Self Defense, an Unalienable Right in a Time of Peril: Protected and Preserved by the Second Amendment


For Americans frightened for their own and their family’s safety, the Covid-19 pandemic; lockdown in March 2020; release of convicted offenders; protests against the police morphing into weeks of violence and calls to defund them; and a presidential candidate promising to seize their guns has led to record-setting applications for firearms. This essay explores the constitutional background of the right to armed self-defense then tests the arguments against it: 1) it’s unnecessary, the police will protect you and 2) guns in your hands pose a danger to public safety. But can the police protect us and do they have a legal duty to do so? To answer the questions the success of restraining orders for vulnerable individuals and violent crime statistics during an era of increased public carry are examined. The essay concludes with the experience of England, where the very right to self-defense has been effectually removed.