Bill O'Reilly returned to stoking the firearms controversy on his Fox News channel Factor show last Wednesday and this time he dropped his reference to gun ownership by Americans as "a privilege" and recognized it as a right. However, he said that it was right bestowed on American citizens by the nation's founders.
Wrong again . . . and the woefully ignorant bloviator thus continued disseminating misinformation.
People here owned guns before America became a nation. In fact the Revolutionary War was sparked by popular resistance to a British military effort to seize the arms and munitions of the Massachusetts Minutemen at Lexington and Concord.
The founders did not pretend or purport to be granting the people the right to keep and bear arms. One need only read the Second Amendment to see that they recognized the right as a pre-existing one. The Amendment was adopted to ensure that government would not be able to infringe on it.
As for the source of the right, the founders viewed it as a natural one, existing as a matter of natural law created by what they referred to as "Nature's God."