Who is the Second Amendment Intended for?
A 26-year old mother is sitting in jail with a two year mandatory sentence. Her conviction is brandishing a firearm. However the state she lives in, Michigan is a Stand Your Ground state and this young woman is a legally, registered gun owner. The Stand Your Ground law is a justification in a criminal case that defendants do not have to retreat when protecting one’s self or property against perceived threats or actual acts of harm.
Sitwatu-Salama Ra, of Detroit, Michigan was charged with a felony after Chanell Harvey reported Ra as the aggressor. According to Ra’s interview with the Detroit-Metro Times, Ra stated that Harvey attempted to run Ra’s mother and Ra over with her car after an argument between the two women. This is when Ra removed her firearm from her vehicle’s glovebox and pointed the unloaded firearm at Harvey, which subsequently ended the threat. Harvey snapped a picture of Ra holding the firearm and reported it to the police first, therefore Ra is considered the aggressor in this case.
A couple things come to question: 1). Why is Stand Your Ground not being applied in this case? 2). Who does the Second Amendment apply to?
It appears that the Detroit DA immediately charged Ra with both a felony assault and a felony firearms charge. It also appears that Ra’s “fair” trial was hastily done without all sides equally presented. The problem here is that she received a mandatory two-year sentence (attached to the felony assault). Further she is 7 months pregnant. Ra is not your typical person in jail. She is a community activist and young mother. Some are arguing the justice system is skewed, especially against people of color. One of Ra’s attorney’s Victoria Burton-Harris, compared it to the George Zimmerman case that occurred in 2012 in Florida, a state with a Stand Your Ground Law:
“You’re allowed to behave differently when you’re fearful based on the color of your skin. George Zimmerman was allowed to be fearful and to act on that fear. He was allowed to take the life of an unarmed black child. Juxtapose that next to my client who had a car coming at her mother, and that same car had just presented danger to her child. It was driven by the complaining witness, but Siwatu wasn’t allowed to be fearful and rely on her government-licensed and sanctioned firearm to ward off her attacker.”
Whether you agreed with the Zimmerman case or not, in his case the Stand Your Ground law was applied and allowed him to escape conviction. In Ra’s case where a life was not taken, nor injured, she was convicted with a sentencing of two years. In the application of a law that is supposed to protect a firearm owner of determined self-defense (with a precedence already applied) Ra did not receive equal treatment under the law and it makes one wonder as to why.
So, when do other gun owners stand up against injustices that occur like this? When do we as gun owners unequivocally state all those who want to defend their life and property are protected under the Second Amendment? Who does it exactly apply to?
When you read the Second Amendment it states: “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 original interpretation is that the “Militia” are the citizens who protect themselves from an outside enemy and a tyrannical government encroachment, while “shall not be infringed” means that the government can not make laws that interfere with the inherent right to defend self and property, because the right to self-defense is an unalienable right.
It starts with Natural Law, which is a philosophical theory that purports humans have laws that are endowed by a Creator (God or a transcendent power) and can not be separated from the individual. Our Founding Fathers derived the Bill of Rights from Natural Law and believed governmental systems are to adhere to and protect Natural Law. Therefore the first principle under Natural Law is that any person has the “right” to survive and by any means necessary.
Under the Bill of Rights, our Founding Fathers understood that survival meant defense of self and property. And in the case of Ra, she was doing just that. The other woman, Harvey was attempting to ram her car into Ra and her mother. Ra’s two year old was on the property as well. One could easily surmise that Ra felt fear and understanding she has the legal right to own a firearm wanted to cease the attempts of harm against her.
So why is Ra sitting in jail; a 26-year old, pregnant community activist and mother? The Second Amendment is meant to protect her, too. Right now, the justice system has failed her and her right of self-defense is being infringed. As the rightful heirs of our government, of ourselves and our inherent rights, we must stand up with Ra and call out the injustice of her conviction. Our natural rights already protected under the Bill of Right must be defended, lest we desire to lose them in their entirety by a populace that fails to understand the purpose of our Bill of Rights.
All content written and submitted are the sole opinion of the above author. This article may not reflect the opinions of the administrator of The Liberty Den.