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Taking a real look at the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States

Second Amendment

The right to bear arms?

As passed by the Congress: “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.” As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State.

When looking at the Second Amendment, in its totality, one can get only one understanding from it; that is if one has an understanding of constitutional history. It has essentially has two parts that make up its whole. I find it amazing that most people, especially those I call the “gun-stupid”, only choose to read and adopt the second part of the Second Amendment. Its intent is utterly clear when one reads the entirety of the Second Amendment in conjunction with the Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers are the written text explaining the arguments for and against the constitution thereby seeking to persuade the states to ratify the Constitution. See; http://tinyw.in/y3IV. The contention that surrounded the Second Amendment was not based on an argument over the rights of people to have arms; it had/has its roots in a disagreement over whether or not this nation would have a standing army or not.

Based on my interpretation of the Second Amendment and the Federalist Papers (29), I get the following meaning from it “In order to have a well regulated militia in the defense of the United States (or states at that time) the rights of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.  Now this understanding of the 2nd Amendment is a far cry from what the gun-stupid would argue today. If you really want to get a better understanding of what the Founding Fathers meant you will really have to read the Federalist papers, but if you just want a quick rundown here it goes.

The Founding Fathers argued heavily about the whether America should establish of an army during times of peace and at the end of their debate it was settled, that America would not have a standing army during times of peace. This decision would remain as policy until the early 20th century when Congress broke from the original intent of the Founding Fathers and established a standing army. The original Constitution allowed for a standing army for a period of TWO years (which is why today, military appropriations happen every two years; it is a means to circumvent the Constitution) and that was how it was until the early 20th century. It has long been established that the Fathers feared a standing army. They were well versed historians which had seen that countries with standing armies were often times over-thrown by its military, which soon oppressed its people. This has happened  time and time again throughout history, and thus the Founders agreed that America would not have a standing army. Of course this approach to the military would not last, but this was the agreement at the time. Read more…

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