Yes, there are wide-ranging interpretations of what the authors of the Bill of Rights had in mind when they authorized gun ownership for all Americans.
Most historians seem to generally agree that the phrase “a well-regulated militia” is directly connected to the objective of “the securing of a free state.”
While declaring in plain words that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” there was no mention of hunting, home defense or recreational shooting.
Therefore, it doesn’t take very much contemplation to realize what was on the minds of our first Congress in 1791 was that of protecting its newly freed citizens from tyranny.
Those first 10 amendments, all about limiting the power of the federal government, having been duly adopted by the states, remains among the fundamental rights of today’s Americans.
So are our powers to amend or directly rescind the Second Amendment. It would require the affirmative vote of 38 states to achieve that end. Anyone believing that would be even remotely possible must not be paying attention.
But it is the route to a determination of what We the People want and anything less is simply skirting around the most honest way to settle the question of gun ownership.
Instead, over time have come restrictions on that right, but every time there is an incident of violence by a madman, there are the inevitable calls for more firearms control.
Initiatives ensuring guns don’t somehow become automatic weapons such as those already illegal to possess, conducting background checks at the time of purchase, and keeping guns from the hands of the mentally impaired seem sensible.
While we are in the process of working our way through the challenge of dealing with criminals already determined to ignore gun laws, let’s address some other things in our society that result in millions more deaths than those victims of guns in the hands of evil men.
What say we ask ourselves if we still believe annually destroying 600,000 babies growing inside their mothers is a matter of “women’s health,” or should such a practice be ended?
Deaths from guns are less than 6 percent of the lives lost via the abortion doctor’s tools. And that includes the almost two-thirds of all gun deaths that come from those pulling the trigger on themselves.
How about the loss of roughly 40,000 lives annually in car accidents due to distracted driving, speeding and drunken driving?
Should we take the keys from survivors responsible for that carnage?
What about lives lost at the hands of immigrants here unlawfully? While there’s lots of arguments on exact numbers of murders committed by those here without permission, saving even one life from such perpetrators would be worth strengthening our borders, wouldn’t you believe?
Those calling for more gun control use that very logic all the time in their rhetoric supporting more chipping away and ultimately doing away with the Second Amendment.
If anything, its value to our country is reconfirmed by recent history. In a 2013 National Review commentary, lawyer Stephen Halbrook discussed the origins of a worldwide catastrophe:
“In 1933, the ultimate extremist group, led by Adolf Hitler, seized power and used the (gun ownership) records to identify, disarm, and attack political opponents and Jews.”
Once their guns had been confiscated, some 6 million of them, then helpless to defend themselves, were torn from their homes, rounded up and shipped away by trainloads and killed.
History provides remarkable context of the importance of protecting our essential rights. Try as they may, partisans on the left are never going to get our guns.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.