The right to arm bears (or something like that)…

The second amendment to the United States constitution states (give or take a comma here and there and the odd capital letter) :

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.

Back when the second amendment was written ‘arms’ probably meant muskets or similar but let’s fast forward to today. ‘Arms’ can mean pretty much anything from a box cutter (useful for hijacking planes apparently) and guns(of course) to small nuclear devices and hey, even chemical weapons (all of them ‘could’ be used for defense). Fortunately neither of the latter is currently available in ‘personal’ form but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. After all if you can rationalize the personal ownership of an assault rifle, why not a nuclear bomb.

Gun advocates are always pointing out the second half of the amendment, the right to bear arms but seem to forget about the first part which is that you should be prepared to use those arms to protect the state as part of a ‘militia’ (From good old Wikipedia Militia – “A military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service”). That must really piss off the separatists that want to leave the combined states but at the same time use the ‘right’ part to justify their ownership and use of guns that they will use to fight off the government forces. Ironic huh?

Anyway, getting back to the topic in hand, ‘arms’. So my thinking is this. A small thermonuclear device would make a pretty good armament in my book and apparently I have the ‘right’ to own such a device (I’m prepared to use it to defend the state) so I’m off shopping. Where can you buy plutonium?

 

OK, I’ll admit that all the above is tongue in cheek and pretty absurd but my point is this.  Maybe two hundred years ago a band of armed civilians could hold off a small attacking force (even of regular military) because the reality was that there was not that much difference between them. But today, well just watch any riot footage on TV. Even a small band of police (without firearms, just protection and batons) can roust a disorganized rabble simple because the police a) train for it and b) are organized. In spite of what Hollywood might have us believe, if armed forces invaded the United states, most of us (that would form the ‘militia’ if we had guns) would end up dead or prisoners simple because we do not train for that eventuality (unlike in the movies, when they shoot you, you die!).

So, in my opinion, the second amendment is out of date and should simply be removed from the constitution. I’m not saying that guns should be banned since many people actually do need them to live in some parts of the country for hunting and protection against wildlife but the only reason for owning one otherwise is as a hobby since I accept there are many people that like to shoot for sport and competition. Outside of that though, what’s the point? Self defense? Don’t make me laugh! If you are responsible, you lock it up at night which somewhat defeats the whole argument for self defense in the home, and if you leave it out where you can get at it, you should not be owning a gun in the first place in my opinion.

All I’m saying is that the concept of ownership of ‘arms’ as a right needs to go. It should be a privilege and a gun that is not being used should be in a gun safe, not on a table for some kid to find and shoot his brother with, or for some burglar to pick up because it was not secured and sell on the street or worse, use on someone.

 

And that is all I have to say on the subject.

 

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