First- let me say I have owned guns the vast majority of my life. My family has a long history with their manufacture. And they are amazing pieces of engineering. I had a concealed carry permit for many years- though I honestly never really used it. And I no longer own guns- after my car was broken into after being at the shooting range one day, and my gus stolen- I found that my enjoyment of these pieces of engineering was not worth the risk they would take a life.
And to be fair- this is in my mind again over the Trayvon Martin killing, and the coward vigillante who has 47 pages of transcripts of 911 calls reporting “suspicious black males”, who chased down and killed an unarmed teenager.
I have never considerred them a defensive weapon. I don’t live in fear, and like a responsible gun owner my guns were always unloaded, in a gun safe at home, and triggerlocked if they with me in transport. All of which make them wholly unsuited to defense.
And I have been robbed at gunpoint. Well, attempted to. I laughed, turned, and walked away. Yes- I could of been shot. But again, it’s those in fear that tend to brandish a weapon.
But, this definition of cowardice wasn’t my point. It’s the intellectual one. Those that wrap themselves in the second ammendment.
For generations- there has been arguements over this ammendment- more often then not ignoring the spirit of it, and splitting hairs over the letter of it.
so of course- I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the two versions of the 2nd ammendment- the changes in placement of the commas has led to unending social and legal debate:
As passed by the Congress:
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.
As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
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.
And finally- the Bush stacked ultra conservative supreme court decided to ignore not only the meaning of the militia, but of the very core of the beliefs of our founding fathers.
Our founding fathers largest concern here was a standing federal army- a concern that we, and especially the right- forfeitted long ago. Their intent was crystal clear- NO standing federal army that could be a tool of opression. The people were to be armed, and trained- under the control of state run militias at the individual governors control. At times of national crisis- the governors could choose to send (or not) their militias to form a national military. (anybody care to guess how this might have played out during Vietnam? During Bush Jr’s war in Iraq?- EXACTLY the check and balance they had intended).
So now we live in a country where armed opposition to the government is not possible- we have allowed the balance of power to be so far shifted. The militias…now essentially the national guard a far cry from what was intended.
Having read and studied not only our founding fathers, but the philosophers and thinkers they respected, I can’t help but feel that they would not only be appalled at the current situation, but incensed that they were being used to defend it. This is clealry not what they had intended…