Submitted by William Elder.
“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.” Written by James Madison as part of the Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791 by the U.S. Congress.
From the outset, the Second Amendment was a compromise between Federalists who favored a strong national army to defend the new nation and Anti-Federalists who favored relying upon militia from the individual states for national defense. Militias typically “keep” their arms at home and “bare” them when called upon by regulating authority. Madison favored the later, as he clearly cleanly states. Weapons, long and short guns, were common among post colonial-war Americans, particularly in the rural South, both for practical uses – hunting, personal and household defense –and symbolically as an expression of defiance and the means for suppression of the slave population.
It was mostly a rural time In America, thin populations and scattered authority. Thus, possession of guns was widespread among Americans, and armed resistance was but one early seed of later divisions leading to the American Civil War. Digging 620,000 American graves in that war did not bury that seed beyond sprouting again. Reconstruction, the Wild West, and other domestic causes only added to it. “A well regulated militia” – in other words National Guard units – had been reduced to auxiliaries to the regular Army. So it was not they but the general population that had and used guns on each other, cause be-damned. Since 1865 Americans endured 155 years of mutually inflicted gun deaths. In 2015 alone, there were 33,636 deaths due to firearms in the U.S, with homicides accounting for 13,286 of those. Do the long-term math; I won’t.
Again and again we hear the Right assert: “Yeah, but it’s in the Constitution. I gotta Second Amendment right!” Unless you are a member of “(a) well regulated militia”, no you don’t, cowboy! Wanna kill your self? Help yourself. Wanna parade in front of your mirror with your commo and AR15? Go ahead, lick your lips, look bad. Wanna threaten and murder, look elsewhere than the Constitution to justify that. Look in vain and leave the rest of us the hell out of your fantasies – especially our families, our kids.
In the regulated fighting force called the US Army I fired Expert with M14, M16, M60, and a whole arsenal of CHICOM light and heavy weapons. I know from experience exactly what those weapons have been designed to do, have done with my help. They have absolutely no place on America’s streets, in her shopping malls, and God knows not in our schools – hardly even a place in my worst memories. We must get them back in military arsenals! No more discredited Constitutional claims of non-existent privilege.
The dirty little secret of the Right to Bear Arms assertion is the real intent by many to use these very weapons against our own government and those whose jobs are to protect it – listen up, military – against their fellow citizens, against anybody or any authority the Right dislikes or disagrees with. Just scream LIBERATE! And watch. That’s the plug nickel at the bottom of the dirty tin cup they rattle: phoney as the Commander-In-Chief’s self-claimed courage.
Think the government is too large, too intrusive, too unresponsive, too liberal? Put down your assault rifle, kick it away, and we’ll discuss it. And reasonable people will discuss it, whether you are there or not, mutual anger abetted for a precious moment.