Time for the truth about the 2nd Amendment and the AR-15
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
uI'm a liberal, but I get attacked b legally defined (in United States Code) as all adult freemen ages 17 to 45. “Well-regulated” meant in good working order, as in “a well-regulated clock.” The word "state” meant nation. Obviously (except to some revisionist judges), “the people” means the people, not the government, the people. How can "the people" be construed to mean "the government"? Militia is defined in United States Code (10 U.S.C. § 311) as follows: "The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32 , under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard."
The 2nd Amendment reads, "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."
To translate the 2nd Amendment into modern language, it says, “A well-armed citizenry being necessary to the security of a free nation, the government can’t place any restrictions on the right of the people to own and carry guns (or any other personal weapons).”
Period. End of sentence!
However, if it's still not clear to you, let me break the 2nd Amendment down, phrase by phrase. The second part is crystal clear: "shall not be infringed" means shall not be infringed, not even a little bit! That should be obvious to everyone, but politicians love power, so they choose to ignore the Constitution and infringe on our rights every which way they can. Sadly, revisionist judges have helped them do so. Simply put, “shall not be infringed” means shall not be infringed. Period!
What about the first part of the 2nd Amendment, the prefatory clause that gives the reason for the right to bear arms? It gives the reason as, "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state." Most of my fellow liberals completely misinterpret this prefatory clause. In 1789, “well-regulated” meant in good working order, well-functioning, as in “a well-regulated clock.” A well-regulated militia is a militia that is well equipped. For what the term "well-regulated" meant at the time our Founding Fathers used it, see this article: https://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2014/06/24/well-regulated/
And what is the militia? In America, “militia” was clearly defined in 1789 as all adult male freemen ages 17 to 45. Did this mean that only men ages 17 to 45 could bear arms, that women were not allowed to keep and bear arms, and that men had to surrender their guns after they turned age 45? No, because that was merely the prefatory clause, the clause giving the reason why the right to bear arms was so important.
What about today -- has the legal definition of militia changed? No, it hasn't! Most people are surprised to learn that militia is still, even today, legally defined almost exactly the same way today as it was in 1789, all adult male citizens ages 17 to 45. The only difference is that today, in addition to all adult male citizens being in the militia, our government has (grudgingly) conceded that women currently serving in the military are also part of the militia, but only women serving in the military (less than 1% of women), while all men are in the militia, 100% of men. Does this mean that less than 1% of women have the right to keep and bear (carry) arms, while 100% of men have that right? No, because the prefatory clause is only the reason for the right to bear arms, not the listing of who can keep and bear arms. The list of who can keep and bear arms is specified in the second clause, "the people," meaning all people, both male and female.
Militia is, was, and always has been legally defined (in United States Code) as all adult freemen ages 17 to 45. “Well-regulated” meant in good working order, as in “a well-regulated clock.” The word "state” meant nation. Obviously (except to some revisionist judges), “the people” means the people, not the government, the people. How can "the people" be construed to mean "the government"? Militia is defined in United States Code (10 U.S.C. § 311) as follows: "The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32 , under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard." See the full text of the legal definition of militia here: 10 U.S.C. § 311 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 10. Armed Forces § 311. Militia: composition and classes
But even if the anti-gun people were right, even if the word "militia" had meant only the National Guard (it didn't; it meant all male adult citizens), the "militia clause" of the 2nd Amendment is only the prefatory phrase, the part that gives the reason why all citizens, all people (as the 2nd Amendment spelled out, "the people"), have the right to keep and bear arms. The second part of the 2nd Amendment does not say the right of the militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, it clearly says, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The prefatory clause merely gives the reason why the right to keep and bear arms is so necessary.
Think of it this way: say you put a sign in your driveway saying, "Driving to the drugstore to buy insulin being necessary to the health of my diabetic wife, my right to leave my house shall not be infringed by motorists parking in front of my driveway and blocking me in." This doesn't mean that strangers can park in front of your driveway whenever you're not driving to the drugstore -- it's just one reason, perhaps the most important reason, why your right to exit your driveway shall not be infringed. Similarly, the Founding Fathers feared oppressive governments, kings, and terrorists (which back then were called other names, such as "pirates"), so they declared the most important reasons for the right to keep and bear arms were twofold: (1) so citizens could defend themselves against an oppressive foreign government, whether it was invasion by a foreign nation (in 1789 we feared invasion by England, in 1941 we feared invasion by Imperial Japan, since 9/11 we fear terrorists), and (2) so the American people could prevent our own government from becoming oppressive and our own leader starting to act like he's a king. Whenever the people fear the government, you end up with a dictatorship, but when the government fears the people, you end up with a democracy. The 2nd Amendment says nothing about hunting; the Founding Fathers cited the reason it was necessary as keeping America free from tyranny, that was the reason they gave for a well-armed citizenry being "necessary for the security of a free state," not hunting.
For what the Founding Fathers were saying about the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, see this article: https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/what-the-second-amendment-really-means/
The 2nd Amendment was always intended to be an individual right, not a collective right. For an article explaining this, see https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2018/08/27/the-truth-about-the-second-amendment/
In summary, to translate the 2nd Amendment into modern language, it says, “A well-armed citizenry being necessary to the security of a free nation, the government can’t place any restrictions on the right of the people to own and carry guns (or any other personal weapons).” Period.
Now, some troll always asks, "Are you saying everyone should be allowed to own nuclear weapons, tanks, fighter planes, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and nuclear-equipped stealth bombers?" Well, are those personal weapons, militia weapons, hand weapons, personal militia hand weapons? The answer is no, no, no, and no. Militia weapons include rifles, pistols, shotguns, knives, swords, clubs, slingshots, and similar hand weapons. These weapons may have evolved over the years to be easier to use, but they are still the same types of weapons as in 1789, still the same class of weapons. They are still rifles, pistols, shotguns, knives, swords, clubs, and slingshots, and they are still militia weapons. The AR-15 is the modern musket, the Glock is the modern pistol, and the Mossberg 590 and Remington 570 are the modern fowling pieces (shotguns).
What about heavily restricted items such as sound suppressors (which Hollywood calls "silencers")? Sound suppressors are simply an essential piece of safety gear that President Teddy Roosevelt used over a century ago. Guns fired using suppressors (so-called "silencers") are still louder than a jackhammer, so they're still painfully loud, still loud enough to require earplugs when shooting even with a "silencer" attached. Nobody has ever accused jackhammers as being "silent", yet Hollywood movies made people believe that a suppressed gunshot is "silent" when it's really louder than a jackhammer! Target shooting and hunting without a suppressor ("silencer"), even while wearing the best earplugs or the best earmuffs, does permanent damage to your hearing, and the damage is cumulative as well as permanent. Hunting dogs cannot wear earplugs, so they suffer the most due to America's ridiculously strict restrictions on suppressors, which are an essential piece of safety gear for men, women, children, and dogs. Suppressors are almost never used in crime, because criminals want guns that are concealable, and putting a suppressor on the barrel of a handgun doubles its length, making it impossible to conceal. In Europe, it's considered rude not to use suppressors at public gun ranges! Instead of being restricted, suppressors ("silencers") should be required equipment at all gun ranges and gun clubs. Maybe suppressors should be required equipment on all guns, like mufflers are required on all cars, trucks, and motorcycles, but I'll stop short of saying so because requiring suppressors on all guns would be a government mandate that might violate the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, a right which "shall not be infringed." For more on how firearm suppressors ("silencers") are a true public health issue, essential safety gear for preserving the hearing of people and dogs, see https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/firearm-suppressors-are-a-true-public-health-issue/
Someone will inevitably ask, "Exactly what sort of weapons should private citizens be able to own? Should they be able to have fully-automatic weapons, machine guns?" My answer is simple: the people should be able to own the exact same weapons that the civilian police force is allowed to own. Machine guns do not belong in the hands of a civilian police force, because machine guns have only two purposes: mass murder (which is not something the police should be doing!) and suppressive fire (which is something the military needs, but laying down suppressive fire in a civilian community, on friendly soil, inside our own nation, creates too much risk of innocent civilian casualties. On the battlefield, civilian casualties are called "collateral damage", and a certain number (a terrible high number) of civilian casualties are considered "acceptable" in wartime, but not in our cities, so police should not be allowed to have machine guns. Ban them for police, and then ban them for (other) civilians also.
Are police allowed to have "high capacity" magazines (such as pistols that hold 17 rounds)? Yes, for obvious reasons, to ensure their safety, to ensure that they can defend against more than one criminal shooting at them. Therefore, civilians should also be allowed to have "high capacity" magazines, and to use them for self defense and home defense.
Are police allowed to use suppressors ("silencers") to preserve their hearing? Yes, although it makes their handguns to bulky to carry in their holsters, so they usually don't use silencers, but they should use them more often., as they are essential pieces of safety gear for all the reasons I previously stated (again, see https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/firearm-suppressors-are-a-true-public-health-issue/). Civilians should also be allowed to own and use silencers, and should be encouraged, if not required, to own one for every gun and use them all the time. In Europe, it's considered rude not to use suppressors at public gun ranges!
Are police allowed to use bombs and fragmentation hand grenades? God, I hope not. If they are, they shouldn't be, and neither should civilians. However, some U.S. police forces do use bombs as weapons to kill suspects. I know of one case where police sent a robot armed with a bomb to kill a suspect. Sending a killer robot to terminate a civilian suspect sounds like something out of the Terminator movies, and we should stop allowing our civilian police forces to use bombs, frag hand grenades, and killer robots. It's okay to use flash-bang grenades (except when police break into the wrong house and then toss a grenade into a baby's crib, causing permanent heart damage to the baby, as they did in one botched "drug raid" on the wrong house), or thermite grenades, but not frag grenades, and not WP (white phosphorous) grenades. Sorry, my military jargon slipped in from my US Army days!
Are police allowed to use short-barreled rifles? Yes, and so should civilians (but please, use a suppressor if you're going to stand next to people on the gun range shooting your short-barreled AR-15 in caliber 5.56 mm (or .223) with a muzzle brake! 5.56 mm is too loud in guns with barrels shorter than 20 inches, so keep the barrel at 20 inches as God and Eugene Stoner intended!)
Are police allowed to use short-barreled shotguns? If so, then let civilians use them too. If short-barreled shotguns are too dangerous for civilians to use, then ban them for police too. Just make one rule, and let everyone follow the same rule, cops as well as other civilians (cops are civilians too, FYI, they're not military).
Are police allowed to use hollow-point bullets? Of course, because hollow-point bullets are much safer than full-metal-jacket (FMJ, or "ball") ammunition! Hollow-points stop the criminal with fewer shots, saving the lives of officers (and law-abiding citizens). Hollow-points don't overpenetrate, thus saving the lives of innocent bystanders, and by stopping the criminal with fewer shots, they also are less likely to kill the criminal too. Stopping the criminal with one hollow-point, he will survive (after medical attention), but if you have to use FMJ ammunition, you have to shoot the criminal 10 times to stop him, and then he'll bleed out and die before he gets to the hospital, so he's more likely to die if you shoot him with FMJ than he is if you stop him with hollow-points. States that ban hollow-point ammo are stupidly putting the lives of cops, criminals, and law-abiding citizens at greater risk of death, just due to the mistaken, outdated, obsolete, 19th-century belief that certain bullets are more evil than other bullets. All bullets cause messy wounds, but the entire point is to stop the criminal before he can kill you or rape you, and a hollow-point will do that more surely, and with less risk of "collateral damage" through overpenetration, less risk a bullet will go through the criminal, then go through the walls of a house and kill an innocent person a block away. (Of course, it would also help if they could train cops to shoot straight, so they wouldn't keep firing 40 shots and only hitting the suspect 5 times, with the other 35 bullets going astray and endangering the whole neighborhood, but training cops is an issue for another day).
Are cops allowed to carry switchblades? They should be, and so should civilians. When your'e boating or mountain climbing, a switchblade can save your life, because it can be opened with one hand, to keep you from drowning or falling to your death from a mountain. Switchblades are only banned due to Hollywood movies, the same reason suppressors ("silencers") are banned, purely because Hollywood had their villains using them.
Are police allowed to use nuclear weapons? Obviously not, as that would be absurd. Likewise, it would be absurd to let civilians own nuclear weapons (or other weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical weapons, biological weapons, anti-personnel landmines, cluster bombs, napalm, etc.)
Bottom line, any weapon that civilian (non-military) police are allowed to have and use, other civilians should also be allowed to have. If a weapon is truly so dangerous that it "can only be used for mass murder," then cops shouldn't be allowed to own it either. Cops use the AR-15 rifle because it is extremely accurate, easy to handle even for small people, women, and the elderly, does not overpenetrate (a 55-grain bullet from an AR-15 is less likely to penetrate walls then pistol rounds or buckshot from a shotgun), easy to use, easy to clean, readily configurable, and all the other reasons that it's America's most popular rifle with about 20 million of them in the hands of ordinary citiens. If the AR-15 were truly a gun whose "only purpose is killing as many people as possible as rapidly as possible" (no, it's not, as it's not a machine gun), then we wouldn't want our cops carrying them, because it is certainly not the job of the police to "kill as many people as possible as rapidly as possible." See https://www.alloutdoor.com/2015/12/15/assault-weapons-gun-controls-new-target-of-opportunity/. But the truth is that despite its "scary" looks, an AR-15 only fires one bullet for each pull of the trigger, just like every handgun and just like most other rifles!
Hollywood is not the only one to blame for the popular misconception that the AR-15 is somehow a machine gun, and not simply a rifle like every other rifle. Anti-gun lobbyists and the anti-gun media (which means nearly all television, radio, and print "journalists") have purposely misled Americans into thinking that the AR-15 is somehow more dangerous than other guns, such as the M1 Garand used in WWII, when actually, the opposite is true. The M-1 Garand rifle used in WWII is far, far more powerful than the AR-15, firing a .30-06 bullet which is three or four times more massive and over twice as powerful as the weak, wimpy, tiny 5.56 mm bullet fired by the vast majority of AR-15 rifles. The AR-15 fires a bullet that is too weak for deer hunting. The M1 rifle fires a bullet that can be used to hunt not only deer, but big game, including every animal in North America up to and including polar bears! Yet, Hollywood and the anti-gun lobby have demonized the AR-15, simply because of its looks, simply because it's black. That's gun racism, people, pure and simple. Being black doesn't make a gun more dangerous. That's racist, if you said it about a person, but the states that ban so-called "assault weapons" do so purely based on their appearance, not on their functionality, purely based on their looks, nothing more. Calling guns "assault weapons" just because they're black (and because they have an appendage that makes them look male, the "pistol grip" which is vaguely penis-shaped) has to be about the most ridiculous thing that anti-gun people have ever come up with. Banning things based on their looks, on the fact that they're black and look male, is based in deep-seated prejudice and primal bigotry. If you don't believe me, take a look at the "assault weapons" bans in states like New York, in which you can take a gun such as the Ruger Mini-14, legal in New York State, but if you put a black stock on it, the exact same gun magically becomes illegal, a felony to own! That is absurd, ridiculous, and borderline racist, but it's the law in NY, NJ, CA, CT, MA, and other states that have bans on cosmetic features, the so-called "assault weapons bans." A picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll save myself 3,000 words with these first three photos...
...and I'll save myself another 2,000 words with the pair of photos below. Just like the three photos above, the two photos below are pictures of exactly the same gun, yet my fellow liberals want to ban the black one simply because of its looks, because in their minds, "black = scary" or something like that! As Commander Spock would say, "That is illogical, Captain."
Again, my view on which weapons civilians should be allowed to own is that if it's okay for police to use, it should be okay for law-abiding citizens to own, too. If any weapon truly "can only be used as a weapon of mass murder", then why in God's name would we allow the police to use that weapon? As the article in the link below says, "if killing as many people in as short a time possible is really what the AR was designed for, then why on earth would we arm police with it? In what conceivable circumstance do cops–even SWAT team members–need to gun down as many people in as short a time as possible?" See https://www.alloutdoor.com/2015/12/15/assault-weapons-gun-controls-new-target-of-opportunity/
If you want to ban a certain class of guns as "too dangerous" and "weapons of mass murder", ban these guns for the police, also, otherwise you're a hypocrite (because the job of the police is not, should not, should never be, "mass murder"). If you believe a certain class of weapons are "weapons of war that belong on the battlefield and not on our streets," then you should not want the police to have it either, because it's not their job to commit mass murder. Also, your belief that certain guns are "weapons of war that belong on the battlefield and not on our streets," should be based on something other than the gun's scary looks, something other than the fact that it's black and has an appendage at its midsection that looks penis-shaped, because calling black guns "evil" or "scary-looking" simply because (let's face it) they remind you of black men is based largely on racism and prejudice. Banning guns because some movie villain used them (New Jersey does this!) is also stupid, but if you're going to ban them, at least ban them for police, also, otherwise it's hypocritical. And come one, people, the AR-15 is not, and has never been, a "weapon of war." Every gun in your local gun store was once a weapon of war except for the AR-15, which has never been used by any army in any war. Revolvers were weapons of war. Bolt-action rifles are weapons of war, they still are! Lever-action rifles were weapons of war. Pump-action shotguns are weapons of war, still today. The only popular gun that has never, ever been a weapon of war is the AR-15, which only looks like the M-16 and M-4, but unlike those military weapons, the AR-15 only fires one shot per trigger pull, and has never been used by any armed forces, ever, anywhere! The AR in AR-15 simply stands for ARmalite, the company that developed it (Armalite made pistols and shotguns, which were also called "AR" plus a number, because AR stands for ARmalite).
There is so much misinformation about the AR-15 on the news, as well as on the Internet, it's hard to counter it all. First, less than 1% of gun crimes are committed with a semiautomatic rifle. FBI crime statistics show there are more murders done with hands and feet than with all rifles combined. FBI statistics also show there are more murders committed with blunt objects (hammers) than with all rifles combined. And contrary to what you hear on the news, the truth is that the weapon of choice for mass shooters is the handgun, and the weapon of choice for school shooters is also the handgun.
The vast majority of gun crimes, nearly 99%, are committed with handguns. So, does this mean we should ban handguns? Fine with me, as long as you ban the police from using handguns also! Oh, now you say you're not okay with disarming the police? Then don't disarm citizens, either, because when seconds count, the police are always at least 10 to 30 minutes away, and courts have ruled repeatedly that the police have no duty to protect citizens. Their job is to show up after your family is murdered, identify the bodies, hunt for the person who did it, and arrest them. Home invaders won't even give you time to dial 911 and communicate to the 911 operator your location, name, and nature of the emergency, so home invaders certainly aren't going to sit around and wait 20 minutes for the police to show up before raping, killing, and robbing your family. In home invasion crimes, the violence (shooting, stabbing, beating, and/or rape) begins within 15 seconds, and the police are an average of 15 minutes away, sixty times as long! Here is a video of a home invasion: count how many seconds until the shooting starts. The first flash of gunfire comes at 9 seconds, which is less time than it takes to call 911 and connect to the 911 operator. If the homeowner hadn't been armed too (his assailants had guns), he would have been dead in 10 seconds, so even if someone else in the house had time to call police, they would have arrived 15 minutes later only to identify his body and dust for prints. See the video here: https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/video-home-owner-opening-fire-on-4-home-invaders-caught-on-camera/