Over recent decades we have often heard that the 2nd Amendment is only intended for hunting and recreation if at all. We have heard opponents of the Second Amendment state that there is no Right to firearm ownership for individuals, especially in regard to a largely arbitrary and growing list of specific firearms. These opponents have sought restrictions under various laws and legislation proposals like the NY SAFE Act and Reg Flag laws. But such gun control philosophy ignores both the intent and purpose of this vital core principle of our nation.
What exactly is the viewpoint of some of the opponents to this fundamental right? Well we can look at what the Huffington Post provided its readers in 2016,
“No matter the interpretation of every other word and phrase after the first three words, the entire context of the amendment is that it will be a regulated right. Through this lens, the Second Amendment is barely even comparable to the First Amendment in terms of what rights it enables. There is simply no language in the First Amendment that regulates the right to free speech… and yet we still regulate speech despite the unassailable strength of the the First Amendment constitutional language.”
In 2003, a University of California, Irvine, Law Forum Journal by Nausheen Kazalbasch, sought to redefine the Amendment,
“A modern interpretation of the Second Amendment is necessary in order to apply its principles to present day society. The Second Amendment, in its most accurate interpretation, provides only the privilege to maintain operative militias; it does not bestow any individual right to bear arms for other uses…
An individual person does not possess a significant ability to contribute to the “security of the state” and should not be allowed to own weapons (with the exception of those who possess weapons for sport)…
The Second Amendment is meant to apply to the “militia”, and is intended to ensure the functioning of this “militia” for the maintenance of our security. This security is not to be confused with security from each other, but is rather intended to be a protection of the state as a whole, other nations, and foreign entities. As a society we should be able to rely on our law enforcement for community protection rather than taking up arms ourselves… The Second Amendment should provide protection only for groups such as the National Guard, and other groups, if any, that meet the above criteria. The contemporary collective rights view restricts Constitutional protection to collective ownership and is an attempt to remain consistent with the goals of our Founders as well as the needs of today.”
And of course there is former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who took the position of opponents of the Amendment and upped the stakes. Using the strong emotions of the time, in the wake of the Parkland FL shootings, Stevens suggested the outright repeal of the 2nd Amendment.
“That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”
So it’s clear what the intent of those opposing the 2nd Amendment ultimately will be. A systematic removal of Rights, justified by manipulation of emotion and politicized redefinition of language. Let’s imagine what that means to the public.
Perhaps the best example of that can be found in recent news events. There is the wife of Sen. Rand Paul, Kelley Paul. She highlights something that even the least political in the nation can and do feel – a threat of physical violence.
In an open letter to Sen. Cory Booker she wrote of a situation that many men and women can easily relate to, and given the actual violent attack on her husband, a reality of daily life for tens of thousands.
“It’s nine o’clock at night, and as I watch out the window, a sheriff’s car slowly drives past my home. I am grateful that they have offered to do extra patrols, as someone just posted our home address, and Rand’s cell number, on the internet — all part of a broader effort to intimidate and threaten Republican members of Congress and their families. I now keep a loaded gun by my bed. Our security systems have had to be expanded. I have never felt this way in my life.”
While most in the nation may not be the target of radical extremist activity, whatever their political affiliation, many in America do face the threat of home invasions, muggings, robbery, and rape. Situations that Kazalbasch notes, but ignores as unimportant, stating
“However, a main inefficacy of the contemporary collective rights view is shown when our local law enforcement fails to protect us. Despite this real world fallacy in the idealized picture being painted here, it is important to note the distinction the Amendment implicitly makes between the securities of the people as a whole versus protection from one another.”
Thus, those that oppose the 2nd Amendment – Huffington, Kazalbasch, Stevens, and others – believe that, as an example, a woman wishing to protect herself and family, even from rape or violent attacks should only rely on law authorities. They believe this even as admitting that such reliance is a “real world fallacy”. The conclusion is not implicit but explicit that individual Rights bear not importance to the desire to disarm the public. Reliance on the government alone, is de facto and in function, more important than the lives of 272,040 women and 51,408 men who were raped or sexually assaulted in 2016 alone.
This is of course not how the conversation on restriction and repeal of firearm rights is discussed on major news media. But the “idealized picture being painted” cannot be viewed without the context of reality. This is the unstated and unavoidable consequence of ever increasing gun control efforts that lead to the repeal voiced by Stevens, and slowly being admitted by others publicly.
The real choice being offered to the public, almost exclusively after deep emotional trauma (when was the last time you recall that the major news media or politicians have spoken about gun control and the 2nd Amendment), is a larger, more invasive, ever more powerful and unchecked government led by a small and often partisan group of politicians under the guise of safety – that has never been proven to be real or effective. OR the Right to protect ourselves and family, the ability to provide a check to the potential of an oppressive and ever more corrupt governmental body (at local, State and Federal levels), and the ability to express and have individual Rights.