Is the Second Amendment only about Militias?

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The Second Amendment to the US Constitution reads, ““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 idea, often espoused by anti-gun leftists today, that the 2nd Amendment only covers militia service and purposes, is clearly incorrect for a couple of reasons, even without getting into what was meant by the terms “well regulated” and “militia.”

First, from a purely grammatical standpoint, it just doesn’t say that, and there is no reason to think the drafters were poor grammarians-quite the opposite, in fact. Because of the way the explanatory “militia clause” is used in the amendment, it is not, grammatically speaking, a limitation on the imperative, “shall not be infringed” clause. Is this just a “quibble?” Some may say so, but, given the amount of time and effort that went into drafting and revising, and re-revising, the wording, I think it most unlikely that the end product wasn’t very carefully thought out, word-for-word, before the final submission, which all the states ultimately found satisfactory, and ratified.

2nd AmendmentHowever, there is a much more far reaching principle involved.   If you consider their writings at the time, and the principles the Founding Fathers were basing our country and government on, you will see that the most fundamental principle underlying all others was the idea that the government was instituted by the people, for the purpose of safeguarding the personal liberty of each individual citizen. The basic idea being that your liberty to rant, rave, and swing your fist should be unlimited-until your fist reaches the end of my nose. Or to use Jefferson’s words, your freedom to act should be unimpaired (by government regulations), “so long as it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” This stems from the philosophical principles put forth by the British Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, and is, in fact, the very thing that makes America “exceptional,” as no other country on Earth has ever been founded on such a radical principle. It is far more common for nations to ascribe to either the monarchical principal that the people (the “Subjects”) live to serve the sovereign/monarch, or a socialistic one (a la the NAZIs) that the individual citizen lives to serve the state, and the benefit of the state supersedes the benefit of any individual citizen. That idea is based on the Utilitarian Philosophical principal that “the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few.”

Americans believe the exact opposite; that the liberty of the individual outweighs everything else, and that this principle should underlie, and justify, the behavior of the government. The Founders weren’t “wimps,” and didn’t see the government’s job as protecting the people, but rather as safeguarding the people’s inherent right, and ability, to protect themselves. That guiding principle is ultimately the explanation for why the 2nd Amendment really protects everyone’s right to keep and bear (ie; to own and carry) “arms” (ie; weapons, including the most effective weapons today-guns), for whatever purpose they please, so long as they do not hurt innocent others. It is a direct outgrowth of our exceptionalism. The protection of every individual’s inherent and unalienable right to go armed is, in fact, simply another good example of American exceptionalism.

That also explains why anti-Americans like Obama, Hillary, and Socialists in general, neither think America is exceptional, nor see anything wrong with infringing the citizen’s inherent rights to self-defense. The simple fact is that they just don’t believe in “Americanism,” that is, in the basic founding politico-philosophical principles on which our country is founded. That is also why no true American, that is, one who believes in “Americanism,” (our underlying principles), can be a true Socialist (one who believes in a very different underlying principle). It also casts great doubt on whether or not a Socialist can honestly take the federal oath of office, which requires him/her to swear to “support and defend the Constitution,” to “bear true faith and allegiance to” the same, and to swear that they are taking the oath honestly “without reservation or purpose of evasion.”

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

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