Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Second Amendment Certainty
"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."
--Second Amendment, United States Constitution (one sentence, four clauses)
I heard a man say, on the radio, "The Constitution guarantees my right to a gun."
Mad Dog is humble before the Constitution.
But Mad Dog has read through the Constitution, which is not a very long document, although it is quite a dense document.
And nowhere, but in the Second Amendment, do the authors of this document bother to explain why a particular right is granted, or why a particular right is denied. Even the 18th amendment (prohibition) is not explained. The amendment simply forbids the manufacture, importation or sale of "intoxicating liquors." It doesn't explain why this has been done, simply gives the law.
But in the 2nd amendment, fully one half of the four clauses are devoted to explaining why the government wishes to protect the right to bear arms. We don't have a standing army, see--so we need guys with guns who volunteer to defend us against Indians and Redcoats, see?
Only in the 2nd Amendment, is there an explanatory clause, unique in the document, to explain the reason the framers want citizens to be able to keep and bear arms--for the purpose of using those arms to defend the security of a free state, as a well regulated militia.
The idea that those arms would be regulated is stated right there, as a part of the description of who would be allowed to use (i.e. to keep and bear) those arms--as part of a militia. Do you see it? Tom Jefferson and Ben Franklin and George Washington, we are speaking to you, and we all want a group of men, acting together, until the direction of the officers of the militia to bear arms to defend us from forces which would impair the freedom of all of us.
We're not talking about defending yourself in some bar room brawl, or even in some dark alley. We're not talking personal freedom here. We are talking about defending a free state.
Until relatively recently in our nation's history the lack of ambiguity in this sentence was understood as self evident: We want guns to be available to those who organize to defend the free state.
Those bewigged 18th century gentlemen who voted in 1791 to ratify the first ten amendments could hardly have imagined gun shops selling assault rifles, bazookas, fifty caliber machine guns, grenade launchers, to wandering psychopaths, schizophrenics who hear voices and feel vibrations taking control of their bodies, sociopaths, resentful men and women who can only feel whole and worthy when they hold an AK-47 in their hands.
But they damn well could imagine a well regulated militia.
What sort of mind does it take to leap from the militiaman to the gun in every home--to my God Given Constitutional Right to an attack rifle-- imperative?
Mad Dog thinks we need Chris Rock to explain this distinction to the president of the NRA. You see, there is a difference between you and your home howitzer and the minute man in his three pointed hat with his flintlock. For one thing, he's a lot thinner. And I don't see any tatoos on the minuteman. It's true, you are both white and you both like shooting animals. But he has friends, unlike you. And he makes his own bullets and it takes about ten of him to kill five Redcoats in half an hour. You, on the other hand, are not what Tom and Ben and George had in mind.
Posted by the phantom speaks at 10:40 PM