“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.”
-The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America as passed by Congress. The above version is currently on the books.
“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.”
-The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. This version, with different capitalization and two fewer commas, was the version sent to the states that ratified the amendments.
I’m fascinated by the Constitution in general, and I think the Second Amendment is particularly interesting. I love to argue about the amendment. If I’m arguing with Goldy, the exchange sounds something like this:
Me: What is it about “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” that you don’t understand?
Goldy: There’s a comma! There’s a fucking comma, you hillbilly! [Storms off in disgust]
The recent deliberations by the Supreme Court over the legality of Washington D.C.’s handgun ban is great stuff. Believe it or not, this will actually be the first time the Supreme Court will rule on gun control, specifically, whether a gun control measure violates the Second Amendment.
Now, I think the 2nd makes it pretty clear that the government has the ability to see that our militia is well-regulated (background checks, waiting periods, concealed and carry permits), I think the 2nd is obvious in declaring that, fundamentally, Americans get to own guns.
We are not some subsection of German Bavaria, after all, where our rights are given to us by some potentate. We’re Americans, where our rights come from our Creator. Thomas Jefferson once said:
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
I’m no gun nut, but I’d rather D.C. residents has too much freedom than too little.