Tag Archives: 2nd ammendment

The 2nd amendment as passed by the Congress states:

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.

As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:

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

While this is the law of the land these simple words may defend the right for the “people” or the “militia” to have arms. However, depending on how you approach the topic, the devil (as every good lawyer knows) is in the details. Most folks that are for gun control are NOT trying to take guns away completely; they are trying to “control” them. To insist that “control” is the same as abolition is to ignore the definition of these words and set up a ‘straw man’ argument. It is easy to push the control of arms to an extreme position of abolition and, in so doing, dismiss the argument as unconstitutional. Of course, this is an informal fallacy of logic and, I think, not allowable in pragmatic jurisprudence.

Additionally, while the abolition of arms is not defensible we do have laws about who can own guns. We do not allow felons or mentally ill people to own weapons. These laws have historical judicial precedence and agreement by the vast majority of the electorate. These guidelines are common sense and I do not think even Jefferson would object to them. From a minimalist reading of the second amendment these kinds of laws should not be allowed. However, they are allowed and sustained by Federal and State laws. Accordingly, if cities by democratically supported laws want to place additional regulations and controls on the right to bear arms there is no legal reason why they should be constitutionally prohibited to do so. Apart from whether or not the “militia” is the military or survivalists in Utah, a democracy has every right to interpret the 2nd amendment as they choose. An outright ban of guns may be unconstitutional but there is nothing in 2nd amendment that prohibits control and regulation of arms. It seems to me that judicial precedence would support the idea that a complete ban of guns OR a carte blanche license for anyone and everyone to own a gun has been deemed unconstitutional – as is typical, laws and justice, universals and particulars require continual maintenance to retain pertinence and viability. “Original intent” is a pipe dream, metaphysic the carries the illusion of immutability and permanence but does little to address our lived environment.