If there is one thing that really gets me about gun fanatics, it’s these silly 2nd Amendment arguments that don’t actually take the 2nd Amendment into account. These people tend to be mostly Libertarians, who, as we all know, aren’t all there intellectually, but there are plenty of neo-cons too and the less said about them, the better.
Now I’m not anti-gun by any means, I’m entirely fine with people lawfully owning firearms, I always have been and always will be. What I am is pro-reality and pro-rational argument, which a lot of these gun nuts simply do not have.
I bring this up because, as usual, I got into a pissing contest with one of these delusional Libertarians who kept claiming that the 2nd Amendment gave him the right to own any weapon he wants, up to and including nukes. So I pointed out to him that the actual language of the 2nd Amendment never says that and he tells me, wait for it… that what the 2nd Amendment actually says doesn’t matter, only how it is interpreted in the modern courts.
Um no. I know this is hard to understand but the 2nd Amendment is the only gun-related document that was actually ratified by the states and made an official part of the founding documents of this country. Your interpretation, whatever it happens to be, was never voted on by the majority of American citizens, as required to make it an amendment to the United States Constitution. If you want to try to get the Constitution amended, knock yourself out but we both know you have no shot in hell of actually doing so.
I don’t want to spend a great amount of time explaining the history, I’ve done it before and therefore I’ll just touch on it briefly. At the time the Constitution was written, the fledgling United States did not have a standing military. In times of conflict, every able bodied white male was expected to come to the aid of their town, state or nation, providing their own arms, and fight against the threat as a representative of the country. That’s really what the 2nd Amendment was about, it was a guarantee that people would have the weapons available to them should the need arise to fight off a threat. That’s specifically why it mentions a “well-regulated militia”. You know, that first part that the NRA and gun nuts never mention in their arguments? That’s blatantly dishonest, but hey, what can you expect?
Personally, I don’t think the 2nd Amendment has much meaning anymore. The situation that existed when it was written and voted upon simply does not exist anymore. You don’t get to just twist it into something that it was never intended to cover. If we want a new Constitutional protection for gun ownership, we need to put a new amendment on the books. That’s what the Constitution was intended for, to be a living document that could be changed by the people.
Anyhow, getting back to this Libertarian nutbag, I kept pointing out that he couldn’t justify his position using the only legal founding document ever ratified by the people and he didn’t even try. Instead, he kept linking to opinions given by the NRA and other Libertarian sources, forgetting that people’s opinions on the matter have no bearing on the actual text of the 2nd Amendment. It went on for a while and then, after realizing he had nothing but his opinion, I gave up.
But as I said, I’m not against gun ownership, I just don’t think there’s a justifiable national permission slip for it. When the Supreme Court has ruled that people have a right to own firearms without being part of a well-justified militia, a decision I disagree with, I suspect it’s because they realized that the genie is already out of the bottle and there’s no cause to produce political hay when a decision going the opposite way couldn’t possibly be carried out. After all, if they ruled that Americans do not have a Constitutional right to own a firearm, there are millions upon millions of guns out there in the hands of people who aren’t going to turn them in regardless, therefore why make that ruling? The Founding Fathers might have understood the same thing, that the citizens of their new nation both needed and wanted firearms regardless and wouldn’t be turning them in no matter what the law of the land said, thus they focused that desire for gun-ownership to national defense as well as a means of justifying it.
And let’s be honest, the Libertarians only conveniently read the 2nd Amendment anyhow. We forbid the insane and former felons from owning firearms, that’s certainly not something that appears in the 2nd Amendment. Not only do they leave out the first 13 words entirely, they add a bunch of words that say it’s okay to deny some American citizens access to firearms. Imagine that.
I just wish people would learn to read and be rational when it comes to their opinions but, as we’re unfortunately aware, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen very often. It’s also a shame that very few have the courage to call out the irrational on their nonsensical beliefs. I do. Do you?