The Second Amendment codifies our basic human right to self-defense. While the wording of the amendment is unclear, and in some dispute, the right to self-defense is clearly among the other enumerated rights such as speech, press, due process, etc., as fundamentally belonging to each human being - not granted by government.

While the right to defend oneself is fundamental, we must not forget our government’s historic attempts to eliminate and restrict that right. Gun control in America blossomed in the post-civil war and Jim Crow South to ensure that African Americans would be defenseless in the face of the KKK and other racist groups - groups whose membership included local white law enforcement. As the saying goes, those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. If this statement is true, we cannot trust the government to decide who is worthy of self-defense, in what form, and under what circumstances. Only in limited cases should we restrict a person’s rights to bear arms, subjecting those limits to Constitutional due process and jurisprudence.

I agree with - and support - Article I, § 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution, adopted in 1998, which states: “the people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.” As your next US senator, I'll advocate that the government continue to protect and safeguard an individual’s right to self-defense.