“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.”
(originally published on Blogger, Monday, May 24, 2010)
The Militia contemplated herein, was not a standing army — that any future threat to sovereignty would, as during the Revolution, be met by militias which equipped themselves — that to enact restrictions on arms would be to deprive the fledgling nation of any capacity whatever to repel invasions, or quell disorders.
Indeed, the Constitutional Convention was motivated in part by Shay’s Rebellion, and was much upon the delegates’ minds.
In an age of flintlocks and dueling pistols — rifles and six-shooters would have seemed quite fantastic.
Would the delegates have favored preserving a right to keep and bear an AK-47?
Although the principle of the Common Defense does not connote ‘assault,’ conceivably, the delegates might have found assault weapons deeply interesting to national security.
But such overwhelmingly destructive power in civil society’s midst — wielded by a single hand — would have been an intolerable and appalling prospect, unlikely to ensure “domestic Tranquility.”
The comparison, made by Second Amendment advocates and gun enthusiasts, that an AK-47 is the modern equivalent of the flintlock, is absurd on its face — a false analogy, resting upon an egregious oversimplification.
As with any Right, there is a reciprocal obligation not to exercise the Right in such a way as to cause harm.
Experience has shown that the right is both a menace to public safety, and manifestly repugnant — not merely to any Amendment, nor even to any Article, but rather — to the principle of domestic Tranquility, found in the Preamble.
Should Americans have a right to keep and bear assault weapons?
Robert Press says, No.
Posted by Hardwood Paneling, III at 6:28 PM
[Amendment II: extended -- 12/20/2012]
Since the founding of the Republic, citizens and soldiers alike have given “the last full measure of devotion” to secure these Rights; it is, however, quite another matter for these freedoms to be exercised at somebody else’ expense: any society that can countenance purchasing their Liberty with the blood of innocents, can hardly be considered civilized.
There are those who point to the statistics, that out of a population of more than 300 millions, the percentage of firearm-related homicides (2.98% in 2009) are “negligible.”
Statistics reduce people to mere abstractions — but, a funeral is anything but abstract.
I challenge anyone to comfort the parents of a child murdered in a school shooting with statistics.
The Right, as drafted, did not contemplate entitling those engaged in criminal activities or with a diminished capacity for reason, to its protections.
To suggest that only automatic weapons are assault weapons is ludicrous:
the M1 semi-automatic rifle was used by American soldiers in the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and the Second World War … and this is not an assault weapon?
A Sniper rifle can be either semi-automatic or (more commonly) bolt-action … and this is not an assault weapon?
The fact is, almost any firearm can be used to advance an assault, and restriction on types of weapons or regulations on ammunition are likely to be as effective as the Volstead Act.
A firearm, legally obtained under strict permitting and rigorous background checks, cannot be guaranteed not to be carelessly maintained or that access would be denied to all but the licensee: perhaps, civil and criminal liability for negligence would be more effective in preventing a duly-licensed weapon from falling into the wrong hands.
Nobody asked — just my opinion.