The Right to Bear Arms

When the Second Amendment was ratified, the United States was an agrarian nation with 3,929,214 people, according to the 1790 census, of which 694,280 were slaves. The Second Amendment stated the following:

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…

At the time when it was ratified, the Second Amendment was intended to have at least two security purposes other than a well-regulated militia:

  1. a practical purpose, to protect people from thieves, bandits, Native Americans, and slave uprisings
  2. a political purpose, to remind the rest of the world that the United States is well-armed

If it weren’t for the Second Amendment, how would we have had all the great gunfights in the west? American culture would have a huge gap, and Western movies might not exist.

It it a huge stretch to state that the right to bear arms may have a different meaning in 2013 in an industrialized and urbanized nation that is 100 times larger with a population of 308,745,538 according to the 2010 census?

Let’s turn the clock forward. Twenty years from now it may be possible to create a briefcase sized nuclear weapon.

Will my right to bear arms then entitle me to have one of those, just in case I am attacked in my house by thieves, bandits, Native Americans or slaves? Of course!

Don’t you dare take my nuclear briefcase away, you evil government!

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