All That Remains Frontman Defends His Right to Keep and Bear Arms
All That Remains frontman Philip Labonte has written an op-ed for Alternative Press on the Second Amendment, which protects the right of the American people to keep and bear arms.
Labonte penned the piece before the Aurora, Colo., shooting massacre that left 12 people dead and 58 others injured. Labonte tweaked the column after the shooting. He didn't change his position on gun ownership; instead he looked a little more closely at the Second Amendment and the arguments for and against gun control in America.
The text of the Second Amendment is short, but powerful:
"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."
Labonte takes those words, adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, and dissects them to make his argument. the singer argues:
"The framers of our Constitution did not believe in standing armies. They believed that a free people had the right and responsibility to secure their own safety, property and liberty. America had just fought an eight-year war against the British, the strongest military on Earth. They came close to defeat many times. They understood that had they not had weapons to defend themselves, the Revolution would have been crushed. While it is true the United States had allies in France and the Netherlands, the ability of the individuals in the colonies to defend themselves in the early phases of the Revolution came down to one thing: they were armed."
But this is 2012 and not 1791. Getting around the obvious differences of time and way of life in America from 1791 to now, Labonte continues on with his piece, writing, "It is clear that people who would seek to outlaw all guns are a tiny minority, and the overwhelming population believes as the Supreme Court has decided, that individuals have a right to carry a firearm for self-defense. So the question remains: What, if any, arms should be outlawed or regulated? By the letter of the Second Amendment, the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Hughes Amendment to the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 all infringe upon an individual's right to keep and bear arms by limiting or restricting what an individual can possess.
"The Second Amendment does not say 'firearms'; it says 'arms,' meaning weapons of any kind. Requiring a tax stamp, fingerprints or paperwork to own anything under the National Firearms Act (short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, silencer) not only violates the Second Amendment, but it violates the Fourth Amendment's Right to Privacy clause as well. I believe that anything the U.S. military or a contractor to the federal government can own, a private individual should also be able to own."
Labonte ends his op-ed by saying that Americans now live in a police state, thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act, the Patriot Act and the TSA.
According to a 2011 poll, the majority of Americans disagree with Labonte on the issue of average citizens owning the type of weaponry used by those in the military.
After the January 2011 Tuscon, Ariz., shooting which killed six people and severely injured 14 more, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Time magazine conducted a poll about gun rights and ownership. Of those polled, nearly two thirds (62%) agreed that the federal government should ban the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons.
No word if Labonte will preach about his gun control stance from the stage. All That Remains will play select shows in August and September, including the inaugural Rock Vegas festival from the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas.
All That Remains tour dates:
July 1 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest
August 4 – Centreville, VA – Summer Jam Music Fest - Bull Run Park
August 10 – Joliet, IL – Mojoes United States
August 11 – Twin Lakes, WI – WILL Rock Fest
September 29 - Las Vegas, NV - Rock Vegas Fest