This may come as a shock to many on the right, but the current year is 2015. We are living in the 21st Century and things have changed somewhat since 1792 when the Bill of Rights was formally ratified by the States and became the first 10 Amendments to our new Constitution. During that time of our history, we recognized slavery, we had no standing army to speak of, we were only 13 States hugging the Eastern coast of this continent (later in 1792 Kentucky & Vermont joined the Union). Only white male property owners had the privilege of voting or holding office, the British had a standing army to the North of us in Canada (they were still peeved) the French had territories to the West of us along with the Native Americans (who were peeved with us) and the Spanish had territories South of us (they didn’t think much of us). We had no control of the sea lanes in the Atlantic, we were in debt, we were mostly agricultural in our economy only barely beginning industrialization in the North, and we were close to completely dissolving as a union because the former Articles of Confederation couldn’t hold all the states together and regulate trade, sharing of resources and interdependency.
The state of the art weaponry at the time was cannons and muskets. A well trained and regulated militiaman could fire 4 to 5 rounds a minute with a musket. See below for what was involved:
As I noted above, the country did not have a standing army to speak of. So one of the 12 proposed amendments to the Bill of Rights (only 10 were ratified by 3/4 of the States) was the 2nd which read “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 addition to this amendment, Congress passed and President Washington signed the Militia Act of 1792 which gave the President of the United States the authority to call out the Militia in defense of the nation from both foreign and domestic threats.
In 1794 George Washington called out 13,000 militiamen from Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania to put down the Whiskey Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania. The rebellion involved an insurgency of 500 armed men who didn’t want to pay a tax imposed by the Federal government. The 2nd Amendment along with the Militia Act was used by the Federal Government to put down a domestic insurgency over taxes in our country. Keep in mind, George Washington was one of our “founders” who oversaw the Constitutional Convention and was instrumental in the Bill of Rights being passed. I don’t think he saw the 2nd Amendment as a means of the Citizen to prevent a tyrannical government. In fact, he used it to put down an illegal insurgency.
Now fast forward to the end of the 20th Century and today, the 21st Century. A fully trained, regulated and disciplined militiaman in 1792 could fire perhaps 5 rounds a minute with accuracy of perhaps 150 yards. Today, one man, not particularly trained or disciplined can take an easily available AR-15 that if fully automatic can fire 800 rounds per minute for an effective range of 547 yards. Today we are 50 states that span two oceans. We have the most armed and lethal military forces in the history of the world. We literally have the ability to destroy all life on the planet many times over. Our police are also equipped with advanced military style weaponry and are well trained, regulated and disciplined. Though we face threats from terrorists around the world, the sovereignty of our country is in no danger from any other nation or group.
Most of those who scream about the 2nd Amendment rights that our founders gave us not only tend to forget the first clause of the amendment “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” they also forget about the Militia Act of 1792 and our history.
However, for the sake of argument, let’s say they are right. The founders gave us the absolute right to hold any weaponry we so desire unregulated or interfered with by government in any means, way or process as the only way to hold to keep our government from being tyrannical. At best, you may be a veteran, you may have some manpower behind you, you may have some pretty good firepower at your disposal; should our government decide to become tyrannical, do you really think you would have a chance against this:
No, our government is not tyrannical, it’s not out to take away your rights and certainly not your guns provided you are lawful and not mentally unstable. If you think they are, then maybe, just maybe you are mentally unstable.
The only danger this nation truly suffers from right now, more so than terrorists are those among us who feel an absolute right to own, display and carry with them these weapons of mass killing. It’s those who say they do it to prevent crime and protect us from government that actually presents the risk to the safety and well-being of our citizens.
There is no need for a civilian to own an assault rifle, a high capacity magazine, just like there is no need for them to have grenades, anti-personnel mines, flame-throwers, tanks, stinger missiles, drones, or anything best left to our military that are well regulated, trained and disciplined. Having these weapons on the streets is the danger, not the remedy.
Australia successfully banned assault rifles and guess what? They are just as free as they were before and there have been no mass shootings as there were before the ban. We are the most armed nation in the developed world, we have 310 guns spread out among some 80 million Americans and we also have the highest rate of gun violence and death in the world.
No validated studies have proven any reduction in crime due to gun ownership. There are those who cite studies, but when the research methodology is analyzed as well as the data, they are quickly debunked. Anecdotal studies make for great stories, but not science or reality. If you play the odds that a gun will protect you and keep you safe, the odds are against you. You’re taking a chance with your life and the lives of those who live or are near you. That is a statistical fact.
Gun registration will not make you any less safe or in danger of the government coming in at will to take your guns away, but it will help law enforcement in solving crimes involving gun fire like DNA and fingerprint records are used to identify known criminals who continue to break the law.
Background checks will not prevent you from owning a gun provided you are not a criminal or mentally unstable.
Limitations of ownership of assault rifles or high capacity magazines will not make you any less safe, unless you plan to go to war against local police or the United States Army.
Time to face up to reality. Too many unnecessary gun deaths out there that could have been avoided were it not for this unsubstantiated and completely wrong interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Not all gun violence can be eliminated, but it can certainly be controlled far better than the status quo.
If you have to bring guns to intimidate unarmed women who want to meet to discuss gun control measures like these idiots below, you only prove our point that certain people shouldn’t be anywhere near guns.
Thanks for posting this. My local paper, The Providence Journal, ran a series called ‘the cost of a bullet’. Most people are not aware of the lifetime cost of caring for a young man paralyzed in a shooting, or of the suffering he endures. Just one example of the price we all pay.