The architect of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, George Mason, once wrote of the need to include the individual right to bear arms in the Constitution at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, “When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people.”

What Americans, and especially those who still cling to the Constitution and the Second Amendment especially, must understand is that the debate over gun control is about principles much deeper than discussions about ammunition capacity and the rate of fire of modern weaponry.

The debate over gun control is, at its core, a larger conflict over culture and an individual’s relation to government. It is a culture war between those who value independence and individual liberty and those that value community coercion and dependence on the government; between a culture that values individual rights and the “self-made man” and one that says that “you didn’t build that,” and that rights come from positive law and the government.

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