THE 2ND AMENDMENT

Episode II: THE 2ND AMENDMENT

On Friday, April 6, 2018, U.S. District Judge William Young said assault weapons are military firearms and aren’t protected by the constitutional right to “bear arms.” Sorry Judge, you are wrong on several accounts.

The term “assault weapon” is a term made up by the gun control lobby to strike fear into the hearts and minds of Americans. Gun control activists rely very heavily on fear-based language to persuade Americans that guns are inherently evil, and that the only solution is to pass stricter gun control laws.

Assault is an action; it is a verb, not a noun. A firearm is incapable of an independent action. People or other living organisms can and do engage in many kinds of actions. A hammer, a car, or any other item, must be used or activated by a living breathing entity to perform an action. A firearm doesn’t possess artificial intelligence allowing it to perform an action, either bad or good, legal or illegal. The difference is the human, not the tool or firearm. Are your intentions good or evil?  A good person with a firearm stopping an evil act by a bad person with a firearm is an action. The firearm wielded by both people, the good and the evil, is inconsequential to the act. Firearms are merely a means, a device to aid in completing an action by a person.

The sword was a means of self-defense and a tool of war, and it was also banned in some locations, not because of mass slayings by citizens, but by others to keep control of the unarmed masses.The desire to restrict the possession of weapons has always come from those who wished to not only monopolize power but to do so on their own terms. When the crossbow was invented, the medieval nobility attempted to ban it because it reduced the effectiveness of the armored and mounted knight. Failing in that, they attempted to restrict, with some success, its ownership to people they could control. The Samurai in Japan enforced ruthlessly their rule that only Samurai should carry swords. When the conscripts of British Army returned to Britain after the First World War, the British government passed the first serious laws regulating gun ownership not because they feared that the British would begin to murder one another in considerable numbers but because they feared a Communist revolution.

According to the Nexis News database, the first mention of “assault weapons” appeared in a 1980 New York Times story. Over the past several decades, gun-control proponents have heavily relied on this terminology and have blanket-applied it to any firearm that looked scary. The public mistakes the “AR” in AR-15 to mean “assault rifle or automatic rifle”. “The “AR” in “AR-15” stands for “ArmaLite Rifle,” the company that first manufactured the AR-15 in December 1959, thanks to the genius of Eugene Stoner.

In 1903 and 1905, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company introduced the first semi-automatic rimfire and centerfire rifles designed especially for the civilian market. Semi auto firearms have been in public circulation for more than 100 years. It wasn’t until almost 50 years later after the introduction of the semi auto rifle to the public, that we saw one used in a mass shooting.

Most rifles used by the military are not semi-automatic only, the majority are select fire which gives the option of semi, controlled bursts (usually 2 to 3 shots) on some, and then fully automatic. Handguns used by the military have counterparts that are almost the same that are sold to the general public. U.S. District Judge William Young’s point that they are military firearms is a very misleading statement.

Most gun control advocates never visit the land of common sense and logic. The First Amendment guarantees our right to freedom of speech; however, it is not a license to wallow in ignorance to try and create legislation that advocates the opposite freedoms that our Constitution guarantees us.

A common misconception about the Second Amendment is that it only protects arms for the militia, or in modern day, the National Guard (The National Guard, as it exists today, wasn’t created until 1903,) or other government-organized military groups. This is simply untrue; a belief arising from ignorance about the language used in the Second Amendment and understanding its meaning as it was understood originally when the Bill of Rights was ratified.

In the Supreme Court case, D.C. vs Heller, the court explains that all citizens are the militia; the Second Amendment is an individual right, just like every other right protected in the Bill of Rights, and is independent of membership in any organized group or military unit.

The Second Amendment reads: “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.”

There are two clauses that comprise the Second Amendment, an operative clause, and a prefatory clause.

Operative clause: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The operative clause is the actual protected right. The court wrote: “1. Operative Clause. a. ‘Right of the People.’ [used 3 times in Bill of Rights] … All three of these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not ‘collective’ rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body.”

Prefatory clause: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.”

“The Amendment’s prefatory clause announced a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority of this opinion from the court.

The court also stated: “The Amendment could be rephrased, ‘Because a well-regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.’”

The founding fathers understood that those who hold political power will almost always strive to reduce the freedom of those they rule and that many of the ruled will always be tempted to trade their liberty for empty promises of security.

The U.S. Constitution, including the Second Amendment, is a device designed to frustrate the domineering tendencies of the politically ambitious. The Second Amendment also plays a significant role in fostering the kind of civic virtue that resists the cowardly urge to trade liberty for an illusion of safety. Armed citizens take responsibility for their own security, thereby exhibiting and cultivating the self-reliance and vigorous spirit that are ultimately indispensable for genuine self-government.