Why does a woman in Connecticut with a dysfunctional son need a military assault weapon in her home? Think how different things would be if she’d bought an IPOD instead, but she didn’t, and her son blew her away last Dec. 14.
Then, since the NRA didn’t supply him with a herd of deer to mow down, he further vented his frustration with the mass murder of 20 children and six teachers at the Sandy Hook school.
Some say the Founding Fathers enshrined his right to do this in the 2nd Amendment. Well, if there really is a loophole in the Constitution protecting the rights of mass murderers, I personally think we should close it.
I actually do have suspicions about the motives behind the 2nd Amendment. Sure, the Fathers wanted us to have the means to protect ourselves against invasion by European powers with colonial aspirations. England, France, and Spain come to mind. But the Fathers weren’t doing any favors for our native American brothers when they passed the 2nd.
Then there was that big insurrection threat – over a million slaves in the five southern states, a third of the population down south. Arguably the Fathers were concerned about keeping the slaves in line when they passed the 2nd Amendment. Sorry, folks, but it wasn’t always pretty back in the day.
Which brings us to militias. Militias were not simply bunches of farmers who liked to hunt on weekends. Militias were authorized and funded by the states to protect us at a time when there wasn’t always a standing army. See Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution which puts two year limits on army budgets.
So, to be on the safe side, Section 8 authorized Congress to call on state militias to “suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions” which would seem to cover both the slave threat and the greedy Europeans. Section 8 also talks about “organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia” which you might infer gives Congress some say over what weapons militias should have and how those weapons should be used.
The 2nd Amendment came later and confused the issue. It didn’t rescind the provisions in Article I. Indeed, it reaffirmed the existence of militias and the need to regulate them. It also reaffirmed the right of citizens to bear arms. There is a strong possibility here that the Fathers were simply being cheapskates. Article I implies Congress would pay for the militias’ arms, whereas the 2nd Amendment implies citizens should pay for the guns themselves. Just goes to show you there’s nothing new about unfunded Federal mandates.
The 1689 English Bill of Rights, after which ours was patterned, uses slightly different language. It talks about the freedom to bear arms “as allowed by law.” If the Fathers had more closely followed that language, they could have saved us a lot of trouble.
Today, the threats from European powers, wild Indians, and slave revolts have abated. Now we are trying to figure out how to protect ourselves from neighbors with the fire power to turn into mass murderers if they happen to get up on the wrong side of the bed. Frankly, after seeing some of the neighbors on Fox News, a little gun regulation seems pretty reasonable to me.