Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Second Amendment Oversights

In my first blog post, I talked about the absoluteness of the 2nd Amendment, and why it doesn't actually give us Americans rights.

Today, I'm going to explain what the 2nd Amendment doesn't even pretend to give us, and speculate on why.

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you...

The Second Amendment...

"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."

Everyone likes to talk about what's in this little amendment, one of the shortest Amendments in the Constitution, but nobody talks about what's not in it. In other words, what rights does the Second Amendment curiously not guarantee?

Well, the largest hole I can think of is that it leaves everyone, even Congress and the President free to stomp all over arms commerce.

Nowhere in our Constitution is it written that Congress can't prevent the sale or manufacture of arms. So restrictions on who can buy firearms and who can make them are totally constitutional.

In fact, it's totally constitutional to completely trash the American legal arms industry entirely. Not even in the Federalist Papers, in the parts that pertain to militias and arms, is arms commerce ever mentioned as being a fundamental human right.

Why would the Founders allow something so big to pass right under their noses?

Probably the most obvious answer is that, at the time, the US didn't make any weapons. Springfield Armory and Harper's Ferry, the first two US armories, didn't open until 1794 and 1802, respectively. US weapons all came from Britain or other countries, mostly in the form of the Brown Bess, and from France, later during the rebellion.

What does this mean?

The Founders weren't all-knowing Gods, who's very words were tinged with gold, and who's writings are sacred, true documents that span the millenia. They were normal people, who wrote documents to fix the problems they saw. Often, the fixes weren't even competent, as the Articles of Confederation demonstrates. The AoC resembles nothing more than a silly, loose confederation between sovereign nations, no more able to govern a territory as a nation than it was able to raise an army. The Constitution built a more fit government, but still one based on compromise and pandering. There are two legislative bodies in the US specifically because some states didn't want a population-based Congress, and others did. This wasn't some sacred mechanic, essential for good governance; it was a compromise designed to satiate all the states enough so that they'd shut up and sign.

No comments:

Post a Comment