The 2nd Amendment Survives

As you might expect, I am a big supporter of the 2nd Amendment. I believe that without the 2nd, there would not be a 1st Amendment. Critics (gun grabbers) say that this is not the 18th Century anymore, we don’t need guns everywhere; a bad amendment can be reversed by another amendment, as when Prohibition was overturned. Those people clearly do not understand the history of the Constitution, as it was written in 1787. The very first complaint about the new Constitution was that it over-centralized government (a big issue, after having just escaped British tyranny), and did not clearly delineate the rights that the people wanted. The members of the Constitutional Convention (including Washington, Madison, and Hamilton) maintained that those rights were included, although perhaps too much by implication. Since there was some question that they could get the nine states needed for ratification, the “Bill of Rights” (the first 10 amendments) was added in toto to assuage those fears. The first 10 amendments are actually part of the document that was ratified, and were not added piecemeal, as with amendments 11 to current times. The 2nd Amendment does not represent a correction to the Constitution, but an annotation, a clarification. It was no more an afterthought than was the 1st Amendment. The two of them represent the very core of the American Experiment.
Why was it necessary at all? Because the first battle of the Revolution was spurred by the first attempt in North America at gun control. The British dispatched forces to Concord, MA, to capture weapons stored there by the colonial militia.  They were intercepted at Lexington green, and the game was on.
For 25 years, gun grabbers have maintained that no American should be able to own a semi-automatic rifle, as they could be better armed than police or military.  Again, they do not know history.  The American colonists were better armed than the world-famous British Army.  They had muskets with rifled bores (built by immigrant German gunsmiths) with a range of 300+ yards, while the British had smooth-bore muskets (Brown Bess) with a range of 50-80 yards.
It was clearly always the intention of the Constitutional Convention that Americans would have the right to own weapons to check the power of a tyrannical government, and that those weapons could be equal in capability to what the government could have.  True, the National Firearms Act of 1934 prohibited full-automatic weapons (machine guns), but for technical reasons, that is not as big a disadvantage as you might think.
Why am I writing this article?  Because last week we dodged a bullet (so to speak).  A Clinton election would have ensured that the Supreme Court, for the next 40 years, would be populated with judges who would have, little by little, dismantled the 2nd Amendment.  We can now expect that any major gun control is dead for the next several decades.
Along that line, I have long been a supporter of the 2nd Amendment Foundation, and encourage you to do the same.  Instead of being activists/protestors, these folks are lawyers, and work within the system to protect our rights, by bringing lawsuits against local governments.  They have been very effective at curbing encroachments.

Author: Sandy Keathley

NRA-Certified Firearms Instructor