Don’t let the title of this post mislead you. One of the implied rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment is that you have the right as a citizen of this country to keep and bear arms for your personal self defense. The court system has put this interpretation into actionable law and there is no longer any legal question as to whether or not the Second Amendment applies to individual citizens.
The point of the title is to tackle another aspect of the amendment that was the primary impetus for its addition to the Bill of Rights. Our new nation had just exited a bloody war with Great Britain to secure our freedom from the tyranny of the crown. With this fresh in their minds, the founders of the nation wanted to ensure that future generations would have the ability to do the very same thing in the future should the citizens ever fall under the iron fist of another oppressive form of government.
It is the primary function of the Second Amendment to prevent our government from disarming us as a means of control. The purpose of a militia is to band together in the common defense of the citizens against enemies that seek to oppress or injure them. Given that our country was birthed from a revolution against authority and our founders put in place legislation that furthered our ability to do that, it is clear that the point of the law is to allow law abiding Americans to be as armed as they need to be to resist unjust infringement of their rights.
One of the biggest arguments against this is that in our modern time, the average citizen doesn’t stand a chance against the most powerful military in the world. I find this an amusing argument because the people who say this obviously don’t pay attention to history, or even the world around them today. There are many examples of limited armies holding out against our military over time.
From 1950 to 1953, we fought on the Korean Peninsula in defense of the democratic South Korea. We had superior weapons and more highly trained and experienced soldiers who had only recently participated in the Second World War. Our air power and endless military budget should have secured a total victory, but in the end all we could manage against the communist north was a stalemate that we are still dealing with today.
It was even worse during the Vietnam War. For nearly twenty years we struggled in that part of the world to prevent the spread of communism. Despite our vastly superior technology, we simply couldn’t use our advantage to make any real progress. We eventually had to give up on the entire enterprise because the cost was too much and the people had enough of it. Despite all of that, even if we had tried to continue, it is unlikely we could have ever really won that war.
We still struggle with this problem today. For twenty years now we have been in a protracted war against agents who want to reign destruction down upon us. These people have basic firearms and primitive explosives, yet the most powerful military in the world is unable to completely wipe out these fanatical fighters. The supreme force in the world can’t seem to put down a threat that by all rights should be a cinch to wipe from the face of the earth.
What do we learn from this? The reality is that the only way our government can ever truly control us is if they can take away our ability to defend ourselves. They understand that even the most basic of weapons like handguns or semi-automatic rifles poses a real threat to their ability to force us into doing what they want. A dedicated, passionate citizenry can do quite a lot with very little, and even if we don’t have the fighter jets and cruise missiles, we can outlast them until they run out of resources and ultimately take our country back.
I previously discussed the concept of the slippery slope, and when we look at how effective regular people can be when they are properly armed, and how the people in power understand this fact, it is perfectly reasonable to believe that we need to be very careful about any advancement of gun control legislation. The reason there is so much pushback against things that seem reasonable is because every little step we take to limit access to firearms is another step toward taking away our ability to prevent our government from oppressing us.
What do you think about the Second Amendment? Do you think it’s just for self defense, or is there more to it than that? What can we learn from history to help us better understand why it was created in the first place. On an issue as charged as this one, it is more important than ever to set aside our fears and emotions and focus on critical thought to come to a logical conclusion. To do otherwise invites danger to our doorsteps.
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