When the Second Amendment was written at our nation’s birth, the American Revolution had just been fought with militias, so the reference to them and their role in the Second Amendment made sense. Now, our only militias, none public, are peopled largely by fringe groups, and our security since the Civil War has been the police and the Department of Defense.
The amendment begins with the words “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State ... .” Being well regulated is not at all relevant to those calling themselves militias.
Militias, as so written, have not existed for two centuries. Why, then, fret about militias in detailing the right to bear arms, which has hamstrung efforts to end the horror of mass murders? Why do we think the only way to solve this problem is by the near-impossible path of amending the Constitution?
Why can’t Congress do what is needed by passing a law making it clear that our standing armed forces – including, in particular, its reserves – have in fact replaced the militias? Anyone simply wanting to be directly involved in using military weapons can volunteer by joining the reserves, and transfer all their war-fighting weapons to the reserves.
The law making that clear also could limit possession of firearms in citizen’s hands to those suited just for sportsmanlike hunting and, say, less-than-10-round handguns suited for personal protection.
This would replace the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
I find it appalling that a rational society still debates whether any of its citizens has the right to own weapons such as were used last year in Connecticut and Colorado. They all must be bought up and transferred to the police and the military. The price paid would be well worth it.
The National Rifle Association’s solution is to just keep the wrong people from possessing these war-fighting weapons. That stands zero chance of solving the problem.
Given the ballot, we do not need the bullet. The only step that would work is to end the perceived right for any civilian to own war-fighting weapons.