its one of the worst written amendments in the constitution, almost like a puzzle for a 140 character tweet..."how much can we pack in there...." that being said....i consider the amendment to allow for both well regulated militia's to be formed and that the rights of the people to keep AND bear arms cannot be challenged. while i think restrictions in modern society for some of the more clever devices in this category...i do not read it as clauses that qualify each other...hard to see how it does. i voted yes, i do not oppose gun control, but it should have limits too. mostly to show a reasonable restriction of weapons that does not conflict with the words above. aka to keep and bear arms...if you cant pick up a howitzer, you shouldn't have the inalienable right to own and operate one.
I think it's a little outdated, sure, it had its use when new settlers came to America and had to be able to rely on themselves to protect their family. Nowadays we have the police that's supposed to be able to deal with issues like that. This "privilege" is so ingrained in people's minds, however, that I think there will always be an issue in the US. In Germany, where I'm from, most people don't own a gun let alone carrying one around with them all the time. People that do own them are usually hunters, and hunting is not really a sport there either but a profession. I always wonder if the murder rate in the States has anything to do with how freely guns are available. Because it is easier to pull a trigger than to stab or or choke someone with your bare hands. That actually takes guts :P
Germany has one of the toughest laws concerning firearms and even knives can be illegal if they meet certain requirements. You have to apply for a "Waffenschein", which is a license for carrying a weapon. This has to be renewed every three years. They usually have restrictions on them and you are only allowed to use the weapon for certain activities and if you were to be caught with it somewhere else you'd be in trouble.
In order to be even eligible, you have to have a distinct need that requires you to have a weapon (just saying you feel you need to protect your life and that of your family isn't enough), you can't have any prior arrest record (unless it was under 60 days or a monetary fee), you need to have a secure place to store your weapon, be at least 18, not be addicted to drugs or alcohol, not be mentally ill, and you have to take a class where you learn how to handle weapons securely and take a test in the end which you have to pass.
So I think it would be useful to take a closer look at people's lives and psyche before they can fill out a form and answer no to all the questions and then just take home a rifle like they're shopping for groceries. But that's just my European mindset I guess :P
I like it!
This is almost exactly how it is in New Zealand.
We do, however, have a widespread culture of respectful firearm ownership - rather than the fear-based culture that seems to pervade American firearm ownership.
It might turn out to be useful to have a gun for when the Christian Taliban come knockin'.
I say that as a joke, but then again....
Ahh but it also means an unarmed populace can easily be oppressed by a military government. Think of it from an 18th century political viewpoint. The founders felt that a potentially abusive government must always be mindful of armed revolt.....the kind the peasants of feudal Europe were powerless to mount.
As a libertarian and hunter I am in favor of guns but have no problem with reasonable and necessary gun control laws and waiting periods/background checks. I am not paranoid that the government will take my shotgun if they enact laws to keep city streets safe, where innocents die needlessly every day, or keep automatic weapons out of the hands of crazy hick teenagers.
I always find it funny that my Australian and English friends online make fun of us "Americans and our guns", and how our crime rates are so high... I think that since it's so easy for the "bad guys" to get guns, I'm grateful for it being easy for us "good guys" to get them, as well. Legally. Not to say I wouldn't have one to protect myself as well if it weren't legal and all the thugs had them already.
It's a chicken/egg thing, I guess. I wouldn't care if I had one if I didn't know all the criminals on my street/in my neighborhood had one. But, would all the criminals have one if it weren't so easy? I don't know, do they get them legally or illegally? I'm sure the mindset of criminals has more to do with than just gun laws.
sorry if I'm not making a whole lot of sense.
It's always seemed so obvious to me. We have the 'right' to 'bear arms' , whether for protection or hunting or keeping it in our house for defense our neighbours, government or if another country invades us.
For those that say that outside invasion or civil war won't or can't happen again, all I can do is just roll me eyes - I feel like that 'argument' doesn't even warrant a response.
The Supreme Court isn't a Supreme Being is it???
9 people can be wrong.
If you review Supreme Court decisions you will find it hard to agree with every decision, you will also find that there have been very few unanimous decisions.
Yes, the Supreme Court can get it wrong--think of Plessy v. Ferguson. That decision enshrined segration for three generations. It was supposed to be separate but equal. The separate part was gotten spot on, but the equal not so much.
That decision was in 1896, it was not overturned until 1954 in Brown v. The Board of Education.
@Dustin, that is perhaps true.
The problem that I see with it is the notion of militia. Colonial militia trained together, regularly. Individuals in the colonial militia had ranks and an established chain of command. They were "called up" by the elected governor of the state. They also had a full range of modern arms: there were colonial militia and merchant marine with cannon and explosives.
By contrast, some dude with an AR-15 is not the same thing. He's not engaged in regular military training; in fact, odds are he has very limited civilian training, so he'd be incompetent when facing a sudden situation requiring armed action. He hasn't practiced with his neighbors, so he'd just be a hindrance when facing a genuine invasion. He's not part of an established chain of command, and he's too lightly armed to effectively resist a modern invading force.
The notion that a bunch of random, untrained, disorganized, leaderless guys with guns are an effective resistance force is malarkey.
If some people really feel the need for such a force in the modern era, then they should step up and take responsibility. They should get real law enforcement or military training, and maintain regular proficiency at that level. They should register and participate as a reservist or auxilliary so that they're part of an established chain of command under elected civilian control. In short, they should demonstrate the maturity, responsibility, and honor that comes with bearing arms.
Sighs. Such a difficult topic.
As a pragmatist I feel that enough of this country has interpreted and feels that this "right" given to the citizenry in the second amendment entitles gun ownership in some form and that should be respect. Having said that I feel that guns should be heavily regulated. Gun show loop-hole should be gotten rid off. Licenses and registration of all guns mandatory. I feel assault rifles and machine guns have no place in our society.
Now the idealist in me thinks otherwise. I think the second amendment was meant for a militia which is now is our national guard, and they can and do arm themselves as much as they would like. I think a handgun was invented to kill a person and should be completely illegal. I think if anything, hunting rifles could be allowed but again, heavily regulated with licensing and registration required. As an idealist, I would hope that like religion, we will outgrow war and violence and weapons.
That's my two cents. For what it's I've thought a lot about this issue for a long time. Glad you brought it up.