The second amendment is always a hot topic yet one of the most misunderstood. I have seen plenty of liberals and conservatives who do not fully understand the legal arguments surrounding the issue. For today I thought I would take a break from current events and give a brief explanation of them.
When conservative commentators say that liberals are trying to take away your guns people say they are hysterical but they are accurate. The second amendment reads ” A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The conservatives say that since a well regulated militia is necessary people should be allowed to bear arms. Whereas liberals say that you do not have the right to bear arms unless you are part of a well regulated militia. There is no middle ground. You either have the right or it is granted to you by the government and can be taken away at their pleasure.
In this particular argument the conservatives are correct.
Rights and Privileges
Every single item on the Bill of Rights is something granted to you because you are an American citizen. There is an argument as to whether those rights are granted to anyone on American soil but that is a separate issue which I will not touch on today. Suffice it to say that you do not need to do anything to earn these rights. If the second amendment were to be interpreted the way liberals wanted it to be, then you would have to join a well regulated militia to have the right to keep and bear arms.
What do you call a right that you have to do something to attain? That is correct. It ceases to be a right and becomes a privilege instead. The ability to bear arms is now contingent on your decision to join a militia. If there is no militia at the time then you cannot bear arms. If you have a child it is similar to giving him an allowance. He does not have a right to it but may earn it by doing chores or by some other method.
It is called the Bill of Rights no Bill of Rights and Privileges.
Protection and Deregulation
As Senator Cruz said in his debate against Senator Sanders in healthcare the bill of rights enumerates your protections from the government. The government cannot infringe on your freedom of speech, they cannot require excessive bail, they cannot quarter soldiers in your house. If interpreted the way liberals insist on then this would be the only amendment that would impose regulations or things the government can do to you. Alternatively if this was read to be protections given to the members of the militia then this would be unique as this would be the only amendment in the bill of rights to give its protections to a very small subset of people as opposed to the entire population.
We should all keep in mind that the bill of rights were made right after the Revolutionary War. The fact that a majority of Americans at that time were armed helped greatly. The army could draft people that were already armed relieving them of some need to supply them and they could draft people who already had some idea of what to do with firearms. It was similar to the British in the past forcing all the peasants to practice with the longbow for one hour every Sunday. This directly contributed to great victories such as Agincourt. At that point in time America was not yet secure in its independence and another invasion by England was not out of the question.
Liberals are wrong on their interpretation of the second amendment but they are not without remedy. If they truly believe that the amendment is no longer relevant then they can work to repeal it instead of using a shortcut and having the Supreme Court rule it out of existence.