Fair enough. The edited addition to your original posted helped clarify as well what you were getting at.
There are a variety of means by which to interpret the Constitution and you are going with a face value reading of it, it would seem. The 2nd Amendment, even if taken as 100% face value, is not a universal right to bear arms. Hell, it is caveated right from the start:
'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."
First off, we don’t even have militias now (except for those delightful bands of separatists, white supremacists, etc. roaming about the country) and we have a standing army.’[/quote]
A few points:
Yes, I do take the Constitution at face value, because historical evidence suggests that it was meant to be a supreme and literal document. Particularly so for the Bill of Rights, which was ratified as a concession to those who felt that a strong and specific set of guidelines was needed in order to keep the power of the federal government in check.
I do not share your interpretation of the militia clause in the Second Amendment, and therefore do not find any inherent caveat. I sense that the true purpose of having a domestic militia has been largely forgotten by modern day conservatives, who now misinterpret it as a voluntary defense force comprised of citizens serving only for the purpose of guarding against foreign threats.
This is an easy conclusion to arrive upon from the “popcorn history” that citizens are taught in government schools regarding Paul Revere, the Minutemen et al. However, it is incorrect and off-topic. The purpose of a citizen’s militia as described in the Second Amendment is not to guard against foreign threats but domestic tyranny. It is designed to be the perpetual watchdog of governmental power, and for this very reason, a well-armed and educated citizenry is deemed essential for the preservation of freedom.
Sadly enough, these days almost noone makes the connection between the right to bear arms in-and-of itself and the “watchdog” aspect inherent to this right, least of all conservatives. Sure, Billy Bob is proud of his gun because it enables him to shoot cooters, and he’s proud of his country because he has been told that people in other countries can’t own guns, but he has no idea of the significance of any of this. He views it as a basic right of ownership rather than the right of self-defense which it really is.
Since conservatives have almost entirely forgotten this fundamental connection, the government has been more than willing to capitalize on it. As a result, there are now a myriad of gun control laws which keep guns in the hands of criminals but prevent innocent people from obtaining them for self defense; there are bans on assault rifles and any other particularly effective forms of weaponry, which attempt to ensure that the citizenry can be subjugated at will by the State due to its command of superior technology; the State has cracked down on all the remaining vestiges of armed and independant citizens in its domain - for examples, look no further than Ruby Ridge and Waco.
Rather than a single standing army for defending its borders, as ordained in the Constitution, the State has established an Imperial Army which is used to police the entire world and maintain perpetual war for the benefit of the ruling class. The Second Amendment is null and void, as is the rest of the Constitution. The State has long since completed a natural transition from Democratic Republic to Textbook Tyranny.
George Washington: “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.”
Thomas Jefferson: “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. . . . The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
There are many other statements by our Founders about our right to keep and bear arms. Reading what they had to say points out clearly that the Second Amendment wasn’t written into our Bill of Rights so that we could go duck and deer hunting or shoot clay pigeons over the weekend. The Second Amendment was given to us as protection against tyranny by the federal government and the Congress of the United States.
- I’m fairly sure that the United States had a standing Army when the Constitution was ratified.