What the 2nd Amendment Means to Me
Gun Ownership in America
I would like to start by stating that I am a law-abiding American Citizen. I consider myself a patriot, and I believe in the values in which our nation was founded. I am a Christian, and I love my God and my Country. I hail from the Great State of Alabama, and I love my state and community. I would never advocate committing treason against my beloved country. That being said, I believe that our Forefathers saw the dangers of tyranny, and provided "US", the citizens of our nation with a means with which to protect ourselves from outside invaders, as well as an overly-powerful Federal Government. The article I am writing is to encourage discussion. It is not my intent to sway anyone's personal beliefs, nor do I intend to offend. We all have beliefs, and we hold our beliefs sacred. One of the most beautiful things about our country is that we are allowed to convey our beliefs without the threat of intimidation or coercion. All that being said, I will get on to the topic I want to discuss.
Over the past few weeks, there has been much debate over the issue of gun ownership, the types of guns that "we" are allowed to own, and how our leaders decide who can own firearms. There has also been a lot of debate over the Second Amendment, and what exactly our Forefathers meant when drafting that amendment. Therefore, I feel we should take a close look at the text of Amendment 2 of the Bill of Rights of the United States of America.
"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 want to break this down into the context in which it was written. "A well-regulated Militia". What exactly does that mean? Or the better question, "what did that mean at the time that it was written?" Perhaps well-regulated meant well-armed, perhaps it meant a strong military, of which most men would have been members of. However, imagine the outcome of the Revolutionary War, had the First Americans not been armed. Today, most of us living here would be subservients to the Crown of England. Remember these men were Brittains, who committed treason against their government. Also remember that most of the men who fought in this war, were farmers. America was not even a sovereign nation. They did not have a standing military. Many of them learned skills by hunting and living off the land that provided them with the means by which to win the war. See, I believe that the term well-regulated militia refers to the patriots who choose to band together when there beloved country needs them most. Not for profit or gain, and not for glory; but for Freedom to live in the greatest nation that has ever existed.
"Being necessary to the security of a free state". Security can be defined as freedom from risk or danger. Sounds to me like they were referring to the people's right and obligation to defend their nation, maybe from all evils, including "foreign and domestic". You can argue that America has been invaded by foreign militaries, since Japan did attack Pearl Harbor and a few islands off the coast of Alaska during World War II, but I would argue that since the Civil War, there have been no major battles on American soil from an invading Army of another sovereign nation. I know this excludes terrorist attacks, but I am talking about ground warfare by an invading military. It is my belief that this has never happened because Americans tend to arm themselves. An invading army doesn't just have to defeat our military, but also every armed citizen. The world is a constantly changing and evolving place, and while I do not foresee our nation being attacked by an invading military; I live with the satisfaction of knowing that we are prepared and have a multitude of well-armed citizens ready to come to the call for aid. Would we not consider anyone who refuses to obey our laws as an enemy? Have we not been given the means and opportunity to defend ourselves? Like I stated earlier, I am a police officer, and I believe in upholding and supporting the constitution of the United States and the State of Alabama. I also believe that the forefathers granted all of us the right, and means to protect ourselves, our homes, our families, our property, and each other.
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" I believe that this means what it says. I believe that all law-abiding citizens should have the right to bear arms. By arms, I believe this is referring to small arms; handguns, rifles, shot-guns, knives, etc... . There are laws in place to prevent certain individuals from possessing firearms, and I have no problem with those laws. Convicted Felons for instance, loose the right to vote, so why not take their right to bear arms? Mental illness, by definition, means that those individuals do not have sound judgement. I have no issue with preventing those individuals from possessing guns; however, I have personal knowledge of hundreds of convicted felons who were arrested with guns, so obviously they are going to arm themselves regardless of the law. Laws are like locks, they keep honest people honest.
As far as banning certain firearms, and limiting the number of rounds a person can fire, I see it as starting a downward spiral. We already have limitations on who can own firearms, and the types of firearms that we can own. Now, our government is giving serious consideration to limiting the amount of ammo that we can use in that firearm at a given time. 30 rounds of ammo are 30 rounds of ammo, be it a single magazine, or 3-10 round magazines. I don't see the correlation here. And another fact is that most gun-related crimes are committed with cheap handguns, followed secondly by shot-guns. Why?, because they are cheap and readily available. If I can provide myself with a means of defend myself, then why should I not be able to defend myself with the best possible weapon I can afford?
The ball is rolling on the issue of gun control based on isolated acts of violence by a few individuals. Items that are illegal to possess are bought, sold, and traded on the black market everyday. The fact is, a law that limits the weapons that a law-abiding citizen can possess, will only limit law-abiding citizens from possessing them. I use this argument in further support of my beliefs; drugs, pirated media, counterfeit designer goods, firearms, and a host of other products are bought, sold, and traded everyday on a huge scale in this country, and we have laws to prevent such acts. Criminals being criminals, do not obey these laws and continue to carry on with their illicit activities. Restricting non-violent law-abiding people from owning any type of firearm is not going to keep them out of the hands of anyone wanting one. I argue that one armed individual in that movie theater in Aurora, Colorado could have prevented a large number of deaths. There are situations that arise everyday where an armed citizen stops horrendous acts of violence, however, our liberal media never covers those stories, so the Average American is only exposed to one side of the issue.
I admit that I do not have all the answers, but I do know that no part of our guaranteed rights have come under more scrutiny than the right to bear arms. All of the arguments that I hear seem to be one-sided and pushing for tougher gun control and regulations. Does the government have the right to know what firearms I own? I don't necessarily know that our government needs to know that information, but I am guessing that is an issue that Congress will have to look closely at over the next few months. Does the government have the right to tax me for the firearms I own? Absolutely NOT!!! That would be a law that would infringe on my Right to Bear Arms, and I absolutely believe it is unconstitutional. I am no conspiracy theorist, but I have already seen our current administration seizing power left and right, and I fear the worst. What a shame, seeing how the government should fear the people, not the other way around.
All this being said, it is strictly MY belief based on MY take of what the 2nd Amendment means to ME.
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny," -John Basil Barnhill