"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 the 2nd amendment as passed by the House and the Senate. Given the current political climate I've been reading a lot of debate about the place of the second amendment, is it still valid in a modern context? What did the founding fathers truly intend when they drafted the second? What rights does the second guarantee an individual citizen? Etc.
Now, it seems to me that there are two very distinct interpretations of the second amendment.
1) The second let's citizens of the United States keep and bear arms, period. This is an absolute right and should not be infringed.
2) The second let's citizens of the United States keep and bear arms, as part of a militia, and as we no longer require a militia the second is no longer an absolute right and therefore can be regulated by acts of Congress and by local law.
These views hinge on whether you view the first part of the amendment "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." or the second part "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." as gospel.
Let's look at the first view point. people in this camp feel that the second line in the amendment is most important. They feel that the right to bear arms should not be regulated, in other words any "Arms" they want they should be able to purchase, keep, carry, etc.
Persons ascribing to the second view point look at the right to bear arms as anything from antiquated to dangerous to a nuisance. often this camp feels that strong gun control is the only way to curtail gun violence and that there are certain classes of weapons that no citizen should own.
I find myself stuck in the middle. I strongly believe that gun control does no good, and the only way to control violence is with violence. I firmly believe that if students could have carried concealed then the school shootings of recent years would be mere footnotes in the paper as opposed to national tragedies. Yet I can see little to no need for a citizen to carry a fully automatic weapon. Yet I also see no need to regulate single shot, or even semi-automatic firearms be they pistols or rifles. I could even see a rigorous screening process enabling a citizen to purchase fully automatic weapons, I just see little need.
So, I find myself torn. I believe that the right to keep and bear arms is an important one and one that should be carefully preserved. I feel that gun control is ridiculous with a proven track record of failure. Yet I find that voicing these same opinions is unpopular at best. I guess all I can say at this time is I'm going to keep watching and hope that the politicians realize the same truths that seem so plain to me.
And the hits just keep on comin'.....
4 weeks ago