I normally do my utmost to avoid blogging on subjects that smack of politics in any way, shape, or form, but a recent incident has forced me to speak out on a subject that tends to stir up controversy anytime it’s mentioned.
I’m talking about the 2nd 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.’
First off, I am a gun owner. I am a LEGAL gun owner. I enjoy shooting, and, not meaning to brag, I’m pretty good at it.
My reasons for gun ownership are many, but primarily it boils down to the fact that I have the RIGHT, as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.
The majority of LEGAL gun owners in the United States are law-abiding citizens who would never dream of using their firearms to commit a crime. They own guns for various reasons: hunting, protection of home and family, or like myself, they
just enjoy shooting. The 2nd Amendment guarantees them that Right.
The majority of LEGAL gun owners in the United States are also RESPONSIBLE gun owners. They practice safe handling of their firearms, they secure them properly when not in use, thus keeping them out of the hands of children or others not qualified or instructed in the safe handling of firearms.
The majority of LEGAL gun owners in the United States exercise their Right in a responsible manner.
But, as in anything, there are always those that ruin it for the rest of us.
The ‘Anti-Gun’ Lobby in this country loves to jump on any incident where firearms are used to commit a crime. When this occurs, they shout “They used a gun! Take all the guns away!”
If someone uses a car to commit a crime, nobody shouts “They used a car! Take all the cars away!” Or “They used a pair of scissors! Take all the scissors away!”
No, it’s always “Take all the guns away!” FROM EVERYONE, not just the individual responsible for the crime.
Well, some people in this country don’t like guns. That’s a simple fact, and that is most certainly THEIR Right. Guns to some represent power and authority. Some people are (understandably) afraid of guns. It doesn’t matter. Those are their
But the simple truth of the matter boils down to one thing:
It wasn’t always so easy to kill a man.
Let me explain what I mean by that.
The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of The United States was ratified on December, 15th, 1791, and I’m not going to dissect it and hash over the implied meaning in the manner that some do. Everyone has a difference of opinion on exactly what it means. But, all told, it states that we have that Right, and it shall NOT be infringed.
But think about this for one moment. 1791. During that time, the most common firearm in use was a .68 caliber flintlock smoothbore musket. To load, aim, and fire this weapon, one had to do the following:
Cock the hammer to the ‘half cock’ position.
Tear open a paper cartridge with their teeth, or,
Pour a charge of powder down the barrel.
Seat the ball in the muzzle.
Withdraw the ramrod and seat the ball down on the powder in the breech.
Replace the ramrod.
Pour a measure of powder into the pan.
Bring the hammer to the ‘full cock’ position.
This procedure normally took anywhere from 15 to 20 seconds. In battle, that is an ETERNITY.
One had a few moments to THINK about what was going to happen during that procedure.
When the 2nd Amendment was ratified in 1791, there were no repeating rifles, no automatics, no assault rifles. Soldiers faced one another in ranks, at distances no more than 100 yards. They could see the faces of their enemy. It was personal. It
was INTIMATE. They had ONE SHOT to fire, then, provided they werre still standing, repeat the loading procedure.
In 1791, Drone Strikes were not carried out in impersonal manners by Nintendo whizzes sitting safe in a command bunker, a far distance away from the field of battle.
In 1791, it was understood that the RIGHT of ‘Keeping and Bearing Arms’ entailed GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. In this day and age, because firearms have become more advanced, and loading, in some cases, is simply a matter of inserting a clip
into the magazine well and releasing the slide, that responsibility has become
The taking of another person’s life is NOT a natural act, nor should it EVER be
trivialized. Ask ANY combat veteran.
I don’t know if video games such as ‘Call to Duty’ and others like it have made the taking of another’s life seem ‘trivial’, or if this has numbed people to that fact. I only know that as gun owners, we have not only the RIGHT, but we have a public responsibility.
'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.’
A firearm, just as it was in 1791, is a tool. That tool can put meat on the table. That tool can be used to defend your home and family. That tool can be used in many SAFE, responsible ways. But like ANY tool, an axe, a hammer, or a chainsaw, it also has the potential of being misused.
A firearm, ANY firearm, used in the wrong manner, is DANGEROUS. But so is a car, or a pair of scissors. Cars are easy to operate as well. So are scissors.
As gun owners, we should not only exercise our Right to ‘keep and bear Arms’, but also, even more importantly, we must ALWAYS demonstrate the RESPONSIBILITY associated with that Right.
For if we fail in that, the ‘Anti-Gun’ Lobby will be justified.