firearms for “sporting purpose” are not Constitutional arguments by nature…except insofar as the act of hunting constitutes practice that furthers the stated objective of the Second Amendment: “a well regulated militia”.

Basically, my point is this: when an anti-gunner brings up the hunting canard as a reason to ban “assault weapons”, we should not only state clearly and unequivocally that the right to keep and bear arms has nothing to do with hunting, but loudly and clearly point out the hypocricy in their competing arguments that

a. The Second Amendment only protects firearms ownership for military use

and

b. Military weapons aren’t required for hunting and so, are not protected.

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