American farmers were the standing militia of the day. There were no
police or National Guard, and only the beginnings of an army. These
were the minutemen - brave, tough men and women ready to fight at a
The historical context of this part of the Bill of Rights - the
recurring nightmare of Redcoat soldiers - shows that every American
family needed a musket standing against the wall, ready to load and
ready to kill.
Not so today. The premise of the Second Amendment, the need for
minutemen, no longer exists. In a free society we must rely on the
police. We have more important rights to fight for than the right to
... comes a certain refreshing honesty. When the 2nd Amendment is considered fairly, even its opponents must recognize that it protects an absolute right for ordinary Americans to own firearms. They deny this, and write whole treatises on the fiction of a "collective right", because their policies are wholly foreclosed by the 2nd Amendment. No form of gun control is permissable under the correct reading... and they have so much invested in the policies of gun control that they are willing to invent elaborate and transparent fictions in order to allow for them.
Until very recently, the courts and the legislatures were willing to go along with this fiction. That seems to be changing, and none to soon.
What the forces of gun control do not understand is that the rights we have today are ours because our ancestors fought and died for them -- fought and died with arms, in a revolution against the lawful authority of their time. The Founders gave us the 2nd Amendment because they wanted to ensure we could protect the other rights they had bought with blood. To say now that we should rely upon the police would be to tell the Founders that the Redcoats would keep them safe.
So when someone asks us to give up the 2nd Amendment in favor of protecting other, "more important" rights, ask them how those other rights will be protected? As Mao once said, political power flows from the barrel of a gun. The disarmed cannot even protect their lives, much less their rights.