Have you noticed that much of the talk on gun violence in America centers around the 2nd Amendment? That if we just tweak it a bit, or maybe scrap it altogether the violence would just go away?
I mean, for Pete’s Sake we already have the means of a well regulated Militia. We call them the National Guard. Having 25 assault rifles and 10,000 rounds of ammo in your basement isn’t necessary, is it? Zombies are not real folks, you don’t need all those guns.
What exactly were the Founders thinking when they proposed such an Amendment?
Exactly the question that needs to be answered.
Historical context is the one thing Americans really suck at. Rarely do we look back at History and put it in the context of the times. We seem to have this nasty habit of transference, and place decisions made in the past, in present tense.
It is highly doubtful that anyone from the late 18th Century, or early 19th Century could have conceived of the weapons we have today. A few might have had an inkling of weapons to come, but tricked out semi-automatic rifles with laser sighted scopes and flash suppressors? Was probably not on their minds.
What was on their minds is what they had just gone through. A war with a larger enemy, a war of rebellion against a government they saw as unfair and unjust. Confiscation of property, imprisonment and execution without trial, quartering soldiers in houses, suppression of speech and peaceable gatherings, and outright theft of food and supplies without compensation. And yes, of course…
The confiscation of weapons, and of gunpowder.
These are the things that were on the minds of our Founders when they drafted the 2nd Amendment. They didn’t think of self-defense, nor of hostile natives, or even of a National Guard. Those thoughts didn’t come into play at the time. They were well aware of those issues. They were, of course, Colonist on the British Empires frontier.
Now, the British were fighting a rebellion on their frontier. They did what all Empires do, suppress the insurrectionist. By any means they could. Take away their weapons? Less chance of getting shot, or losing the war. Common sense actually.
A population without arms is easier to control, to bully, and to subdue. It was not lost on the Rebels that this, at the time, was their government. That the people they were fighting against, the British Crown, had not too long ago been their protectors and deserved their loyalty. And that, now? Their own government had turned on them. Trust in a central government, had been lost in the Revolutionary War. Fear, that it could happen again, had been rooted in the consciousness of the Founders. They wanted to make sure, that the injustices heaped upon them, was never repeated in the new Nation they were forging.
This was the birth of the 2nd Amendment. As with all the Amendments in the Bill of Rights, reactions to their former allegiances to the Crown that betrayed their trust. Each and every point, to counter what the Crown was taking away from them. Including, the right to bear arms.
This Amendment wasn’t an afterthought, nor was it put in to mean a National Guard or an Army. Congress could raise an Army if they wanted to. Article I, Section VIII, 12 gives Congress the power to raise an Army.
Even if the word ‘Militia’ is construed to mean a National Guard, there is this little comma in the 2nd Amendment, one that states the true purpose for the Amendment, “…(,)the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Because the Crown took that away, to prevent the people from ever challenging their authority. To subjugate the populace with their Arms, and deprive the people of a means of defense.
We do have serious issues with gun violence in this Nation. Things we need to address Nationally. In truth, you are more likely to take your own life with a gun, than be a victim of gun violence. That point alone, needs to be addressed.
Sane people do not solve their issues by killing random people. Mental illness is always the root cause behind these horrific acts. Yet we get lost in the definition of Legally Sane, and Mentally Incompetent. Stigmatizing those who have Mental Health issues, is unfair and unjust. Blaming outside influences, from Websites, to Political leaders, and even Video games is just ignoring the larger picture. Those few, who do these horrific acts, need to be addressed, stopped, and caught prior to their point of mental deterioration that gives them opportunity to commit these acts. We need to be proactive, and not reactive with those who are mentally fragile.
Yet, in this way forward, we don’t need to allow the government to take away our rights. To con us into believing that an object is at fault. For once we give up one right, it will be simple to ask us to give up another. And like the Crown of Great Britain all those years ago, the reason will be the same.
That the Government knows what is best for you, and will decide what is best for you, and you will comply…or else.