In his letter “Second Amendment was meant for militias, not armed civilians,” Jim Scharnagel makes the case that the Second Amendment was never intended to allow private ownership of firearms. While I agree with some of his points, the overarching theme is not one of them.
Mr. Scharnagel states that today, our military is quite capable of providing security and weapons for our state without requiring weapons from the arsenals of our well-armed civilian population, which is increasingly threatening our security. While this may be true on a basis of national security matters handled overseas, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 forbids the federal government from deploying the national military within the borders of the United States for the express purpose of enforcing state laws. For that reason, the military cannot come back and patrol the border, as others have suggested, but I digress.
Our founding fathers witnessed a prolonged, brutal war with the British. That war gained our independence, but it also gained our founders a perspective on the state of governance. Man, it was realized, was corruptible, and any government composed of mankind could potentially fall into a state of tyrannical despotism.
For that reason, the founders saw fit to provide an amendment allowing for a citizenry that was a equally armed as the government, should the need ever arise for the citizenry to have to overthrow their own government. Remember, too, that the Bill of Rights does not grant rights to the people, but instead recognizes rights that already exist, and places limitation on the governments ability to infringe upon those rights. To quote Dr. Ron Paul, the Constitution does not empower the federal government; the Constitution restrains the federal government.
Mr. Scharnagel also states that the idea of guns in churches and universities is idiotic. But just look at the recent spate of mass shootings and consider where they occurred. Each took place in a gun-free zone. Why? Because the shooters knew that they would encounter little to no resistance thanks to the gun-free status of the area. Had there been even one person with a firearm in the area, who knows how many lives could’ve been saved in places like Aurora and Newtown.
Then again, speculation likely does us no good. Note, however, that I don’t disagree with the notion of keeping guns out of bars. There are situations where common sense must prevail.
Limiting citizens’ access to firearms will only mean that citizens will be less able to defend themselves against firearm crime. After all, each government rule and regulation about firearms affects only those firearms which are legally purchased. I would venture to say that most firearms used in crimes are not legally obtained.