The Second Amendment reads: "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."
Passed by Congress in 1789, and ratified in 1791, it is clear that this amendment was put into place well before the average citizen had access to automatic weapons. The point, in fact, of the Second Amendment was to restrict Congress from being able to legislate away a state's right to self-defense.
But I don't see any states organizing state armies to defend themselves.
Over the past couple of hundred years, and especially after the Civil War, the United States has melded into a unified country. States utilize all of their rights and legislate in different ways, but with no other constitutional wording do private individuals within any states use the document for their own private ends. They are held by the laws at the state and federal level. We need gun laws at the state and federal level.
The main push of this amendment was to allow peoples who may be oppressed by those in power to defend themselves against such marginalization.
We are using it to do the very opposite. People are using the Second Amendment, something there to boost up the underprivileged, as a way to keep the underprivileged in check.
People are using an amendment that was suppose to promote equality to kill those who try to live equally. We see mass shootings on school campuses from the elementary level to the university level. We see mass shootings in churches where the main population is black. We see mass shootings of women when a man has been spurned. We just saw our largest mass shooting ever, in a club meant as a safe haven for our LGBTQ community in Orlando on their Latin night. It was a hate crime, plain and simple.
We see mass shootings of peoples who are already oppressed by the institution by people who are protected by that institution in various ways.
In 1939, the Supreme Court verified the intent of the Second Amendment as an issue of collective rights. They said in The United States v. Miller that Congress could regulate firearms (in this case, a sawed-off shotgun) that did not have "some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia."
This reading of the Constitution remained in place until 2008.
Let me say it again for those people in the back:
The reading of the Constitution that allowed for Congress to regulate sale of some firearms remained in place until 2008.
So, please, don't act like our country has been giving you AK-47s for 50 years.
You all only just got this right, and look what you've managed to do with it.
In The District of Columbia v. Heller, Heller argued the D.C. handgun ban that had been in place for 32 years.
In a 5-4 split decision, the Court decided on an individual right to bear arms. The Court followed that up in 2010 with another 5-4 decision in favor of getting rid of handgun bans, this time in Chicago.
This wild west of guns is new, and it is wrong. And it would not take much to overturn these precedents. The gun lobby is strong, the NRA is strong. There are many politicians who support and profit from these groups. Here are the ones who banned background checks for the purchase of firearms.
Other politicians have introduced hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills over the past couple of years. We must see them. This is not an Islam v west shooting. This was a hate crime against a very vulnerable population already, and the Christian right is just as much to blame as anyone else. No, they are more to blame. They dehumanize those who simply wish to exist, to survive. And that dehumanization along with our lax gun laws pave the way for hate to shoot down scores of people just because.
Where is the freedom in that? The freedom of more than 100 dead and injured doesn't outweigh the freedom of one person?
The Declaration of Independence states that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable. The Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments, of which, obviously, the second is one) are meant to maintain these rights.
It is failing. It has failed. It stands in the way of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It stands in the way of life.
It ends life.
Over and over again.
You are not a well-regulated militia.