The Firearms Policy Coalition has issued the following statement in response to demands for more restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms in the wake of recent mass murders in Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy:
We mourn for our fallen brothers and sisters whose lives were cut short or forever changed by acts of immeasurable evil. We grieve for the families, friends, and loved ones who are searching for courage and strength to confront unimaginable pain. And our hearts ache for the communities of Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy.
Ongoing news coverage, comments by politicians, and billionaire-funded special interests – many of whom are protected by armed security details – have made it clear that these horrible tragedies, like the ones before them, will be abused in the service of their radical political agenda of authoritarianism and paternalism.
It is disingenuous and immoral to ratify and incent evil acts of the very few by responding in kind with broad restrictions on the fundamental human rights of the People that pre-exist government itself. We will not accept this as a means of affecting change in a free society. The loss of human lives will always affect and change us, but they must never be allowed to alter our fundamental principles, freedoms, and commitment to individual liberty.
To be sure, our Constitution and society are at an unprecedented crossroads. Politicians and presidential candidates now openly call for a fundamental transformation of our system of laws: from a constitutional republic of free men and women founded in federalism and individual liberty, to a nation-state of subjects ruled with an iron fist from ivory towers and Washington, D.C.
Protecting the People and their human rights and property from the tyranny of mob rule and capricious political winds is a unique feature of our Republic—one that we fiercely defend even when doing so may be unpopular.
As the Supreme Court accurately observed, “The right to keep and bear arms … is not the only constitutional right that has controversial public safety implications. All of the constitutional provisions that impose restrictions on law enforcement and on the prosecution of crimes fall into the same category.” Thus, our Constitution wisely secures individual liberty against infringement not because freedom is always safe, but because it is not.
In addition to its value in securing our right to keep and bear arms for all lawful purposes, the Second Amendment is “a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.”
We believe that gun control remains “one growing front of a still-cold but increasingly bitter war between those who desire a powerful government that has the ability to control its people and those who value freedom and individual liberty.” But an armed and prepared citizenry—the unorganized militia—is the last, and perhaps more and more often the first line of defense between the People and the deranged, evil, and tyrannical.
FPC’s chartered mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges, and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms. Our commitment to our Republic, to first principles, and to freedom and individual liberty will not waver—no matter the circumstances.
FPC will continue to fight for what is right, to defend and advance our Constitution’s protection of fundamental human rights, even and especially when it is difficult.
To our members, supporters, and Second Amendment advocates throughout the United States, we say this: Steel yourselves and prepare to fight for freedom. History shows that all of us, standing together, can prevail.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. Gun owners and Second Amendment supporters can join the FPC Grassroots Army at JoinFPC.org.