Second Amendment (1791) 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.
Well, there it is. 27 words that have created a great deal of angst, anger and fear among some of our citizens. Of course, those 27 words have been the source of security for many of our citizens.
In modern times, the argument over the Second Amendment has been on whether the law protects the right of an individual to keep and bear arms or whether only organizations like the National Guard can have weapons. This argument started long after 1791. In 1791 people had no problem with the amendment and just discussed whether or not it added anything important to the Constitution.
Early Americans did not trust standing armies. Their knowledge of English history and their experience with the British army during colonial times was that governments would use an army to subjugate people whenever they could. They believed that in situations when response to sudden invasions or similar emergencies a government could be restricted to using a militia comprised of ordinary civilians. These civilians had their own weapons and might receive some part-time, unpaid military training. Governments should raise armies only when fighting foreign adversaries.
Alexander Hamilton did not think that a militia system could be a satisfactory substitute for a national army. Citizens were not going to undergo unpaid militia training and more professional forces would be needed.
This argument led to a decision at the Constitutional Convention that the federal government could establish armies including peacetime standing armies. However, there were problems with this decision. The proposed Constitution forbade states from keeping troops without consent of Congress.
Problems then arose with the fact that states needed consent of Congress to have troops. One solution: Congress would establish and maintain a well-disciplined militia. Such a militia would have to be made up of a large percentage of the population so that it would not be a federal army using another name. Another suggestion was to forbid Congressional interference with state control of their militias. This would have resulted in fragmented control of the militias and would have resulted in an absence of uniformity in training, equipment and command.
The challenge faced by the convention was that many militias would have been too weak to protect the nation and a unified militia under federal control would not have been expected to prevent federal tyranny. Ultimately, the shift of power from states to the federal government was one of the chief objections to the proposed Constitution. Those people against federal control of a militia argued that federal control of the militia would take away the principal defense against federal oppression and usurpation. Americans knew that European history provided the example of how dangerous it was for a central government to have all the military power.
James Madison pointed out a very important difference in the situation in Europe and in America.
In Federalist No. 46 he wrote:
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain that with this aid alone they would be able to shake off their yokes.
Obviously a great deal has changed since the writing and ratification of the Constitution. Traditional militias were soon dismantled and state-based militia groups were eventually incorporated into federal military structure. Modern soldiers use weapons significantly different from those commonly thought to be appropriate for civilians. This has raised questions about the importance of an armed citizenry.
An armed citizenry! That appears to be the major issue in today’s world. The group that wants to basically take weapons away from American citizens has perpetrated all kinds of lies about guns.
Lie #1) Assault weapons should be banned. First of all, assault is a word and an action taken by a human being. Current law does not allow the purchase of machine guns which are listed as assault weapons. Citizens cannot casually purchase machine guns. The AR-15 requires the trigger to be pulled for each round fired. It is not a machine gun. It has saved the lives of many individuals.
Lie #2) The left states that they want commonsense gun laws. This tactic is called incrementalism. For example: Now there is a complicated process in California to buy ammunition. Barack Obama tried to ban traditional ammo.
Lie #3) People do not need to own guns to be safe. Women defend themselves against sexual abuse 200,000 times per year using their guns. American gun-owners kill 1500 criminals every year. Police kill 600 criminals each year.
One last thought: The killings in Parkland, Florida were tragic but could have been prevented if two tax supported agencies had done their jobs. The Sheriff in Broward County and the FBI all had been notified about Nicholas Cruz. They basically paid no attention. In addition, deputies at the school stayed outside and did not engage the killer.
AND THIS IS THE FAULT OF THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION?
Freedom is usually eliminated one step at a time. It requires constant vigilance.
SOME FACTS ABOUT GUN CONTROL
In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 Million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 Million dissidents unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1935, China established gun control. From 1948 to 1952 about 20 Million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1928 and 1938, Germany established gun control. Hitler maintained the first prohibition and added to it. From 1939 to 1945 a total of 13 Million Jews who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1956, Cambodia established gun control. From 1975 to 1977 1 Million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1964, Guatemala established gun control. From 1964 to 1982, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1970, Uganda established gun control. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because they had no means to defend themselves: 56 Million
During World War II, the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED.
Please Note: The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson. With guns, we are “citizens.” Without them, we are “subjects.” The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense.
Switzerland issues every household a gun! Switzerland’s government trains every adult they issue a rifle to. Switzerland has the lowest gun related crime rate of any civilized country in the world.
PROTECT THE SECOND AMENDMENT! IT WILL PROTECT YOU.