Contrary to the rhetoric of many gun control advocates, the Second Amendment's protection of the individual right to keep and bear arms is not a malevolent, outdated barricade to peace that must be demolished or diminished in the name of public safety.
Rather, the Second Amendment is a fundamental part of the nation's scheme of ordered liberty.
Firearms are used far more often in self-defense than in crime. According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which compiled and analyzed various studies involving the defensive use of firearms, Americans use firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually.
The agency's own data indicates that approximately 1 million defensive gun uses likely occur every year, far outpacing the number of times guns are used to illegally kill or injure others.
Nevertheless, gun control proponents regularly promote policies such as limiting magazine capacity, banning commonly owned firearms, and restricting the number of firearms a law-abiding citizen may purchase at one time.
These policies not only fail to meaningfully address the underlying causes and mechanisms of gun-related violence, they also would hinder the ability of regular citizens to legally and effectively defend themselves and others.
Every month this year, we've reported on Americans who were forced to rely on their Second Amendment rights to defend themselves or their fellow citizens.
Here are some examples from the month of May that shed light on the importance of allowing law-abiding citizens to exercise the right to keep and bear arms:
May 1, Detroit. A 59-year-old woman defended herself and her home against three men who broke the security bars on her window. The woman called the police. Then, fearing for her life in the interim, she fired at the intruders. One intruder was wounded and all three fled.
May 5, Memphis. A woman called the police twice after spotting a man on her home security cameras who was walking suspiciously along the side of her house. Before officers could arrive, the man kicked down the woman's door. He was met by a hail of gunfire from the woman and fled the scene wounded, eventually admitting himself to a hospital, where he was arrested.
May 7, Lumberton, North Carolina. Two would-be armed robbers confronted a 39-year-old man in an open garage in his own backyard. The man pulled his own firearm and exchanged gunfire with the two assailants and wounded one in the leg. Both were arrested, and one has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.