Our entire Constitution and Bill of Rights are essential measures of gun control—this time, gun control directed against the government. For example, the First Amendment prohibits the government from using its guns to abridge the freedoms of speech or press. The Second Amendment prohibits the government from using its guns to abridge the freedom of the citizen to keep and bear arms. Indirectly, the Second Amendment also operates to limit the government’s use of its guns to abridge freedom in general. This is because, in our system of checks and balances, an armed citizenry constitutes a check on the possibility of the government becoming tyrannical and attempting to use its power to threaten the citizens’ lives and property. It should be understood as protecting a balance between the power remaining in the hands of the people and the power they have delegated to their government. Indeed, the language of the Second Amendment—“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”—should be understood in this way.
September 25, 2015
Gun Control: Controlling the Government’s Guns Part 1
[I have nothing to add other than to say, “Read the whole thing.”—Joe]
It occurs to me that the gun banners who say that when the 2nd Amendment was written nobody was envisioning a time when we’d have assault rifles have it exactly backwards. At the time private citizens held weapons comparable to those used by the government. If Mason, Madison, et al had known that the government would one day have the use of armored vehicles, aerial bombardment, electronic surveillance, and all the other tools that a tyrannical government can bring to bear against its citizenry, they may well have been much more expansive about what we should be allowed to do to restrain the government to its proper role in our lives.
Or,to simplify things, the weapons of the 2A give us the force to back up ALL the enumerated rights.