The Second Amendment – As Simple as it Seems?

What many people seem to forget is the actual purpose of the second amendment. To clarify this, let’s look at the actual text of the amendment and the period it was written in.

“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.”

Seems rather straightforward, doesn’t it? Well, it is for most people, who tend to look at the last section of the amendment, the only thing that matters is that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. Does this really mean what most say it does? That we should therefore only be allowed guns? To truly understand the amendment, we need to understand the mindset of Americans at the time it was written.

Back in the 1780s, before the Bill of Rights was added into the Constitution, Americans had a fear of a strong central government, due to their recent experiences with the monarchy of England. America had been split into two parties: The Federalists and Antifederalists. The Federalists supported a strong central government, while the Antifederalists were vehemently against it. Their principal problem with the Constitution was that it protected no individual rights. This underscores the reason why they put no faith in a strong national government: it betrayed their inherent distrust of a government wielding too much power. In order to placate the Antifederalists, a Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution, the second of which is the aforementioned “Gun law”. Why would this be so important to the founding fathers? And what does it have to do with anything?

Think about it. Americans distrust the government, and so demand the right to “a well regulated Militia” because it is “necessary to the security of a free State.” To understand the implications of this, we need to look at Alexander Hamilton’s words concerning the amendment:

“If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens”.

What this is actually saying is that the government can never threaten individual liberties so long as the citizens are equally armed compared to the government forces. If we consider this to be true, and the amendment to hold true to its basis, then the amendment implies, not that we should be able to buy assault rifles, but that we should be able to get unmanned predator drones and suitcase nukes, seeing as we should be “little, if at all, inferior to (the army) in discipline and the use of arms”. And if we can’t afford them, then logically, the government should buy them for us, seeing as the amendment was made as a security for our rights. Funny, its almost like the founding fathers never thought that weaponry would advance that much beyond the flintlock musket! Does this sound right at all? I wouldn’t trust myself with such weaponry, much less everyone in the United States.

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