“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.” That is our second amendment in its entirety.
There are two parts to the amendment. One part of the amendment concerns a well regulated Militia and another concerns the right to keep and bear arms.
The amendment was created to assert the need for State’s rights. The Founding Fathers loved the idea of State’s Rights because they didn’t want different parts of the country to feel as though the federal laws didn’t apply to them. So keeping this in mind, they wanted to set the precedent for a state sponsored militia. As an extension to the rule, they added that in order to maintain a militia, it is the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
This Bill of Rights will always read as a reaction to oppression from the British and the second amendment should be no different. In 1774, the British banned imports on firearms and gunpowder and went on to confiscate guns and gunpowder into the year 1775. The Bill of Rights was written in 1789 and the founding fathers would not have forgotten about when their firearms got confiscated. They needed them for an uprising and wanted to create a government that could be overthrown if it got out of control, which that would be impossible today. The military is too strong and sophisticated for that.
So yes, NRA, you are right that the constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, but that sentence was written in the 1780’s when the guns available took 30 seconds to load. They were also so inaccurate that when a tight formation of men were walking towards the Americans in the Battle of Bunker Hill, George Washington famously had to tell his men to wait until they could see the whites of the enemy’s eyes before firing. In today’s day in age, we had a lone sniper shoot 12 trained police officers from a building at least 100 feet away.
Technology has advanced, but rather than learn from what has happened and create laws that might help protect people from mentally ill citizens using their arms to hurt others, our congressmen continue to make laws that allow for less restrictions for gun owners. They fought background checks, which the majority of the country was for, for years. Some continue to say that “a good guy with a gun can beat a bad guy with a gun” while law enforcement officials and prior examples of a “good guy” intervening say that’s a terrible idea (“We don’t know who the good guy is versus who the bad guy is if everybody starts shooting”). They say that guns are the best way to protect your home from intruders, but hiding and calling the police actually is the best way to protect your property and life.
So if all of the reasons people give for continuing the status quo with guns are either incorrect or misguided, then why don’t we do something about it? The NRA won’t allow us. They spent a ludicrous $3,605,564 on lobbying in 2015 and $1,190,442 on candidates in the 2012 election cycle. Whether you like it or not, money talks, and the NRA is dictating policy among those that take money from them.
Even as another shooting happened at a mall in Washington, nothing will change. Congress will continue to shoot down any proposed gun regulations. The NRA will continue to infect the minds of the nation with their propaganda. The second amendment will continue to be misunderstood. People will continue to die all because we created machines with the sole purpose of killing people and we are convinced that they aren’t dangerous.