- Obamacare sucks in every possible way.
- The ruling had a somewhat subtle, but firm slap in the face of Congress, declaring that their use of the Commerce Clause was incorrect and that the authority for the act rested under the Taxation Powers of Congress.
- In joining with the left, John Roberts may have just handed the November election to the GOP. Now the GOP has more to run on that “we’re not Obama”. They’ve got the economy and they’ve got Obamacare. It won’t be hard for them to point out that the costs of Obamacare will be borne by the taxpayers in the middle of a bad economy – a formula that got them a tremendous victory in the House last November. The more I think about it, this whole scenario has a very Karl-Rovesque feel to it, with someone playing a much smarter game than anyone’s realizing.
- The ruling makes Democrats happy today. I liken it to a team who just got a touchdown in a football game. They did, however, miss the extra point and now the other team (the GOP) has excellent field position. The only question is: can our Bringham-Young-graduate QB take it to the paint?
Archive for June, 2012
Posted in Conservatives Are Smart, Economic Stupidity, Education Time, Government Healthcare, Quick Updates, Superme Stupid, Time for ANGRY, tagged 1984, Annoy Liberals, Congress, Democrats, Election, Freedom, Get It Right, GOP, Harry Reid, Health, Nancy Pelosi, Obama, Obamacare, Silly, Stupid, Tea Party on June 28, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Conservatives Are Smart, Dumb Republicans, Government Healthcare, Liberals Are Dumb, Superme Stupid, Time for ANGRY, tagged 1984, Annoy Liberals, Congress, Democrats, Do Something, Election, Freedom, Get It Right, GOP, Health, Obama, Stupid on June 28, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
So the court says Obamacare is a-OK. That’s right: the right of the government to force you to spend your money how they see fit is covered under “taxation authority”. And, as expected, there’s a lot of blame to be passed around, most of it resting on the back of Chief Justice John Roberts.
But I don’t blame Roberts. Honestly, looking at the ruling, I see the direction he was heading in: Congress has the power to tax you, and forcing you to buy health insurance is no different. It’s not an argument I agree with 100%, but it’s a logical one. It also throws the role of healthcare back into the legislature. No, I don’t blame Roberts or even the left side of the court.
I blame you.
That’s right, America – I blame you. You’re the one who elected these idiots. You’re the one who voted for “hope” and “change” instead of thinking things through. You’re the ones who voted retards into Congress assuring us that they were nowhere near as socialist and liberal as we said they were. You, and only you, are the ones that I hold responsible for wiping your ass with our constitution, our economy, and our future and flushing it down the toilet. You were stupid.
You don’t like that, do you? You don’t like me calling you a bunch of retards? Well, then, you shouldn’t have voted for retards.
Want to change my mind about you? Then freaking vote right this time. Stop sticking your fingers in your ears when someone tells you that Obama and his radical left are lying to you. Stop feeling bad about your own racism, thinking you can cure it by voting for a black guy who hangs out with domestic terrorists like Bill Ayers. Stop not thinking things through.
And you Republicans? Don’t you DARE back down on this. Take hold of the reins that the people are screaming at you to take hold of and show us some leadership. Defund this piece of garbage and send it back to hell where it belongs. Be conservative, not stupid.
I’m waiting on the Obamacare ruling to opine. Or waiting for something stupid. Either way, I shant have to wait long…
Posted in Conservatives Are Smart, First Amendment, Liberals Are Dumb, Nothing to See Here, Time for ANGRY, tagged 1984, Annoy Liberals, Censorship, Christianity, Democrats, Do Something, Education, Evil, First Amendment, Free Speech, Freedom, Get It Right, Indoctrination, Liberty, Orwell, Religious Freedom, Stupid on June 13, 2012 | 1 Comment »
School in the… wait for it… liberal Democrat-leaning state of New York… censored an art student’s contribution to a mural. They had tons of religious imagery on the wall, but the minute a student who believed that Jesus was the Way, the Truth, and the Life decided to paint a cross and a few song lyrics, the school felt that she’d crossed the line.
Painting a mosque? Fine. A demonic creature? A-OK. The Taj Mahal? 10-4. A Native American totem pole? Yee-hah. A cross? BLACKLIST THE TWIT!!!
Look, I’m all for not pushing religion on people. I am a dedicated, strong, stubborn Christian, but I know that there are people who neither share my faith nor want to share my faith. And while I do believe I am called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to let you know the Good News that He can save you from your sins and the penalty to come if you only repent and believe in Him… but I’m also well aware that the best way to communicate the Gospel is to build a personal relationship with people and to meet them where they are so that you can point them to the Cross. An ineffective method would be sticking students in a classroom and indoctrinating them via a state-approved religious curriculum.
Having said that, there seems to be a mistake made by the anti-religious crowd and bureaucrats, that our precious little angels – and by extension, our precious little public – must be freed from any expression of religious (read: Christian) belief in the public circle. They crow about the separation of church and state and point out that the Supreme Court has ruled that prayer isn’t allowed in any classroom, ever! Ha ha ha!
Silly people. Silly, evil people.
Let’s take a quick look at the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
There’s a lot of meat in there, but it’s meat that’s easily identified and served up. Let’s stick with just the stuff that sticks with this case.
1. Congress shall make no law. This is pretty simple: the first amendment is a restriction on the actions of Congress, not the people. Much like the 2nd Amendment protects the right to bear arms, the First Amendment protects the rights of the people.
2. An establishment of religion. Again, pretty simple: Congress is not allowed to declare an official religion of the United States. This was because many of the American colonies were founded by Christian people for religious purposes, and those Christian groups sometimes didn’t get along, sometimes even with themselves. By avoiding the establishment of a national religion, those debates were rendered moot at the Federal level, even though every single colony still acknowledged Almighty God in their charters. Today, this has been extended to other religions.
3. Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The Federal Government cannot keep you from practicing your religion. If you want to practice Voodoo, that’s your business (so long as you’re not breaking any laws in doing so).
4. Or abridging the freedom of speech. Again, while there are reasonable limits placed on this right (you can’t yell fire in a theater, you can’t threaten someone’s life, etc.), it’s typically accepted that the government is not allowed to tell you what you can and cannot say. Simple? Sure.
So where did we get lost? In my ever-loving opinion, it started in the 1980′s, when the Supreme Court ruled in Abington Township v. Schempp , where they introduced the “secular vs. religious” test. Later, in Allegheny County v. Greater Pittsburgh ACLU, the court went full retard, ruling that having the words “Gloria in Exelcis Deo” was illegal because that was totally religious, but it was OK to have a Menorah, because that’s totally secular. By entertaining a micromanagement approach towards the free exercise of religion, the Court empowered those who want to push a secularist religion like atheism.
This leads to incidents like this, where the same people who thought it was evil, wrong, super-evil censorship to ban the sale of 2 Live Crew albums in Florida think it’s perfectly OK to paint over a student’s artistic expression of admiration for her God because, Lord knows someone might see her picture and get magically forced by the school board to join the Baptists. They’re so busy enforcing point #2 of the amendment that they miss #3 and #4. They’re taking a very liberal view of the constitution, where one can change the plain meaning of the constitution as it suits the situation (hence why I join Alonzo Rachel in rejecting “progressive” as a label for people who are more accurately described as “liberal”). This liberal view means that the freedom of those who should be protected by the constitution is subject to the whims of a government bureaucrat.
Everyone who gets involved with guns has their favorites, and when I started this list, I had a nice, large collection of guns that I’ve owned, fired, or just plain fascinate me in every possible way…. and then I realized I have a life and I could easily spend hours making up this post.
So I’m going to keep this simple: my favorite long gun, my favorite semi-auto handgun, and my favorite revolver. And then you can tell me your favorites.
My favorite long gun:
Winchester Model 1892
I love shotguns and rifles with varying degrees of love, but there is just something special about the Winchester 92. The beautiful lever action and its widespread Hollywood-generated mythos just make for an awesome, gorgeous gun. I have to confess: I don’t own one. Yet. I do, however, accept donations.
Runners up: M1 Garand, Mosin-Nagant Model 1944
My favorite semi-auto handgun
There are tons of great semi-auto fans out there and I know I’m going to step on some toes when it comes to those who prefer Glocks, Rugers, Sigs, or God help us all, Hi-Points… but the Beretta 92fs is one of those guns that just feels right. There’s a reason it’s been the standard sidearm for the US military. It feels like a handgun should feel. I’m not a fan of the feather-light semi-autos that are like air in your hand. I want a gun that has some heft to it, and the 92fs delivers. It’s accurate as hell, comfortable and simple to handle, and fun to shoot.
Runners up: Smith and Wesson M&P, Colt M1911A1 (again, accepting donations)
This one’s been a long time coming for me because I’ve toyed with revolvers for a while, but never bit. Revolvers, especially snubbys, always had too many shortcomings for me: lack of accuracy, too much kick, too tight on the double action pulls. I’d handled a few, but was never really impressed with them – until now. I put my hands on this baby for the first time this past February and, following that event, knew that this gun would be mine. I finally picked one up a couple of months later and I have to say: Ruger got it 100% right. It’s super-accurate for snubby, handles kick a lot better than expected, and the double action pull is smooth as butter. Not only my favorite revolver, this has quickly become my favorite gun. It’s a perfect balance of power and ease of use. The LCR comes in 3 calibers: .22, .38, and .357. I recommend the .357 simply because it gives you the option for .38 or .357 and the added few ounces weight help to reduce the kick even on the .38.
Runners up: Ruger SP101, Smith and Wesson Police Special
So what’s your favorite? What boomstick lights your fancy? What piece of 2nd Amendment awesomeness do you hope to add to your collection? Comment below (or on one of the places where this article pops up).
Thanks for tuning in this week to Gun Week. We’ve gotten some positive feedback and may do this again in the future. In the meantime, if you own guns, I’d love to get your feedback on these articles. If you don’t own a gun, but have considered buying one, I highly recommend that you take the advice of people far more skilled than I on the subject. Massad Ayoob is a master at understanding the laws regarding the use of guns, and any of his books on gun use comes highly recommended. My other favorite source of information (if anything, just for the great attitude he has towards the subject) is Hickok45, whose Youtube gun reviews and commentary are extremely popular for a reason.
This week’s articles:
Posted in Conservatives Are Smart, Education Time, Guns and Gun Rights, Liberals Are Dumb, tagged Annoy Liberals, Education, Freedom, Gun Rights, Guns, Liberty, Real Men on June 7, 2012 | 2 Comments »
We’ve gone over why we should own guns and the various gun law issues. So the question arises: is the 2nd Amendment absolute? Should we be allowed to have nuclear weapons, RPG’s, and other instruments of death that are restricted to the military? How far should these restrictions extend?
There are extremists on both sides. One side, of course, denies that the 2nd Amendment means what it clearly says. These people should be ignored and mocked. The other side, of course, says that no citizen should be denied a weapon that the government can’t get its hands on. These people… are actually pretty close to the original intent of the 2nd Amendment: namely, the right to defend yourself against government tyranny.
Having said that… there are reasonable restrictions on guns that reasonable people should agree with. In deference to the gun supporters, no, I don’t think that citizens have a right to carry an RPG around in public. While we have the right to repel government tyranny, there has to be a reasonable limit on what a potentially untrained citizen can do with weapons that do more than put a bullet in a bad guy. During the revolution, there were limited numbers of citizens who owned such devices, but they were limited mostly to rich people who needed to protect goods. However, I doubt the framers ever considered the concept of a private citizen owning a nuclear weapon that could destroy a city. Frankly, it was just too foreign of an idea to consider.
And that leads us to restrictions. Over time, the legislatures and courts around this land have worked to define exactly which “arms” are protected under the 2nd Amendment. Recently, the Supreme Court (in DC v. Heller) agreed that handguns are protected as “arms” under that Amendment and that Federal enclaves like DC (later extended to states in McDonald v. Chicago). However, the SCOTUS has also ruled that there are reasonable restrictions that the government can apply to gun ownership in the interest of public safety. While traditional purposes for guns like self-defense and hunting are protected, weapons that kill indiscriminately (like RPGs and nukes) are not protected – and this is an example of a reasonable restriction.
So… what about restricting the places guns can exist? Is it a reasonable restriction, for instance, to restrict guns on school campuses? Well, it may be reasonable to restrict access to guns by children, but it’s also a big, fat joke. “Gun Free Zones” are some of the most dangerous places to be in America because if I’m a criminal who wants to kill a bunch of people, I’m not going to go somewhere where people can shoot back. Think about it this way: some of the deadliest shootings in American history have occurred at places that were “gun-free zones”.
- Virginia Tech Massacre, VA: Walking Evil walks onto campus armed to the teeth and systematically murders 32 people and injures 17 before putting a bullet in his own head.
- Luby’s Cafeteria, TX: during a time when you couldn’t legally carry a gun in public in Texas, a jerkwad of a human being walked into a cafeteria and killed 23 people and injured 20 before killing himself.
- Columbine High School, CO: 2 douchebag high school students illegally acquire weapons and illegally enter their gun-free high school where they kill 13 and injure 21 before finally finishing themselves off.
All gun-free zones. All used as target galleries by people who didn’t care about the law. The Luby’s Cafeteria shooting was interesting because one of the results of that event was that one of the survivors ended up running for the Texas Legislature and worked to get concealed carry laws passed in Texas, meaning that the next time some asshat walks into a restaurant in the Lone Star State and pulls a gun, he’s likely to be facing down a dozen citizens ready to return the favor.
OK, since gun-free zones are a joke, are there other reasonable restrictions? Surely no one needs clips that hold 30 rounds, do they? Or automatic weapons? Or what about those “cop-killer” bullets? Those are all scary things and normal people wouldn’t ever want those, would they?
Well… see, that’s just window dressing. Restricting the number of bullets in clips didn’t keep the Columbine shooters from doing their evil, did they? It just means that if you want to fire off a bunch of rounds, you need to buy more clips. Cop-killer bullets? Any bullet can kill. The idea that one bullet is more special than another bullet is an absolute joke. Over the years, gun control advocates have waged war against magic bullets that could supposedly pierce cops’ body armor or could somehow do so much damage that the world would somehow come to an end. The actual studies on these bullets showed that the fears were unfounded.
Automatic weapons? Let’s be honest: most people have no idea what an automatic weapon is. Heck – even the cheesy little NRA video that I had to watch to get my CCW license used “automatic” and “semi-automatic” interchangeably. Honestly, tho, when it comes to fully automatic weapons, I’m ambivalent. I can understand the allure and the usefulness of these weapons under the Founders’ standards, but can also understand how dangerous they can be in the wrong hands. Maybe requiring an additional level of training would be in order.
And this leads me to the one big area that I support that I’m not sure others will: I believe in training. I believe that good training makes for good gun owners, so much so that I believe that every gun owner should be required to undergo training in matters of use and law before they’re allowed to carry their guns. HOWEVER… once they’re trained, I fully believe that everyone who’s not a violent felon or adjudicated mentally unfit should have the right to carry open or concealed without restriction. And if you think this will lead to a “Wild West” scenario, then you’ve been watching too much TV and not paying attention to places that have looser gun laws where crime rates go down when these freedoms are enacted.
So what kind of weapon should you carry? Well… we’re going to cover that tomorrow.
Posted in Conservatives Are Smart, Education Time, Guns and Gun Rights, Liberals Are Dumb, tagged Annoy Liberals, Concealed Carry, Congress, Do Something, Freedom, Gun Rights, Guns, Liberty, Real Men, Right to Carry, Zimmerman, Zimmerman vs Martin on June 6, 2012 | 7 Comments »
First – I updated yesterday’s post because I forgot one big point about why you should own a gun: hunting.
Now, on to guns! Or more accurately: gun laws.
If there’s anything that the Trayvon Marin case has taught us, it’s that the average citizen – and occasionally, gun owner – knows about as much about gun laws as they do about quantum physics. On the one hand, you have puppet masters and their marionettes screaming about the evils of “stand your ground” laws.
I’ve already covered the Trayvon case before, but there are some things that bear repeating. For instance, everything Massad Ayoob says here:
Again, as The Great Ayoob says in the above video, you have a right to defend yourself with deadly force in the United States. No state in the union can take that right away from you. They can, however, restrict that right using laws like the “duty to retreat” and “concealed carry”. We’ll talk about reasonable restrictions tomorrow, but for today, let’s reiterate some basic points.
First, let’s talk basic self defense. Again, you have the right to defend your life and the lives of those around you if you, as a reasonable person, believe that you are presented with a real and present danger to your life, serious bodily injury, or serious sexual assault. If a bad guy is coming after you with a knife, you have the right to pull a gun to defend yourself.
Where you live, however, defines how you can use that gun. A few states require you to at least attempt to retreat, even in your own home (“officer, he was coming to kill me and I tried to get away, but couldn’t”). Other states have a castle doctrine or stand-your-ground law that removes this duty to retreat, so long as you are in your home or, depending on the state, in your car or your place of business. Other states have a variety of the stand-your-ground law, where you have no duty to retreat at any time in any situation, and you have a near-absolute right to defend your life without retreating an inch.
As I’ve said before, I am not a lawyer. You should consult your state’s laws if you have any questions.
Second, let’s talk about carrying your gun. Again, this depends on where you live (hence why you should call on your Senators to back the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, which will protect your rights to carry your weapons if you cross state lines into any state that allows you to carry your weapons (Illinois and DC being the only notable anti-freedom locales in the US). The House has already passed the bill, and now it’s in the hands of Harry Reid’s Senate.
God help us all.
It’s important to know how you can carry your gun. Most states have some sort of concealed carry license that requires you to receive some level of training and maybe do a background check so that you can carry your gun in a way that it can’t be easily seen by the public – and that shares that rights to some degree with other states. Some states allow you to carry your gun on your hip in full view of the public. Some of those states have restrictions on open carry that are, well…. Interesting. North Carolina, for instance, protects the right to open carry in the state constitution, but the right is whittled down by a restriction that doesn’t allow you to cause terror to the public. In other words, you have a constitutional right to carry your sidearm in a holster in full public view… right up until someone gets nervous. As soon as that happens, you may be found to be “armed to the terror of the populace” and you may find yourself in trouble. Again, check your state’s laws (and the laws of states you visit) for more information.
Having said that – I’ve got some opinions here. Surprise, surprise. My take is this: if you haven’t been convicted of a violent felony or adjudicated by the courts to be mentally deficient or found to have an intelligence quotient that would qualify you as mentally disabled (below 80), you should have the right to open or concealed carry without a license. If you’ve been convicted of a non-violent felony or a misdemeanor, you’ve served your full time including probation and parole, and you’ve gone 10 years without having another conviction, then I believe your full gun rights should be restored.
While I’m dreaming, I’d also like a pony and 100 bajillion dollars.
I guess the simplest point to all of the law questions is: be educated. 20 years ago, it was more difficult and sometimes you could slide on simply not knowing things. Heck, 20 years ago, a woman carrying a gun in her purse often wouldn’t have a moment’s worth of trouble from the police who figured that an armed woman was better than a dead one. Now the laws have changed, concealed carry is a state law (meaning that the state has a financially vested interest in you following the law that criminals aren’t going to follow anyway), and the cops presume that you’ve Googled all state laws regarding weapons carrying. There’s a bit more freedom, but far less leeway. Hunting laws are similar: there’s much less flexibility in their enforcement than there was in previous times, so you need to keep up to date on the laws, limits, and licensing.
Stay informed. Stay frosty.
So, now that we’ve covered that you do, indeed, have the right to own and bear weapons, we need to address the issue: why you should own a gun.
To a certain extent, I have to catch myself here. The reality is that a lot of people are frightened of guns. They find them scary additions to their homes that would only serve to increase the amount of danger were an intruder to invade your living space. Why, you’d just shake like a leaf until the intruder took the gun out of your hands and then shot you dead, destroyed your children, and poured sugar in the gas tank of your ’68 Mustang. Or, maybe you’re afraid that, armed with a gun, you’d turn into a nightmarish gun-toting vigilante worthy of a late 80’s movie staring Sam Elliot’s mustache (and possibly Sam Elliot).
Yeah, I have to respect your fears. At the same time, I have to remind you that you’re making your decision because you’re afraid, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that facing your fears can make them go away. So let’s set aside your fears for a moment and talk about why you should own a gun.
First, there’s the most basic purpose under our constitution: the right to stand up to the government. As discussed on Monday, the second amendment to the constitution was written both to protect our ability to form militias to defend our nation, and to remind the government of who really holds control. Some people may disagree with this, but that’s only because they didn’t read my first entry.
Second, there’s the other obvious point: self-defense. Despite what others may tell you, the world is not a happy place where people hug all the time. There are bad people out there who want to take your life, your liberty, and your property, and while negotiating really, really hard is one method to deal with these people, a more effective method is to own a gun, train on how to use it, and then use it properly.
Third, there’s the collector value. While cars lose half their value driving off the lot, guns hold their value pretty well. Sure, you may not be able to get as much as you want at the pawn shop, but if you sell it privately, you can usually retain between 60-75% of the value of the gun – and some guns continue to increase in value based on age, manufacturer, uniqueness, etc. This can come in handy when the chips are down and you need some cash to make ends meet.
Fourth, you can hunt. Now, I’m not one to scream yee-hah and then see how many small critters I can slay on my path to filling my Taxidermical Room of Death back at the Elephant Stomping Grounds, but reasonable hunting can be a good thing. For one, it can provide your family with a source of meat that’s as organic as it gets? Grass-fed cattle have nothing on a deer that’s spent its life running from predators like mountain lions and SUV’s. Additionally, hunting can help to keep animal populations under control, keeping those surviving animals stronger and healthier. In North Carolina, we have a deer population of over 1 million, which sounds awesome until you realize that our state’s natural resources can only support around, I believe, 275-300,000. This means more animals competing for fewer resources, being less healthy, and creating traffic hazards for drivers on NC roads. Hunters are currently helping out by harvesting about 150,000 deer a year, but this is barely holding the population at its current level. Simply put: we need more deer hunters in North Carolina.
Finally, there’s the fun factor. Taking guns to the range and using them in sport shooting is a great way to spend an afternoon (and to spend old ammo). Getting a tight grouping is a thrilling experience, and practice just means your groupings get even tighter. One fun idea is to take your significant other to the range and challenge them to a points game, where the highest-point partner gets to pick where you have dinner after you’re done.
Plus, you’ll look cool. And ladies, let me tell you: there’s no perfume on the planet that’ll attract a man like the smell of burned gunpowder on a chick who knows how to properly handle her .45.
Even better, if you have kids, take them to the range. Teaching kids about using guns responsibly is the first step to ensuring that they don’t pull a Columbine. Take your youngin’ down to the range with a .22 and teach them how to peg the bullseye from further and further distances. Start with a BB gun when they’re 8, move up to a .22 when they’re 10, and by the time they turn 12, they’ll have the knowledge and skill to be a solid gun user.
And again, I can’t emphasize enough: education, education, education. It’s not just for readin’ and ‘rithmetic. It’s also for our next entry.
Posted in Conservatives Are Smart, Education Time, Guns and Gun Rights, Liberals Are Dumb, tagged 2nd Amendment, Annoy Liberals, Congress, Freedom, Guns, Liberty, Real Men on June 4, 2012 | 3 Comments »
Today, we open up Gun Week here at PachydermsBlog, and we’re going to do so with a doozy. We’re going to talk about the 2nd Amendment, that controversial piece of legislation that keeps Americans armed and Gun Control advocates frightened and scrambling to redefine exactly what the Constitution clearly says.
So, I’m going to let Penn Jillette explain it to you:
He explains it masterfully, much more quickly than I’m about to. First, he takes the text of the amendment, which reads thusly:
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.
For years, the debate has raged over the exact interpretation of this amendment. Gun rights groups have tended to focus on the 2nd half (shall not be infringed) while gun control groups have focused on the first half (a well-regulated militia). The typical GC interpretation of this amendment is that since there’s a qualifier in the passage about a militia, then the 2nd Amendment only applies to the states’ right to call up a militia, and since the national guard has replaced the militia, there is no need for common citizens to bear arms.
Jillette, however, disagrees – as do gun rights groups. Their claim is that the qualifier in the Amendment was never designed to restrict access to guns, but instead provides historical context as to why the right of the people should not be infringed. They argue that since the state has the right to arm itself, the people should be able to preserve the right to rebellion by taking up arms against it.
So… the truth? Honestly – a little bit of both.
First – the early nation did rely on the state-risen militia for regional defense. It didn’t have the money to fully fund a full-time military and so the people, as they had under the English crown, could expect, at times, to be called up to serve as a part of their state’s militia, to act as a supplement to the national military. However, we also have to understand the historical context as well. The people writing this amendment had just fought a war for freedom against the British Empire using citizen soldiers and militia.
It’s also important to understand that the early legal theorists who studied the amendment shortly after its inception did so in direct contrast to the English Bill of Rights that allowed the right to bear arms on one hand, and then restricted that right to the very wealthy on the other, by allowing Parliament to pass laws that restricted gun ownership under the guise of protection of wild game. At the same time, they also recognized that the right to bear arms was conditional: that there were circumstances where the government had the right to restrict the bearing of arms – however, they were very clear in their belief that the ultimate purpose of the second amendment was to allow the people a path to rebellion against tyranny. And what’s the best way to repel tyranny enforced by military might? Guns.
Keep in mind: fighting tyranny is exactly what the Bill of Rights is about. James Madison stated that he supported the idea that “the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purposes of its institution.” The first 10 Amendments are built around this concept: protecting the citizenry and restricting Congress (1st, 9th, 10th, and the later 27th – along with the unratified Congressional Apportionment Amendment), the military (2nd, 3rd), and the courts (4th-8th). None of these amendments are designed, in any way, to restrict the right of the people.
In fact, as Jillette and Teller point out in the video above, the idea that there’s some sort of “breath” in the amendment doesn’t jive with the simple statement that the 2nd half of the amendment clearly states: the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Usually this is where the discussion turns to the gun control advocates crying like children about how if the 2nd Amendment allows guns, then it should allow common citizens to carry nuclear weapons, and common sense would dictate that this is a bad idea, right? RIGHT?
Well, we’ll get to that later this week. In the meantime, be calm and content with the fact that the framers distrusted the human greed for power enough to stick an amendment in the Constitution that forces the government to remember that its citizens are armed.