Inside the Capitol

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2-1 Your Guns are Safe

20113 2nd Amendment

SANTA FE – As expected, guns and illegal aliens are packing the agendas of both the New Mexico state Legislature and Congress. I'm predicting modest success on the immigration front and little or no change on gun regulation.
Today we'll talk about some of the gun legislation we're hearing about.
I have some questions about what all this pro- and anti-gun activity means. The 2nd Amendment, for instance, always has given me trouble.
It's not that I have anything against guns. I don't own one but many people do. That's fine with me as long as they handle them responsibly.
My problem with the 2nd Amendment is that it is written so differently from the other nine amendments in the Bill of Rights. It is the only amendment the framers felt necessary to justify.
Whereas the 1st Amendment directly states five different freedoms, the second amendment beats around the bush to declare one freedom.
It begins with a dependent clause explaining that a well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state. One could infer that Congress is telling the states to keep their militias well regulated in case England or some other country decides to attack us.
What militias was congress talking about at that time in history? I've seen it explained that the county police that patrolled the plantations to keep the slaves in line were called slave militias.

I've also been told that by 1791, when the Bill of Rights was ratified some state militias were claiming they won the Revolutionary War, instead of George Washington's troops.
And why do they talk about the security of a free state? Yes, the word "state" also can refer to a nation but states were extremely covetous of their power back then and wouldn't seem likely to refer to their union of states as a state.
It appears to me that the wording and meaning of amendment must have been controversial and required numerous compromises to fashion something acceptable to the 13 states.
I'm also rather sure that the U.S. Supreme Court has looked at these questions often enough to clarify this amendment.
When I look at the long lines of people wanting to buy guns, I think of similar lines of job seekers desperate for employment at any pay.
The most popular guns are the biggest and most expensive, not the little things you put in your nightstand for protection. It is obvious many people still can afford the very best.
The long lines to buy guns are due to a fear that someone is going to come take them. If you fear that your guns will be taken, why buy more? Won't they be taken too?
And who is it that is going to take everyone's guns? The answer usually is "Obama." According to those "in the know," President Obama was going to take them as soon as he was elected. Now, it is early in his second term.
Here's what I think. The gun manufacturers and dealers have most of the nation hoodwinked. The more they can scare people that the government is their enemy, the more guns they can sell. The more gun control bills that are introduced into Congress or state legislatures, the more guns they will sell. The plan is ingenious and it is working perfectly.
The most beautiful part of the entire plan is that with the exception of a few cities that have unworkable gun laws, nothing is going to happen at the state or national level. Guns are never going to be outlawed. It would take all three branches of government to make it happen.
The pure and simple fact is that if you want to live in America, you have to realize we are still a Wild West country where a majority of people love their guns and John Wayne and Ronald Reagan reign supreme.


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