Many people have been discarding the principles of the Second Amendment (II) these past few weeks. They argue that our country implemented the Amendment when they had single shot muskets. They state that, had the founders had AR’s, they wouldn’t have allowed such guns to be protected by the Constitution.
This assertion really couldn’t be more incorrect.
The Second Amendment was meant to allow American citizens to defend themselves against a hostile government. Thus by default, it would be necessary to allow guns that were in some ways close to equivalent to what the government was using. Otherwise, the Constitution would protect nothing.
Obviously, the American colonists wanted to fight with the same weapons that the British were fighting with.
The purpose of II is to provide for the armament of the Militia to hold a tyrannical government at bay. But in order to do this, Americans would have to have the right to weapons that were at least quasi equivalent to the arms held by any given government.
Thus, it wouldn’t stand to reason that the United States government would be able to have all nature of weapons while the American people were only provided a musket to defend themselves.
The radicalization of the left on this issue in recent days has forced us all to do a lot of thinking. The right hasn’t fallen down on this one either. II historical context has been abundant and eye opening.
The Constitution purposely omits the word “musket” and instead references “arms.” So arms, generally speaking, are the thing being protected. This means that all arms are protected, and the right cannot be infringed.
Now, reasonable restrictions may be appropriate. For instance, we don’t protect child pornography under the First Amendment. So we support laws against felons and background checks, etc. But the actual rights that the Second Amendment refers to “cannot be infringed.”
What does it mean?
II references a Militia being necessary. Not a defense of your home being necessary. Not putting dinner on the table to be necessary, but keeping the Militia well armed as necessary.
The purpose of II, isn’t to necessarily wage a war or overturn the government. But it to at least insure that the American people will make a future government think before they act. In this context, as Erick Erickson noted yesterday, a 30 round clip is probably too small of a clip.
Many founding fathers lamented that a Constitutional Republic couldn’t work with a non-Christian people. A torn social fabric is really the cause of school shootings. Thankfully, our Constitution has a process by which to amend the Constitution and those who do not like the Second Amendment can pass the Amendment by 2/3rds of the Congress and 3/4s of the states through ratification. Otherwise, the only unreasonable side, is the left.
We need to continue to be vigilant on this. The founding fathers put it as the second most important right for a reason.