The Second Amendment Does NOT Give Anyone The Right To Own A Gun

Ya wanna be an originalist? Go read the original: “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.” Please point to the word “own”. Good luck. It ain’t there. Instead, the amendment’s authors chose two different words: “keep” and “bear”. Hmmmmmmm… isn’t that curious? The libertarian Cato Institute would tell you that “private property is the foundation not only of prosperity but of freedom itself.” But you can’t call something you don’t actually OWN “private property” now, can you? While making ownership foundational to the whole idea of “American-ness”, the founders DIDN’T include GUNS as something a freedom-loving American was entitled to. They must not have because they didn’t use the word OWN in the Second Amendment to describe a gun user’s relationship with his arms.

He could “keep” and “bear” his arms (while helping to maintain a free state), but, when the militia work was done, those arms were coming back to the militia – the arms’ actual owner. It’s right there in the language! And, as for the militia – it’s “well regulated”. That doesn’t mean “in good working order” in this context. That’s about as stupid and specious an argument as exists. Well regulated meant now what it meant then – guided by rules and regulations. And the militia wasn’t “not regulated” or “lightly regulated” or “sorta regulated”, it was “WELL” regulated. The amendment’s authors anticipated LOTS of rules and regulations because – even just dealing with single shot muskets, the amendment’s authors understood that guns are literal death machines.

The militia was the “responsible gun owner” if you will.

And if the well regulated militia ordered you to give back the arms they’d let you “keep” and “bear”? You were giving em back cos they weren’t yours.

That’s the difference between “keep” & “bear” and “own”. The militia couldn’t take the arms back if individual people owned them. And the authors would have written the amendment differently. They’d have used the word “own”. Then, the well regulated militia would have decided who got to own the arms they used to help keep the state free.

The Second Amendment is not now nor was it ever a gun show free-for-all. Conservatives (to their “credit” are good at one thing (other than being corrupt) – marketing bullshit. George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” is an example. They know what the amendment actually says – and it ain’t good for them. That’s why they attacked the language and sold an entirely bogus bill of goods. The Second Amendment is a gun CONTROL amendment.

That’s the painful irony here. Conservatives – scared to death of the end of white hegemony – went and turned an amendment created to protect the commonweal into one that puts it into a state of constant war with itself.

Photo 28243748 / Gun Control © Richard Gunion |

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