What Exactly IS your Constitutional Right to Own Guns?

Source: Bill Day

“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.” ~ 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution

This country has turned the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution into a free-fire zone for purchasing a very wide array of guns with very minimal regulation. This is an incorrect reading of the Constitution. In fact, we have several well-regulated militias in place today, including the National Guard and the police–not to mention the Department of Defense. Unless you’re a member of one of these organizations, you really shouldn’t have a right to own a weapon. But that’s not what the Supreme Court ruled. Back to that in a bit. First, however:

Number of Mentions of the Right to Bear Arms in the Constitution 

First off, guess the number of times the right to bear arms is mentioned in the Constitution. Hint: one more than the word “God” is mentioned (i.e., one).

Threat to Society 

Firearms kill roughly 30,000 people a year. Between the expiration of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004 and 2011 alone,  95,250 homicides were committed with firearms in the USA, in addition to nearly 200,0000 suicides.

But it’s the Muslim Threat! Um, no, no it isn’t. With the exception of 2001, the average number of Americans killed by “foreign-inspired” terrorists in the USA annually between 2000 and 2015 was barely above zero; the number killed with guns, approximately 20 (five plus the shooter) in Chattanooga in 2006, and 14 (plus two shooters) in San Bernadino in 2015 . The July 2016 shooting in Orlando may up the ante, if the statistic-starved experts from the CDC can credibly attribute this latest outrage to post-ante “foreign-inspired” terrorism vice murderous lifelong self-hatred.  

What about the Children?

In 2015, kids accidentally shot at least 265 people.  According to the Washington Post:

That works out to about five accidental shootings by children each week this year. Of those, 83 ended in death: The underage shooters killed themselves 41 times and other people 42 times. It’s important to note that this tally only includes accidental shootings. It doesn’t include homicides by teens and suicides.

In 2016, year to date, the Gun Violence Archive estimates that have been over 3,000 kids killed by guns (553 ages 0 – 11, 2,542 ages 12 -1 17).

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Weighs In

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the brighter lights on the Supreme Court had this to say about your right to bear arms:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg summarizes the 2nd Amendment

Caption: Ruth Bader Ginsburg summarizes the purpose of the 2nd Amendment

Back to the Supreme Court

In the landmark case, District of Columbia v. Heller, the SCOTUS declared, as the Nation points out:

…for the first time, that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to a gun, at least for self-defense in the home. It invalidated key parts of the District of Columbia’s unusually strict handgun ban, which prohibited the possession of nearly all handguns in the violence-prone city and required that firearms be stored unloaded and disassembled, or bound with a trigger lock.

To grasp the audacity of what Scalia & Co. pulled off, turn to the Second Amendment’s text: “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” [emphasis added] To find in that wording an individual right to possess a firearm untethered to any militia purpose and unimpeded by regulation, the majority performed an epic feat of jurisprudential magic: It made the pesky initial clause about the necessity of a “well-regulated Militia” disappear. Poof! Gone. Scalia treated the clause as merely “prefatory” and having no real operative effect—a view at odds with history, the fundamental rules of constitutional interpretation, and the settled legal consensus for many decades.

We have to ask ourselves: Why have we ignored a critical clause in the US Constitution simply because an extremist “Justice” believed it to be irrelevant? Perhaps it has something to do with the power of the National Rifle Association? A discussion for another day, perhaps.

DC Troid
About DC Troid (1 Articles)
DC Troid has been an over-educated, grandiloquent denizen of the DC political and cultural scene with a graduate degree from GWU.

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