The Right To Bear Arms

After the latest attack in Vegas we are having the usual conversation about gun control and/or gun rights.  It is inevitable that this issue be addressed after every attack…especially those with multiple victims.

I chose today to post all my thoughts on the 2nd….instead of like so many othersa drag it out for days….even weeks…..

An interesting point of view from the UK’s The Guardian…..

Its words have fueled centuries of debate – and not until 2008 did the supreme court clearly back an individual’s right to keep a weapon at home for self-defense.

The second amendment has become a badge and bumper sticker, a shield for gun activists and scripture for much of the American right. But like other cherished texts, it is not as clear as many make it out to be.

The amendment reads: “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.”

For most of the republic’s lifespan, from 1791 to 2008, those commas and clauses were debated by attorneys and senators, slave owners and freedmen, judges, Black Panthers, governors and lobbyists. For some, the militia was key; for others the right that shall not be infringed; for yet others, the question of states versus the federal government. For the most part, the supreme court stayed out it.

Source: The right to bear arms: what does the second amendment really mean? | US news | The Guardian

I offer up my thoughts on why the 2nd was put into the Constitution… next post will be those thoughts….


7 thoughts on “The Right To Bear Arms

  1. I was interested to read the link from a UK newspaper. Over here, we find this apparent ‘gun obsession’ very strange. As for the Second Amendment, anyone who can read English knows that it only applies to militias, and not individuals. Scalia may have changed the law in modern times, but that ancient text is as clear as crystal.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. One has to remember the environment in which the 2nd amendment was drafted and approved. We were going from the Articles of Confederation which essentially provided for a very loose federal structure with strong, independent states, to the Constitution, which was intended to create a stronger federal structure. There was a concern, still and however, that the “independence” of the states had to be protected and a fear of an overpowering federal government. And back then militias were generally creatures of the states. What the 2nd amendment was meant to do was to protect the States’ ability to organize militias to protect themselves from an overpowering federal government. As a result, Congress couldn’t make any laws restricting gun ownership, but in the advancement of a well-regulated militia … well, what does “well-regulated” mean but to regulate and control and manage. States retained the right as far as I’m concerned. The Heller decision, after decades of decisions that went the other way, is the greatest example of Scalia’s agenda-driven, activist judicial philosophy. What he does to twist history and intent towards his objective in that decision should be awe-inspiring. If it wasn’t so horrible. It is the decision I believe revealed him to be a massive hypocrite.

  3. In the beginning of The Declaration of Independence, which lays the groundwork for who we are, as a People, it states: “We hold these truths that all men are created equal…endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…” Life is a given, without context and wouldn’t change, throughout the years.

    Now, Amendment II of the Constitution–“A well-regulated militia, being necessary bing to a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This right was added, as part of The Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments, on December 15, 1791, in response to the British Quartering Act, among other unjust laws of England.

    Placing this in context, the Right to Bear Arms was intended of enable the Colonies to defend themselves against external forces. Additional, at that time, all men and boys of a certain ages owned muskets to hunt game for the family table. This was before “rifling”–the curved groove within the barrel, which enhanced accuracy by spinning the bullet.

    I believe that, in that context, universal ownership of guns–especially assault, semi-automatic and automatic rifles, high capacity magazines, silencers, bump-stocks would have required new legislation. Additionally, safeguard–a 72 hour waiting period to purchase, registration of gun shops and shooting ranges, background checks, a National serial number registry, required courses for the proper use, maintenance and storage should be included. Background checks should be required periodically.

  4. What the 2nd amendment was meant to do was to protect the States’ ability to get up militias to protect themselves from an overpowering Federal regime.

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