Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Umpqua Community College Mass Murder (Part 5) / 'The Second Amendment to the Constitution'

Regarding the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, this is basically what you should have learned in High School Civics’ class ‘if you had been paying attention.’

The first ten amendments, known as the ‘Bill of Rights,’ were designed to protect a citizen’s individual rights.  They are rights or protections guaranteed to us as individuals.  Read them and you will understand why they are individual rights and how each of ten is important to you and me.  If you’ve never read the ‘Bill of Rights,’ please do.

The Second Amendment is pretty straightforward – or is it?  Personally, I think it is.
“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.”

Many in the public (principally those who support stricter regulatory gun control measures) point to the first part of the Second Amendment, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…”  They say that our Founding Fathers’ intention, in modern terms, was referring to what we now call the National Guard, and not giving any special rights to citizen gun owners.  However, that is not the case; and, thus far anyway, the U.S. Supreme Court concurs.  The Second Amendment is an individual right, as are the other nine amendments within the Bill of Rights.  The important defining clause is the subsequent wording within the Second Amendment: “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  The Founding Fathers could not have stated it more clearly.  Remember, the Bill of Rights were meant as protection for the individual citizen, not to create an additional branch of the Army, which is exactly what our National Guard has become.

But, one might argue, they are basically citizens and part-time warriors – under the control of the Governor of each state; therefore defining a ‘well-regulated Militia.’  OK, I’d say to that, rhetorically speaking, what if a Governor said, ‘I’m not going to send my state’s young men and women into combat.’  The Federal Government’s response:  ‘I’m not asking you if you wouldn’t mind sending your National Guard unit, I’m telling you to send them without delay – or else!’

And, if you follow these issues and the many combat deployments required of the National Guard these days, you would realize that the U.S. Government is depending more and more on the Reserve and Guard units to fight wars.

Some in the public, I suppose, might read the Second Amendment as an opportunity for the Federal Government to bolster their military might in all respects, including overseas deployment and combat.  OK, but can you honestly say that interpretation has anything to do with the individual rights of a citizen?  On the contrary, you would have to say that the Second Amendment, of the First Ten Amendments, is the outlier and the only one that does not apply to the individual; and is in fact a right given to the government over its’ citizens.  But, if you were to say that, you would be wrong.

True Nelson
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