The Second Amendment is Not an Option

The Second Amendment is Not an Option

This is a discussion on The Second Amendment is Not an Option within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; These are some thoughts I've had rolling around in my head for a while. I decided to finally try pulling them together in some sort ...

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    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    The Second Amendment is Not an Option

    These are some thoughts I've had rolling around in my head for a while.
    I decided to finally try pulling them together in some sort of organized manner.


    The Second Amendment is Not an Option.

    "Oh, I get to own a gun. That's nice."

    One of the key problems in establishing responsible gun ownership is that too many people
    consider the Second Amendment to be some kind of trivial option; much like a menu of useless
    services that are available when you open a checking account at Some Bank. Understanding
    firearms, their purpose, and the safe practices in storing, maintaining, and carrying them is as
    much a responsibility of citizenship as anything else.

    Even among parents who teach their children about firearms there are many who focus on safety
    and shooting techniques but do NOT dwell on the responsibility of all capable citizens to maintain
    arms. Children are taught the responsibility and necessity of safe driving, wearing a bike helmet,
    and serving others through charity or military service but very few parents impress on their
    children that proper gun ownership is a citizen's responsibility, not a recreational option.

    Someone else's job.

    By and large, most people (not just Americans) like to hand off the dirty work of dealing with
    violence to someone else, specifically law enforcement; not realizing the vast majority of
    officers operate in an investigative capacity, not a protective one. The cop-to-citizen ratio
    according to 2008 FBI stats averages about 1:2,600 (actual varying based on location).
    People don't realize that these numbers include ALL cops, not just the ones out walking a beat.

    Nobody bats an eye when a rural-dwelling resident carries a gun in case of four-legged predators.
    Even most liberals can grasp the necessities involved in dealing with predatory wildlife around
    the homestead. Yet two-legged predators are more frequent, more dangerous, and more brazen
    but city-dwellers seem perfectly content to subcontract their personal safety out to a scattered
    few who can't be everywhere at once. This is lazy and foolish, and the brutal results are
    cataloged every year.

    200 years with no tyranny.

    I've actually heard this from people as part of a "logical" argument against the necessity of the
    Second Amendment and firearms ownership. The obvious flaw is the reasoning that either we are too
    "evolved" to ever see a tyrannical government in the U.S. or that our freedom of speech and power
    to vote carry their own inherent "teeth". This is also complacency at its finest: nothing bad has
    happened thus far, therefore nothing bad *will* happen.

    To make a crude but relevant analogy, this is like routinely having sex with complete strangers
    and giving up the use of condoms because you "haven't caught anything yet." Consider that we
    elect complete strangers to office again and again. All we really know about them is the story
    they tell us; it's the same kind of lines you use in a bar when you're trying to pick someone up.
    (The more you think about the metaphor, the more you'll realize how frighteningly accurate it is.)

    Freely owning and carrying firearms is not reactive, it's preventative. Though still flawed
    reasoning, it's more logical to conclude that our lack of despotism in this country is a result
    of firearms ownership instead of a reason to abandon it.

    Life isn't fair.

    Life comes with responsibilities whether you want them or not, whether you see a need for them or
    not. Taking personal responsibility for safely owning, carrying, and operating firearms is among
    them. Having the ability yet electing to make someone else do it for you is selfish and immature
    no matter how you try to rationalize it.
    joker1, JayTee, bigmacque and 3 others like this.
    "The flock sleep peaceably in their pasture at night because Sheepdogs stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
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    Member Array tropicoz's Avatar
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    While it can be debated until the end of time, I feel the Right to Bear Arms had more to do with the then lack of a standing army and organized police force than to prevent tyranny. Nor do I see it as any "requirement" as we are all supposedly free to carry or not to as we see fit. No one should be forced to bear arms.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    As the old vet I do not see it as a requirement. It is a right, and those of us that partake have IMO a duty to do so responsibly. However I want no more to be told that I can't have guns than I must have guns. It is a right that can be exercised but idk about the requirement aspect of it. I hope my boys develop the same love I have for guns, but would not want to force them or anyone else to do something they did not want to.
    BurgerBoy likes this.
    BigJon


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    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    I don't advocate making the bearing of arms as a legal requirement and this shouldn't be read into it. I *do* advocate taking the 2A seriously and treating it like a responsibility of adult citizenship rather than a pointless take-it-or-leave-it option.

    Just because something isn't a law doesn't mean it's not a responsibility. And just because a responsibility is made mandatory by law doesn't mean that people will follow it correctly or conscientiously.
    "The flock sleep peaceably in their pasture at night because Sheepdogs stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
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    Distinguished Member Array GunGeezer's Avatar
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    1 to 2800 might be workable in Mayberry, but in Chicago, St. Louis, NYC or Detroit, law abiding citizens demand better. In some neighborhoods that would amount to one cop for every person, maybe more. Responsible exercise of 2A Rights is the only logical solution. But since when did logic ever enter into a liberals mind?

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    Jumpwing.

    You were NOT thinking inside your box again, were you?

    I like it.

    You make valid points, while citing compelling rationale for the thought.
    jumpwing likes this.
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    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunGeezer View Post
    1 to 2800 might be workable in Mayberry, but in Chicago, St. Louis, NYC or Detroit, law abiding citizens demand better. In some neighborhoods that would amount to one cop for every person, maybe more. Responsible exercise of 2A Rights is the only logical solution. But since when did logic ever enter into a liberals mind?
    The ratio varies, with highly populated areas having a lower ratio (e.g., New York City and L.A. are around 1:220) and lower/rural populations being much higher. Still, the crime rate in major cities attests to the fact that a ratio of 1:220 is not a particularly effective deterrent.
    "The flock sleep peaceably in their pasture at night because Sheepdogs stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
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    Member Array billstaf's Avatar
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    The 2A argument will go on forever. From I read of the amendment, I think the right to own and use weapons as a citizen was put into place not only to organize citizens into a militia to repel foreign enemies or invaders, but also to guarantee the same freedom to rebel against any tyrannical rule imposed on American citizens by their own government. I think the founders saw the inherent weakness in a democratic form of government as the possibility of one particular group imposing their will on the lives of other citizens under the guise of federal government rule.

    This isn't to say that each and every one of us can go and do anything we want. We have the responsibility to live in society with others and do no harm. However, there are countless examples of countries who have disarmed their own citizens and then descended into tyrannical rule. We don't want to go that way.
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    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    The title of this thread is not what it should be. While the original poster brings up some valid points the 2nd amendment is by virtue of its wording an option.

    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.
    The wording in bold allows the people the right (choice/option) to keep and bear arms. Just as the 1st amendment allows those rights as a choice/option.
    "One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
    --Thomas B. Reed, American Attorney

    Second Amendment -- Established December 15, 1791 and slowly eroded ever since What happened to "..... shall not be infringed."

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    I would argue that it is just like physical fitness. We need a physically fit populace to be ready for militia duty just as we need an armed one. Too many fatties walking around not ready to take up arms in defense of this nation. I would say that it is part of the well regulated militia and that just as being armed is suggested as being a legal requirement, the same could be said of being physically fit and ready to fight if need be.
    Hoganbeg likes this.

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    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crowman View Post
    The title of this thread is not what it should be.
    I worded the title specifically as an attention-getter, however it's not altogether inaccurate: it is meant to suggest that the 2A is a responsibility and not a cheap luxury option. In the same vein, one could also suggest that safe gun handling is "not an option". There are plenty of commercial tag lines and slogans that do the same thing ("At Mercedes, second-best is not an option" etc, etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by Toorop View Post
    ...just as being armed is suggested as being a legal requirement...
    I do not suggest (nor would I ever support) being armed as a legal requirement. "Responsibility" and "legal requirement" are NOT interchangeable terms in my essay.

    There is no law requiring you to follow any of the Four Basic Rules yet we all agree and charge ourselves with the responsibility of observing them. The same concept applies here.
    "The flock sleep peaceably in their pasture at night because Sheepdogs stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
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    Member Array EeyoreCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    While it can be debated until the end of time, I feel the Right to Bear Arms had more to do with the then lack of a
    standing army and organized police force than to prevent tyranny.
    OldVet, you can feel however you want, but if you've read any of the writings of Jefferson, Madison, John Adams, etc. on this subject, you know that prevention of tyranny was exactly what they had in mind. Just a few examples, to wit:

    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government --Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

    The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the
    Atmosphere.
    -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Abigail Adams, 1787

    The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good --George Washington

    The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.-- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188

    In recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the "collective" right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of "the people" to keep and bear arms. If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis. --Stephen P. Halbrook, "That Every Man Be Armed", 1984
    Caertaker likes this.
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers on cell phones do.

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    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpwing View Post
    The ratio varies, with highly populated areas having a lower ratio (e.g., New York City and L.A. are around 1:220) and lower/rural populations being much higher. Still, the crime rate in major cities attests to the fact that a ratio of 1:220 is not a particularly effective deterrent.
    For example there's close to 80,000 arrests made a year just in Brooklyn.

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    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    This is a very thoughtful treatise, thanks for sharing it with us.

    I've often wondered if any of the anti's that are in government have given any thought to the possibility that responsible gun ownership by an armed citizenry might be just as likely to keep them in power?
    I'm in favor of gun control -- I think every citizen should have control of a gun.
    1 Thess. 5:16-18

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