In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom…
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Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living

In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index's invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:

 …[more]

May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

Liberty Update

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Sorry, Joe – the Second Amendment Protects AR-15s Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, June 24 2021
[I]t’s important to dispel the myth perpetuated by people like Biden that so-called “assault weapons” like the AR-15 must be marginalized as outside of the Second Amendment’s protection.

One particularly unflattering characteristic of Second Amendment restrictionists remains their transparently insincere assurance that they really, truly respect Second Amendment liberties, and have nothing at all against firearms used for such purposes as duck hunting or target shooting.  

All they seek, they earnestly claim, is “reasonable” gun control on firearms like AR-15s and other so-called “assault weapons,” which they’re conspicuously incapable of actually defining when pressed.  Surely, they assert, we can all agree that nobody “needs” an AR-15, because that type of firearm falls outside the Second Amendment’s ambit of protection, right?  

In that vein, here’s Joe Biden, he of renowned intellect and bottomless expertise on all things, lecturing a woman on the subject of firearms and self-defense at a townhall:  

If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun.  You don’t need an AR-15.  It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use, and in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself.  Buy a shotgun.  Buy a shotgun!  

Wrong as usual, Joe.  In fact, the exact opposite is true.  

The AR-15 is widely considered the most effective firearm for home defense purposes, which explains why it regularly remains the single most popular rifle sold across the United States.  

And that’s precisely why the Second Amendment at its core protects the individual right to keep and bear arms like the AR-15.  

To understand why, recall the seminal Heller v. DC decision in which the United States Supreme Court finally affirmed that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, not some preposterous “collective” state governmental right, to keep and bear arms.  

“The Second Amendment,” the Court held at the outset of its opinion, “protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”  (emphasis added)  

With that logic in mind, the Court held that “the sorts of weapons protected” are precisely those “in common use at the time” – like the AR-15 – for self-defense purposes:  

[T]he inherent right of self defense has been central to the Second Amendment right.  The handgun ban amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of “arms” that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose.  The prohibition extends, moreover, to the home, where the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute.  Under any of the standards of scrutiny that we have applied to enumerated constitutional rights, banning from the home “the most preferred firearm in the nation to ‘keep’ and use for protection of one’s home and family” would fail constitutional muster…  It is no answer to say, as petitioners do, that it is permissible to ban the possession of handguns so long as the possession of other firearms (i.e., long guns) is allowed.  It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon…  Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.  

Accordingly, the fact that firearms like the AR-15 serve “the inherent right of self-defense” particularly well, and are “overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose” are why they’re at the center of Second Amendment protection according to Heller, not outside its periphery.  

This issue, however, isn’t merely an esoteric legal debate.  With violent crime skyrocketing by record amounts in recent months, it becomes a literally life-and-death matter.  The U.S. murder rate increased a record 31% in 2020, shattering the previous record of 13% in 1968.  So far, the year 2021 has witnessed even more increases.  

It’s therefore no surprise that firearm purchases in America have also ascended to record levels.  And among the most popular choices as Americans increasingly recognize the importance of preparing for self-defense amid rising societal chaos is the AR-15 and similar types of arms.  

But against that rising tide stands Joe Biden.  He knows better, explaining that “assault weapons” like the AR-15 are no match for the military’s nuclear weaponry, you see.  That Joe Biden, always playing three-dimensional intellectual chess while the rest of us play checkers.  

Meanwhile, a more conservative Supreme Court that now includes Justice Amy Coney Barrett for a 6-3 (or, arguably, 5-4) conservative majority has granted review for the upcoming term on cases that can finally put greater force behind the Heller decision.  

Until then, however, it’s important to dispel the myth perpetuated by people like Biden that so-called “assault weapons” like the AR-15 must be marginalized as outside of the Second Amendment’s protection.  In fact, they’re most worthy of its protection amid increasing societal chaos.  

Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
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Notable Quote   
 
"Lawmakers continued to raise concerns about the Internal Revenue Service at a Congressional hearing this week as the agency deals with billions in misspent dollars, hefty processing backlogs, and complaints over poor customer service.Lawmakers lobbed questions at the tax-collecting agency during the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing.'The program has an annual improper payment rate…[more]
 
 
—Casey Harper, The Center Square
— Casey Harper, The Center Square
 
Liberty Poll   

Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?