Fixing America In 500 Words Or Less


Chapter 5

DOES THE NRA REALLY
DEFEND THE 2nd AMENDMENT?


       According to the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, ". . .the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed". ¹  The word "Arms" is deliberately capitalized, a common practice at the time used for emphasis.  Since Thomas Jefferson later owned a private cannon, the largest weapon of his day, "Arms" to the framers clearly meant more than small arms one can easily "bear"; note, to "keep" and bear Arms.

       The word "gun" is found nowhere in the Constitution, a carefully worded document.  According to the preamble, one of the main purposes of government is to "insure domestic Tranquility" (also capitalized).  To honestly and correctly interpret the intentions of the framers, everything that follows the preamble, including all ten original amendments, must be weighed in light of the Constitution's stated purpose. ²

       At the time the 2nd Amendment was drafted, there was no federal army, no national guard and no organized police force, a fact of history ignored by the modern National Rifle Association's absurd position, which not long ago was far less radical than today. ³  There were also no large urban populations or police protecting them, gravely endangered by modern assault weapons.  And, who knows what horrific weapons may be contained in a future brief case or even much smaller space?

       For many years, the NRA and mainstream media have been guilty of drawing a non-existent, artificial line down the center of the 2nd Amendment, limiting the debate to private gun ownership.  To contend the 2nd Amendment permits unlimited private ownership of modern assault weapons is no more Constitutionally rational than to clam it allows for unlimited private ownership of bombs, chemical weapons and space-ray machines, also modern "Arms" unknown to the American founders.

       The NRA must admit that according to it's interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, we have just as much right to own private nuclear bombs and bio-weapons as we do to own a multi-round handgun, none of which existed when it was drafted.  If we wish to have a society at all, then the 21st Century question is not “if” we are going to restrict the NRA's interpretation but rather, in what manner are we going to restrict it.

       For the record, if any living Americans have the right to argue in favor of restricting the 2nd Amendment, it is Bill and Sarah Brady.  
4  And, as the “founding fathers” wisely allowed for, we can always amend what the Constitution originally stated.  A perhaps better and much saner idea would be to amend the NRA, by forcing a reluctant media to point out it's deceptive and highly irrational position.

       The NRA has no Constitutional or other right to limit the 2nd Amendment to a debate over guns, nor to ignore the intentions of the American founders clearly stated in the preamble.  For a Constitutional position to be correct, it must fall within a clearly stated purpose of, “in order to insure domestic Tranquility”.

       Does the NRA really defend the 2nd Amendment?  You decide.


NOTES:

1. The U.S. Constitution Online.

2. The significance of the Preamble to the Constitution is often ignored by many so-called "scholars" and others when addressing various constitutional issues.  In order for a Constitutional position to be correct, it must fall within the stated purposes of the document as outlined in the Preamble.

3. According to it's own website, "Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871.  The primary goal of the association would be to 'promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,' according to a magazine editorial written by Church."  The NRA at one time supported relatively sane gun regulation, including the National Firearms Act (1934) and the Gun Control Act of 1968. It was primarily focused on hunting and target shooting prior to 1977.  Since 1977, the NRA has become more and more a legally sanctioned 501c3 pawn defending the interests of gun manufacturers at taxpayer expense.

The United States has a significantly higher per capita murder rate than every European and other modern somewhat democratic nation with stricter gun controls, while many nations generally considered part of the "third world" have lower per capita murder rates.  China, with far greater population density crammed into it's largest cities, has close to 1/5 the per capita murder rate of the United States.  A few examples compared to a U.S. rate of 4.7 per 100,000 include China 1.0, Japan 0.4, Chile 3.7, Canada 1.6, Uzbekistan 3.1, Hong Kong 0.2, Cambodia 3.4, Niger 3.8, Mozambique 3.3, Somalia 1.5, Tunisia 1.1, Libya 2.9, Algeria 1.5, Malaysia 2.3, Vietnam 1.6, Hungary 1.3, Italy 0.9, Turkey 3.3, Czech Republic 1.7, Bulgaria 2.0, Poland 1.1, Ireland 1.2, United Kingdom 1.2, France 1.1, Netherlands 0.6, Sweden 1.0, Finland 2.2, Germany 0.8, Denmark 0.9 -- per capita murder rates can be found here online.

In the United States, approximately 32,000 people die annually from gun related violence. Statistically, there is a direct correlation between the number of annual deaths per capita and the number of guns owned per capita.  The five states with the highest incidence of gun deaths are among those with the least restrictive gun laws and highest percentage of gun ownership, while the five states experiencing the least gun deaths are among states with the most restrictive gun laws and least percentage of gun ownership.  The less restrictive gun laws tend to be, the more people die from gun violence.  To compare, in 2010 Australia had 1/12th as many gun related deaths per capita as the United States, while the UK had 1/45th as many; Link Here for Statistical Information.

To argue that guns don't kill people but rather, people kill people, is the same as to pretend nuclear bombs and bio weapons don't kill people.  So why not allow all such "Arms" to be freely owned and sold without restriction, if indeed one chooses to defend the letter of the law regarding the Second Amendment?  There is no logical difference, as these along with highly lethal multiple round guns, were unknown to the Constitutional framers.  The position of the modern NRA is clearly completely and entirely hypocritical and without constitutional or any other rational foundation.  Unless of course, one wants to live in a society where the wealthy can arm private satellites with laser weapons capable of destroying entire cities, arm private jets with nuclear bombs and, bio weapons can be freely manufactured, owned, bought and sold at will without restriction, as if Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams and Franklin would defend such a nonsensical position.

According to the National Association of School Psychologists: "Of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Wyoming has the highest percentage of homes with guns (63%), the highest suicide rate (23 per 100,000), and the highest percentage of students carrying a gun to school (11%).  Conversely, Massachusetts ranks 48th (out of 51) in terms of percentage of homes with firearms (13%), has one the lowest suicide rates (9 per 100,000), and the lowest reported percentage of students who acknowledged bringing a gun to school (2.5%)."

4. Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.  The modern NRA position does not remotely fit within the Constitution's stated purposes, as outlined in the Preamble.  Nor does it protect even those high up in government, let alone average everyday citizens.  Rather, as noted above, the NRA's position protects the wealth interests of gun manufactures at the expense of our children's safety and our own peace of mind.




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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.
Copyright © Jaunary 7th, 2014 by Richard Aberdeen.
Copyright © February 1st, 2014 by Freedom Tracks Records.

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