The Gun Thing, Part IV: What the Second Amendment Really Means
So the Second Amendment is not about hunting. It is not about muskets. It is not about being a member of a standing army. It is not about militias being “regulated” by the government.
What is it about, then?
It’s very simple, but it’s also very provocative; and being very provocative, it makes a lot of people’s brains hurt.
The people whose brains hurt the most are, not surprisingly, statist liberals, who think the natural and correct order of things is for people to be subservient to the government, and not the other way around.
The Second Amendment is about this:
The liberty of private citizens to possess weapons of war such that, collectively, they pose a formidable threat against any government that would presume to tyrannize them… and that includes their own government.
Now, the idea of private citizens taking up arms against their own government is something that sets liberal heads spinning, but then again pretty much everything that involves opposing more government control over individuals does that.
The real problem is that such a radical and provocative notion also tends to unsettle thoughtful, non-insane people as well. There are plenty of folks who just want to live their lives in peace, embracing neither far left or far right politics, and the idea that there even needs to exist a mechanism by which the government can be thrown off by its citizens is deeply unsettling to them.
If you’re one of these people, I suggest you spend a little time coming to terms with the fact that… yeah, this is exactly what the Second Amendment is all about. It’s about meeting government force with citizen force. It’s about, frankly - if it comes to that - shooting the kinds of people who would disarm you and leave you to the tender mercies of the police state.
Many men have fought and died to preserve this liberty for you, and while it’s nice to live in a world where the government’s interests are more or less aligned with those of its citizens, the fact is that across the broad sweep of history, times like that are the exception, not the rule. Don’t be lulled into thinking this is the way things have always been, or that they can’t disintegrate overnight into something very different and much worse.
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