The ACLU and Gun Control – A Sad Situation

As I mentioned in an earlier article, I support all of our constitutional rights, regardless of whether I personally exercise those rights. Unfortunately, the American Civil Liberties Union (the ACLU), which is generally a reputable organization that can be counted on to stand up for our constitutional rights, has decided to oppose the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I find this to be an exceptionally sad situation, and would urge the ACLU to reconsider.

The ACLU’s website succinctly sums up their anti gun, anti second amendment viewpoint:

” . . .the individual’s right to bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia. Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected.”

The ACLU’s position is inconsistent with the text of the Second Amendment, and just as importantly, inconsistent with the otherwise commendable job the ACLU does with protecting our constitutional rights. It is policies like this, whereby special interest groups only support the constitutional rights that they and their boards or directors find tasteful, that has led us to the current situation where both the Left and the Right chip away at our rights. I would have hoped that the ACLU would see that it is wrong to “play favorites” when it comes any of our most basic and sacred rights. I would have hoped that if the ACLU didn’t want to be in the business of defending Second Amendment rights themselves, they could at least refrain from taking a position so opposed to the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms. Sadly, the ACLU has chosen to protect some constitutional rights, while flatly denying the existence of others. This means that gun owning ACLU members who donate to and support the ACLU are in effect paying to have anti-gun-rights propaganda “information” distributed.

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Prior to realizing the ACLU’s anti Second Amendment position, I had long been an ACLU member. I made a point of keeping my membership current even while I was a college student who earned under $8/hour working part time. I took time to participate in the ACLU’s action alerts, and spent many hours and even more stamps writing and letters to my elected officials. I encouraged friends to do the same, and even gave ACLU memberships as gifts.

That, however, is now in the past. I will not renew my ACLU membership, encourage other people to join the ACLU, or otherwise support the ACLU financially. I will still continue to use the ACLU’s web-based action alerts to contact my elected officials, but I will make clear in those messages that I do not support the ACLU’s policy regarding the right to keep and bear arms.

I don’t expect the loss of the $50/year I used to contribute to sway the ACLU’s board of directors, but perhaps if those of us who would otherwise support the ACLU contact them about this policy, they may yet change their stance and live up to their mission of fully defending our constitutional rights.