September 24, 2020

A Good Explanation of the 2nd Amendment

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I had a brief conversation the other day with a young man about the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. We both believe that we, as law abiding citizens, should have the right to keep and bear arms – period.

Part of our discussion involved the NRA. His comment to me was that he was upset the day that the NRA opted to begin using hunting heritage as a means of defending our right to bear arms. I agreed with him that it has actually backfired to some degree. The message has gone out that perhaps the NRA doesn’t 100% believe in the 2nd Amendment and is looking for other justifications to own a gun.

There has always been the argument as to what the intentions of the penners of the amendment were at the time. Americans are a people that love to complicate things and I think this is an example of that. To me it is simple the intent of the 27 words that make up the law.

Last week I read a letter to the editor of The Coloradean online from a lawyer who explained how he interpreted the 2nd Amendment. I didn’t comment on it because it was received by me as just more jibberish. In short what he was spewing was that the only ones provided the right to keep and bear arms were militias, not individual citizens.

Today a retired military man, John Lund from Fort Collins, responded to the lawyer’s editorial with one of his own that I think is pretty darn good. Here it is.

In response to William C Roemer’s Soapbox of Aug. 2: Roemer states and would have you believe that we, as United States citizens, have no right to keep and bear arms.

I am retired military; I was sworn to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. I have a different opinion.

The text of the Second Amendment is: “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.”

As stated by Roemer, the amendment consists of a sentence of 27 words. And it cannot be interpreted in pieces, but only as a whole.

Let’s look at the Second Amendment as a whole; it is a 27-word sentence in four parts divided by commas.

1. A well regulated Militia. Militia (n.):

An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.

A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency. The entire body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service; “their troops were untrained militia;” “Congress shall have power to provide for calling forth the militia” – United States Constitution.

2. being necessary to the security of a free State. State (n.):

a: politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory; especially: one that is sovereign b: the political organization that has supreme civil authority and political power and serves as the basis of government.

One of the more or less internally autonomous territorial and political units composing a federation under a sovereign government: the 48 contiguous states of the Union.

3. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms. People (n.) pl., people:

The citizens of a political unit, such as a nation or state; the electorate. Used with the mass of ordinary persons; the populace. Used with the: “those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes” (Thomas Jefferson).

4. Shall not be infringed. Infringe:

Etymology: Medieval Latin infringere, from Latin, to break, crush, from in – in plus frangere to break transitive verb: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed – U.S. Constitution Amendment II.

When the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is put together and looked at as a whole, it very eloquently states:

A well regulated Militia (composed of ordinary citizens), being necessary to the security of a free State (politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory e.g.; the U.S.), the right of the people to keep and bear Arms (the citizens of a political unit, such as a nation or state; the electorate), shall not be infringed (to encroach upon in a way that violates law).

As you can see, when the Second Amendment is looked at in full context, it is and was the intent and mindset of the U.S. Constitution framers, our founding fathers, that we, the citizens of the United States, have the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Tom Remington

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