An Insight Into the 2nd Amendment Trevor Rush November 29, 2016 2 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr For over fifty years, democrats and republicans have battled it out over how exactly America should interpret the second amendment. The conservative view of the issue is that Americans have a right to purchase, own, and carry firearms with little to no restrictions. The liberal side, however, is that the federal government should heavily restrict who can purchase and own firearms, some even believing they should be totally outlawed. Both sides of the argument have logical backing. The second amendment states: “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.” In order to fully understand exactly what this quote means, one must separate the amendment into two parts. To start, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” This section of the amendment gives the right to all U.S. citizens to form a militia in defense against a tyrannical government that may emerge in the future. Many people in favor of strict gun control cite the fact that the term “well regulated” is printed. Many use this diction as an argument that firearms, as well as militias, should be regulated by the U.S. government. On one hand, the term “well regulated” could in fact be interpreted as just that: a militia heavily regulated by the government. However, this is highly improbable. The founding fathers, after fighting and winning a war against a tyrannical government, would most likely not be foolish enough to entrust the power of a civilian militia with the federal government. The patriot militia of the 1770s and 1780s were not regulated by the English crown. They were organized and regulated by themselves. This is exactly how the diction is meant to be interpreted in the second amendment. The other half of this amendment states, “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This passage directly gives the right to own a firearm to the American people. With this said, many gun control advocates use the ‘musket argument’. This is the idea that the second amendment was only written with weapons of the 18th century in mind, such as muskets and flintlock pistols. The founding fathers certainly could not have expected semi-automatic rifles and handguns with high capacity magazines to be available. Or could they? Surely the framers of the constitution did not see the innovation of the modern day firearm coming, but they did expect a certain level of innovation, the same way consumers expect their new iPhone to have a better processor or a new headphone jack location (or to not have one at all). The bottom line is that in many ways American independence was kickstarted by the Age of Enlightenment, which lead to the industrial revolution, the French revolution, and the crumbling of monarchies throughout Europe. Due to the changes of manufacturing and ideology that took place at this time, Samuel Colt patented the first revolver mechanism in 1836, just 47 years after the ratification of the U.S. constitution. This invention allowed multiple projectiles to be fired from one firearm without the need for reloading the weapon. What this means for the second amendment is that innovation for firearms was constant, and the founding fathers knew this. The purpose for the second amendment is to allow the people the opportunity to protect their own freedoms and liberties from any force that acts as a threat to those liberties. This includes both foreign and domestic threats. It is not to allow Americans to hunt for their food, as so many people like to argue. Jesse Ventura, who is an ex-Navy Seal and Governor of Minnesota, stated that the second amendment is not to protect hunting rights, because in the 18th century, “…if you didn’t hunt, you didn’t eat.” Many past leaders have also given their thoughts of gun ownership: No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. – Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776 Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. – John F. Kennedy To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens. – Adolf Hitler That last quote is extremely important. In the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is listed to allow the citizens of the United States to protect the remaining nine amendments. When this right is taken away, there will simply be no line of defense for the remaining rights of the people. This is thought to be the goal of people such as Dianne Feinstein and Hillary Clinton. These people are protected by people with firearms, yet the average citizen has no right to protect him or herself with a firearm in their eyes. They want Americans to be weak and unable to fight back. No honest leader would ever want to disarm the populace. Ronald Reagan for example, was shot and nearly assassinated by John Hinckley Jr. in 1981. However he remained a strong advocate for the second amendment after the attempt on his life. This was a man who believed in the rights of the people over everything else, even his own life. What must be taken away from this argument is the simple notion that not only is it a right for any and every American to own firearms, but it is a duty to do so. The United States of America was founded upon the right of citizens to dictate their own lives, and to resist the forces of tyranny that wish to infringe upon that. The day this right is revoked is the day tyranny reaches America. That is why all Americans must either exercise the right to keep and bear arms, or support it. In the words of Charlton Heston, “From my cold, dead hands!”.