After the President’s speech calling for changes in our gun laws, You have heard discussions about the Second Amendment, and the role of guns in society.
Some say hunters do not need semi-automatic guns with high capacity magazines? That is true, but completely misses the point. The real point is: “The right to bear arms is the last line of defense against tyranny. It’s not for the right to hunt.”
The Second Amendment is fairly simple:
“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.”
To be clear, the militia is not regular military. The militia was comprised of farmers, blacksmiths, and every day men who went about their daily lives, and brought their own guns with them to do battle, when the need arose. The amendment says this is for the “security of a free state.” The 1828 dictionary and other historical documents of the day, tell us that a state is an independent nation.
The 2nd Amendment was in place to remind the newly formed government that each state’s citizenry would be armed and ready to defend themselves should the need arise. If people want to have a real discussion on the second amendment, then it needs to be an honest discussion about the government’s ability for tyranny, and not about hunting.
You may believe that protecting yourself from government is ludicrous. But not only do citizens to have the power to elect their leaders, but also the power to protect themselves, violently if necessary– from tyranny.
And the founding fathers knew plenty about government tyranny.
Maybe the reason we aren’t having honest debate about guns in this country — or the Second Amendment — is because we aren’t honest about why those guns are protected in the Constitution in the first place.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.