Let us discuss now the second of the 27 (combined) amendments, rights and entitlements recognized by The United States Federal Government. This is one of the most controversial amendments that we have, colloquially known as “gun control.” As I have in articles past, here is the exact verbiage of the amendment under scrutiny: “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.” Similar to the freedom of speech that we enjoy this has gone through a litany of Supreme Court rulings and revisions. I personally believe that some were good judgments and some were poor. However, that is not the point of this. The point of this is to understand what it is now.
I am sure that any of you reading this have an opinion on gun control. It is my opinion that I have the right to own and use my firearms. I am not some gun-toting conspiracy theorist. I believe that the moon landing actually happened. However, does gun control really need to exist? Yes, but I say this very cautiously. Do we need to limit how many rounds my firearm can hold? No, that’s just dumb. Do we need to limit firearms to bolt action? No, again, that’s dumb! But do I really need a fully automatic [weapon]? While that’s cool, the answer is no, I really don’t need it. So, pass a law that says I can’t have a fully automatic firearm, but leave the rest of the specifications to me to decide. I am sure that some of you are saying “but guns kill people!” I say no, that guns don’t kill people. People kill people. I have never heard of a gun standing up, pointing itself at a person and firing without a person holding it and pulling the trigger. Without a person using it, a gun is no more dangerous than a car. Inactive, a knife is more dangerous than a gun is. So again I say: guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If we, as a people, place too many limitations on our firearms, then the only people with them will be those that want to do harm to others. What would the world look like if the only ones with guns were the criminals and the military? Would you really feel safe?
For all those with a penchant for statistics, the information henceforth has you firmly in mind; According to gunviolencearchive.org, in 2014 America had 12,591 people die from gun violence. [Note from The Executive Editor: “This is the juncture in the editorial process at which it the brazen, relentless majority of the free press in America feels there is no need for further clarification. The 12,000+ human beings that fell prey to ‘John Lennon Syndrome’ could all very well have been mid-act in looting, pillaging and/or raping throughout the charitable consignment store of ‘The Little Sisters of The Poor’ when alas! To the rescue springs the United States Marine Corps, and at the end of the day, when all the dust settles (could be awhile if you’re waiting for that occurrence in Twentynine Palms) and our nation’s Stormtroopers (Marine infantry) are done saving the proverbial day of this anecdote, all that Mother Jones, NBC News and POLITICO have to say for themselves (or anyone else) is that ‘3 million Americans are dead! And you know those guns that those inbred freaks in the Solid South love so much? Yeah? Yeah, well that’s how all of those hundreds of…no, millions of people are dead because of guns! And by extension thereof, John Boehner and Paul Ryan should be charged with crimes against humanity.’ While admittedly quite hyperbolic, it’s about a snot-rocket’s distance away from hitting the mole on the head. With that, I return you to the splendid musings of our resident Constitutional purist, ModState senior editor and United States Army veteran and expert in combat medicine, Mr. Albin Eldeen.”
[Prior to the EE’s annotation] In 2014 America had 12,591 people die from gun this includes: officer involved shootings, home invasions, defensive shootings, school shootings, mass shootings, and accidental shootings. Yes, there are some kids that have taken guns to school and used them, and this is a tragedy, no question. No parent should have to bury their children. My most sincere condolences to all of those that have lost or had a loved one injured in one of these tragedies. I am not in any way, shape or form trying to belittle what you (or those you know) have endured. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, America had 614,348 people die from heart disease, 591,699 people die from cancer, 147,101 die from chronic lower respiratory disease, and 136,053 people die from accidents (unintentional injuries). All of those numbers tell me that instead of focusing on gun control, let’s look at heart disease or cancer. Heart disease is 48.79 times more likely to kill a person than a gun.
I know the most preventable cause of heart disease is induced by one’s lifestyle choices, and who are we to dictate a person’s life style? My point exactly: owning a firearm is a lifestyle choice. Who are we to dictate a person’s life style? I know that it will be a cold day in (explicative deleted) before I give up my firearms. Furthermore, I feel that it is imperative to teach our children not to fear a gun but to respect it. Don’t take away America’s firearms. In fact, increase the circulation of them. If we are afraid that our children will take them into our schools, then let us bring them into our schools and teach our children to respect them. If we fail to teach our children (and not just about guns) then we fail to preserve the very essence of what it means to be American.
Now that I have had one massive Segway let’s get back to the Second Amendment. The most recent of the Supreme Court cases regarding the Second Amendment is Caetano v. Mass. In this, the Supreme Court simply reinforced its earlier rulings. Simply put, this is to say that no government body can prohibit the people from owning guns. It then further says that this protection extends to all firearms and not only those that are useful in war, and, furthermore, whether these were in existence at the time of the Second Amendment’s inception or not being irrelevant (as far as the SCOTUS was concerned at the time of its ruling).
“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 is actually a very simple and straight-forward Amendment, so I’ll break it down.
A well-regulated militia: in the time that this was written a militiamen was a citizen-soldier, also known as a minuteman. These were citizens that chose to fight the oppression that lead to the Revolutionary War but either a) did not want to join the regular Army or b) did not meet the requirements to be enlisted in the Army. Most of the time they fought right in their own towns. However, they were also trained in how to use those arms that they carried. This is why I say let us bring firearms into our schools and teach our children to use them. In my mind, every man and woman should know how to use a firearm. I’m sure most (if not all of us) have seen the movie “Red Dawn.” If not, here’s a brief overview: North Korea invades America, and in the new version of this (I think) the Russians help with the invasion. They basically kick our butts all over the place until a group of teenagers get into the fight [and] yes, they might qualify as “militia.” Once they do, they are able to cause enough mayhem to stall the invasion until the regular Army can get their act together. Why do I bring this into it? Simple” in the movie, a group of around ten teenagers stalls an invasion on American soil. What’s that? “America won’t be attacked on her own soil” you say? Hey, dumb-dumb, we already have. Remember 9/11? How about Pearl Harbor? Yep, [we’ve] been there, done that and, in each instance, America lost countless of her sons and daughters.
Being necessary to the security of a free state, this was written into the amendment because at the time and I feel it is correct to this day. That the federal and state governments should and must be afraid of the local militia. As stated in the American Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness [and] that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, [and] That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…..” let me make this implicitly clear: I AM NOT SAYING THIS IS ‘A CALL TO ARMS’! I am simply saying that if the federal, state or local governments violate this simple (and basic) tenet then we as Americans have the right and obligation to, as these men said, alter or abolish it. Again, as these men said this should not be done “for light or transient reasons.”
The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Well, there it is: the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Can it be put any simpler? Okay, okay, let me try: Your right as Americans to own and use guns cannot be taken away. I’m not sure that I said it any simpler, but here is the real question: Does this mean that any American can, by right, own a firearm? No, that is not what this means. It means that, so long as you are in good standing with your country, then yes, you may own a gun.
In essence, this could all be summed up with a simple statement: “So long as I am in good standing I have the right to own a firearm. If you don’t like firearms, then don’t own or use them. If you don’t want your children to know how to use a firearm, then don’t teach them how. But, in the end, don’t fear a firearm. Respect what it is capable of and respect my right to own and use them.