Philip Lynch, a retired New York Police Department law enforcement officer who now is a substitute teacher and newspaper columnist in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for January.
In nominating Lynch for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that, “Philip’s articulate public elucidation of the original and true meaning of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, coming especially from a former New York City police officer, the part of the country from which much of the most flagrant anti-gun propaganda originates, renders a most striking intellectual contribution to our cause. It underscores significantly the importance of the individual civil right to keep and bear arms. It does this as the United States Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on whether the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right or a so-called ‘collective right.’ Philip renders tremendous service to the maintenance of the individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms. He certainly deserves to receive the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award.”
Writing recently in the News Leader (, published in Staunton, Virginia, Philip Lynch warned readers to “beware promises of safety at liberty’s expense.”
He pointed out that the Second Amendment “does not use the word ‘people’ until the 16th word. Some pundits and polemicists take that to mean that the Founding Fathers did not actually mean that the people had the right to keep and bear arms. I assume that these same pundits never read the actual Constitution beyond the Preamble and the first two amendments. It might be helpful for these individuals to get hold of a copy of the Federalist Papers or listen to Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams or William Henry Lee.
“The Federalist Papers are a group of 85 letters written by James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton. James Madison was the fourth President of the United States. John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury. In six of these letters, they wrote about their ideas regarding standing armies and militias. The present National Guard was not what they had in mind. In Federalist No. 46, Madison wrote, ‘the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation… (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.’”
Lynch, who has an AB from Baruch College and an MA from Brooklyn College as well as 20 years’ NYPD law enforcement experience, pointed out also that Thomas Jefferson stated, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
In Jefferson’s America, Lynch noted in quoting the author of our Declaration of Independence, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
Humorously, Philip wrote that “Samuel Adams is now better known as a brewer of beer.” In a serious vein, however, Philip wrote Adams “stated that ‘(the) said Constitution (shall) be never constituted to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.’ Since the word ‘people’ is not mentioned until the 31st word of the First Amendment, did Adams mean that only the government would have freedom of the press?”
Now living in the Staunton area with his wife Anne and sons Andrew and Sean, Philip declared that “the Second Amendment was not written for hunters or target shooters. It was written for responsible people to protect their country, their communities, their families and themselves. It was written so that free people can remain free. Everyone knows Patrick Henry’s famous line, ‘Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? … I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!’ What is less known, but perhaps more important, is that Henry also said, ‘Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.’ Be careful of those that promise safety at the expense of your freedom.”