The Second Amendment is the one thing that has always stood against liberal gun control policies and the outright banning of personal gun ownership. No matter how devastating the tragedy that Democrats try to use in support of tougher gun laws, they run into a stumbling block. Namely, the U.S. Constitution. To get around that, many liberal scholars have begun to opine that the amendment doesn’t really mean what it says.
The wording of the Second Amendment is as follows: 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.
Seems fairly straightforward, but gun-control activists have seized upon a strange view of grammar construction to argue that the first half of the amendment makes the second half obsolete. Instead of viewing the prefatory clause as a reason for the right, they see the second half as dependent on the first. They argue that the presence of National Guard troops and armed police make it unnecessary to extend the right of gun ownership to private citizens.
Liberal judges – some of whom have occupied seats in the Supreme Court – have used this argument in favor of restricting private ownership. The claim is that the founding fathers wanted only to provide states with the military power to oppose a national army. According to them, the Second Amendment has nothing to do with self defense as we think of it today.
The argument against this way of thinking is simpler, more logical, and more in line with outstanding documents of the time, which provide further insight into the framers’ state of mind. In a nutshell, we argue that just because the reason given in the Constitution is no longer applicable, the right itself remains the same. One is not contingent on the other.
Don’t Second Guess The Founders
Imagine if the founders had phrased the First Amendment as such: Privately-published newspapers being necessary to ensure limited government, the right to free expression shall not be infringed. If we were to carry over the liberal translation of the Second Amendment, our right to free speech would be contingent on the continued publication of said newspapers. It would not apply to books and other media, and it would presumably go extinct when newspapers did. We can see through this example how ludicrous the argument really is.
Still, this debate is not going away anytime soon. It’s not relegated to a few whackjobs on the left. And trying to take the founding fathers out of their place in history to apply their wisdom to the modern world can be a tricky business. Therefore, the fight will go on. But if the left really wants to repeal the Second Amendment, they should make a move to do so. Make the case, publicly and transparently. We have a process that allows for these changes. Pass a bill through Congress, have it ratified by the states, and you have a shiny new amendment that obviates the old one. But because they know the majority of Americans will strongly oppose such an act, they are content to push for gun control in sneakier, less-obvious ways. We must confront this anti-constitutional process whenever it arises if we wish to maintain the democracy we treasure.