I recently had a revelation, or, perhaps more correctly, a duh moment. It involves a matter that is in the news headlines every day. It concerns gun control and the second amendment to the Constitution. Maybe it has been addressed before but it was, nonetheless, a revelation to me. I must admit I have been rather ambivalent about the argument that the second amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms. After all, the first part of the second amendment talks about a “well regulated militia”. Well, we have a well regulated armed force now, composed of Army (of which I am a veteran), Navy, Marines, Air force, Coast Guard, National Guard, so we don’t need to keep our muzzle-loaders and flintlocks by the door, ready for us to rush off to defend our country in time of emergency. Section eight of the Constitution gives the power to the Congress of the United States of “calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”. I don’t think anyone anticipates any such action taking place in the near future.
But on to my revelation, the second part of this two-part amendment. After reading the second Amendment over and over it suddenly occurred to me that this amendment does not confer any rights on anyone. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is a given, it is a right we already have, bestowed upon us not by any amendment to the Constitution but by our Creator, as is stated in The Declaration of Independence, “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Second Amendment states very clearly that “the right” of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. It is a right that we already had at the writing of the Constitution, that we have always had, and that we will always have. We must do what we can to make sure that right is never taken away.