Informative Speech for Gun Ownership

Topics: United States Constitution, National Rifle Association, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Pages: 2 (665 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used and that definite rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of the citizen to bear arms is just one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible. -Hubert Humphrey, 1960 My background is probably atypical for a somewhat high-profile supporter of the right to keep and bear arms. I am black and grew up in Manhattan's East Harlem, far removed from the great American gun culture of rural, white America. Although my voting patterns have become somewhat more conservative in recent years, I remain in my heart of hearts a 1960s Humphrey Democrat concerned with the plight of those most vulnerable in American society-minorities, the poor, the elderly, and single women-groups whose day-to-day realities are often overlooked in our public policy debates, people whose lives too often go unnoticed by our intellectually timid chattering classes. This is happening in the public debate over the right to bear arms. For the nation's elites, the Second Amendment has become the Rodney Dangerfield of the Bill of Rights, constantly attacked by editorial writers, police chiefs seeking scapegoats, demagoging politicians, and most recently even by Rosie O'Donnell, no less. It is threatened by opportunistic legislative efforts, even when sponsors acknowledge their proposed legislation would have little impact on crime and violence. Professional champions of civil rights and civil liberties have been unwilling to defend the underlying principle of the right to arms. Even the conservative defense has been timid and often inept, tied less, one suspects, to abiding principle and more to the dynamics of contemporary Republican politics. Thus a right older than the...
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