Every time there is a major shooting in this country, we, the law-abiding citizens of said country, are forced to take a defensive stance in regards to our basic, God-given right to self preservation. I have many theories as to why this is, one of which being that the left is unable to believe that all humans are capable of great evil (if that were true, they'd have to look in the mirror, and they might not like what they see) and therefore must blame the tool used. However, this is not the purpose of this posting.
My main point is that, in the heat of "debate" on this subject, several false statements are made in regards to exactly what our 2nd amendment right is. I want to go over a few myths about the 2nd amendment, and set the record straight.
Myth 1: "The second amendment was intended only for muskets, the founding fathers could not have known how terrible guns would be in the future."
Truth: There were more than muskets available at the time, such as the Puckle Machine Gun, which was invented in 1718, the Girandoni Air Rifle, and the Pepper-box pistol. Here's a fun fact, in the very early 1800's, our merchant ships were constantly under attack by the Islamic Barbary Pirates, and our army was not yet strong enough to provide them all escorts. James Madison made it perfectly clear that the 2nd amendment gave the captains of the merchant ships the right to own cannons to defend themselves.
Myth 2: "We need to outlaw certain types of guns, and make it harder for people to get their hands on the rest. Less guns means less crime!"
Truth: Laws only affect those who are inclined to follow the law. A murderer is not going to say "Oh crap, I can't use a gun, it's illegal!" That aside, you might then say, "That's a straw man! What we mean is if the guns are illegal, they'll be harder to get, even illegitimately". That might even be true. But, in response, I give you a quote from one of the men who wrote the 2nd amendment, Thomas Jefferson:
"The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
In essence, he's saying that if the populace is armed, they're less likely to be victimized.
Myth 3: "The 2nd Amendment only grants the militia the right to arms."
Truth: This is the one I get the most. To soundly rebut this, we need to look at the wording of the 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."
This is mostly the result of people not understanding what an operative clause is. Basically, were the amendment written today, it would say, "Because we need a strong militia to defend our nation, that militia will not disarm the people." How do I know that this is the case? Because the people who wrote this amendment just got out of a two year long brutal war in which "the people" had to take up arms against a tyrannical state "militia".
Myth 4: "The 2nd Amendment is intended for hunting."
Truth: Out of all the myths that just wont die, this one shows the most historical ignorance. The amendment has nothing to do with hunting. The amendment is intended to keep the governments feet to the fire. The founding Fathers knew that the new government that they were creating could just as easily become a tyrannical nightmare as the one they just fought off. That being the case, they wanted the people to be able to take up arms and revolt. In short, the 2nd amendment is there to protect the other amendments.
Our government is built upon a system of power checking power. The president can veto bills passed by congress, the courts can deem passed laws unconstitutional, etc. The 2nd Amendment is one such check. To quote Les Miserables, the 2nd amendment is "the music of a people who would not be slaves again."
Luke 22:36 "Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."