We live in a nation sharply divided on issues of abortion, gay and lesbian rights, immigration and International affairs, yet of all the debates to put Americans at cross-currents with each other is question of gun control. Both sides make some valid points, and an open-minded person would be remiss to ignore the relevancy of any of them. Nearly everyone is well aware of the dual sides. As fast as anti-gun proponents put up their slogans concerning the need to control gun ownership, pro-gun lobbyists provide slogans of their own.
The premise of anti-gun proponents is that guns are weapons. While a hunter may be using a gun as an essential tool for his subsistence life-style, it does not change the purpose of the gun`s technology. It was designed to fire a projectile at high-velocity to create grievous harm. A person who owns a gun is prepared to maim or kill. In this light, it can be difficult to view a gun owner as a peace-loving citizen.
While gun supporters are leaping into the band wagon of guns for self-defense, an entire, and rather large sub-group, is stating the intention is not to remove all guns; just automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. Unless the home was being invaded by fifteen members of an assault gang of hoodlums, there is very little reason to believe a person must fire off fifteen rapid rounds to defend body and loved ones.
The rebuttal examines the very spirit of the Constitution. Our second amendment rights guarantee us the right to keep and bear arms without infringement. What`s missing from the average gun owner`s argument is the critical first portion of the amendment right: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state". This short phrase not only brings up the question of the government`s right to control guns at all, but the rights of the people to form militias for the protection of their states.
Adding all the assets of demographic areas and resources, it`s doubtful the federal government would favor very well the formation of separate state militias. Nor has it dealt kindly with self-appointed militias that have sprung up randomly through-out the U.S. There is a high level of distrust on both sides, a suspicion that either the population will turn on the government or the government will turn on the citizens.
Gun advocates point to the history of our fore-fathers and their advocacy of guns as a means of deterring corruption in the government and destruction of Constitutional rights. Actually, this isn`t entirely accurate. The framers of the Constitution had gone through a terrible war with their Mother country in pursuit of more equality in opportunity, yet before their call to independence, they had fought nobly, with their colonial militias, in the French Indian wars. These same militias were the volunteers of the Revolutionary War, giving theses framers first-hand knowledge of how beneficial a well-trained militia could be. There was a vast, hostile wilderness on one side, a technically advanced civilization on the other, and the colonies were caught in the middle.
Their Constitution was carefully pieced together by modeling it on aspects of the Magna Carta, by studying the Enlightenment thinkers, and by carefully weighing the strategies of other European Countries. Their main concern was in crafting a document that would safe-guard the natural liberties or unalienable rights of the American citizenry. Realizing there could be internal as well as external danger to the citizens, they crafted the Second Amendment with the vision of a militia similar to the one that served and continues to serve Switzerland, a country that trains its youthful citizens in warfare, encourages the ownership of weapons, and teaches their volunteer militia how to mobilize quickly.
State regulated militias would certainly be cheaper to maintain than the burgeoning role of Homeland Security, but the burden of defense over the years since that first signature was placed on a declaration, has shifted squarely to the backs of the federal government. A standoff has occurred as individual states have questioned the rights of the federal government, some to the point of petitioning for secession, and others remain nervous that the formation of militias could ignite more civil unrest and violence.
Whether you side with the rights to form militias or with the federal government`s right to dissolve them, you are placing your trust in guns.