The 2nd Amendment Is a Silly Anachronism That Costs a Lot of American Lives
I agree 100% with Booman:
So, on the one hand, the distrust of standing armies and of an overarching federal power led to the adoption of the Second Amendment, and state militias would be remain under state control as much as possible during a federal muster. On the other hand, to make this practicable, the Congress soon concluded that every man must own a firearm. The Second Amendment only restricted what the federal legislature could prohibit, but the Militia Acts applied to the states and their citizens.
Now, consider that we have had a National Guard since 1903 and a standing army for much longer than that. I’ve never met anyone who wouldn’t move from one state to another because they didn’t want to live under a foreign religion. We haven’t had a draft since the 1970’s, and the idea that the federal government could compel you to buy a firearm seems tyrannical to every American citizen. If the government does compel us to serve, we expect them to pay for our equipment.
We got over our religious differences. We got over our fear of a standing army. We allowed the federal government to play a large role in our state’s militias when they were organized into national guards and reserves. But, somehow, we never got over our adherence to the Second Amendment. In fact, about ten years ago, the Supreme Court for the first time in our nation’s history ruled that citizens have an individual right to a firearm irrespective of their potential service in a militia.
We’re not living in a country anymore where everyone owns a gun or where every male citizen can be compelled to own a gun. We aren’t relied upon to race to the country’s defense if an emergency arises so immediate that there is no time to raise a standing army.
Almost every element that was present when the Second Amendment was enacted is absent now.
I recognize that many people still believe that an armed citizenry is a bulwark against tyranny, but it’s not much of one as the standoff at Waco made clear. The primary way that the Constitution tried to prevent tyranny was by denying the federal government a standing army. To do this, the Founding Fathers devised provisions to make a standing army unnecessary or limited in duration. The state militia system was their device for accomplishing this, but it’s a solution that predates the Napoleonic Wars. It proved itself unworkable over two hundred years ago.
The rationale for the Second Amendment is an anachronism. This is true if you look at the narrow language they used (A well regulated Militia, being necessary…), and it’s also true if you look at the wider context and purposes of the amendment. Not only is a militia no longer necessary, but the whole scheme we use for our national defense is a gigantic violation of the principles the amendment sought to preserve and protect.
When we get rid of our army, marines, and air force, and we eliminate our National Guards and Reserves, and we reapply the principle that our citizens must be ready to muster to the nation’s defense and provide their own equipment, then we can talk about how necessary it is to preserve the Second Amendment.
In the meantime, anyone who tells us that the Original Intent of the Founders requires us to consent to the easy availability of AR-15s and other like weapons, is completely misinformed.