Is the Second Amendment Outdated?
Posted on May 11, 2018 at 4:59 am in
“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.” -Bill of Rights, Amendment II
In the gun debate that is currently raging in the U.S. there are many differing opinions on what exactly should be done to make everyone safer. I have watched many different interviews of people participating in The March for Our Lives and other gun control rallies and one of the things I keep hearing is that “We don’t want to take everyone’s guns away.” This is often followed by something to the effect of “We think that people should be allowed to have hunting rifles or guns to protect themselves at home, but no one needs an assault rifle because it is a weapon of war.” And I have heard plenty of people then state that the Second Amendment “Is outdated. That muskets were what was being used when it was written and that it shouldn’t apply to modern weaponry.” And that “I personally, think we should just get rid of the Second Amendment.”
As you can see, it is quite the slippery slope. They think that the only people who should have guns are those that work for the government. They don’t want to come right out and say that everyone else’s guns should be taken away, but it is indeed how they feel. And you know what, they are allowed to feel that way and they are allowed to talk about it without fear of retribution from our government, as they should. Our First Amendment guarantees that. But I do find it ironic that people who are constantly touting their agenda via their First Amendment rights are so easily able to suggest doing away with other people’s Second Amendment rights just because they personally feel they don’t need a gun so no one else needs one either.
Let’s get back to topic. Is the Second Amendment outdated as some people suggest? First lets look at the premise that the Second amendment only applies to muskets. Well that one is kinda a lame argument for several reasons. While the Founding Fathers did not have the same kinds of firearms that we have today, they knew that their weapons would be improved over time. Looking at their own history they had seen the improvements made on the first gun-powder weapons that brought them to the muskets of their day which were state-of-the-art for that time. So full knowing that firearms would improve cosmetically as well as in lethality, they did not write anything to limit what the private citizen could own and use. Here is a Steven Crowder clip on the subject I found quite amusing. https://youtu.be/CquUBWHU2_s
The Second Amendment says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”. Arms is short for armaments which by common definition refers to weapons of war. When the Bill of Rights was written common weapons included muskets, pistols, swords, knives, bayonets, cannons, and mortars. There were many more of course but the point is that by looking at the wording the Founding Fathers used they didn’t specify a specific weapon, but instead said that the people had the right to use all weapons of war. Therefore we can conclude that this amendment was not referring to muskets alone.
Using this same reasoning we can see that those who wrote the amendments did not write this in order to only protect a persons right to hunt. Because as we already discussed this amendment covered the protection of “Arms”. You don’t often see someone hunting deer with a saber or a cannon. To say that this applies only to hunting is obviously untrue.
If logical reasoning is not enough to convince, you must only look at the prefatory clause “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state”. Well it says it right there. This amendment is about protecting freedom, not hunting. Some might claim that we already have a military to do that, but if you look at the definition of militia you will see that there is a difference.
-a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.
-a military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities, typically in opposition to a regular army.
-all able-bodied civilians eligible by law for military service.
During colonial times, and for a long time after, there were very strict regulations requiring men of fighting age to own certain weapons and know how to use and care for them so that in the event of war there would be fighters available to protect the citizenry of the area. The founding Fathers were very much against a large standing army and instead chose to rely upon the citizens to be able know how to fight and be able to bolster the ranks of the army regulars if such a need presented itself. Because of this they did not limit the types of weapons the citizenry was allowed to own in the hopes that regular citizens would be well armed with weapons similar to the military so that they might more easily meld during times of conflict.
The fact that most citizens have the potential to be armed means that foreign invaders must not only fear our military, but every single person here in the U.S. Sure, not every one owns a gun or has trained with one, but an invading force does not know that. This is a great deterrent. No military wants to have to fight an entire population, let alone one the size of the U.S. and at this point in time, armed as we are, that would be the scenario they would have to face.
Most importantly of all, the Second Amendment was intended to keep the government in check. The United States had just fought off one tyrannical government and were not keen to implement another that might get to big for it’s britches, forcing them once again to fight for their liberty. As history has shown time and again an unarmed populace is always in danger of tyranny. While a government may start from elected officials it can always decide to take matters into it’s own hands. If the populace is unarmed there is no way for them to resist. Our Founding Fathers built many checks and balances into the structure of our government because they believed in not giving too much power to one person or group. The militia is the check for the federal government. The citizenry will always outnumber any standing army we have. Therefore, if armed, the citizens act as a deterrent for any military action the government might try to take against it’s own populace.
When people start suggesting taking away a fundamental right, there is something wrong. It means people have become complacent and are not really concerned with the general well-being of society. If you take away a person’s right to protect themselves, then there is nothing they can do when you decide to take away their freedom of speech or freedom to have their own possessions. You see, the Second Amendment is what protects the constitution and all the other amendments. Without it all the others could be changed upon a whim. The Second means that a government must do things right or the people will rise up to put them in their place. In today’s society when we see other governments around the world limiting the words people may say or the things they may own, now more than ever is it important for us to preserve this right to protect ourselves from our own government.
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.” – Noah Webster
“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” – Samuel Adams
“What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty …. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” – Elbridge Gerry
“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” – Thomas Jefferson
I always get the shakes before a drop.
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