“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.”
It seems that the founding fathers wanted us all to be able to bear arms, without having that right infringed upon in any way. And the Supreme Court has ruled that these words apply to the rights of individuals, and not just to local militias, no matter that the grammar in the actual amendment seems to say otherwise.
I don’t actually agree with either premise. I don’t think that the founding fathers wanted us all armed, and I don’t think that the second amendment to the Constitution was talking about individual rights. But I have been overruled. The law of the land, as interpreted by the Nine Black Riders…..I mean “The Supreme Court”… gives me the right, as an individual American citizen, to “bear arms”.
So let’s just think about the meaning of the word “arms” for a bit, OK?
Given that we are now interpreting the words of the Constitution very literally, we must understand that “arms” are not in any way limited to guns.
“The Arms Race” of the fifties and sixties was definitely not about guns. That was about nukes.
When we send “arms” to the rebels in Syria/Libya/Egypt, we aren’t just sending rifles. We’re sending F-16s and anti-tank weapons, among other things.
According to Wikipedia, “Arms control is a term for restrictions upon the development, production, stockpiling, proliferation and usage of weapons, especially weapons of mass destruction“.
So let’s be clear.
The Supreme Court has said that I, as an individual American citizen, have the absolute right to “bear arms”.
I plan to get myself one of these
and one of these
just so I can feel safe in case somebody tries to mess with me or my students.
If you think this seems a bit ridiculous, if you tell yourself that “obviously” that isn’t what the second amendment intended, then I will tell you that its just as obvious that the founders didn’t intend to let the average guy on the street walk around with a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and two handguns — a Glock 10 mm and a Sig Sauer 9 mm. plus 500 rounds of ammunition like the Sandy Hook killer did.
We either have the absolute right to bear all kinds of arms, or we don’t. We either decide that there are no limits, based on the words in the old documents, or we decide that its time to be reasonable and logical, and take the instruments of mass murder out of the hands of the public.
There have been 74 school shootings in this country since Newtown. There were approximately 12,042 gun deaths in the US from Dec. 2012 to Dec. 2013.
13 thoughts on “Arms Race”
Good points, Moms, all of them. The trouble is, the gun crazies would agree. I once had neighbors who felt honestly, that if the government could have nukes, why then they should be able to have nukes, too. We were moving a few days later and were not sorry to see the last of them!
Oh, my God!
I thought for once I had hit upon an argument that even the gun folks couldn’t beat!
Sorry. I think the reasonable gun owners would agree with you (and me!) completely. It is just that the unreasonable gun owners are going absolutely nuts and arming themselves to the teeth.
What have we done??
Thank you. Great post. As a fellow teacher and parent, I find the latest news reporting 74 school shootings since Newtown to be very alarming. What’s really crazy is that this number crept up on all of us. It’s not front page news to report a shooting unless it happens in your state. I think mental health needs to be addressed as well. At my school, due to budget cuts, social workers, psychologists and counselors are dealing with huge caseloads. Much of what they do is testing and not counseling. Thanks for a timely and very important post.
Thanks! I am just so frustrated and angry about this situation…And I do feel that the issue of mental health is a red herring in this argument.
We do need more mental health services and better access, etc, etc. The problem is, not all of the deaths are caused by mental illness. The vast majority of gun deaths in this country are caused by anger, criminal activity, gangs and accidents.
We can’t cure humanity of its weaknesses, but we could certainly work to disarm it.
Great points.I especially love your last sentence. I fear that as a nation we are becoming desensitized to gun violence.
Excellent post…and soon the “gun carriers” will meet the “Stand your grounders” and all hell shall break loose.
At which point I will hope that I have managed to get myself a tank.
Such important points you raise here. When I think about it all I just wonder at how much good could be done if the money we spend on arming ourselves could allocated to what we really need in our world.
Oh, well said!
And I feel so sad and frustrated that so many Americans want to be armed because they fear each other and fear the government.
Our priorities over here are badly skewed.
So now, in my state schools are posting “No guns allowed” decals on their doors! I’m with you.
Yikes! Is that tongue in cheek, I hope?
I’m not sure how the law reads but people can obtain a license for concealed carry. If you don’t want them bringing concealed weapons into your store, you have to post a sign. I assumed that public buildings were exempt and that guns were not allowed, but the signs are all over the place. How ridiculous can we get?