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Gun Control and the 2nd Amendment

Mike has a keen interest in the effects of politics in our culture. He has a unique way of simplifying complex concepts.

Learn how the NRA is responding to gun control efforts after the Aurora shooting.

Learn how the NRA is responding to gun control efforts after the Aurora shooting.

Why Was the Second Amendment Created?

After the Constitution was ratified, there was a group of anti-federalists that were concerned that the federal government would have too much power over the states and individuals. They were instrumental in framing the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. The Second Amendment was drafted because people were still concerned about the following:

  • Deterring a tyrannical government.
  • Repelling invasion.
  • Suppressing insurrection.
  • Facilitating a natural right of self-defense.
  • Participating in law enforcement.
  • Enabling the people to organize a militia system.

Therefore, the Second Amendment reads as follows:

"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."

Now let's parse key parts of the sentence.

Firing a Flinlock

Firing a Flinlock

The Dictionary Definition of a Well Regulated Militia

  • A body of citizens enrolled for military service and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies.
  • A body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers.
  • All able-bodied males considered by law eligible for military service.
  • A body of citizens organized in a paramilitary group and typically regarding themselves as defenders of individual rights against the presumed interference of the federal government.
Flintlock pistol

Flintlock pistol

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Based on the reasons that I have listed above, you can see why the people of 1791 would want to have the right to keep and bear arms. But here is what the feature of those arms would be.

State-of-the-art guns in 1791:

  • Were made by a gunsmith.
  • Had rudimentary rifling.
  • Were single-shot weapons.
  • Were loaded through the muzzle.
  • Fired by means of a flintlock.

Defintion of a Gun

  • A weapon consisting of a metal tube with mechanical attachments, from which projectiles are shot by the force of an explosive piece of ordnance.
  • Any portable firearm, such as a rifle, shotgun, or revolver.
  • A long-barreled cannon having a relatively flat trajectory.
  • Any device for shooting something under pressure, like a paint gun or a staple gun.

Guns vs. Weapons of Mass Destruction

You'll notice that the above definition of a gun has the word weapon used. But what is a weapon of mass destruction? I know just from my own knowledge that it can range anywhere from a nuclear-tipped guided missile to a machine gun. I believe that auto-fire assault rifles and handguns with high-capacity clips are also weapons of mass destruction. I included the video below because the demonstrator seems to be reasonable, but in the wrong hands, this becomes a weapon of mass destruction.

Why Do Civilians Need Weapons of Mass Destruction?

I don't think this is what the framers of the Second Amendment had in mind back in 1791. Tell me why any civilian would have a need for this type of armament. I have friends that are members of gun clubs, and I understand that they see this as a type of sport, but in the wrong hands, this can very easily become an extreme weapon of mass destruction. That's why I believe the Second Amendment needs to be modified and brought up to modern times. I'm not saying that civilians don't have the right to have guns. But there is no need to bear arms with weapons of mass destruction.

If this government wanted to take you out, there would be no way to defend yourself against the military might of this country. Yes, you have the right to protect yourself against the bad guys. (That's gun club talk.). But there is a price that we pay for that every time innocent people are killed by crazies. We people pay the price so the gun enthusiast can keep and play with their high-capacity assault weapons.

The NRA Influence

I grew up with guns and have a healthy respect for them. My dad was an avid hunter. I learned how to hunt with shotguns and rifles. I can understand the thrill that can come from firing high-powered weapons. I'm sure there is even more of a thrill and satisfaction that comes from firing high-capacity automatic weapons.

But the NRA has one of the most powerful lobbyist groups in Washington, D.C., and will do everything possible to protect gun rights. It's big business, and they have bought congress. Just read this article as to why congress and politicians have been told to hush about the Massacre in Aurora, Colorado. (After linking to this article, don't forget to come back here to finish reading this article.)

In 1994, there was a ban placed on assault weapons, but because of "sunset laws," it expired in 2004; it was never renewed. If something was ruled as being bad in 1994, why isn't it bad today? Why would they allow a law to expire?

We Need to Change the Second Amendment

After doing research on this article. I've come to the conclusion that the Second Amendment needs to be changed. Here it is again for reference:

"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."

I'm no lawyer or supreme court justice, but just plain common sense tells me that we don't need a well-regulated militia, and we don't need to keep and bear arms that are high-powered, automatic, high-capacity assault weapons. I know there will be gun advocates out there that will take offense to this article, but I'm just calling it as I see it after doing the research.

Epilogue

I published this article in July of 2012, but since then, there have been many more mass killings, including the unthinkable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. This made me think that our country is divided into two mentalities of trust.

There are those that feel they cannot trust law enforcement and the military to protect them. And if the probability of some invasion of their well-being is to take place, they will protect themselves, even if it is against our own government. Then there are those that trust the establishment to protect them.

The price we pay for having these guns available to the public is that some unstable people also have that same access. If that access is removed, it will lessen the probability of those that are unstable getting that access.

We are currently in a vicious cycle. When there is a mass killing, more people buy these weapons, which also makes them available to unstable people. Gun enthusiasts like to use the slippery slope argument. If you ban these weapons, then you have to ban knives, forks, cars, trains, planes, and anything else that can be used as a weapon. But that is a very weak argument. It is part of the "what if game" that takes the control out of the person playing the game. The way they get control back is by having these weapons.

The whole idea of protecting ourselves from tyranny is a "what if game" on a slippery slope. It is completely based on fear. Another argument is that there are already so many guns owned by the public it's too late to do anything about it. That also is a weak argument propagated by the NRA. It's never too late to do something that will curtail the use of these weapons.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.