Okay. It's a big one. Y'all ready?
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 the mad dash of gun-toters to defend their God-given constitutional rights to bear arms, I think there's something that we have forgotten. The first part of that sentence, to be specific. Now, this is my interpretation, and a relatively uneducated one. I have not yet read up on what our founding fathers were thinking when they came up with this amendment, but since it was the second one in our constitution, they obviously thought it was extremely important. But let's look at this all the same.
I feel like there is a huge disconnect between current reality and the first four words of this amendment. "A well regulated militia" does not really exemplify what our country is dealing with right now. Would a member of a well regulated militia gun down kindergarteners and teachers? Or enter a high school and murder fellow students, then commit suicide? Or gun down people enjoying a movie? Not in my definition. A member of a well regulated militia would not commit murder of one's innocent peers. That is the realm of insanity.
Here's where definitions really become important. According to Webster's 3rd (our stateside equivalent to the Oxford English Dictionary), here are the two applicable (not obsolete) definitions of militia:
1. a part of the organized armed forces of a country whose members live at home, carry on their usual vocations, and except for occasional calls for drill or instruction are liable to call only in emergency.The way I read this is that as long as the use and possession of firearms is placed in the context of military service, whether by troops or civilians, it is fine. And this military service has to be well regulated, as do the people who participate in it, with the ultimate goal of securing and maintaining a free state. This does not mean people can just go out and get guns because they want to. They should be subject to regular training - and I doubt most folk out there would take issue with this. I mean, that's what gun clubs, target practice, and hunting are for. But they should also be subject to regular screening regarding their mental and emotional stability. I do not want someone buying a gun who is going through a divorce or was just fired, and who has anger management issues, psychopathic tendencies, or severe depression. This does not support a well regulated militia or the security of a free state. (Of course, this begs the question: what if said person already has a gun? Is the gun then subject to being confiscated? And who approaches said person to take that gun? I'm not quite ready to answer that one.) Also, what if a person wants a gun, but does not want to be a member of the military or in a similar supporting role? What if they just want to, say, go hunting? Hmm...I'd have a hard time taking guns away from people who use them purely for sport. (As you may have guessed, I'm just brain farting onto this screed by now.)
2. the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service
I don't view the second amendment as a carte blanche right to bear arms. It has to be taken in the context of a secure, free state, one in which parents feel safe sending their kids to the school of their choice, or people feel safe engaging in a night's entertainment of their choice. It has to be taken in the context of the first part of that sentence. And for now, that's all I have to say. Maybe more later.
(Note: after sifting through a few other blogs and articles, I'm starting to see more context behind the 2nd amendment, and can see that some of what I've written may be considered facile. But I still stand behind the logic of it. I'm not a fan of psychopaths with weapons.)