by Mike Kimel
The Problem with the Second 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.
I am no constitutional scholar, or even an attorney, but I did take American History in high school, and it seems to me that the reason so many people argue about the Second Amendment to the US Constitution is
because nobody, and I do mean nobody, quite likes what it means and how it was intended.
And let’s be blunt, we know precisely what the framers, the signers, and ratifiers of the Constitution thought this amendment meant. See, two years after the Constitution took effect, there were rumblings in Western Pennsylvania, mostly about taxes on whiskey, security issues, and navigation along the Mississippi river. Eventually it all came to a head in the so-called Whiskey Rebellion.
President George Washington, with the support of the legislative and judicial branches of government, raised a militia to deal with the problem. Before we get to what this militia looked like, bear in mind: a sizable fraction of our legislators at the time had been involved in the drafting, signing, and/or ratification of the
Constitution. A Justice of the Supreme Court, James Wilson, himself a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a member of the Committee of Detail which wrote the first draft of the Constitution,
signed off on the order raising the militia. So rest assured, what came next is absolutely, precisely how the Framers of the Constitution collectively interpreted the Second Amendment that they had written.
To make a long story short, men from four states were conscripted into a militia (yes, there were volunteers, but not enough) and sent to put down the rebellion. The next time anyone, on whatever side of the
debate, tells you they are firm supporters of the Second Amendment, ask them if they believe it was intended to allow the Federal government to round up citizens against their will, put them in uniforms, and make them march and fire upon other citizens in order to crush revolts and collect taxes. If they do not, then politely remind them that is the Founding Fathers chose to interpret the Constitution they themselves hashed out, agreed upon, signed and ratified. And then, for grins and giggles, ask them why they are so unpatriotic as
to insist on clinging to an un-American belief that the Founding Fathers would certainly have deemed un-Constitutional