flag.gif (12532 bytes) THE BILL OF RIGHTS
passed by congress September 25, 1789
ratified by the States December 15, 1791
flag.gif (12532 bytes)

On The Second Amendment - by Ralph E Kenyon Jr, May 15, 2014

This amendment establishes a right which has lower priority than the First Amendment, both of which have lower priority than both the Declaration of Independence and the preamble to the Constitution.

Almost no one remembers the full text of the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment: "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."

When this was written, almost every able-bodied citizen was part of the "militia". Their weapons were also their survival tools - as hunters to bring meat to the table. The "militia" was called together for meetings and practice, and they brought their own weapons, most being skilled marksmen with the weapons of the time. The militia was called to arms as needed, and everyone came from their homes, bringing their own weapons.

The equivalent situation for today's culture would be having everyone belong to the National guard in every state, and keeping themselves thoroughly trained in the use of and the rules of use and safety for the weapons, but the military class weapons would not be kept in homes.

We created the government and charged it with "providing for the common defense", which as time goes by, also becomes protecting us from ourselves, for which we instituted police forces and codified rules of behavior while growing from a scattered wilderness of homesteaders towards a "civilization". The "state" has a vested interest in providing for the common welfare and defense. It must take action to minimize the damage we can, without thinking, do to each other.

More than 90% of the population favor gun safety regulations, but a tiny percentage of the extreme rich have blocked the passage of such safety measures. In the Colonial days the weapons were simple, and the culture had achieved a mature understanding of safety as well as non-interference with each other. The guns were handled by people, including children, thoroughly schooled in safety as well as in their use for hunting. They were brought forth en mass when the militia was called to arms for whatever reason. Each brought his own weapon from his own home. (no need for "his or her" in those days).

By now weapons have evolved into classes for hunting, personal protection, and to stop (kill) aggressive humans. Because of the introductory clause, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State", and the evolution of weapons the third class of modern weapons is not, and never was, a part of the right to bear arms. Yes, we can preserve the heritage of hunting, provided citizens exhibit the mature responsibility that was the order of the day in Colonial times. Unfortunately, the culture has also evolved, and that past daily familiarity from childhood, and the mature sense of safety developed therefrom, is not a part of the modern culture. And, the state has a major interest in "preserving its citizens' safety", consequently regulations and laws requiring our modern citizens to behave in way that would have been second nature or unnecessary in Colonial times.

Of course you have the right to bear arms, provide you exercise your full responsibility to protect your fellow citizens, and you belong to the "militia" (National Guard). I served my time in the modern "militia", and I had access to weapons assigned to me. Of course, I did not take them home, except when I was on duty, and had to go there in the line of duty. But I never needed to use one to feed my family or myself. Because of today's culture, the vast majority of our citizens do not develop the mature responsibility for everyday use and handling of firearms, the experience of which makes the use against a person unthinkable outside of actual "war".

"The right to bear and keep arms may not be infringed" does not mean that people can have any arms they choose. As long as there are some arms available and the person is allowed to have some arms their right to keep is not infringed. But this does not mean that they have a right to have all possible kinds of arms, or that they can handle their arms irresponsibly.

They have a right to have arms, but not every kind of arm. They have a right to keep arms, but only with full mature responsibility, the requirements for which must be dictated by the state in order to provide for the common defense, the general welfare, and the safety of all. It should be we, the 90%, who want this safety.

This page was updated by Ralph Kenyon on 2017-10-06 at 03:24 and has been accessed 1385 times at 41 hits per month.