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Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks: “The purpose of the Second Amendment is to ensure that we have a republic”

(Congressman Mo Brooks/Facebook)

Responding to a question about gun rights in a tele-town hall on Monday night, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) expressed that his primary concern about the Second Amendment is a lack of understanding about its meaning.

“The most important thing is to help the general public understand the purpose of the Second Amendment,” Brooks told his constituents over the phone. “The purpose of the Second Amendment is not to stop some criminal who is coming into your house, although that’s an excellent benefit. The purpose of the Second Amendment is not to enable you to go hunting, although that is an excellent benefit.”

Brooks stressed an originalist reading of the right to bear arms.

“The purpose of the Second Amendment is to ensure that we have a republic,” he said. “That no one – no one – feels that they can get away with imposing a dictatorship from Washington, D.C. to the rest of our country. And for over two centuries, the citizenship’s bearing arms, of having those weapons, in my judgment, has deterred that kind of thinking.” 

The Second Amendment is perhaps the most controversial of all those listed in the Bill of Rights, with many critics of its broad protections reiterating calls for its repeal after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.

The Supreme Court, most notably in District of Columbia v. Hellerhas upheld a right for individuals to possess firearms unconnected with service in a militia, which is what the amendment’s language explicitly protects.

Even so, aside from its benefits of self-protection and allowing for hobbies like hunting, Brooks views the Second Amendment primarily as a protection against totalitarian government.

“If you look at other countries throughout the world throughout history, those citizenships or citizenries that are disarmed are the ones that are most likely to see their rights threatened or totally lost because then, whoever has the military on their side, they’re the ones who can dictate to the rest of the country what’s going on,” he said.

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