Guns and the Constitution
We’re all familiar with the language of the 2nd 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.
Needless to say, there is some question as to how we interpret that today. After all, we interpret “freedom of speech” in the 1st Amendment to include types of communication that didn’t exist when the text was written. Is there any logical check on the 2nd Amendment?
How about these clauses from Article I s. 8 in the actual body of the Constitution listing things that Congress shall have the power to do:
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress
At the time the Constitution was drafted, a standing army was not envisioned. Instead “the Militia” was going to suppress insurrections and repel invasions. In other words, the “militia” looks a whole lot like a National Guard. And we’re sort of ignoring that army appropriation thing. The Army has more or less taken over the role intended by the militia.
The idea that the well regulated Militia was intended to be a safeguard against tyranny is fantasy. In the Constitution, the Militia suppresses the insurrection. The text of the Constitution doesn’t support an unlimited right to private arms for private purposes.