Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court have continually tripped over the meaning of these four simple words:
Their ineptitude astounds me. The only plausible explanation is that instead of examining what the words actually mean, and supporting and defending them as required by their oaths of office and the trust of the American people, they instead decided to infringe on our right to keep and bear arms and have spent the better part of more than two centuries in a mind-numbing attempt to deprive the American people of their God-given right to keep and bear arms for the purposes of hunting, self-defense, and protection again criminals, despots, and tyrants — basically, any use envisioned by the people themselves, provided such use did not infringe upon the rights of others.
The question remains, what did our Founding Fathers mean by the term “well regulated?” To answer that, we only need turn to the Oxford English Dictionary and bracket in time the writing of the Second Amendment:
1709: “If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations.”
1714: “The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world.”
1812: “The equation of time … is the adjustment of the difference of time as shown by a well regulated clock and a true sun dial.”
1848: “A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Mayor.”
1862: “It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding.”
1894: “The newspaper, a never wanting adjunct to every well-regulated American embryo city.”
The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to “the property of something being in proper working order.” Something that was well-regulated was “calibrated correctly, functioning as expected.”
As for the term “militia,” the 1982 Congressional Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Armso revealed the precise meaning intended by our Founding Fathers. They considered every man, woman, and child able to carry arms as part of the “militia” (p. 16). Another section from this report specifically distinguishes the difference between the militia and the National Guard:
What about the term, “arms?” What was meant by that? Did they mean to say “firearms” and somehow just screwed up? Or did they mean the proper definition, “a means (as a weapon) of offense or defense” (Merriam-Webster). If the latter, then a slingshot would be an arm, as would knives, sticks, spears, hand guns, long guns, cannon, and mortar.
Again, the intent of our Bill of Rights wasn’t to limit the right of the people, but to limit the power and authority of the government. In the case of the First Amendment, it was to absolutely and unequivocally prevent the government from infringing on the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press (two different things), the freedom of religion, and the right of peaceable assembly. In the case of the Second Amendment, it was to prevent any and all entities, including — but not limited to — all levels of government from local through federal levels.
The phrase, “shall not be infringed” isn’t an option. It’s an absolute mandate, one without recourse or avenue of redress:
This graphic makes it clear that any infringement on our right to keep and bear arms is absolutely forbidden, whether that be a waiting period, a permit fee or a denial. Our Founding Fathers held the right of the people to keep and bear arms as an absolute right, one in which no entity had any business meddling.
When our Founding Fathers wrote our Second Amendment, they had absolutely zero intention of establishing any sort of government oversight of the people’s arms. Instead, the intent behind their use of the phrase in the Second Amendment was — precisely — to render the government powerless to have any such authority whatsoever.
Bottom line: According to the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment, the Second Amendment itself is the only gun “permit” required of “the people” (U.S. Citizens), and all other permits, restrictions, fees, and denials of ownership (“keep”) and any type of carry (“bear”) are an infringement against our right to keep and bear arms.
Tell your Congressmen, your President, and the U.S. Supreme Court to…
And YES, Armed Citizens really DO stop mass shooters! In fact, for each one of these ten events, there’s probably another ten that flew under the radar.