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OP-ED: Constitutional Rights Transcend Evil Deeds

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Rep. Andrew Clyde (GA-09) penned an op-ed in the Washington Times detailing why protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights exceeds providing empty promise gun control proposals. 
 
Read the full op-ed below or in the Washington Times HERE.
 
 
What happened in Uvalde, Texas, just a few days ago was horrific and heartbreaking. I join the nation in mourning the 19 young souls that will never be able to fulfill their dreams, as well as the two teachers who were treacherously taken from their families. I also grieve for both the wounded and the victims’ loved ones as they face significant agony and suffering.
 
Any loss of life is a tragedy, especially when those lives are taken by a deranged individual hellbent on committing evil acts. But we cannot allow the left to weaponize and politicize this tragedy in order to punish law-abiding gun owners.
 
When we allow emotion to overcome reason and concede facts to anger, we legislate to provide sympathy rather than solutions. Regrettably, the inevitable result is enacting constitution-altering consequences that will forever change the course of our nation, our freedoms, and our future.
 
America, this would be a very serious mistake.
 
While Democrats — and Republicans inebriated on sorrow — claim their gun control proposals will save lives, I can assure you these are empty promises that will have the exact opposite effect.
 
Some of the actions being rammed through Congress include banning detachable magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition, restricting rights for young adults wishing to purchase certain firearms, regulating how Americans store firearms in their private residences, and implementing red flag laws. Not a solitary one of these policies will thwart criminals and wicked individuals from obtaining firearms in order to carry out heinous acts of violence. Instead, these proposals punish law-abiding gun owners and prevent Americans from defending themselves — subsequently stripping our liberties and making our communities less safe.
 
Furthermore, why should we enact more gun-related laws before we enforce existing ones? If Hunter Biden is able to break federal firearms laws and get off scot-free, how can lawmakers legitimately argue these bills will truly make a difference?
 
What does make a difference are trained citizens who are capable of defending their homes, businesses, and communities. Just a day after the tragic events in Uvalde, a man opened fire with a rifle into a crowd at a party in Charleston, West Virginia, leading an armed woman to draw and fire her pistol — stopping the violence and ultimately saving dozens of lives. Due to her bravery and willingness to engage with this violent individual, not a single person at the party was injured.
 
There are plenty more powerful examples that underline the importance of armed Americans protecting others in the face of terror. Yet the left purposefully disregards these cases as they directly contradict their false narrative.
 
No matter how many lies are told to manipulate Americans, we the people know the truth: an unarmed America is a less safe — and less free — America.
 
Whether it’s Australia confiscating and destroying nearly 700,000 firearms in 1996, Venezuela banning the sale of firearms and ammunition in 2012, or Canada recently announcing legislation to freeze handgun ownership and limit magazines to five rounds, other nations have dangerously pursued and enacted authoritarian gun control measures that obstruct citizens from purchasing and owning firearms — thereby endangering their safety.
 
Severely misguided politicians now want similar policies to become law in the United States. But do you know what the American people have that Australians, Venezuelans, and Canadians don’t? The constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
 
Our Founding Fathers were wise, thoughtful, and intentional men that instituted the government to protect Americans’ God-given inalienable rights, while also providing the people with the security to defend themselves and their liberties against a tyrannical government. The fundamental purpose of our Second Amendment goes far beyond guarding Americans’ freedoms to protect their homes from intruders. Chiefly, the Second Amendment assures that the American people can protect and preserve every other constitutional right. Removing this liberty converts citizens to subjects — eliminating a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
 
Alarmingly, attacks against the Second Amendment come at a time when its purpose is manifesting before our very eyes. As the Biden administration routinely encroaches on Americans’ constitutional rights and crime continues to skyrocket in cities across the country, it is essential that the American people fight to preserve their Second Amendment liberties.
 
What occurred in Uvalde was nothing short of a heartbreaking tragedy, but the only legitimate response moving forward is to harden our schools, not to penalize law-abiding Americans.
 
Simply put, constitutional rights transcend evil deeds. And while many lawmakers naively ignore this fundamental fact in hopes to heal open wounds that no piece of legislation can mend, it is imperative that members of Congress remember their oath is to support and defend the Constitution. Stripping Americans of their right to keep and bear arms will not save more children in classrooms, shoppers at grocery stores, or civilians on the street. It will embolden criminals — and the federal government — to take aim at Americans’ inalienable rights — namely the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
 
Rep. Andrew Clyde represents Georgia’s 9th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, assuming office in 2021.

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