“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.”
Some claim that there should be no restrictions on gun ownership; that to restrict a person’s right to buy and own a gun, in any way, violates the Second Amendment of the Constitution. That is not true. Look at the Second Amendment at the top of the page.
The Second Amendment was written in the late 1700s when this nation was being formed and there was a genuine and real fear the British would attack and try to return us to colonial status. That is why there is a reference to Militia up front in the amendment. I am not diminishing the current interpretation of the Second Amendment emphasizing citizens’ rights. But I am urging the use of common sense when projecting the founding fathers’ words forward two centuries without using common sense.
When the Second Amendment was written, the standard weapon was a musket. It took time to load the musket ball, pour in the powder and fire one shot. I have fired one of those muskets, I know.
When I was a boy, my father and younger brother used to take me to a quarry to fire my brother’s 1862 civil war musket. It takes a long time to load and fire. Mass killings by one person with a musket were impossible in the 1700s.
The founding fathers did not imagine rapid-fire assault weapons. There were no six-chamber pistols, nor were there AK-47s. There were no multi-bullet magazines that mow down or wound large numbers of people in just a few minutes. I find it hard to believe that our founding fathers would sanction allowing those bent on harming others to have unfettered access to weapons capable of killing dozens of people in just a few moments.
No one wants to take away or limit the rights of mentally sound, decent, law-abiding citizens to own a gun for protection, hunting, or target practice. Gun ownership and hunting are part of our heritage. It does give me pause when a person wants to own a rapid fire, repeating weapon. Why someone needs magazines that will hold more than nine bullets is beyond me. Most, if not all of these weapons were developed for the military to kill enemy soldiers. These weapons were not meant for hunting, they were meant for killing people and that is what is being done in our schools, churches, theaters, shopping malls, and offices. (To be continued)