Essay: The Gradual Destruction of the Second Amendment

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This essay is an original work by JacobB. Please comment only on the talk page.

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.

This right was considered so important to the founders that it is sandwiched between our right to free speech, and the right of people to control who slept in their own houses. Yet somehow, almost two and a half centuries later, though no American has to quarter US troops, and the right of free speech has been expanded beyond the intent of the founders, this right has dwindled away to the point of genuine fear that it may disappear entirely before that 250th birthday is reached.

"Hold on a second," one might say, "US citizens still have guns! We can still buy them, sell them, keep them, bear them! Can't we?" The answer, of course, is absolutely not.

The Meaning of the Second Amendment

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State"

Notice how nothing about hunting is mentioned in the first part of the sentence. The reason for this amendment is clear: so that citizens can organize into militias, when they feel it is necessary to protect their security and the security of their country. And a militia, does that refer to a government agency, such as the National Guard, as liberals love to argue? Consider this: If the National Guard, or some other government-regulated organization fulfilled the role of the militia described here, would this amendment be necessary? Surely, the government would arm its own fighting forces! If the second amendment existed to protect government fighting forces from being disarmed, it wouldn't need to exist at all, since government fighting forces would never be disarmed! Hence, we can be sure that the second amendment refers to citizen forces which are not controlled by, or even necessarily approved by, the government.

And for the second part?

the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

In almost every state, citizens need licenses to bear concealed arms, or even loaded unconcealed arms, which means it's not a right, it's a privilege. If the government can say, "this citizen can have a gun but this citizen cannot," this amounts to nothing more than creating a government-approved militia, which, as explained, isn't what the second amendment was created to protect, since such organizations do not need protection.

Citizens need to pass a background check to keep arms, which means it's not a right, it's a privilege. The same argument applies as before.

And just what kind of arms can citizens keep and bear? Small pistols, rifles... nothing that would be effective in a militia. The founding fathers identified the role that the militias were meant to fill: national security. That means that citizens have a second amendment right to bear arms that would be truly effective in defending from a foreign invasion. Not only pistols and rifles, but anything that a US soldier might carry into battle in Iraq, a US citizen has a second amendment right to own.

The Erosion of the Second Amendment

in progress

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