WORDS: 1,670 — I truly wish someone would explain to me that reasoning but nothing I have heard so far makes sense at all. I own guns. Am I supposed to know, as a bona fide gun owner, instinctively what to do with them to protect the country, and when I should start protecting the country, and how I am to know when to start killing foreign invaders, alien invaders, zombies, or fellow Americans? Someone once told me, “Don’t worry. You’ll know what to do when it happens.” Huh?
The Founding Fathers went to great lengths to create the single most confusing sentence in the entire Constitution.. confusing to us, that is.. but not to them. They failed to indicate when we start the killing, and who we kill. No “When To Use Your Guns For A Righteous Kill” instructional manual? Let’s look again….
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.
I’m a little confused here. It says something about a militia being necessary to the security of a Free State… and government shall not prevent the right to keep and bear arms as in a militia. I see nothing here about using guns against anyone specifically…. or even against extraterrestrials or dead and rotting organic walking dead life forms. I see nothing here about using guns against any government inside or outside our borders. In fact, I see nothing here that says us citizens need to own guns to protect ourselves from bad people with guns. Personally, I’d prefer the Second were re-written to be more specific along these lines. But I suppose being more specific reduces the value for others to obfuscate their own interpretation to fit some agenda.
But alas, we are a nation of laws (made by man) therefore subject to the whims of a constantly changing social order that determines how we exercise our democratic rights. In the end, if you still truly love and respect the Constitution in the morning, our final authority is the Supreme Court that determines how pure our laws reflect our living within our rights. The Court is also made up of men (and ladies, of course), but select in their knowledge, education, experience, and wisdom that sets them apart from the personal biases the rest of us are subject to (we hope), to render final judgements that the laws of common man are not compromising our Constitutional rights.
In all fairness I do tend to hold the Justices in a higher esteem and generally speaking I do not necessarily assign to them political bias when they render a decision that came to them exactly because of politics. The folks who serve are able to serve for life and they occupy that rather prestigious position on the “Mount Olympus” of final justice under our Constitution. Once appointed (and they become anointed) it’s seldom that they do media interviews or even appear in public. They seem to have no paparazzi chasing them down for that special incognito photo that might bring them down to our common man level. The occupiers of the White House are certainly not kings (or queens), but the nine justices are certainly as close to a heavenly Greek deity that we have simply because they don’t generally mix with us commoners. But to each of them when they get into that office I am very sure there is that shock & awe and professional admiration in that they feel they can leave a personal legacy of providing sage legal judgement that serves the nation.. or more accurately, serves the Constitution, which we expect them to do. So I do not necessarily go along with the idea that they should be identified with who appointed them in order to assign a bias predictability to their decisions. Yet.. throughout American history there have been times where their original political slants before they ascended into the heavens failed to get left behind on Earth. Nonetheless…. as I have often professed… I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the Constitution for which it stands.
So then we get to the idea of the Second Amendment having all kinds of wild interpretations and meanings…. with references and connotations given to our Founding Fathers.. to less about the document they created , and more about their other writings, extrapolations of publications of their days; admonitions and pontifications inside op-eds of their day. Then we take from that and form the unshakeable precept… “Well, this is what they REALLY meant given all this other stuff they wrote.” Pure Donkey Dust. BUT…. as the years have progressed and those justices have come and gone, they have left in their wake the rather haphazard meanderings of trying to make judgements to interpret that single sentence and how future law should be administered to satisfy their meaning. Of course those of us commoners out in the real world…. the folks siding one way or the other regarding that sentence’s “proper” interpretation, as we see it… are left grasping onto the slightest morsel and crumb of legal expression to justify our positions… and when we think we finally got it and when all the headlines representing our individual sides read that “We Won!”… the next legal challenge heads off to start the entire process all over again. In the meantime people continue to die, but that’s the cost of freedom. Right?
Yet in spite of all that I completely support the Constitution and hence all decisions made by our Supreme Court… without question as to legitimacy or process. That does NOT in the least mean I always agree practically or morally with their decisions… and I accept that no one cares what I think. I actually support the Second Amendment… as it’s currently written, not as it’s currently interpreted by the Court. I have no issues with owning a gun.. and I think certain controls need to be in force to assure people are indeed capable of owning a firearm in meeting the social obligation on when it’s permissible to use it and pull the trigger. But what I do not think makes one damn bit of sense is this idea that the public needs to be armed in order to assure government doesn’t go too far. Read that Second Amendment sentence above again…. where does it say we need to own guns to make sure government doesn’t get carried away? Seems the Founding Fathers were rather concerned that we all kept our muskets in the event the local militia would need to be called up, given we didn’t have much of a standing army at the time. It made rather good sense to me given our local militias made a difference in our fight for independence from Britain.. and the post war preparedness on a young and defenseless new nation being vulnerable to attack from other world powers of the day.
But wait… the debate includes also the idea the Declaration of Independence has something to say about this. A list of inalienable rights? You mean “endowed by their Creator in being life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”? Great stuff for declaring independence.. worth fighting for, in fact. But where is that anywhere in the Constitution? Maybe we should check the Preamble…
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Nothing in that to reflect the official adoption of a John Locke philosophy of what constitutes natural rights. But what about this right to have guns in order to keep government from going to far… or more to the point.. the right to revolt when government is unjust. Wiki suggests this….
“In political philosophy, the right of revolution (or right of rebellion) is the right or duty of a people to “alter or abolish” a government that acts against their common interests and/or threatens the safety of the people without cause. Stated throughout history in one form or another, the belief in this right has been used to justify various revolutions, including the American Revolution, French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and the Iranian Revolution.”
So.. this idea of having a gun is giving the owner confidence that he (or she) can go out and kill people he /she perceives is taking away his/her freedoms… and this concept is not entirely an American patriotic “right” unique only to us? The Russians? The Iranians? Shucks.
Ok.. so I am left wondering here… the Second Amendment as written doesn’t seem to include anything about having a gun for personal defense, or even defense of house and home. Nor is anything written in the Second to indicate people need to be armed to make sure government doesn’t take away our rights. Doesn’t mean those are not worthy reasons in general if all agree. But I find it odd if the Founder Fathers were making the supreme all-or-nothing gamble of creating a Constitution all could live by.. and then had this little side amendment suggesting, “Oh.. by the way… owning of guns shall not be infringed just in case everyone needs to rise up in revolt if they don’t like what’s going on.”
Yeah, ok… powerhouse lobbying from the likes of the NRA have pushed this “guns=patriotism” narrative, and it’s been adopted by disgruntled and disenfranchised Conservatives who feel “the other” is/has taken over and freedoms are being lost or whittled away in some form. It’s become part.. a major part… of our current political divide, and a sign of Trumpism.
Here’s the scary part… to all those lovers of the Second Amendment whose pride of gun ownership is all about “saving” the country… how do we save the country from you? Buy a gun? The beat goes on… the beat goes on.