The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution reads "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."

The 2nd Amendment is often characterized as being about guns. I think that's actually a misread. While "arms" are the mechanism, the actual subject of the 2nd Amendment is "the security of a free state." That translates to our freedom and liberties.

To some, this may sound like much adieu about nothing, but I believe it's fundamental to understanding the amendment. 

At the core is the concept that free people have a natural right to self preservation through self defense. As free people, we were born with and retain the right to protect our selves, our families and our property. 

While government was instituted to assist us in that protection, that right was not transferred exclusively to government. Our 2nd Amendment affirms that to preserve this right, citizens are allowed to possess and use arms.

Unfortunately, there are many elected representatives who either don't understand this or simply fail to believe it. 

Case in point, last year, I participated in a debate over Colorado's newly passed gun control laws. The event was sponsored by the Denver Post. During that debate, an older gentleman who lived in Denver posed the question to Congresswomen Diana DeGette- "How am I to defend myself against multiple attackers in my home, now that the state limits how many rounds my firearm can hold?" The congresswoman, without skipping a beat, responded "Sir, you don't need to worry, you live in Denver. The police will be there in less than five minutes."

Congresswoman DeGette's outrageous statement demonstrates her belief that citizens have surrendered their right to self-defense to their government. That notion is absolutely absurd and dangerous!

Criminals of all sorts would love to know that the only chance of being stopped is if the police caught them in the act. Let's face it, statistically, that likelihood is pretty low. I can tell you, if an intruder invades my home, I won't wait for 911. It's not Sheriff Justin that the intruder will have to worry about, it's husband, father and homeowner Justin that they will encounter on the trigger end of my firearm.

I have not and will not surrender that right- and neither should you. To surrender the rights protected by the 2nd Amendment would be to surrender your rights to life, liberty and property.

I am grateful to my fellow sheriffs, the team of plaintiffs, the legal team presenting our case, the millions of Coloradans and the hundreds of millions of our fellow citizens in other states who have stood up with us in our court battle to preserve these fundamentals rights of all free people! 

Freedom must be defended every inch of the way.

Sheriff Justin Smith
Larimer County Sheriff

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