Every day, another story comes out with a complete and total perversion of the original wording and intent behind the 2nd Amendment. One most recent story I found was a reader opinion piece at the Sante Fe New Mexican. Their punchline perversion is summed up like this: “There is no Second Amendment right to own guns. So intended the founders!” The Supreme Court in the Heller decision explained that the second amendment guarantees an individual right of the people to keep and carry arms for their defense in the event of a confrontation, yet these simple minded sheep ignore anything they deem unworthy.
They completely ignore the history and meaning behind the 2nd Amendment. If they had read any part of the related Federalist Papers, they would have a much clearer understanding of the meaning behind it, and that it is actually 2 parts. Students of the second amendment should be familiar with both Federalist 29 and 46, which discuss the role of an armed populace in protecting the precious freedom which had so recently been won. It was that thinking that led to the adoption of the second amendment. Madison wrote clearly about guns and the need of the people to have them, and he was also the original drafter of the Bill of Rights, including what would become the second amendment. The anti-gun crowd regularly accuse second amendment supporters of only focusing on what Justice Scalia called the operative clause of the second amendment, the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” They assert that we ignore the prefatory clause that reads, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” To them the prefatory clause confirms that the purpose of the amendment was to protect the right of the states to have militias or as they sometimes phrase it, the right to bear arms when in militia service.
In the original Amendment, that comma separates it into 2 distinct parts separating militia and arms:
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.
This helps separate them so if the first part is perverted (as it has) and we get the militia/military coming after the people, we the people should have the arms to fight back. Sadly the entire Amendment has become perverted as they try combining it into one. I sometimes use this analogy: You have a truck, a car, and a motorcycle. Using the perverted interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, this means there is a car and a motorcycle stacked on top of the truck as a single “vehicle”, which those with common sense understands is not what is meant. So how could it be meant for one but not the other?
If we were to expand this into modern day wordy laws based in current terminology, the true meaning of the Amendment would be expanded into something like this:
a) A well regulated military with limitations on its budget and actions, only to be used as necessary for the security of and maintaining the freedom of this nation and rights of its citizens against any enemy foreign or domestic;
b) the right of the citizens to buy, sell, own, keep, carry and bear arms without restriction or limitation shall not be infringed.
c) The federal government nor any state, county, parish, or city, nor any business or government run facility shall pass any law restricting a citizens rights to arms as outlined in this Amendment.
Madison saw exactly what could and did happen to Great Britain at the time, and warned of the same thing happening here within our borders. “I wish also, in revising the constitution, we may throw into that section, which interdict the abuse of certain powers in the State Legislatures, some other provisions of equal, if not greater importance than those already made. The words, “No State shall pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law,” were wise and proper restrictions in the constitution. I think there is more danger of those powers being abused by the State Governments than by the Government of the United States. The same may be said of other powers which they possess, if not controlled by the general principle, that laws are unconstitutional which infringe the rights of the community.” A short sighted view where the federal government will always be afraid of the people, and/or the states.
In the 1700s, militia was defined as “volunteer non-conscripted citizens taking part in a military group for defense of their city or state” (and state is defined as their nation). Therefore our modern day military IS by definition the militia that needs to be well regulated. Yet we have the opposite, a massively unregulated militia/military run by the government, not for the security of a free state but for their private military force to do as they please. The Constitution addresses the militia in Article I, Section 8. It states “The Congress shall have the power … To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”
The issues come in where Congress had taken United States Code, Section 311 and modified it slightly after the National Firearms Act of 1934 (which greatly restricts the ownership and transfer of automatic weapons), while they were greatly scared of a citizens uprising against their policies which had helped to keep the Great Depression going longer than it should have, to proclaim that the militia only constitutes (b) The classes of the militia are— (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia. This allowed them to separate the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines into the national military controlled by Congress and the President, instead of well regulated as part of the militia. Madison spoke in Federalist #46 “The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition.” If “the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both” (the states and the people); “that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads.” He had warned about a national military, separate from the militia, as a means by the government to control the people and used for ambition instead of against an enemy of the people, and the people in their blissful ignorance will accept this security in place of some liberties. Benjamin Franklin agreed on these same points: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
In Madisons speech on the introduction to the Bill of Rights, he laid it out very clearly: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.” Federalist number 29 by Alexander Hamilton expanded on the needs for the rights of the citizenry to be armed, for the very reason they had then to fight against an overbearing British Empire, and for a time like we see today when we may need to make a stand against the current overbearing Corporatist Oligarchy. Hamilton expanded into the very reason for a militia by the people in the individual states, not a national military: “If there should be an army to be made use of as the engine of despotism, what need of the militia? If there should be no army, whither would the militia, irritated by being called upon to undertake a distant and hopeless expedition, for the purpose of riveting the chains of slavery upon a part of their countrymen, direct their course, but to the seat of the tyrants, who had meditated so foolish as well as so wicked a project, to crush them in their imagined intrenchments of power, and to make them an example of the just vengeance of an abused and incensed people? Is this the way in which usurpers stride to dominion over a numerous and enlightened nation? Do they begin by exciting the detestation of the very instruments of their intended usurpations? Do they usually commence their career by wanton and disgustful acts of power, calculated to answer no end, but to draw upon themselves universal hatred and execration? Are suppositions of this sort the sober admonitions of discerning patriots to a discerning people? Or are they the inflammatory ravings of incendiaries or distempered enthusiasts? If we were even to suppose the national rulers actuated by the most ungovernable ambition, it is impossible to believe that they would employ such preposterous means to accomplish their designs.” Here we see very clearly the need for individual localized and state militias and the desire to never need or create a central national military, as it could be (and now is) used for the purpose of riveting the chains of slavery upon a part of their countrymen… to crush them in their imagined intrenchments of power, and to make them an example of the just vengeance of an abused and incensed people. The very government and military base we have today, Hamilton spoke against in 1788.
In the Federalist #46, James Madison spoke against an over reaching “future” government. “If, therefore, as has been elsewhere remarked, the people should in future become more partial to the federal than to the State governments, the change can only result from such manifest and irresistible proofs of a better administration… because it is only within a certain sphere that the federal power can, in the nature of things, be advantageously administered.” He saw that only in a case where the people come up with a better system and more freedom for the people and their rights, should the people “become more partial to the federal than to the State governments”. Instead the opposite has happened. He spoke of the power of the people first, state second and the federal third: “It has been already proved that the members of the federal will be more dependent on the members of the State governments, than the latter will be on the former. It has appeared also, that the prepossessions of the people, on whom both will depend, will be more on the side of the State governments, than of the federal government. So far as the disposition of each towards the other may be influenced by these causes, the State governments must clearly have the advantage.” Yet less than 70 years later, Lincoln usurped this state power over the Federal with his suspension of the Constitution and expansion of martial law in order to quell state rights. Madison continued for the need to limit the federal government based on the words and actions of the British government: “Measures will too often be decided according to their probable effect, not on the national prosperity and happiness, but on the prejudices, interests, and pursuits of the governments and people of the individual States.”
What we have today is an uneducated or “wrongly educated” population of people who day by day give up more and more of their rights, despite being clearly stated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. A federal government comprised of laws that go against the same Constitution, using it to be pitted against the people to further restrict them, instead of its purpose of limiting government. We have several cities and Washington DC that even after the courts have told them the Constitution allows the right to keep and bear arms, they have so many restrictions that it makes the right nearly impossible to follow without straying from local laws. We have a system where if we lie to the government it is a felony, but when they lie to us, it is politics.
If we are to pass on these rights to our children and grandchildren as they have been to us by our parents and grandparents, we need to make a stand very soon, before we have no more 2nd Amendment to protect us from losing the rest.