What the Second Amendment Doesn’t Say


It’s beyond time to end the madness.

It’s time we talk about guns on this blog. I write novels that feature gun use. Both good guys and bad guys use guns in my books. I try not to glorify the use of the guns. I, hopefully, present that there is a catastrophic consequence to firing a gun at another human being, either aggressively or defensively. The presence of a gun always, without exception, escalates stress levels. When stress levels are escalated, the creep towards tragedy is set in motion.

It will be no surprise to anyone who knows my political leanings that I am for the government regulation of guns. It is absolute deadly folly that we live in a country that has more guns than people within its borders. We live in a country where the NRA – an organization that serves gun manufacturers and not gun owners – writes the gun bills that the politicians they buy off introduce, pass and make the law of the land. Guns must be regulated, and I believe we can do it without violating the Second Amendment.

The problem with people on my side of the argument is that we spend too much time focusing on what the Second Amendment says. We think that there is nothing ambiguous about the term “well regulated militia.” And there’s not – until you get to the part where the Founding Fathers talked about not infringing on a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.  We forget that the men who wrote the constitution were politicians first trained in the law. Writing confusing documents open to interpretation was kind of their thing. They created a document that had the best chance of being accepted by all the revolutionaries in attendance. Let’s face it, they didn’t create a document that represents consistency. If you’re offended by that claim, you tell me how they founded a country based on the concept that all men are created equal, but permitted the practice of slavery to continue. That is not just a lack of consistency. It is blatant hypocrisy.

The bottom line is that there are no winners when opposing sides talk about what the Second Amendment says. Therefore, I propose we focus on what the Second Amendment doesn’t say.  Here it is in all its argument inducing glory:

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.

 So, what is missing from the Second Amendment that allows for the government regulation of guns? Well, the only rights that are protected are the rights “to keep and bear arms.”  That’s it. Here are two crucial rights that are not protected by the Second Amendment.

  1. The right to manufacture guns – There is nothing in the Second Amendment that says the gun manufacturers cannot be heavily regulated. Gun manufacturers can and should at the very least face the same level of regulation that the tobacco, automobile and pharmaceutical industries face to get their products to market. I would argue that since their products are designed with the specific purpose of causing damage, gun manufacturers should face stiffer regulations than any other industry in this country. This power to regulate, by the way, includes the restriction of what types of guns can be manufactured. The government is within its constitutional rights to ban the manufacture of military style assault weapons.
  2. The right to sell guns – Gun dealers of any kind are not protected by the Second Amendment. The language just isn’t there to argue otherwise. The government not only has a right to regulate any and all gun dealers, they have a duty to do so since gun dealers can threaten the concept of the right to the security of free state by selling guns to individuals who oppose the right to a free state.

The obvious argument from gun enthusiasts is that regulating gun manufacturers and dealers is ultimately an infringement on gun ownership. If you have a car in your driveway, regulations on the automobile industry did not infringe on your right to own a car. If you smoke, regulations on the tobacco industry did not infringe on your right to be a smoker. In fact, if you want to take the concept of infringement to the extreme, the price of a gun is an infringement on ownership. In essence, the Second Amendment very clearly says that charging any amount of money for a gun is unconstitutional, but I’ve digressed into an argument about what the Second Amendment says, and that’s not the point of the post.

My point is to take emotion out of this very emotional topic and focus on what rights are not protected by the Second Amendment. To me, it’s clear that the rights of gun manufacturers and gun dealers are not protected by the otherwise ambiguous law.

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