Originally published July 13 2013
Ice-T lays it out - Gun rights are civil rights
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The political left in America loves to toss about the phrase "civil rights" when stumping for one of their pet political causes. We should agree with them and back their proposals because, hey, "it's a civil rights issue."
Gun rights, however, are anathema to the political left. They have used tortured logic for decades in an attempt to twist the very plain, straightforward language of the Second Amendment - that our "right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." By the way, per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, infringement is an "encroachment or trespass on a right or privilege." So, pretty much any law aimed at circumventing or impeding your right to a firearm for self-defense is unconstitutional.
Rapper-turned-actor Ice T gets it. In fact, in a recent documentary, he is making the case that gun ownership is a civil right, as well as a constitutional one.
A civil right that 'shall not be infringed'
"In other words, they are rights inherent to American citizens. Or as the HHS.gov website puts it: 'Civil rights are personal rights guaranteed and protected by the U.S. Constitution,'" notes Breitbart News' Awr Hawkins.
Reporting on the documentary, Hawkins says the absolute right of firearms ownership enshrined in the Second Amendment are the same civil rights as those acknowledging our right to speak freely, to assemble peaceably, to vote and to be treated fairly - and that this message is central to the film, which is entitled, "Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire." Per Hawkins:
The documentary accomplishes this by showing that the right to keep and bear arms was hedged in by our Founding Fathers as a right that existed long before American government did. As such, it is a right the government can neither give nor take away--a right that "shall not be infringed." It is sacrosanct, like other civil rights.
The filmmakers use the experiences of blacks during the tempestuous 1950s and '60s, when the modern civil rights movement began in earnest, to show that one of the only things that saved potential African-American victims from the ravages of the Ku Klux Klan was knowing those potential victims were armed.
That ability to defend your own life is the central facet of this particular civil right, the film's director, Kris Koenig, told The Blaze in an interview.
"I'd like the public to walk away and look at gun control not as a mechanical device issue, but look at it as a civil rights issue," he told The Blaze. "It is part of the Bill of Rights - it's part of our natural rights as human beings to have the ability to have self-defense, and yet our lawmakers have looked over that civil right and are willing to embrace restrictions in the name of votes."
Koenig also had high praise for Ice T.
"Ice has got an incredible voice and when you hear it against the words that we wrote it just really, really works," Koenig said. "He's also a bridge to the black American community ... the Second Amendment was denied to blacks in this country all the way up to the 20s."
'I'd give up my gun when everybody else does'
The filmmaker says he knows the documentary's central pro-Second Amendment message won't resonate with far-left individuals, but he said he hopes it will at least spur a more critical discussion of American freedoms.
He also takes a look at how the talk of banning guns in the wake of mass shootings like those at a grade school in Newtown, Conn., and at a theater in Aurora, Colo., should really be examined in historical context, as it would affect personal freedoms. And he believes politicians should look beyond the emotional aspects of these rare shootings and focus instead on factors that cause some people to commit such horrific crimes.
"I think it's really disingenuous that we turn our back on the mental health issue," Koenig said.
The documentary runs approximately 80 minutes and began showing at select theaters nationally on June 20.
And for the record, Ice T has been an outspoken defender of the Second Amendment in the past. During an interview following the Aurora killings, the actor/rapper said the nation's gun laws were not to blame.
"I'd give up my gun when everybody else does," he told Channel 4 London's Krishnan Guru-Murthy, hours after news of the shooting began to spread. "The right to bear arms is because that's the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It's to protect yourself from the police."
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