(Note: This opinion piece recently appeared on Mr. Jaime Perez' fine new effort towards online and print news and opinion, "The Stallion Crest Messenger." You can find it here, under his 'Mano a Mano' link: (http://www.thestallioncrestmessenger.com/beyond-savagery)
Imagine, if you will, a world where adults can hold reasonable discourse on issues of the day, without one side, or the other, resorting to arguments ad hominen, or simple repetition of poorly thought out, and unreasonable position statements. A world much like the American political scene of the 1950's and 1960's, where, believe it or not, laws were passed, and discussions were held within the Congress of the United States, without hate, name calling, and with the art of compromise shining through.
Yes, Virginia, this really did happen frequently. Not only that, but elected officials - who knew that they were in Congress to represent the will of the people - were actually polite to one another, addressing each other with terms like "my esteemed colleague," or "the gentleman on the other side of the aisle." Really! It was common!
In a world such as that it would have been possible to hold a productive discussion on a topic such as the Second Amendment. That's right. Both political parties could have talked about that amendment, and its real meaning in the current world. It is even possible that both sides could have come to an agreement about how best to interpret that amendment in today's world.
Reasonably, I could say, for instance, that the Second Amendment was written a long, long time ago, when the world was a very different place. That simple statement would not be met with derision, and I would not expect to be called names for saying it. I could go on to say something like, "You know, the common firearm of the 1780's, when the Second Amendment was written, was a very simple device that was very difficult to load, prepare, aim, and finally, to fire." At the time this amendment was written, and later, ratified by the various states, most homes, especially in rural areas, had at least one such muzzle loaded rifle, not just for defense, but also to help put meat on the table.
I could go on, still reasonably, and point out that the reason why the framers of that 2nd Amendment talked about the need for a militia had as much to do with the fact that most of this nation was rural in nature, and that a means of rapid communications or transportation simply did not exist, directly leading to the need for some form of self defense. Remember that this nation did not have a duly organized army at the time this amendment was written. And, there is no mention, or even a suggestion that this nation had to do more than be concerned about general security. No specific enemies were named or even suggested, nor was there any suggestion that either our own government, or a foreign government might be a threat to that security.
And, still reasonably, I'd say that once an army was created, and once communications improved, and decent means of transportation were built and available, the need for militias pretty much disappeared. Moreover, I would say that as single shot weapons became obsolete, any real need for an individual to possess more modern weapons was obsolete as well. What need I, or you, of a weapon that will fire hundreds of rounds per minute against what threat to my security, or yours, in today's world?
So, how about it? Could we reasonably discuss the possibility that we might consider either applying the actual wording of that Second Amendment into this modern world - in its entirety, with emphasis on that pesky need for a well maintained militia? Or, more appropriately, could we discuss rephrasing it to fit a world that has no need for a militia, and where we have adequate policing of our communities, and no more marauding people whose lands we've stolen, or outlaw gangs or wild animals that might pose a threat to our daily lives?