The Second Amendment
?First, I would like lay-out the reasons for the Second Amendment. And second, in the tidbit(s) that follow, I will offer what God thinks about gun rights.
The Second Amendment declares: “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.”
There 2 interpretations of this amendment:
a.the Second Amendment is an individual right
b.the Second Amendment is a collective, protecting the right of a
state militia, but not individuals to possess arms
In this first tidbit, I argue the logic for the right of individuals to own guns. Following are six reasons I believe the Founding Fathers believed in individual gun rights.
1.The Framers understood this to apply to individuals.
2.The Bill of Rights was created to secure individual rights. The Second Amendment appears in the Bill of Rights, therefore the context of the Second Amendment is irrefutable evidence that it was designed to apply to individuals. Why then would the Framers place the Second Amendment in the context of the Bill of Rights—which I repeat, was designed to secure individual rights--if they intended to restrict its application to the government?
3.Allow me to return to the First Amendment for a moment, where the Bill of Rights records the ‘Freedom of Press’. Does this right apply only to the government? In other words, if the right to a ‘Freedom of the Press’ applies only to the government, then commentators on TitTok, Youtube, Facebook, and podcasts; not to mention NBC, CBS, New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, etc., are all violating the law! Why? Because none of these people or news organizations are government approved or sponsored! On the contrary, just as the ‘Freedom of the Press’ is an individual right, so also the Second Amendment upholds the right to own a gun, and is a government-sanctioned individual right.
4.The phrase “right of the people to keep and bear arms”, means just what it says, people are allowed to “keep and bear” arms. Second, are we to reject the clear definition of the word “keep” declaring that the “people” cannot “keep” their arms? If so, how are the words “people” and “keep” defined to support this position? In other words, does the word “people” not mean 'people'? Or, does the word “keep” not mean 'keep'? Third, does the word “militia” redefine the word “people”, in order for the meaning of the second amendment to apply only to a government-sponsored “militia”? Fourth, the word “bear” appears in the phrase along with the word “keep”, therefore, the second amendment declares that the “people” are allowed to both: a.keep AND b.bear arms. Obviously, the word “keep” is not synonymous with “bear”, or the phrase is willfully redundant. From the context of the second amendment the words are defined:
ii.“bear”=reveal/unveil at any moment necessary. Or, to carry; to
convey; to support and remove from place to place1
Now insert these simple definitions into the phrase: “right of the people to keep and bear arms”!
5.What kind of tortured logic would allow the Framers to argue that the words “keep and bear” arms:
i.applies only to a militia, and not to the people in spite of the word “people” appearing
directly in the amendment?
ii.applies only when the militia is fighting government-approved battles. In other words,
the militia must turn in their guns after a battle concludes.
iii.does not apply to “ the people”, which must include ‘citizens’; when the militia is
comprised of citizens.
6.If those who were called militia were in fact the army (government military forces), then they would be called an army, and not a militia. Second, if it is true that the militia is not a government military force, and if it is true that only the militia could “keep and bear” arms, why would not every man join the “militia” in order to have the right to “keep and bear” their arms after they fought in a battle? Third, if one believes the word “militia” applies to a government-trained and supplied military, why did the Founding Fathers not use the word “army”(navy, Marines, etc), which is the word most often used to identify a government-run military?
The point is, while it is not completely clear why the word “militia” was used in the Second Amendment, one thing we can be absolutely certain of is it could not have been the Framer's intent to apply the word “militia”2 to a military of the government because the word “army” would have been used instead. Remember, when the second amendment was debated and passed(1789), the U.S. had just won the war with Britain---which means the Framers understood the definition of an army! Point 7 further establishes point 6.
7.Although the Second Amendment is controversial because of the inclusion of the word “militia, points 2, 4, 5, 6, along with 7, are strong arguments that the word “militia” must apply to something other than an “army”, which I repeat, is normally used to identify government-sponsored troops. Why? Very simply, the word “militia” appears in the context of the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, which are rights directed to individuals!!!!
Why did the Framers advocate for individuals to possess guns?
i.To hunt for food
ii.Individual Self-defense. (Which I will cover in another tidbit)
iii.Foreign invasion. This should be an obvious reason because the War for Independence (Revolutionary War) was fought by American farmers, or ordinary people--not well-trained or experienced soldiers--who simply decided to fight for their freedom from Britain.
iv.Government tyranny.3 The Framers wanted individuals to be armed in case the government began attacking its own people.
2.In Federalist Paper 46, James Madison confirms that the Framers believed there was a difference between an ‘army’ and a ‘militia’: “This proportion would not yield in the United States an army or more than 25 or 30,000 men. To them would be opposed a militia amounting to near a half-million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves fighting for their common liberties and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted whether a militia of such circumstance could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against British arms will be most inclined to deny the impossibility of it.”
Notice that James Madison perfectly established the point that the militia were non-government individuals. He not only used the word “militia”, but he used the word “citizens” to make the point that they had rights: “a militia amounting to near a half-million of citizens with arms in their hands”, which means Madison believed the second amendment applied to the militia as individuals!!!!
2.The Framers believed it was possible for the government to attack the people. James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper 46: “Let a regular army fully equal to the resources of the country be formed, and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government, still it would not be going too far to say that the state government with the people on their side would be able to repel the danger.” “repel” what danger? The military danger the federal government poses to its people, i.e.regular citizens!
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