According to a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, American citizens not only have the right to keep and bear arms, they also have the right to carry them concealed.
It is a logical conclusion to the effort to restore the original meanings to our founding documents.
The Bill of Rights is the most important document the founding fathers gave to the citizens of this country.
Instead of setting us apart from England, as the Declaration of Independence did; or giving us an outline of governmental organization, as the Constitution did, it established for every citizen protection from tyranny.
Many of the founders thought it was the best thing they did.
Yet the Second Amendment has become the most contentious of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution.
The Second Amendment guarantees citizens the right to bear arms.
There is no easy way to describe who is "for" and who is "against" the Second Amendment.
More Republicans than Democrats voted for the House bill, but 43 Democrats voted for it and seven Republicans voted against it.
Also, the Republican-led House of Representatives brought forth a concealed carry bill and passed it; the Democrat-controlled Senate doesn't even have any legislation on the subject scheduled this year.
A liberal-conservative split on the issue might be easier to use as a dividing line, but it, too, seems to be steeped in exceptions.
A look at the record of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords, D-Ariz., illustrates the point. Giffords describes herself as "a former Republican."
She was, of course, the target of the assassin who killed six people and wounded 13 others. Giffords was shot point-blank in the head but survived.
A friend, conservative U.S. District Judge John Roll, was killed. Among the other dead was a 9-year-old girl and one of Giffords' aides.
At the shooting scene outside a mall, at least one person had a concealed carry permit. He did not draw his weapon, he said in an interview, because he knew he might be confused with the shooter or might shoot someone else who was armed but was not the killer.
Giffords is not yet up to regular attendance in Congress, so did not vote on this bill, but her recent voting record shows strong support for gun rights, including a bill to create a cross-state standard for concealed weapons.
The Second Amendment is almost entirely straightforward. Almost:
"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."
Some seize on "militia" and insist the founders were talking about keeping weapons for purposes of defending government. That would make the Second Amendment the only one of the Bill of Rights that was written for the state and not the individual.
(In those days, militias were loosely formed, like posses, and the only way to participate effectively was to bring your own gun.)
No, the Second Amendment is not an aberration, telling citizens of a right they do not have. It is a promise that this is one they can keep.
The House bill, just passed, is one meant to make certain that everyone understands that the entitlement to self-protection is the law of the land.
And has been from the start.