Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2nd Amendment Debate

It's amazing how much has been written about a very simple sentence.  Clearly the trouble is too many people are reaching to push their passion for what they believe it should say into what it really says.

Congress passed this sentence:

"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."

Maybe this is 220 year old English...but it's really a stretch to believe anything other than this...It is important not to infringe on the people's right to keep arms at their homes because they can use those arms as weapons when it is necessary for a well regulated Militia to be formed to provide security to keep the state free. That doesn't say tyranny...it says security...security of a free state. If they understood tyranny so well...why didn't they say tyranny? Why did they use the word security?

Then in 2008 they separated the right of people to keep and bear arms from the Militia...that makes sense because the right of the people to keep and bear arms comes before the militia. That right isn't even given in this amendment...we just accept it as a right out of necessity. But it doesn't say it here... So to recap... The people have an inherent right to keep and bear arms. Then comes the 2nd amendment: That's a good idea and it shouldn't be infringed upon, because from time to time we need to raise a militia to secure the State...not the freedom of the state...the security of a free state.

I've gone back and reread some things.. I'm not sure where the over-throw of the government piece shows up. But it's not here....so I'll keep looking. Oh there is something in the US Code about the over-throw of the government...it's in the chapter on Treason I believe. I don't think our constitutional framers put the 2nd Amd in our Bill of Rights to encourage treason...ever. Our government was established to work...democracy or not...the checks and balances were completely spelled out. They didn't beat around the bush if they meant something. They didn't mean armed uprising against the government they were establishing. That's like a doomsday device...you simply don't put those in, or you certainly wouldn't leave a doomsday device up for interpretation. From time to time because we allowed you to keep your guns, you can rise up against the government to correct injustices you perceive to be perpetrated against you by said government. No way.

Back to the beginning....So the right to keep and bear arms is a natural right...stemming back into antiquity...and probably dates back to the deeper magic before the dawn of time. Simply put, the right to live requires that a person have the capacity to defend themselves...against wild animals, savages, etc. Plain and simple. Nobody is trying to pull that natural right away. It's a question of how much do you need, versus the risk of having this stuff hanging around a society that lives in close proximity to one another...hence gun free zones. Some places are just not conducive to shoot outs...

I get it that the framers were fearful of a bad government...but there is nothing in the 2nd Amd that supports it's use in that regard...It does trouble me that so many people believe this, or have leanings in that direction. No matter what Madison may have personally believed, he didn't spell it out. If he really believed deeply enough about it, he would have spelled it out. But in 1833 a Supreme Court Justice Story said this, "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

So it is this thought, that should things in this country become too contrary to our beliefs, that we would thus rise up with arms against it, is so contrary to my personal beliefs as to be offensive. Where does it end and where does it begin? If you don't like your mayor, if you don't like your governor, if you don't like your congressman, if you don't like your president, if you don't like your God? Who decides when it's time to rebel? It's easy to rebel against an occupation...right, if you're invaded. But to rise up against ones own Country...I don't make preparations for that...nor do I keep my representatives in check with a gun. Having a gun is not a strong moral check on anything...a gun is used for one thing...and that is to compel fear in another over his life. How can it be anything but? You're going to shoot your representative in the leg? A gun is a threat. It is the tool of thugs if it is used in this context as intimidation. How is that moral? I know nothing about Joseph Story and his being the cornerstone of American jurisprudence...but I know there is something backwards in that thinking because US Law is not based on intimidation. So either his quote is taken out of context or he, like so many others, has a blind spot when it comes to his guns.