Slowly Explaining Things To Conservatives: the 2nd Amendment

Let’s start with the basics, here’s the text of the 2nd Amendment:

As passed by the Congress:

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.

As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:

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.

Let’s parse those words, shall we? “A well regulated Militia (or militia, in the ratified version). Let’s start with well. It’s not used as a noun, as in “dig a well,” or an idiom, or interjection. In association with the verb “regulate,” here it’s an adverb. So, according to, the most likely definition would be:

1. in a good or satisfactory manner

2. thoroughly, carefully, or soundly

3. in a moral or proper manner

4. commendably, meritoriously, or excellently

5. with propriety, justice, or reason

Now let’s examine that second word, regulated, from the word regulate. What’s that mean?

1. to control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc.

2. to adjust to some standard or requirement, as amount, degree, etc.

3. to adjust so as to ensure accuracy of operation

4. to put in good order

And finally, the third word – militia. What’s that all about?

1. a body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies.

2. a body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers.

3. all able-bodied males considered by law eligible for military service.

4. a body of citizens organized in a paramilitary group and typically regarding themselves as defenders of individual rights against the presumed interference of the federal government.

Now, what does it not say. First off, nowhere is the word “individual,” nor the word “private.” What are some words or phrases that do pop up?

Quite clearly, by putting “well” in front of “regulated,” the Founders wanted gun ownership to be “thoroughly” regulated, to be “carefully” regulated, with “propriety, justice, or reason.” Imagine that, the Founders wanted reason. And they wanted it to be regulated. And organized.

I wonder if their idea of a “well regulated militia” included buying 60,000 rounds off the Internet without a back ground check? Anyone passing elementary level English can answer that one.

Now, some will try to counter argue that later court decisions expanded on the framers words. That, my friends, is what is what they like to call an “activist court.” You know, a court decision that goes against what they believe, therefore not interpreting but making the law. Sorry, wrong answer. Never in the defense of the 2nd amendment are these court decisions brought  up, the reply is always “but the 2nd amendment says…”

The 2nd Amendment does not, in fact, guarantee anyone’s right to purchase an AR-15, and AK-47, or whatever ego boosting, small penis substitute you desire.

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