Just What Does the 2nd Amendment Mean Anyway?

As indicated in the previous post, when our Constitutional Republic was framed it mirrored the Constitutional structure of all of the States whichSecond_Amendment-1 consented to the union. Each of the 13 original colonies had a Bill of Rights attached to its primary Constitution which was considered a part of the whole document. Our Constitution, at the insistence of the States, also included a Bill of Rights which more specifically guaranteed the natural, God given rights of the sovereign people which consented to be governed. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, the main function of any government was to protect the rights of the people from being violated. The 2nd Amendment to our Bill of Rights protected our right to keep and bear arms and read in full as follows:

 

Second_Amendment

 

Now, let’s look a little more carefully at the structure and meaning of this amendment.

First of all it is put together from two free standing ideas. One is a purpose statement and the second is a statement of substance.

The first idea expressed is that, a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. This statement functions like the preamble to our Constitution. It gives a general purpose to the rest of the idea, but in and of itself does not serve to limit the right expressed. It simply provides a context and carries no legal weight in and of itself.

For example, the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution serves as a purpose statement as follows:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Preamble in and of itself does not alter any of the delegated powers within the Constitution or carry any legal weight, it simply provides like the first part of the 2nd Amendment a context for the Constitution which follows.

The second part of the 2nd amendment states a right of the people. It carries legal weight and affirms a natural right additionally confirming that it cannot be abridged or violated. That, of course, is the right of the people to arm themselves, keep the arms in their possession and further states that the Federal government cannot interfere with that right. That is, the people are not giving the Federal government any power over this natural right and that this natural right is also one that is important in preserving the security of a free state.

As far as the militia goes, the powers delegated to the Federal government regarding the militia were spelled out in Article I, Section 8 as follows:

 

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

The Federal government could call forth the State militia’s in the service of the United States to suppress insurrections, repel invasions and execute the [Constitutionally based] laws of the union. The appointment of officers was the responsibility of the States as was the organizing, arming and disciplining of the militia.

Now the big question of the day is: where does someone like Obama or the Congress get the idea that they can regulate the people’s natural right to own, keep and use arms?

Fact is, if their oaths of office mean anything, they don’t!

At best it is a state related issue and even then States have been given no powers by the people who ordained and established the Constitution as noted in the Preamble above. When it comes to the issue of arms ownership and possession, our government has been given no powers over the people.

(Remember, in our Constitution the governments has been delegated powers. The people have preexisting rights. Rights super cede powers because the primary purpose of our Constitution, which each elected and appointed representative swears to uphold and defend, as the previous post noted was to protect the rights which already existed prior to the establishment of government.)

One of those rights as affirmed by the 2nd Amendment was the preexisting right to keep and bear arms which, according to our Bill of Rights, “shall not be infringed.”

And well, since the Bill of Rights is part of our Constitution according to Article 5:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States,

And our Representatives do freely take an oath upon entering office which states that they:

do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;

We have every right to ignore their dictates regarding weapons and should take every step to affirm our right to keep and bear arms.

But hey, I’m just using the clear language of the Constitution they freely swear an oath to support and defend (including our fearless leader BTW) to determine the people’s rights in this issue. There are some other factors here that can also be discussed. If you would like a little more background on the issue, you may want to check out this resource for starters. There are plenty of others as well:

Second_Amendment_Book

 

 

 

 

 

 


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