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What Does the 2nd Amendment Really Say About Gun Rights?

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What does the 2nd Amendment Really Say About Gun Rights? By Paul Roden

According to the Bill of Rights, this is what the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says:

" 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 ."

 

That is what it says in the copy that is in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.   But what was the real meaning and intent of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?   What did the framers of the Constitution meeting in 1787 in Philadelphia really mean by this amendment?   And if we believe in sane gun safety regulations, what do we do and say now?

After fighting off the largest and most powerful military empire on Earth at the time, I am sure that the Founders and Framers where leery of both having a large standing army and being prepared if the British or someone else came to take power away from us.   They were also scared of infractions with the original residents of the Colonies, the Native tribes and Nations of the continent.   They also saw the necessity for individuals to hunt for food and protection of their family.

But from the pure linguistic intent of what is written in the 2nd Amendment, it seems to me that the intent was for the collective right of local militia having the right to bear arms, not the right of individuals have an individual right.   Now in the recent Supreme Court ruling by Justice Anthony Scalia, overturning the gun safety laws of Chicago has a different interpretation of the 2nd Amendment indicating his belief that it was indeed the original intent of the framers of the Second Amendment that individuals had the right to own firearms.   His opinion also stated that it was okay for the government to enact reasonable regulations on the sale, ownership and use of firearms.

I am not so afraid of my government that I think that private individuals should have the right to own semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition clip magazines.   I think that the Tunisians and the Egyptians proved that people power if they maintain collective discipline can nonviolent resist overwhelming police and military force using automatic, semiautomatic and sniper weapons.   This is the 21st century, we should be learning ways to nonviolent wage and resolve disputes, not revert back to earlier century's like the days of the wild, wild west.

The only people in our society that should have access to semi-automatic and assault style weapons with large ammunition clips above 10 rounds are the members of law enforcement, the military and TV/Hollywood props departments for shows and movies.   We need better screening and treatment for people with mental health problems.   We need to be trained to wage and resolve disputes without the use of force.   Everyone who wants to own a firearm should have a background check, no matter where they purchase it from.   They should be required to have training on how to use it.   That is the type of gun safety legislation and regulations that we should support.

Now, I am sure the NRA, the Gun Owners of America, would not approve of these gun safety proposals that I support.   They are absolutist in their defense of their 2nd Amendment rights and opposition to any regulation of firearms.   But if you are a sportsman or enjoy target shooting, why do you need a semi-automatic firearm?   What is left of your animal or target after shooting it 30-50 times?   The only purpose of semi-automatic and automatic weapons with large ammo magazines is to kill other human beings.   So why should they not be regulated?

Arming teachers, private security guards or placing more police at our schools to guard our children is not the solution to our violent society.   That is not the kind of world that I want to live in.   That will not make me feel safe or fear less for innocent children and school personnel's safety.   We need to look at the violence in our TV shows, movies and video games.   I think this numbs us all to the amount of violence we tolerate and accept.

We need to teach better ways for resolving conflicts with our fellow human beings.   We need to remove the underlining issues that cause people to resort to violence, hunger, poverty, oppression, discrimination, racism and intolerance of people who look, dress or practice a different religion or no religion of our own.

As se lobby, use our First Amendment Rights of "free speech the right and to petition our government for the redress of grievances," for better enforcement and gun safety legislation, let us remember what kind of world we want to live in, a world where the only conceivable use that I can see for guns is hunting for food.   Or at least in   a world where people who want to own guns, do so in a safe and sane manner.   How can the NRA be against gun safety?   I always thought that was one of the things that they advocated.

 

Paul Roden is a long time activist DFA & PDA member working for progressive change in America. I am also the point of organizer for PDA, the Progressive Democrats of America in Lower Bucks County. I am a "Neighborhood Leader" or "Victory Precinct (more...)
 

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Susan Strong, another OpEdNews.com writer and Jame... by Paul Roden on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 12:12:30 PM
" A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the... by comncents on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 5:33:46 PM
So what would you say to the Tunisians and the Egy... by Paul Roden on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 6:45:18 PM
to "Work, hope and pray for the best while prepari... by comncents on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:33:39 AM
Mr Rodin is proposing his own interpretation as be... by Keith Brilhart on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 2:42:44 PM
You should read Gene Sharp's "The Politics of Nonv... by Paul Roden on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 6:59:18 PM
"Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the pre... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 3:16:07 PM
"Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the pre... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 3:26:59 PM
the Afghan people did pretty well against the USSR... by comncents on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:58:17 AM
Which is why the prescience of the Framers is so a... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 1:39:48 PM
"The only people in our society that should hav... by KurtB on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 6:09:14 PM
So being well armed makes my side or your side ri... by Paul Roden on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 6:49:22 PM
Don't repeal the 2nd Amendment; apply all of it. T... by mmth on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 6:50:15 PM
I don't want to live in a world with guns. Until ... by Paul Roden on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 7:08:17 PM
Not to sound dismissive, but what you personally w... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 2:52:22 PM
I believe in democracy. I believe that we need to... by Paul Roden on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 3:29:35 PM
going to be there when home invaders kick my door ... by comncents on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 8:03:12 AM
" a constitutional republic, rather significant di... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 10:23:10 AM
So the quill pen and parchment were the only thin... by KurtB on Friday, Feb 8, 2013 at 8:09:19 PM
Just as the First Amendment applies to the modern ... by Allan Rowbury on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:42:57 PM
As I am not an American, I would like you guys to ... by lwarman on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 2:03:35 AM
To understand the principle of an armed society re... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 1:19:18 PM
If you are referring to the American Revolution, A... by lwarman on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 5:01:15 PM
We won. And went on to dwarf Britain in both liber... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 5:14:29 PM
"how about you take that twit Piers Morgan back fo... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 10:24:34 AM
To strip the faux veneer of the author's "reasonin... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 9:56:10 AM
are lacking. The USA was birthed during a time of ... by Art Costa on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 11:30:02 AM
The amendment is the amendment, and case law is th... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 12:59:27 PM
As I said some people think the US Constitution wa... by Art Costa on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 4:07:31 PM
A Bill of RIGHTS. Nobody has the legitimate pow... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 5:24:12 PM
Actually the Supreme Court does interpret the 2nd ... by Art Costa on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 6:40:31 PM
.. and how that applies to ANY insurrection in hi... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 10:09:46 AM
We see how effective our border security is lettin... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 10:12:10 AM
Explain again how one corners a group of people, w... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 10:12:56 AM
We are the militia, we are the armed forces needed... by Ray O. Sunshine on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 12:14:08 PM
The SCOTUS has ruled that "the people" to whom the... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 1:05:19 PM
Than let's lobby to get rid of the trillion dollar... by Art Costa on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 5:02:40 PM
I go shoot with are against the corporate, expansi... by comncents on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 8:28:42 AM
No one seems to be responding to my response. ... by Paul Roden on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 1:31:35 PM
Our responses are not meant to diminish the import... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 1:59:39 PM
So how come America has more and more guns but les... by lwarman on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 5:16:39 PM
Mr. Iwarman. Since you are admittedly not Ameri... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 5:41:05 PM
true, your murder rate is very impressive... by lwarman on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 6:44:31 PM
for some agreement. I don't buy the notion of ment... by Art Costa on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 4:19:34 PM
Global Warming is to "Gun Control" as "Climate Cha... by FrankieC on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 2:41:23 PM
When the Bill of Rights was ratified, what did th... by Cecil Baird on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 4:53:01 PM
Very well stated, indeed.... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 5:50:00 PM
This argument about the proper interpretation ... by michael payne on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 5:16:13 PM
"This argument about the proper interpretation of ... by Joe Woodruff on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 5:53:36 PM
or are you stuck on this 2d Amendment fixation?"A ... by michael payne on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 at 6:47:29 PM
James Alan Fox, a noted anti gun criminologist sta... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:07:19 AM
The second amendment is not abou... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:03:20 AM
Lets see, oh yes, our founding fathers knew what t... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:12:29 AM
The government acknowledges in USDOJ National Gang... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:16:53 AM
http://supreme.justia.com/us/390/85/ Haynes vs.... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:21:08 AM
Lets not forget that our politicians play a signi... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:33:59 AM
You should read the National Sciences Foundation ... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:38:15 AM
Funny, looking for  anything in the US Co... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:45:03 AM
All rates per 100k people. Australia 1997 629 VCR... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:55:31 AM
Per FBI UCR & CDC in 1991 24,700 murders, con... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:58:39 AM
Rates are per 100K peopleEgypt during the upris... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:09:48 AM
As you antis are always complaining how untrained... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:13:26 AM
Response times by the police range most times 10 t... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:24:10 AM
Were you aware of this study? It's not done by a ... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:32:13 AM
FBI UCR 2010  278 documented justifiabl... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:37:06 AM
Here is a list where armed civilians, or security ... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:53:15 AM
Of course then that first and foremost problemati... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:55:41 AM
I believe that most gun owners support sensible gu... by Howard Schneider on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 8:36:11 AM
..from the NRA for you anti's to prove your claim.... by Rlee Emerysgt on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 10:19:26 AM
you have obviously done no research whatsoever and... by joab kunin on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 9:13:03 AM