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 sepost7678@gmail.com.

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15 Responses to "Thoughts on the Second Amendment"

  1. Avatar
    Gene Ralno   August 25, 2019 at 10:27 am

    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.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Steve Post   August 25, 2019 at 4:22 pm

      Gene, clear and cogent commentary – thank you for additions to the discussion!

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    G   August 25, 2019 at 11:30 am

    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.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Steve Post   August 25, 2019 at 4:20 pm

      “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.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Dave   August 26, 2019 at 10:57 am

      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.

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    News Maven   August 25, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Steve Post   August 25, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      News Maven – hilarious – thank you!

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    G   August 25, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    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.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46507514
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list#data
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/
    https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/
    https://www.vox.com/2015/8/27/9217163/america-guns-europe
    https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/01/the-geography-of-gun-deaths/69354/
    https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/22/3/216.full

    Reply
    • Avatar
      DeepStateProvacatuer   August 26, 2019 at 7:59 am

      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.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Steve Post   August 26, 2019 at 10:18 am

        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.

        Reply
  5. Avatar
    Pretty Petty   August 26, 2019 at 10:56 am

    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.

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    steve   August 26, 2019 at 11:29 am

    “crazy tendencies”? Who decides what “crazy tendencies” are?

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    DAVID   August 26, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    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?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Steve Post   August 26, 2019 at 3:01 pm

      Totally your call, David. Depending on the intent of your NFP, you might exclude more progressive donors – not that they give much to charity anyway.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        DAVID   August 27, 2019 at 9:59 am

        Yeah, I think you’re right. I will try something else.

        Reply

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