This phrase seems simple. Yet it may be one of the most controversial and misinterpreted statements ever made! Some people think that the first part, the mention of the well regulated militia, has no real bearing on the clause itself. Others think that the phrase does not apply to the individual, but is a “collective” right. Let’s take a look at the entire sentence and at the reason it was added to our Bill of Rights.
First, it is important to look at the intent of the Bill of Rights. It was argued that we should not add these amendments to our Constitution because they were considered to be rights that were endowed by our Creator to all living things. It was feared that if these things were stated by a government on a document such as the Constitution the implication would be that these liberties had been granted by said government and therefore could also be rescinded. The proponents of the Bill of Rights contended that the design was to limit the power of the government over the people. The Bill of Rights was to state the very basic laws of God and nature that no man or government could ever deny the individual.
Why was this so important to our Founding Fathers? Consider that most of the settlers to this new land made the long and dangerous journey because they had been persecuted in some way. Many were not allowed to worship as they pleased or were in danger of being jailed for their ideas or values. Imagine living in a place where you can be put in jail or sentenced to death for simply speaking out against an unfair act by your government. The brave souls who made that trip understood the concept of true freedom and felt it important enough to risk their lives and livelihoods to achieve.
Next let’s explore the Second Amendment and its place in the Bill of Rights. The drafters of this document realized that if the populace was to be self governing then the only way to maintain that balance of power was for the citizens to be armed and able to defend the Republic. A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state confirms that every able bodied man and woman has a responsibility to become proficient with arms to defend our nation against any tyrannical government. Therefore, the true intent of the Second Amendment is that the government shall never have arms that the law abiding citizen does not also have access to! You may argue that we have our national Armed Forces and don’t NEED the citizens to be armed in a modern world, but that is exactly the OPPOSITE of the mandate defined by the Second Amendment. If we allow or military to have arms that can easily overpower the general public then we are creating a situation where the Constitution has no force and the Republic is in grave danger.
Here are facts that history has proven time and again.
- Power corrupts. Even those who have good intentions often become intoxicated by it.
- Many crimes are committed under the pretext of following the law or following orders.
- Governments commit genocide repeatedly and it still goes on today. OUR government is no exception. Simply look at the Native Americans!
These are just some of the reasons that the Bill of Rights was drafted, and the Second Amendment is key to the security of our free state. Without the UNINFRINGED right of the people to keep and bear arms we have no freedom. So the next time your legislature wants to pass a “common sense” law to restrict private gun ownership it is your duty as a citizen, as a part of the self-governing Republic called the United States of America, to prevent passage. It is also your duty to work to get the current restrictions on private ownership repealed!
Hopefully this article will give many some insight into the true meaning of the Second Amendment. Ideally it will give us all a way to communicate to our lawmakers that they must repeal the unconstitutional laws that have been erroneously passed.