The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the so-called 'Right to Bear Arms' Amendment, was ratified on December 15, 1791. The exact wording of this amendment says: "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."
Beginning late in the second half of the century just past, this Amendment became the center of a fierce and protracted argument between two factions. On the one hand are those who proclaim that this amendment guarantees us the right to own a gun. On the other hand, are those who say that not only have the times in which we live left this entire idea behind, but that those who claim that this amendment gives us the exclusive right to own firearms have misinterpreted the amendment.
The simple argument to counter those who believe that this amendment continues to give us the right to own guns is to point out that none of us are members of a militia, since our nation no longer (and, has not for many generations) requires the continued existence of a militia. Instead, we have a standing Army which exists to provide us with that security the Constitution also guarantees to us. Yes, I tend to agree with this second interpretation, because I do not see how we can accept part of this statement without accepting all of the statement. No militia, no arms. It is as simple as that.
Maybe if we were under threat of an imminent attack by an enemy force it would make sense to maintain a militia. But, first of all, consider this: how long has it been since any army attacked us on our shores? Secondly, what good would a standing militia have done against the idiots who hit us on September 11? The answer to the first question is nearly two hundred years, when we were attacked by the British, during the course of the War of 1812. To answer the second question, just consider how much good it did us to have the FBI, the CIA, all the Armed Forces of the United States, all the local law enforcement of an entire nation, not to mention an active U. S. Customs Service and the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service all in place and active up to and including that infamous day.
Beyond the lack of a militia, there are more compelling reasons for us to no longer cling to this antiquated idea. It may have made sense when we each had to put our own meat on the table, but think about it. If you have a choice between going to the supermarket, or a good meat market, where you can buy any cut of meat you want, or go out and either freeze your butt off, or sweat it off, then get filthy dirty in the process of finding an animal to kill, then you have to dress it. Have you ever dressed a fresh kill? I didn't think so. Would you really want to? Do you have any idea how much it might cost you if you add up all the costs of outfitting yourself properly, transportation to and from the site of your kill, storage of your fresh meat, and so on? Now, logically, doesn't it really make more sense to go pay six bucks for a pound of decent beef, and all you have to do is decide how to prepare it?
Those who favor gun ownership also make the claim that legitimate farmers or ranchers need firearms, maybe if one of their animals needs to be 'put down,' or also to protect the land and livestock of the farmers or ranchers from natural predators. This is not only a lame argument to present, but it is simply not true. When an animal has to be put down (cow or horse with a broken leg, for instance) one can either slit a major artery with a knife, or call a vet, or bash the animal on the skull with a hammer. As for predators, how many are left, after how many generations of being hunted and killed on sight? Or, think about this: before firearms were available to the common man, what did farmers use for these purposes?
|Next, and think very hard about this, now: if no one was allowed to own any sort of firearm, against whom would any of us need protection? And, while you're at it, think about this: how many murders, per capita, occur each year in Great Britain, where not even the cops carry firearms? "Britain has a long tradition of unarmed police officers walking the beat with only a truncheon for protection." - - (source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/1156341.stm). And, in case you're wondering about per capita murder rates, here is the most recent data I can find: The U. S. ranked 24th, and the United Kingdom ranked 46th, according to Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000 (Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention). This translated to these rates: for the U. S. - - 0.042802 murders per 1,000 people, and for the United Kindgom - - 0.0140633.|
I know. I know. You are going to say that any competent statistician (or incompetent one, too, for that matter) can make any set of numbers say anything he wants them to say (at least that is pretty close to what my old professor of Statistics used to say). I agree with that, but I also know that if I hadn't included some numbers, some smart ass somewhere would for sure ask me to cite some numbers, so there you go.
My contention here remains that if guns – all guns – were truly outlawed, and if all guns were thus eventually turned in, collected, confiscated, purchased, whatever; and, if there was no such thing as a gun dealer or a weapons sales business or a purveyor of same or a seller of same or a black market dealer in weapons, then not even the criminals would have access to guns. Yes, this means that weapons manufacturers who wanted to stay in business would need to find another product to manufacture. And, would that be so bad? And, yes, I know that this doesn't mean that someone with a knife would be stopped, but it seems to me that there are a hell of a lot less mass murders being committed with a knife than with any kind of gun, now aren't there? And, doesn't that sort of suggest that a future without guns might well continue the same pattern? And, wouldn't that be a good thing?
|We really don't need more pictures like this in the world.|