We have seen our 2nd Amendment rights fall under attack in recent years. The rationales vary from No One NEEDS an Assault Rifle, which is an often used but rarely defined term. We Don’t Need Military Style Arms on Our Streets, in truth most modern firearms were at some point derived from military use but the current military arms are not what we see at the range. We Need to Prevent Mass Shootings Like In Schools, according to Crime Prevention Research Center, 90% of all mass shootings between Jan 1998 and Dev 2015 occurred in “gun free zones”. These are the places where a shooter is least likely to encounter immediate armed resistance and therefore have more time to terrorize and kill.
The 2nd Amendment reads “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.”
Let’s look at the beginning of this carefully worded phrase. A common definition of Militia is “a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency”. Some will argue that the National Guard fills this intent. However, another definition reads “a military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities in opposition to a regular army”. This can be construed to mean a Militia force may be called to defend against an internal enemy. There is a meme seen regularly in social media that refers to defense against a tyrannical government. When I see a candidate for the highest office in the land threaten violence against citizens for refusing to comply with a proposed Executive Order to surrender personal property, I do question tyranny.
Now look at the end, “…shall not be infringed.” That is quite absolute. It doesn’t read May Not, it’s Shall Not. There is no ambiguity here. The framers could not envision the technological advances and did not provide for them specifically, but they also didn’t write that we could only bear muskets. However, for many years no one questioned the right. The first major gun legislation s was the National Firearms Act in 1934. The NFA imposed a tax on the manufacturing, selling, and transporting of firearms listed in the law, among them short-barrel shotguns and rifles, machine guns, firearm mufflers and silencers. Due to constitutional flaws, the NFA was modified several times. The $200 tax, which was high for the era, was put in place to curtail the transfer of these weapons. This began the gradual encroachment by the Federal Government on our 2nd Amendment Rights. Today, there are laws that vary state to state, as well as restrictions at the Federal level. Even when Federal Law permitted interstate transportation with some restriction such as unloaded, locked and inaccessible, and New Jersey has laws that agree with this with additional restrictions (per New Jersey Sate Police website) if you do a web search you will also find information the New Jersey requires a Firearms Identification Card, which the same search will tell you is nearly impossible for a non-resident to obtain. Additionally, they have recently imposed significant magazine size restrictions as well as limits on particular firearms. This is only one state, but it reflects a growing trend by liberal states to push their anti-firearms agenda without regard for federal law.
Firearms are believed to be held in at least 42 percent of U.S. households (per stastista.com). These are used for personal defense, recreation, competition, hunting…they encourage discipline and safety. For me, shooting is fun! I call it lead therapy and have a bag that reads a Bad Day at the Range Beats a Good Day at the Office.
I believe there is a reason the 2nd Amendment comes immediately after Free Speech. Two of our most fundamental rights as Citizens. You don’t have to look far in history to see what happens to populations who are stripped of their right to speak out and then disarmed. Next time someone questions your need for a firearm, remind them it is your right. It is their right not to have one. We each make the choice to be armed or not. But if armed, we must choose to be safe and be responsible.