When the U.S. Congress was drafting, debating and ratifying the Second Amendment back in the late 1700s, they could have never imagined the advances in technology, weaponry and warfare that comprise our current arsenal of state-of-the-art defense artillery. They used muskets, pistols and cannons! It is absurd to try to make any type of reasonable comparison to these incomparable eras and their means of defense.
Nowhere in its verbiage does the amendment “grant” anybody anything. Like all amendments, it simply is either declaratory or restrictive. None are absolutes. Historically, these founding documents typically deferred to the states for further interpretation.
In the aftermath of over 300 mass shootings in 2022, we briefly keep gun control conversations front and center, but these are short-lived and nothing meaningful transpires. It’s unfortunate that most gun rights advocates continue to draw such a hard, uncompromising line about the Second Amendment when they could advocate for stricter gun laws. As our fourth U.S. President James Madison eloquently stated, “There can be no true and lasting happiness without domestic tranquility; the sense of peace that comes with knowing that you, your family and your citizenry live in safety.” Maybe his words will remind our legislators of this basic human right and create a sense of urgency for passing sensible gun laws.
Dyanna Morrison White