Fixing America In 500 Words Or
DOES THE NRA REALLY
DEFEND THE 2nd AMENDMENT?
According to the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, ". . .the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be
infringed". ¹ The word "Arms" is deliberately capitalized, a common practice at the time used for emphasis. Since Thomas Jefferson
later owned a private cannon, the largest weapon of his day, "Arms" to the framers clearly meant more than small arms one can easily "bear"; note,
to "keep" and bear Arms.
The word "gun" is found nowhere in the Constitution, a carefully worded document. According to the preamble, one of the main purposes of
government is to "insure domestic Tranquility" (also capitalized). To honestly and correctly interpret the intentions of the framers, everything
that follows the preamble, including all ten original amendments, must be weighed in light of the Constitution's stated
At the time the 2nd Amendment was drafted, there was no federal army, no national guard and no organized police force, a fact of history ignored
by the modern National Rifle Association's absurd position, which not long ago was far less radical than today. ³ There were also no large
urban populations or police protecting them, gravely endangered by modern assault weapons. And, who knows what horrific weapons may be contained
in a future brief case or even much smaller space?
For many years, the NRA and mainstream media have been guilty of drawing a non-existent, artificial line down the center of the 2nd Amendment,
limiting the debate to private gun ownership. To contend the 2nd Amendment permits unlimited private ownership of modern assault weapons is
no more Constitutionally rational than to claim it allows for unlimited private ownership of bombs, chemical weapons and space-ray machines, also
modern "Arms" unknown to the American founders.
The NRA must admit that according to its interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, we have just as much right to own private nuclear bombs and bio-weapons
as we do to own a multi-round handgun, none of which existed when it was drafted. If we wish to have a society at all, then the 21st Century
question is not “if” we are going to restrict the NRA's interpretation but rather, in what manner are we going to
For the record, if anyone has the right to argue in favor of restricting the 2nd Amendment, it is survivors of far too many mass
shootings. 4 As the
“founding fathers” wisely allowed for, we can always amend what the Constitution originally stated. A perhaps better and much saner idea would be to
amend the NRA, by convincing a reluctant media to point out it's deceptive and historically irrational position.
The NRA has no Constitutional or other right to limit the 2nd Amendment to a debate over guns, nor to ignore the intentions of the American founders
clearly stated in the preamble. For a Constitutional position to be correct, it must fall within a clearly stated purpose of, “in order to
insure domestic Tranquility”.
Does the NRA really defend the 2nd Amendment? You decide.
1. The U.S. Constitution Online.
2. The significance of the Preamble to the Constitution is
often ignored by many so-called "scholars" and others when addressing various constitutional
issues. In order for a Constitutional position to be correct, it must fall within the
stated purposes of the document as outlined in the Preamble.
3. According to it's own website, "Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union
veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The
primary goal of the association would be to 'promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,' according to a
magazine editorial written by Church." The NRA at one time supported relatively sane gun regulation, including
the National Firearms Act (1934) and the Gun Control Act of 1968. It was primarily focused on hunting and target
shooting prior to 1977. Since 1977, the NRA has become more and more a legally sanctioned 501c3 pawn defending
the interests of gun manufacturers at taxpayer expense.
The United States has a significantly higher per capita
murder rate than every European and other modern somewhat democratic nation with stricter gun controls, while many nations generally
considered part of the "third world" have lower per capita murder rates. China, with far
greater population density crammed into it's largest cities, has close to 1/5 the per capita murder rate of the United States. A few examples
compared to a U.S. rate of 4.7 per 100,000 include China 1.0, Japan 0.4, Chile 3.7, Canada 1.6, Uzbekistan 3.1, Hong Kong 0.2, Cambodia 3.4,
Niger 3.8, Mozambique 3.3, Somalia 1.5, Tunisia 1.1, Libya 2.9, Algeria 1.5, Malaysia 2.3, Vietnam 1.6, Hungary 1.3, Italy 0.9,
Turkey 3.3, Czech Republic 1.7, Bulgaria 2.0, Poland 1.1, Ireland 1.2, United Kingdom 1.2, France 1.1, Netherlands 0.6, Sweden 1.0,
Finland 2.2, Germany 0.8, Denmark 0.9 -- per capita murder rates can be found here online.
In the United States, approximately 32,000 people die annually from gun related violence. Statistically, there is a direct correlation between
the number of annual deaths per capita and the number of guns owned per capita. The five states with the highest incidence of gun deaths are among
those with the least restrictive gun laws and highest percentage of gun ownership, while the five states experiencing the least gun deaths are among
states with the most restrictive gun laws and least percentage of gun ownership. The less restrictive gun laws tend to be, the more
people die from gun violence. To compare, in 2010 Australia had 1/12th as many gun related deaths per capita as the United States, while the UK
had 1/45th as many; Link Here for Statistical Information.
To argue that guns don't kill people but rather, people kill people, is the same as to pretend nuclear bombs and bio weapons don't kill
people. So why not allow all such "Arms" to be freely owned and sold without restriction, if indeed one chooses to defend the letter of the law
regarding the Second Amendment? There is no logical difference, as these along with highly lethal multiple round guns, were unknown to the
Constitutional framers. The position of the modern NRA is clearly completely and entirely hypocritical and without constitutional or any other
rational foundation. Unless of course, one wants to live in a society where the wealthy can arm private satellites with laser weapons capable of
destroying entire cities, arm private jets with nuclear bombs and, bio weapons can be freely manufactured, owned, bought and sold at will
without restriction, as if Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams and Franklin would defend such a nonsensical position.
According to the Second Amendment Center, It is clear that the meaning of the 2nd Amendment allows "for a very broad definition of what constituted “arms.” The Bill of Rights of 1689 states
that the 'subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.' The last part of the sentence is very telling. It’s a conditional
phrase meant to limit the type of “arms’ allowed by Protestant subjects. The limitation imposed meant that the word “arms” had a definition permitting a very wide range of weapons including those
the document’s authors decided could be restricted by law.
"From this we can conclude that the word “arms” referred to weapons found among contemporary military arsenals. In 1755 Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language was first published. It
defined “arms” as “weapons of offence, or armour of defence.” Again, the meaning does not exude military weapons. Since the word “arms” means the same thing today as it did centuries ago
it’s only logical the authors of the Second Amendment meant the same thing. And unlike the English Bill of Rights, there are no limitations placed on the right to keep
and bear arms in the U.S. Constitution." What these two paragraphs mean is that the word "Arms" as found in the 2nd Amendment applies to ALL modern "arms" of any type as much as
it applies to all modern guns Second Amendment Center.
According to the National Association of School Psychologists: "Of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Wyoming has the highest
percentage of homes with guns (63%), the highest suicide rate (23 per 100,000), and the highest percentage of students carrying a gun to
school (11%). Conversely, Massachusetts ranks 48th (out of 51) in terms of percentage of homes with firearms (13%), has one the lowest
suicide rates (9 per 100,000), and the lowest reported percentage of students who acknowledged bringing a gun to school (2.5%)."
Center to Prevent Gun
Violence. The modern NRA position does not remotely fit within the Constitution's
stated purposes, as outlined in the Preamble. Nor does it protect even those high up
in government, let alone average everyday citizens. Rather, as noted above, the NRA's
position protects the wealth interests of gun manufactures at the expense of our children's
safety and our own peace of mind.
No rational person would contend that gun regulations will eliminate all mass shootings. But statistics clearly demonstrate sane weapons regulation significantly
minimizes homicide and suicide in well over 100 nations. As of late August 2019, while many European nations since Parkland in Florida experienced 2, 1 or
zero mass shootings, according to Newsweek, the United States recorded 574. List of U.S. School Shootings in the 21st Century
|Click Here to Go Back to Contents
Click Here to eMail the Author
Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard
Copyright © Jaunary 7th, 2014 by Richard
Copyright © February 1st, 2014 by Freedom
No part of this material may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including printing, photocopying, recording or by any information
storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher and signed by the
author. Inquiries: Freedom Tracks Records or requested via eMail. Essays entitled Revolution and Revolution ~ Side B are open copyright and may be reproduced
and distributed as desired.