Imagine two-hundred some odd years ago, the country is brand new. When the king tried to disarm us and tax us despite anything we had to say about it, and generally treated us as if we were no more than property, we fought. And, we won. And, it was now time for a small group of men to codify the basic laws of the new country. These men knew that they would eventually die for what they had done, it was only a matter of when the king’s men showed up to extract his revenge on them. Just as the king had become oppressive, they understood that any government could eventually become oppressive and tyrannical. Therefore, they wrote the Bill of Rights, to sign into law what the government was not allowed to do to the people. This was not about giving people rights so much as defining them in a way so that the government couldn’t infringe upon those rights.
They didn’t know if the British would try to come back and take us with a second go, or if some other country would want to claim this land to take advantage of its resources. Obviously, this new nation would need a powerful military to protect itself. But, what if we faced a foe that was more powerful than our military? Or, what if a corrupted federal government ever turned the military against the people? We would need to be able to mobilize and arm the people. These would be regular folks who knew their way around a gun. And, they’d have to provide their own gun and ammunition, since there wouldn’t be a centralized armory for them to be supplied from. They wouldn’t be a military so much as a militia.
Heaven forbid we should ever again have to violently fight out an oppressive government, but if mobilization of armed citizens was ever necessary, such motions would need to be organized and swift, or one might even say well-regulated. And, the people would need weapons fit for a fight against a professional military; they would need access to all the same weapons that soldiers had. Otherwise, they would not stand a chance in such an altercation. And therefore, they made it illegal for the government to keep us from arming ourselves with whatever means we might ever need to defend ourselves as individuals or as a community.
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.
If I’m right about all that, the fact that I can’t buy a new machine gun – does that infringe upon my rights as an emergent member of a hypothetical militia that would be fighting against men with machine guns? What about the fact that I have to go through a state-approved test and pay fees to the government to carry a gun wherever I go? Does it infringe upon my rights that taking a gun into a school or Post Office is a felony offence? What about the fact that it is illegal for me to carry a handgun in excess of .45-caliber? I’m kind of thinking these are infringements, from that perspective.
A lot of people say that the Second Amendment is outdated and unnecessary at this point and should be violated or abolished on that justification. They say our government is not oppressive or tyrannical, so we should just give up our guns for the greater good. But, can you think of a corrupt politician? It’s a laughably stupid question, isn’t it? How about this – can you think of a politician who is not corrupt? I can think of a few, but it’s a far shorter list than the other one. Do you think that enough corrupt politicians put together could become oppressive or tyrannical? If the government comes to take over your neighborhood and lead you to a detainment camp, what will you do? If men with guns come to take your life, do you have means to defend yourself? Don’t think it could happen? Neither did so many Jews, Chinese, Russians, or any other people who have been oppressed throughout history.