Why ‘A Case For Gun Control’ Isn’t
Gun control advocates will never stop, and it’s easy to understand why. After all, if they really believe guns are a problem, why would they? I honestly believe that 200 years from now, we’ll have people arguing over how the Constitution was never intended to cover plasma rifles in the 40-watt range for just that reason.
One reason why we’ll continue to have gun control advocates may also be that so many of them are either ignorant of history or they just flat out lie about it. Take this op-ed from The Houstonian, the student paper at Sam Houston State University, where it starts off with just absolute nonsense to support its anti-gun agenda.
The Second Amendment states, “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.” The debate over this is whether this clause was intended for only the militia or regular citizens as well. Gun right advocates prefer to focus on the second part “right of the people” and ignore the first “well-regulated militia.” The “well-regulated militia” was added for a reason, and I think it was not just a suggestion.
To understand what the amendment meant to convey, we need to look at the historical context that in which it was written. The founding fathers believed that freedom without regulation could only lead to anarchy. They thought if a group of citizens were given guns then they could quickly become a mob and that was not what is considered a well-regulated militia. A law in 1786 even prohibited the storage of any loaded gun in any building in Boston.
Until the 1980s, there was no such thing as the “individual rights” theory of the Second Amendment. This changed when right-wing think-tanks started an effort to rewrite the amendment’s history. This was not initially well received; former Supreme Court chief justice Warren Burger called the idea that an individual should be allowed to bear arms “one of the greatest pieces of fraud on the American public by special-interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.” The revisionism did win in 2008 when the Supreme Court broke away from 70 years of established jurisprudence and stated that the Second Amendment does protect an individual’s right to have guns in their home for self-defense.