John McCain & The Second Amendment
"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."
From the Heritage Guide to the Constitution:
Modern debates about the meaning of the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a right of individuals to keep and bear arms or, instead, a right of the states to maintain militia organizations like the National Guard...
Conservatives, who are pro free markets and pro individualism understand the Second Amendment to guarantee to the individual the right to keep and bear arms. It is self-evident that a government would not need to put words into a constitution to guarantee itself the right to keep and bear arms. The argument that the Second Amendment is really about state militias is silly on its face. That the argument has been posed so forcefully, been around so long and gotten so far, is proof that the concerns of the Founding generation are as valid now as ever.
There are elements, people and organizations, in our society and our government who are very uncomfortable with the idea of citizens being able to defend themselves from an oppressive government. Beginning with the National Firearms Act of 1934, the right to keep and bear arms has been infringed time and time again by just such elements. The birth of the conservative movement has given us the first hope that the erosion of this right might be halted and perhaps reversed.
The National Rifle Association calls the guarantee of the Second Amendment the "First Freedom" because it alone guarantees all the others. They say that if you are a "single issue" voter, ie. if a candidate's position on a single issue will decide whether you vote for or against him, then this is your issue. The Second Amendment is the only thing that levels the field between our government and its citizens.
So, where does John McCain stand with regard to the Second Amendment? Here are his words from his website, a statement as official and unequivocal as it gets:
That's what John McCain says about the Second Amendment. What does he actually mean by what he says? Just what "common sense measures" is he talking about? The answers become evident from his actions in the Senate and in the media.
On November 2, 2004 the Second Amendment Project of the Independence Institute had this to say about John McCain:
But before he sponsored McCain/Lieberman he backed other initiatives. National Review Online said this in October 2000:
Regarding what John McCain has said about the Second Amendment the phrase "Actions speak louder than words" at first comes to mind. It might better read "Actions clarify the meaning of the words". Another phrase, "Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are" may be suitable as well:
Finally, here is what Alan Korwin, Author of The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide, had to say about John McCain's Gun Show Bill when he addressed the Arizona Legislative District 11 Republican Committee's general meeting on September 5, 2006: (Audio: 4:22)