Thoughts on the Second Amendment

Thoughts on the Second Amendment

“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.” – The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution

My understanding—I could be wrong—is that our Founding Fathers, with special clarity in the Declaration of Independence, intended in our nation’s original documents to protect the God-given liberties of all the citizens. In so doing, they intentionally used language to show that the state wasn’t granting these liberties, for it had (and has) no power to do so.

I’ve heard some well-meaning folks call our right to bear arms a “God-given right.” I’m not certain a biblical case can be made for that or for some of the other amendments. That said, those particular protections were born of a wisdom cultivated by the experience of tyranny under King George III (and all the way back to Henry VIII) and his parliamentary ministers and their colonial policies.

In the Second Amendment, their intent was to have an armed populace so that governmental tyranny could never centralize the power to steer the nation where the people did not want to go. It wasn’t written for hunters or for home protection, though, like today, their firearms were multi-use.

Arguments against civilians having “weapons of war” are antithetical to their intent. Indeed—even if the government has superior firepower—the hundreds of millions of firearms owned by citizens is ample disincentive to try to seize power. So, like all despots and “tyrant kings,” the first step of those seeking domination of a citizenry is always to disarm it. Banning imports of powder and firearms and confiscation attempts in 1774-75 helped precipitate the Revolutionary War.

I know there are other well-meaning folks who believe with no animus that reducing the number of firearms will help prevent some of the events we too often witness these days. I believe they are mistaken. “Common sense gun control” is a shibboleth to convince those who are uninformed that these steps will reduce mass shootings. They won’t.

First, the toothpaste is out of the tube. Attempts to keep guns from criminals and those morally sick enough to carry out these shootings are fools’ errands. There are simply too many available and already in the hands of ne’er-do-wells. And as we’ve learned, even if guns aren’t available, those seeking to do harm will find other ways, whether trucks or bombs or knives. “Assault weapon” is anything used to assault someone with—no matter how benign its original design.

Second, criminals past and future, by definition, don’t obey laws. Laws forbidding certain types of firearms and requiring miles of red tape may seem “common sense,” but they only penalize those willing to obey the law.

Finally, the far left wants to compare the U.S. to other western democracies who have followed the “gun control” logic with debatable success. Frankly, they are not us. Their constitutions are not our constitution, nor are their histories our history.

Like “climate change” and open borders, progressives’ intent is not about saving the planet or welcoming the “tired” and “poor,” it’s about centralizing power. Even if you lean liberal (in the classic sense), you should decry the fact that our First and Second Amendments are under assault. These protections are in place so that no one—ultra right or left wing—can usurp the will of the people. If President Trump has the intent some on the left attribute to him, they ought to be out front in the fight to protect the right to keep and bear arms.

Progressives respond to thoughts like these with emotionalism and demonization. Gun owners I know would be glad to be inconvenienced or caused extra expense if they believed there would be a net outcome of saved lives. Watching the world today makes that thought preposterous. As long as there are bad guys with guns, good guys and girls with guns are necessary.

Steve Post is a Tallahassee resident, armchair theologian, and past local ministry lay leader. Contact him at

20 Responses to "Thoughts on the Second Amendment"

  1. Justice Amy Coney Barrett Second Amendment dilemma

    In some 229 years neither law professors, academic scholars, teachers, students or congressional legislators after much debate have not been able to satisfactorily explain or demonstrate the Framers intended purpose of Second Amendment of the Constitution. I had taken up that challenge allowing  Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s dilemma to understand the true intent of the Second Amendment.

    I will relate further by demonstration, the intent of the Framers, my understanding using the associated wording to explain. The Second Amendment states, “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.”

    Militia, a body of citizens organized for military service.

    If, as some may argue, the Second Amendment’s “militia” meaning is that every person has a right to keep and bear arms, the only way to describe ones right as a private individual is not as a “militia” but as a “person.” (The individual personality of a human being: self)

    The Article of Confederation lists eleven (11) references to“person/s.” The Constitution lists “person” or “persons” 49 times to explicitly describe, clarify and mandate a constitutional legal standing as to a “person” his or her constitutional duty and rights, what he or she can do or not do.

    It’s not enough to just say “person/s” is mentioned in the United States Constitution 49 times, but to see it for yourself (forgo listing), and the realization was for the concern envisioned bt the Framers that every person be secure in these rights explicitly spelled out, referenced and understood how these right were to be applied to that “person.”

    Whereas, in the Second Amendment any reference to “person” is not to be found. Was there a reason? Which leaves the obvious question, why did the Framers use the noun “person/s” as liberally as they did throughout the Constitution 49 times and not apply this understanding to explicitly convey the same legal standard in defining an individual “persons” right to bear arms as a person?

    Justice Amy Coney Barrett dissent in Barr v Kanter (2019) Second Amendment argument acquiesced to 42 references to “person/s, of which 13 characterize either a gun or firearm. Her Second Amendment, “textualism” approach having zero reference to “person/s. Justice Barrett’s  view only recognizes “person/s” in Barr, as well in her many other 7th circuit rulings. It is her refusal to acknowledge, recognize or connect the U.S. Constitution benchmark legislative interpretive precept language of “person/s,” mandated in our Constitution 49 times, to the Second Amendment.
    Leaving Supreme Court Justice Barrett’s judgment in question.

    In the entire U.S. Constitution “militia” is mentioned 5 times. In these references there is no mention of “person” or “persons.” One reference to “people” in the Second Amendment. People, meaning not a person but persons in describing militia.

    Now comes the word “shall” mentioned in the Constitution 100 times. SHALL; ought to, must ..

    And interestingly, the word “shall” appears in the Second Amendment. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and shall not be infringed.”

    “[S]hall not be infringed.” Adding another word “infringed” to clarify any misunderstanding as to the intent of the Second Amendment. Infringe. To encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another;

    The condition “Infringe” has put a stop as to any counter thoughts regarding the Second Amendment, as you shall  not infringe or encroach  on beliefs other to what is evident as to the subject “Militia.”

    Finally, clarifying “..the right of the people to keep and bear arms…
    People. Human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by common interest.

    In closing, I am not against guns, everybody has them. I’m against using the Second Amendment illogically as a crutch. If it makes those feel better so be it. Just what it deserves, use it with a wink.

    William Heino Sr.

  2. Well said, Mr. Post.

    I’m no gun freak, but as a lineal descendant of General Andrew Pickens (Rev. War S.C. Militia General), I have to honor his generation and their incredible sacrifice against tyrannical rule and stand firm that the gov’t can pry my guns “from my cold dead hands”.

    America had a close brush with an awful form of cancer when BHO got elected … we narrowly escaped. We all must insure at the ballot box that this kind of lunacy does not take high office again. Now, if we could only talk some sense into the lunatics in California, Minnesota, Illinois, the New England states and New York.

  3. The wife and I have friends and family in England. I used to accompany her, but no more.

    1- self-defense there is illegal. If you are acosted on the street and fight back AT ALL, you will be arrested (too) for “taking the law into your own hands”.

    2- Knife crime there has now proliferated, imagine that AND in a show of not learning from the first ban, knives are now banned there as well. Sure you can own that kitchen knife you already have, but try to buy a shiny, new carving knife, especially one good for carving a turkey, say, 12″ long, pointed and very sharp. You’ll need to show I.D., have a background check done and you must carry the banned item directly home in the original plain packaging sealed and stamped at the store. I.e., Robert Dias, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, etc., directly home. There have also been spot inspections by the police there, of umbrellas with too sharp a tip. So umbrellas might now be considered a weapon if the metal tip is too pointy.

    3- Acid attacks (face melters) are now huge there and the “replacement population” also loves commandeering 18-wheelers and driving them at speed up onto crowded sidewalks mowing down/killing/maiming pedestrians. Obviously commercial-duty drain cleaners (face melter acid attack stuff) and large trucks (“lorries” over there) need to be banned.

    So the wack liberal posting here can now also say that the more access to knives, large trucks, industrial drain cleaner and pointy umbrellas all raise the likelihood of more knife, large vehicle, drain cleaner and pointy umbrella crimes.

  4. I recently started a Nonprofit and to raise money, we are thinking about giving away a Rifle. It will be a Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Sport Semi-Auto. Should I or should I not do this?

  5. There are many democrats who are pro 2nd amendment – with common-sense restrictions. Like thorough nationwide background checks and denials for those with verifiable and even questionable mental illness – even as juveniles. If we choose our guns, we have to also choose to be smarter with access. If students in high school display crazy tendencies, why shouldn’t that be tracked and used to deny a license later in adulthood? That’s common-sense policy that gets no traction because people jump to the conclusion that we’re advocating for all guns to be taken away. That’s never been my stance or any democrat’s that I know stance. Banning bump stocks and magazines that hold excessive rounds….why is that a bad idea? None of the arguments can make that a rational policy.

  6. I can tell it’s going to be difficult to explain this, but I’ll try. Demonization means “to portray something as wicked and threatening.” I did no such thing in my post–if you choose to believe that the collection and analysis of data portraying the prevalence of gun ownership, the fetishization of guns and gun culture in this country, and the amount of violence involving these weapons in this country, which is incredibly out of balance with every other developed nation on earth, is somehow “slanted” or “biased,” I’m really not sure what can be done. If the data represents something, you don’t want to believe, I would suggest re-examining your values. There is an interesting phenomenon called the backfire effect: people who have steadfast beliefs in one thing or another, when presented with factual evidence to the contrary, will double down on their beliefs rather than change their minds. So, go ahead and comb through the following, though you’ll probably dismiss the research as “biased” and “leftist.” Luckily, political orientation has nothing to do with facts, and the gun nuts in this country are in the death throes of an imagined culture war. I’ll be glad when it’s over and we can get back to living peaceful lives that are based on mutual trust and love for others.

    1. Lol, all so true, G!

      When presentation of observable fact becomes “demonization”, you are debating someone who has not entered the argument in good faith.

      The fact that the “tell it like it is” crowd so rapidly wants to proclaim America as the unique snowflake country as soon as guns as discussed tells you just how brittle the foundation of their beliefs are. We can’t do anything, not anything at all about guns because we just aren’t like *every other industrialized country on Earth*. We are *special*. The entitlement, the princess syndrome would be hilarious if they were not successfully modifying policy.

      1. G – you are correct that your comment about “adults” wasn’t technically demonization, but, though backhanded, it was in the category of an ad hominem. As for 1) predicting a response (“you’ll probably dismiss the research as “biased” and “leftist”) – you are absolutely right! I can copy and paste articles that statistically argue my side that you would dismiss as “biased,” too. 2) Instead of arrogance and condescension (“I can tell it’s going to be difficult to explain this, but I’ll try”), why don’t you deal with what I actually said in the article in a cogent manner – I’d be glad to consider your thoughts. 3) “Backfire effect.” Yeah, I took persuasion in graduate school. The problem is that the same could be said for you – we both think the other is convinced of a lie, having “drunk the Kool-Aid.” 4) on getting “back to living peaceful lives that are based on mutual trust and love for others.” (Is that like the trust you have for responsible gun owners?) Believe or not, I have the same objective as you state here, just a different view on how to get there.

        DSP – as you can see above, my errant claim of demonization had nothing to do with “observable fact.” So, your statement of is true if inaccurate in this case. (Also, unless you are in the UK, the comma goes inside the closing quotation mark – same as other punctuation.) Other than that, you’ve added nothing to the conversation.

    2. I see your references & raise you…
      liberal books:
      John Leonard Bell _The Road to Concord_ (when the power-mad Brits tried to steal the Massachusetts militia’s cannon, gun-powder, & small arms)
      Clayton E. Cramer _For the Defense of Themselves & the State: The Original Intent & Judicial Interpretation of the Right to Keep & Bear Arms_
      Robert Higgs _Arms, Politics, & the Economy_
      Gary Kleck _Targeting Guns_
      John R. Lott _More Guns Less Crime_
      J. Neil Schulman _Stopping Power_

      a token conservative book:
      Edmund Burke _Reflections on the Revolution in France_/_Reflections on the French Revolution_

  7. I put down my assault hardcover book, and took my assault frying pan off the oven to read this great piece on my assault laptop.
    Thanks for writing.

  8. There is overwhelming evidence that more access to more guns raises the likelihood of gun violence. Handwringing like this is neither desired or helpful — actual research followed by action is necessary. Also, climate change doesn’t belong in quotes. Believe whatever you want, but probably best to go ahead and keep it to yourself while the adults take action.

    1. “G,” thanks for proving my point (see “demonization” above). I’d probably take your post more seriously had you not hidden in the anonymity of a single initial rather than using your name…like an adult.

    2. What research is that, there are actual Towns in the US where there are more People than not who open Carry and guess what, those Towns have no Crime. If you have people in favor of Gun Control, they will only seek out the Figures for Gun Violence.

  9. I hope large numbers read and accept your outstanding thoughts. I’d add one of Bloomberg’s key propaganda machines has again whipped democrats, weak minded Republicans and victims into uncontrolled hysteria. As usual, all these politicos and demonstrators have been hoodwinked by Bloomberg’s rhetoric and haven’t read his 2018 data.

    It reveals gun homicides declined seven percent, firearm injuries declined 10 percent, fatal child shootings (under 18) declined 12 percent and unintentional shootings plummeted 21 percent. Generally, since 1991, the murder rate has fallen by 45 percent and the overall violent crime rate has fallen by 48 percent.

    Inexplicably, Bloomberg wants the nation to believe the nation is in crisis, suffering an epidemic. Folks, there is no crisis. Generally, shooting incidents involving students have been declining since the ’90s. During that time, citizens were buying a record number of firearms. In 2018, more than 26 million firearms were purchased, a number exceeded only by 27.5 million in 2016 when purchasers were mortified that Hillary might be elected.

    Further, regarding many new laws, the Supreme Court isn’t about to jeopardize its own reputation by reducing the ability of private citizens to defend themselves. It’s especially important because currently, half the nation’s murders occur in only 63 counties while the other half are spread across the other 3,081 counties. Said another way, 15 percent had one murder and 54 percent of the nation’s counties had no murders at all.

    Besides, they’re sick of our paralyzed congress creating ambiguous laws that ultimately land in the Supreme Court. They know it’s easy to blame the tools used for murder and to write acts that impede acquisition by peaceable, lawful citizens. They know it’s far more difficult to focus on the more complex reality of why incomprehensible murderers do what they do. If something is to be done, perhaps it should be focused on the mental defectives, criminals, terrorists and illegal aliens.

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