Sunday, October 18, 2009

2nd. 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.

This is a loaded amendment. Pun intended.

As Julie Andrews once sang, "lets start at the very beginning". Militia. Well regulated. Putting ourselves briefly in the shoes of our forefathers, this is an obvious need. We were in the midst of our quest for independence. We knew, for a fact, that it would be a battle. No one expected England to just simply agree. "Oh, you want to be free? Sure, not a problem". Instead, they sent over many men, many red coats, and the intent to keep us under their rule. We expected this. Thus, the need for a militia. The ' well regulated' aspect of this amuses me, though I certainly understand that as well. If it isn't well regulated, then why bother?

So, modern day. Our "well regulated militia" has evolved, and morphed, into Reservests, and our national military.

But wait. It didn't stop there. Though I would argue about them being "well regulated", any Billy Bob in the outskirts of Pine Cone Flat, anystate, can form a "militia", and trust me, they have. Many right wing, anti government militia's are in existence today, planning for the collapse of our government. Many of them wanting to collapse our government, themselves…They call themselves many things, such as "Christian Identity" and "Sovereign Citizen Movement" just to name a few. Are these, usually hostile splinter groups what our forefathers had in mind when they made this amendment? I really think not. I think, actually, that they would be horrified at the direction this amendment has gone into.

Going hand and hand with this is the gun issue. The ownership and operation of guns, during the time this amendment was authored, was a necessity of life. Having a gun meant you, and your family would survive. It meant you would eat. It meant you were protected. A gun was a tool, as well as a weapon. Without one, well, you’d be hungry, at the very least.

As time has gone by, and we’ve advanced as a nation, the role of the gun has changed. It is no longer necessary to have one to put meat on the table. You don’t even have to HAVE meat on your table. Our dietary needs and requirements have changed. YES there are people out there who still hunt food for the family table. I know many of them. And though I personally don’t want to go shoot Bambi or Pumbaa, I hold with their rights to do so. (As long as bambi and pumbaa aren’t on the brink of extinction). The hunters I know are, for the most part, the most careful, and conservative of gun owners. They take care of their weapons, for their weapons are still tools to them. They also aren’t using semi automatic’s with cop killer bullets.

And this is where we get into trouble. No many how many laws are passed, with ten day waiting lists, and criminals banned from purchasing them, I maintain that ANYONE can get their hands on a gun. Any gun. You just have to know the right street to walk down, or the right person to talk to. No permit, no waiting. My Grandma could go out tomorrow on the streets of Fresno and get me an Uzi for my birthday if she so chose.

Yes, we have the right to bear arms. But bearing these arms lead to over 30,000 deaths a year in the United States. Granted, some of these are suicide deaths, but the major percentage of these are not.

The people getting these guns, legal or not, claim their right to defend themselves, and their homes. These are the same people who keep their guns in unsafe conditions, telling themselves that the gun has to be loaded, and within reach, to kill any intruder that might come into their home. They tell themselves that little Suzy or Stevie will never find them. Then they find themselves, explaining to the police why little Suzy shot Stevie in the head. Or why their teenager took said gun to school and shot the people who belittled him, year after year. Or why their depressed daughter is dead, by her own hand. We read these stories, every day.

And then we have the gangs. A militia, in their own way, as well. With guns. Where it’s normal, and encouraged, to find one or more of your rivals, and gun them down, despite the innocent bystanders that may live in the area. And in a gang, your gun is a major aspect of your identity. It has to be a good one. And you can be sure they are not getting their weapons from anyplace that requires a permit or waiting list. The trunk of the car requires none of these.

Gun control is a very sensitive topic, one that has been defended and discussed for decades. Once again, I could go on for days and days and days. This amendment, while practical, and needed during the era it was written in, has no gone completely awry, in my opinion. It has evolved beyond it’s intentions, and now does more harm than good.


Heather T said...

It is a tricky and dicey issue. Just a few days, I was thinking maybe we should regulate gun ownership by the proximity of one's residence to the nearest permanent law enforcement station. We had been talking about Columbine over dinner since Grace's sophomore English class is exploring what happened and what went wrong.

I still am not sure any interpretation of the 2nd amendment will stop violence unintended by those who sought to have this right included in the US constitution.

Anonymous said...

What is not touched on is that this amendment is related to involuntary conscription. You could be put in the military against your will. In effect they could round up all the dissenters and send them to a remote outpost and call it "Duty to the King".

I'm not opposed to guns. You can look at Israel where EVERY male has to keep a gun in their home and they don't have problems with guns. The issue is the people, not the guns.

Daryl said...

Well done!

Knot, is right, its not the gun its the person holding the gun BUT while I have no issue with people owning and/or carrying a gun (as long as its licensed) its the automatics, the Uzi, the big guns that are overkill in more ways than one .. if you are a hunter, get a rifle, you dont need an Uzi