The Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, doesn’t give anyone any rights. Instead, it prohibits the federal government from infringing on rights that are natural and God-given and that preexist government.
This is the point that is too-often missed on people today – whether due to ignorance or willful misinformation. As this article so accurate states,
“Whenever there is a gun massacre, statists inevitably respond that it’s time to repeal the Second Amendment. The idea is that if the Second Amendment is gone, so will be the right to own guns in the United States.
“There is just one big problem with that position: It’s wrong. The Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, doesn’t give anyone any rights. Instead, it prohibits the federal government from infringing on rights that are natural and God-given and that preexist government.
“The Declaration of Independence sets forth the essential principles. Every person (i.e., not just American citizens) is endowed by nature or God with fundamental rights. These include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
“Thus, given that people’s rights are natural and God-given, they preexist government. The rights come first and the government comes second.”
That is to say, the Bill of Rights does not give anyone rights. It simply enumerates the God-given rights that already exist. Even if it were (God forbid!) repealed, that would not change the facts; the rights themselves would continue to exist. You cannot vote to repeal natural law; you cannot vote to repeal what God has given.
Indeed, the very legitimacy of a government to exist, in our American system, is based on its ability and willingness to protect the rights of the people: this is the basis of government “by consent of the governed.” A government which fails to protect the natural, God-given rights of the people has lost its legitimacy. I wish more people understood this!