2nd Amendment – Right to Bear Arms?

The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution seems rather straightforward to me:

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.

There is a purpose “Awell regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…” and there is the expressed Right “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The 2nd Amendment is one of the few Amendments to the Constitution to actually explain the purpose for this Right. Arms are expressly designed to kill indiscriminately unlike other Rights. So it was likely the intention of the authors of the 2nd Amendment to be very specific about the intended purpose of this Right, that that Right was specifically for the purpose of use by a people’s “…well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…”.

So why does the nation’s Supreme Court ignore the purpose of this Amendment and grant “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”? The last time the 2nd Amendment was challenged on the U.S. Supreme Court was as late as 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller.  We are not talking about old history.

That Right has resulted in the killing of tens of thousands of human beings annually in the most advanced nation in the world, the highest rate of homicides in the world. We are also the only nation where the right to own a gun is a constitutionally guaranteed protected Right. That makes the regulating of gun ownership and use that much more difficult to regulate. You do not even need to prove that you even know how to use a gun. And you don’t even have to have a background check to buy a gun at a gun show or online.

As a result mass shootings which were rare 40 years ago occur several times a year done mostly by guns legally obtained. And thousands more are killed by guns both legally and illegally obtained. In some states, it is legal to open carry guns. Yet to drive a car you must be licensed and tested for proficiency in using a car because car ownership is not a right but a privilege. And cars play a necessary part of our lives far more than guns.

Many countries throughout the world allow people to own guns for hunting and target practice. But people must pass background checks and prove a certain level of proficiency in using a gun and the laws governing its storage and use before being issued a permit. That seems to make an awful lot of sense to me for the ownership of such a deadly weapon. In the U.S. it seems guns matter more than lives. So should humane live matter so little?

  1. The NRA (National Rifle Association) is the most powerful lobby in our nation. It has succeeded in effectively controlling both parties in Congress as well as the local and U.S. Supreme Court.

On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed and seventeen more were wounded, making it one of the world’s deadliest school massacres, surpassing the Columbine  school massacre. This has started a student movement against gun violence. Maybe it takes children to tell adults how inadequate the laws are against the regulation of firearms because they are also the victims of gun violence.


This entry was posted in Constitution, Crime & Justice, Government, Legislation. Bookmark the permalink.

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