Monday, July 23, 2012

The Second Amendment ~ Stuff You Might Not Know

Did you know there are two versions of the second amendment?

This is the version that was passed by the Congress:
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.

And this is the one that was ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
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.

A real "eats shoots and leaves" moment, eh? Well, it’s worse than just bad punctuation.

As conceded by the Supreme Court, there is a direct link between the Second Amendment and the English Bill of Rights of 1689, which protects the rights of Protestants from disarmament by the Crown. Their text reads as follows: 
"That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law."

Charleville American Revolutionary War Musket
Lacking the phrase, “as allowed by law,” our version seems to circumvent the ability of Congress (or anyone else for that matter) to make a determination about what the law permits...and by extension, makes the passage of any law restricting guns a matter of constitutionality. So, there is actually no law that can be made (according to the NRA) that can limit the ownership of any gun. 

In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), SCOTUS ruled that it was absolutely okay to own a gun unconnected to a militia, and said gun could be used for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. It was the first SCOTUS ruling that considered the Second Amendment to be protecting an individual right.

Since day one, however, there has been debate over the intent of the Amendment, and whether or not firearm type was limited to the scope of a militia. SCOTUS has never defined the meaning of the word arms, and subsequently any attempt to limit the type of firearms permitted has become a constitutional debate.

What has been omitted from the debate is common sense.

Lots of people have permits for and legally own handguns. Some people feel safer having one in the house, and they are supposed to be trained in the use and storage of such a weapon. One does not leave one’s Glock lying about on the kitchen table for the kids to play with or take to school for show and tell.

Hunting guns are supposed to be used for sport and when not in use, I do believe they are supposed to be kept in locked storage. And lots of people participate in other marksmen-type events like skeet, decathlon and pentathlon safely and without incident.

But show me where in this country one needs to own a couple of Uzis, AK-47s, and a few customized M-16s thrown in for good measure? Does one need to ever stock thousands of rounds of armor piercing ammo for afore mentioned weapons?

National Priorities       © 2012, Steven G. Artley, ARTLEY CARTOONS 
It’s time to give up our delusions of frontierness; them days are long gone. Even in our most rural communities, there is not a single reason on the planet for ANYONE in the United States to own an assault rifle. Guns and ammo are not the same as laundry detergent and a 12-pack of toilet paper. You cannot point an empty cardboard spindle at someone and shoot them with Charmin'. We put warning labels on everything, but we still let people walk out of gun swap meets without so much as a name verification. How does New York City ban giant sodas and too much salt in your fries....but cannot stop assault weapon ownership?

I am not suggesting all guns be banned….although I wouldn’t exactly be opposed to that idea….but it’s time to stand up to groups like the NRA and demand common sense be allowed back into the conversation. The gun lobby isn’t about hobbyists or hunters or urban dwellers who feel safe with a gun in the flat. That lobby is ultimately about greed, arms dealing, and a willingness to bear hatred toward segments of our population.

It’s time to stop being afraid of the NRA. They are just a group of people who seem to think it’s more important to let anyone own weapons, and by extension, allow a crazy person who owns some of these to shoot up a movie theatre…..or a school…..or a community center….or a Long Island Railroad car…… The list just goes on and on.

We have a big election coming up. Maybe now is the time to demand common sense be restored to the gun debate. There are more of us who want to see assault weapons banned than want to see them protected. We, The People, are the only ones who can demand a halt to the insanity of insufficient gun control.

Wifely Person Tip o'the Week
Unless you're going to eat it, don't hunt it. 


  1. Agree - we have to have a conversation about this issue and...soon. I am wholly in favor of a sensible gun policy that doesn't disarm the populace. The cartoon is heartbreakingly true..

  2. I am not suggesting all guns be banned….although I wouldn’t exactly be opposed to that idea….


    Your whole argument just lost it's wind. It's not an argument about guns, unless we're talking about gun walking (thank you U.S. Gov't). Anders Breivik, in highly regulated Norway didn't have any problem getting his arsenal together. A headline in the London Times read: Toughest gun laws in the world could not stop Cumbria tragedy, where Derrick Bird shot and killed 12 people. In Switzerland, 14 killed in 2001 Zug tragedy, in France, in Germany, in Finland, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands....mass murders committed with the toughest of gun laws. It's not even close, Europe is the king of mass murders. Not the U.S.


    1. Gee whiz, Doug! Can't a girl even have a preferred alternate reality???????

    2. I'm highly in favor of the alternate reality, Susan. That's why I go to the lake every weekend, and call it 'Never Never Land'


  3. "Wifely Person Tip o'the Week
    Unless you're going to eat it, don't hunt it. "

    That kind of opens up a creepy loophole, I think. ;)

    In complete agreement with your post. I'm not opposed to gun ownership but interpretation of the laws (and amendments) must be allowed to evolve.

  4. Some of you have emailed about the toon, saying how much you like this one. To see more of Steve Arley's totally good stuff, please visit his blog:

  5. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your Uzis...*

    *but only if I promise to eat what I hunt!?

  6. i love your blog, to express your views, this is the correct way.

  7. Unless you're going to fuck it, don't eat it!