Letter: Understanding the Second Amendment

Published: 7/4/2022 7:03:10 AM
Modified: 7/4/2022 7:00:32 AM

No, Mr. Bloomquist, you are wrong on both counts, on racism and on the Second Amendment. The Constitution and its Bill of Rights, to which Jefferson most strongly objected, were written by white men most of whom owned slaves. Its Senate was (and still is) comprised of two representatives from each state, no matter what its population is, to ensure that a balance was maintained between free and slave states. After President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Dixiecrats, who had prevented FDR from pursuing a national anti-lynching law, joined the Republican Party.

The context for the Second Amendment consists of two things: the Preamble (“We the people . . . in order to form a more perfect nation, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, insure domestic tranquility . . .”) and the opening phrase of the Second Amendment, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State . . . .”

At the time, there was no standing army, so a “well-regulated militia” was necessary. At the time, also, “arms” consisted of single- or double-shot, muzzle-loading, black powder rifles, muskets, shotguns, and pistols, plus bayonets, swords, knives, and clubs. A populace armed to the teeth with semi-automatic, military guns was not imagined by the framers of the Constitution and contributes nothing to “a more perfect union,” “domestic tranquility,” “common defense,” “general welfare,” and “the blessings of liberty.”

Don Melander



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