Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Different Ways to Interpret the 2nd Amendment

Another good post at The Whited Sepulchre: Different ways to interpret the 2nd Amendment

Go here and browse through the complete Bill Of Rights.  Look at how they're worded.  Many of them have a little disclaimer that grudgingly admit that, dammit, some level of government is necessary.  But look at the phrases used:

....but in a manner prescribed by law.
....but upon probable cause....
....unless on a presenment or indictment....
....shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

In these amendments, The Founders are saying that because of the necessary evils of courts, trials, responses to emergencies, and the occasional need to search a house, there are going to be certain rules in place to ensure that government doesn't go too far. 

In Amendment #2, The Founders agree that the government needs a militia.  The militia is a necessary evil, no more, no less. 
But because the government gets to have a militia, and government always needs to be held in check, guess what?  Well, the right of everyone else to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 
Here's an interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that I believe is much closer to the original intent:

Since a government militia is an unfortunate necessity, and we have a distrust of government in all its forms, the citizens who are not members of the militia have a duty to keep and bear arms.  Just in case the government's militia starts getting uppity. 

If you read that version in the context of the other nine government restraints in the Bill Of Rights, the wording makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?  


  1. I'd say that's a pretty good wording to convey the intended meaning of the amendment given to how the word militia is percieved differently now versus in 1776.

    1. I hadn't thought of it before either.