The 2nd Amendment : Keeping Liberty

Liberty and Freedom are only as Strong as those that Defend them. Protect the Second Amendment...and the whole of the Constitution
Liberty and Freedom are only as Strong as those that Defend them. Protect the Second Amendment...and the whole of the Constitution

Amendment II of the United States Constitution

The following is the text of Amendment II of the United States Constitution as found in the Bill of Rights: "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."

The important issues to remember are 1. That this is an Amendment and is used to amend an issue found in the text of the document it amends; in this case that document is the United States Constitution. 2. The 2nd Amendment is not, and was never, about hunting...and size doesn't matter. 3. "well-regulated" doesn't mean what modern liberals claim it does.

What Does the 2nd Amendment amend?

In order to accept and then ratify the United State Constitution it was agreed that there would be a set of Amendments, to be ratified at a later date, that would further limit and define the scope and power of the federal government and to reserve the primary power in the hands of the People and the several States. There would have been no acceptance of the Constitution without these provisions, later known as the Bill of Rights. This Bill of Rights was mandated by the people, through the States, for the express purpose of solidifying the States rights and limiting the power given to the newly formed federal government. It was a federal government that united the still unique individual States in a Union and was not meant to be a national government that ruled other the people.

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15,16 of the Constitution reads as follows, "To provide for the calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrection and repel Invasion. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress."

Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1 states, "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the Unites States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States."

The parts of the Constitution quoted above gave considerable unrest to the States, believing that they gave to much power and authority to the federal government over the people, the Militia of each State and their ability to be free to defend themselves from the federal government if it became tyrannical. This tyranny was not limited to a fear of physical oppression, but also of economic oppression as well. They all agreed that there would be no new King or government that could rule them. They believed the new federal government was useful and helpful to the people and the several States when, and only when, it was limited in both size and scope.

It was for this reason the amendment, known as the Second Amendment, was included in the Bill of Rights. They realized that a "well regulated" Militia was one made up of the citizenry, regulated locally by the States so that the People could be armed to the keeping of the "Security of a free State." That is why we have the "Right of the people to keep and bear arms" and that it "shall not be infringed". They did not want a standing Army to be the only citizens to be armed, as it would then allow the government to more easily gain absolute power over the people rather than maintaining the limited power it had been granted by the people.

But, what of "well-regulated"? Doesn't that mean that there are to be federal regulations on the "right to keep and bear arms"? How does "well-regulated" fit with "shall not be infringed"?

It is quite simple. "Well-regulated", both before the writing of the 2nd Amendment and for at least 100 years after, meant to be in good and proper working order. It was meant to be a call for all citizens to keep arms that were up-to-date, properly maintained and readily available. It was not used in it's now bastardized form to mean that the right to bear arms should be federally regulated and restricted. This is a common straw man argument that is easily dismissed.

You Don't Need "That" Firearm to Hunt!

The straw-man argument that is often raised by those opposed to the Second Amendment is, that certain types of firearms are "excessive" in size and power for hunting. Or to take it a step further they will say, "We don't need to hunt for our food, so why do you need a gun at all?" Both of these points of argument are dead in the water for two specific reasons.

First, lets establish the difference between a "perceived" need and a Right. Rights are unalienable, they are not given by the government, but instead are protect by the government. There is a big difference there that many confuse. We HAVE rights, we are not given them by government. The government's job is to protect those rights and NOT infringe upon them. A "perceived" need is something other than an actual life and death need. We need food, water and shelter. We do not need a tv, a cell phone or a car...they are helpful, but not needed to sustain life. Making the argument that we do not "need" a firearm of a certain caliber is a non-issue. We have the Right to keep and bear arms and the caliber is of no importance to the argument. Even if we were to accept the notion that we Need a car, would we simply ban all cars that go over 65 miles an hour because we do not "need" to go that fast. If the argument is that "they didn't have these types of firearms back then", then the same can be said for transportation as well. We should, by that definition, all be riding horses to work. Furthermore, our elected officials should travel from their respective homes to Washington in the same slow manner that the Founders did and allow the federal government to move as slow.

And what of hunting? what of it? The simple fact is that the Second Amendment has NOTHING to do with hunting. It specifically mentions the people and a well regulated Militia. It does not say, "in order to provide Sunday night dinner". It was assumed that men would hunt to help sustain their families, but the right to keep and bear arms was specifically for protection from both invaders from without and tyrants from within.

In Conconclusion...

As we can clearly see, there is no Constitutional power for the federal government to ban guns and infringe upon the "right to keep and bear arms". A person can argue that they personally don't like guns and personally don't see the need to own one, and in that they would be within their rights to NOT own a firearm. But, this personal dislike of firearms does not warrant the disarming of those who do wish to exercise their RIGHT to possess a firearm...or more than one for that matter. The quantity and caliber of firearms is not a Constitutional issue. There are no limiting factors found in the Constitution. If the 2nd Amendment was only meant for muskets, then the first must only be meant for hand cranked printing presses and not the internet, right? Wrong. There is likewise, no mention of hunting in the Constitution, but instead, a very specific call for the people to have the right to bear arms for protection. Militia are not hunting clubs. Know your rights...know them all. If the 2nd Amendment is fair game, then why not the 1st, 4th, 10th or any other? They are, in fact, all under attack. Liberty and freedom do not remain intact if "we the people" allow them to be slowly eroded. Defend our Constitution on all counts or it will soon be too week to defend us.

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Comments 19 comments

Express10 profile image

Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

I am also weary of the straw man's argument as you call it here. From a young age my dad taught my 2 sisters and I to respect them in both word and action. He had multiple guns of a variety of types. While I respect other people's right to choose not to own guns, can it ever be that they respect others' rights to own?

At some point they must realize that controlling the guns that law abiding citizens have does nothing to prevent the thousands of incidents with guns obtained illegally. I hope this realization doesn't come after they've whittled away legal owner's rights rather than truly cracking down on the many illegal owners.

Mitch Alan profile image

Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey Author

Expree1o, Thank you for your comments. The sad part is that the Bill of Rights as a whole is under attack and has been for decades. We the people need to be on guard to protect them and to educate others on the importance of the Constitution.

LaSalle 4 years ago

Strange how countries where gun laws are very tough don't have mass shootings. Simple as that. We also have the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, which doesn't mesh with the possibility that any of us could be shot anywhere in the country by anyone with a gun. It's like living in a pseudo war zone.

Also, the NRA only cares about the 2nd Amendment because of the huge profits they make from firearms manufacturers. Trust me, if the NRA would suddenly be able to make an even bigger profit by banning all guns they'd be right on top of that, calling for a ban on all firearms and a change to the 2nd Amendment. They don't care about your "rights", but about their profits, even at the expense of mass shootings. Sure, they want more people to have guns to "protect themselves", but that is just going to earn them even more profits, no?

Express10 profile image

Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

I disagree that countries with tough gun laws not having mass shootings. The massacre of dozens of people in Norway is just one example. The truth is criminals and unstable people do not care about gun laws. These types have always gained access to guns illegally. Simple as that.

Kutuzov 4 years ago

Let's not forget that incidents like the one in Norway are extremely rare in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. That was one incident. The US has had at least 62 mass shootings since 1982. If gun laws are strict then it cuts out "good" and "bad" people from having them. There is no need for civilians to have military weapons. I think most Americans are more afraid of being shot randomly than by the government coming to "take our rights" away.

Mitch Alan profile image

Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey Author

LaSalle, Since the gun bans in the U.K., they have seen a 35% increase in gun violence. FACT.

Over 300 million firearms are in the hands of law abiding citizens in the U.S. almost none of them are used by the owners to commit crimes. FACT.

Your NRA comments are far off base, as they are the number one promoter of gun safety and offer a wide range of safety courses.

Kutuzov, All but one of all the public mass shootings since 1950 have been in "gun free zones"...the Aurora shooter had 7 theaters in his area showing The Dark Knight Rises, but only ONE with a "no concealed carry" policy...ONLY ONE...guess which one?

Express10 profile image

Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

The number of mass shootings did not change significantly either way when the assault weapons ban expired in the early 2000's. This says that having the ban made no difference.

Rollin' 4 years ago

That's because there are too many weapons out there already. All firearms should be banned and confiscated. The government would be able to confiscate the majority of them if it really wanted to. If it can spend trillions of dollars on foreign wars then it can surely spend billions on confiscating as many weapons at home as it can. People's right to feel safe in public places is more important than any "right" to own arms.

Mitch Alan profile image

Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey Author

Rollin', why do you stay in a country governed by a Constitution if you don't want to abide by it's laws? Why would you put "right" in quotes, when it is a specifically enumerated right in the Bill of Rights? Do you realize that there are more than 300 million forearms in the ownership of law abiding citizens? And most are never used in the commital of a crime by their owner? Look at the history of governmental gun confiscation of the arms of the people. It's not a good track record.

Express10 profile image

Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

Rollin, the error in thinking there are too many weapons already is the fact that even if all firearms were banned an confiscated, criminals would still disobey the law and make new guns. A sizeable number of guns are handmade and for those preferring large numbers of them, tools and machinery can also be made and put to use as well. Again, the root of the problem is criminals and crazies that don't abide by laws...period.

Rollin' 4 years ago

Then please explain to me why there are so many mass shootings in the US as opposed to other countries in the world? I guess there are simply just a lot more crazies and criminals in this country than anywhere else?

Mitch Alan profile image

Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey Author

Rollin', you completely ignored my last few questions...any reason?

Also, since instituting stricter gun control laws on law abiding citizens there has been a 35% increase in the UK's gun crime.

guest 4 years ago

Mitch, your UK stats are wrong:

Here in the UK no one worries about being shot dead in a shopping centre or cinema, trust me.

Express10 profile image

Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

The UK and US are different countries with different laws. Here in the US we have 20,000+ gun laws on the books. In the US, problems with guns in the overwhelming majority of cases come from people obtaining and using guns illegally and those who are mentally unstable obtaining and using them.

We have many carjackers, drug users/dealers, jilted lovers, stalkers, crazies, and vengeful others that do not care about any one of the laws on the books when they do their evil deeds. Even those in "good" or "excellent" areas are not immune to crossing paths with these types.

Police and swat teams can be far away or busy elsewhere. What would any law-abiding citizen want if they are faced with saving themselves and family v/s harm or dying at the hands of any of the above types? A gun that meets or exceeds the non-law-abiding citizen's power.

jdw7979 profile image

jdw7979 3 years ago from Middle America

Nice Hub!

How dare we taxpaying citizens protect ourselves from all enemies, foreign and domestic- sarcasm, obviously yet our constitution, one which many have died to protect, is at risk of being manipulated and/or torn to shreds.

Mitch Alan profile image

Mitch Alan 3 years ago from South Jersey Author

jdw7979, you are obviously an extremist. And, by extremist, I mean someone who believes in the Constitution and liberty.

Kiim 2 years ago

That same amendment is the one which will one day let me pikect Fred Phelps's funeral. I intend to be carrying the biggest God Hates Fred Phelps sign of anyone there. See you on CNN!

Mitch Alan profile image

Mitch Alan 2 years ago from South Jersey Author

Kiim, no...the 1st Amendment protects your right to free speech...

Marjorie 2 years ago

Hell, I've heard enough times that haivng a driver's license (and, related, haivng a car to drive) is a privilege, and their rationale would mean that pesky 4th Amendment doesn't apply there either! Is there gonna be a "fine print" on our next license renewals that revokes any 4th protections, and will there be any "opt out" time limit to protest? (Tho it's not like this administration has given a flip about any protests of unConstitutional things they've done.)

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