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
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.