As was reported last week, in the wake of unspeakable crimes perpetrated by roving, armed gangs and individuals, authorities in New Orleans seized legal firearms from lawful residents, effectively disarming the very citizenry they are sworn to protect.

On Monday, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox slammed New Orleans authorities for this incredible action.

“What we’ve seen in Louisiana–the breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of disaster–is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves, ” LaPierre said. “For state, local, or federal government to disarm these good people in their own homes using the threat of imminent deadly force, is unthinkable.”

“The NRA will not stand by while guns are confiscated from law-abiding people who’re trying to defend themselves,” Cox said. “We’re exploring every legal option available to protect the rights of lawful people in New Orleans.”

To that end, NRA has put professional investigators to work on the ground in New Orleans and surrounding areas. News stories and members’ detailed accounts have been followed up on, but we need more information. Some of our best leads have come from rank and file law enforcement, but we need to hear from all directly affected citizens.

THE PEOPLE’S SECTION

As we prepare to celebrate “Constitution Week” (Sept. 17-23), it is important that we keep foremost in our minds the document that governs our great land and makes us unique–the Constitution, and specifically, its Bill of Rights.

Everything we at NRA-ILA do is governed by an unwavering commitment to the Constitution and its Second Amendment guarantee to bear arms. Sadly, however, not only is the Second Amendment constantly under attack, but so too are other integral parts of this work of genius. Sometimes attacks are obvious, like licensing, registration, and gun bans. Sometimes they are more subtle, promoted under the guise of innocuous sounding laws like campaign finance “reform.” Whatever, their form, however, they are all destructive, and must always be met with active resistance.

In particular, the Bill of Rights, which enshrines, among other freedoms, our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, should be viewed as “The People’s Section” of the Constitution. Unlike Articles I-III, which lay out the requirements and powers of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches, the Bill of Rights designates no powers to the government. In fact, it does quite the opposite. The Bill of Rights restricts government encroachment on the rights on those it governs; on “we the people.”

Look at some of the verbiage in the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law…” (First Amendment; “…shall not be infringed.” (Second Amendment); “…shall not be violated…” (Fourth Amendment); “…shall not be construed to deny…” (Ninth Amendment). These phrases protect the people; they don’t empower the government. In a way, the Bill of Rights is where we the people get to say “no” to the government.

Governments have powers. People have rights. Thus, the Second Amendment does not guarantee a privilege granted by the government to keep and bear arms. It explicitly guarantees the right of the people to do so.

Politicians must remember that they can’t carve out sections of the Constitution and Bill of Rights they don’t like, and profess support for the undivided document. You either support the Constitution and Bill of Rights, or you don’t. There are too many Chuck Schumers, Hillary Clintons, and Dianne Feinsteins who constantly work to set aside the Second Amendment (and, in the case of campaign finance “reform,” the First), while they profess to be upholding their sworn oaths to protect the entire Constitution.
We are blessed to have been given our freedom by our Creator and our system of government by great, brave men. However, it is up to each of us to ensure we keep it, and that the system works, by actively participating and speaking to others. Still today, the price of freedom truly is eternal vigilance.