Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Second Amendment

In honor of the writers strike, and Thanksgiving leftovers, I reprint a slightly edited version of something I posted in April , for no special reason, which seems highly relevant now.

Enjoy your weekend.

Second Amendment --- 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.

When the Framers came to discuss the Second Amendment, they were not interested in anyone’s right to shoot animals. They weren’t even concerned with the right of anyone to shoot animals or starve to death.

Nor were they concerned about anyone’s right to defend themselves against violence that may be committed against them by neighbors.

The Second Amendment is radical, not in the right wing way that the NRA states, but in the way that the SDS should have stated.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to insure that the government does not have a monopoly on firearms.

The purpose is to insure that the people, if they choose to, can organize a militia for their collective defense. And the thing that the Founders thought that the people were most likely to need collective defense against is their own tyrannical government.

A government regulation against hunting has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. A regulation to try to prevent you from carrying a concealed weapon to church or work or school has nothing to do with the Second Amendment.

A law that makes it illegal to use a gun to defend your home against burglars probably has nothing to do with the Second Amendment either, although I need to hear more about that.

However, a law that makes it impossible for you to own a gun so that you can go out and form a posse to defend your community against rioters, looters, a terrorist band or even the FBI or the United States Army -- that probably violates the Second Amendment.

And a law that allows you to own that real gun to form that hypothetical militia, but puts you to death if you actually form the militia and use that gun -- that's completely legal, too.