''Everyman'' candidate for Ohio Secretary of State weighs in on gun rights

As we reported last August in a Q&A sent to us by Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Draganic, Ohio's 2006 gubernatorial race has already been a politics junkie's dream, and promises to offer even greater fixes as the primaries grow closer.

But the gubernatorial race isn't the only GOP primary in which a political outsider is hoping to capitalize on poll after poll showing that Mr. & Mrs. Ohio are tired of the status quo, and really tired of Bob Taft's liberal brand of Republicanism.

Like Pete Draganic, Republican Colin Beach (who recently announced his candidacy for Secretary of State) is hoping Ohioans are so fed up that they'll make a decision to nominate someone who has never before served in public office to the state-wide Republican ticket in November 2006.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for Beach's "Thoughts on Gun Ownership and the Second Amendment".

Thoughts on Gun Ownership and the Second Amendment

By Colin R. Beach, Candidate for Ohio Secretary of State

I am not running for Ohio Secretary of State to boast about how often I hunt or trap or go to target practice. In fact, I do not personally own a gun, nor have I ever held a hunting license. However, I believe my views on the 2nd Amendment are important in understanding the type of person I am, which is why I appreciate this opportunity to convey my beliefs to such a well respected and patriotic organization.

To understand the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, one must also understand the purpose of the Bill of Rights and the history of gun ownership in Colonial America. The Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution because our Founders wanted to provide Americans with additional protections not afforded to them in the original Constitution. All of these Amendments essentially were constructed as restrictions on the Federal Government's ability to infringe on what they saw as inalienable rights. As you may know, our country was founded upon a distrust of government, which was deemed necessary to protect our God-given rights to life, liberty, and property. When taken in context with the remaining Bills of Right, one would have to conclude that the 2nd Amendment was also a restriction on the Federal Government's ability to interfere with gun ownership.

After the passage of the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court incorporated or applied the Bill of Rights to the citizens of each state. However, the 2nd Amendment has remained yet to be applied to a state's ability to regulate gun ownership due to what some believe to be cryptic language.

I, for one, do not think the meaning of the 2nd Amendment is hard to determine or difficult to apply in the modern era. It is a question which a good understanding of the circumstances surrounding our nation's birth can easily answer. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed," indicates that our second amendment rights derive from a right to protect oneself and the right to form organized militias. But for what purpose are the militias to be formed and for the protection from whom?

In pre-revolutionary days, gun ownership was at an all time high and not coincidentally, crime rates were at an all-time low. Because of the high volume of gun ownership, militias were easily formed after we declared our independence from the British Government. This led to our victory. Our Founders knew this to be the case and because of their collective distrust in government, they attached the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution so as to safeguard the new Americans against another tyrannical government. As a famous talk show host likes to put it: "You know why there is a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one."

Now it doesn't make much sense to allow our state and federal governments to regulate our gun ownership, when the purpose of that ownership is to form militias to fight against those government entities when they become oppressive. Even the slightest regulation should be looked at critically with this notion in mind. Since I believe we have this right to gun ownership, we also have the rights to use our guns for other purposes, be it hunting or sport, as long as that use doesn't interfere with the protected liberty or property rights of others.

Quickly, I would like to add that I supported the conceal carry law in Ohio, and I would like to see the regulations even more relaxed. I believe concealed weapons can and will become the best deterrent against crime in this state if private business owners are educated as to the benefits of allowing concealed weapons within their establishments. In my experience, gun owners are some of the most careful and responsible members of our society. We must continue to fight those who continue to chastise gun owners and then absolve the criminal element of our society. Someone should remind them that the first laws banning concealed weapons in this country were made by southerners so as to prevent blacks from protecting themselves from supremacist groups.

Sincerely,

Colin R. Beach

P.S. Please take a look at my website at www.colinbeach.com for information about my plan for Ohio as its next Secretary of State.

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