|About the Book|
The version of the Second Amendment that was adopted by Congress, as part of the Constitutional Bill of Rights, reads as follows:“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bearMoreThe version of the Second Amendment that was adopted by Congress, as part of the Constitutional Bill of Rights, reads as follows:“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”.The Second Amendment contains twenty-seven words. Because those words were adopted over two hundred years ago, they may seem stilted to the modern ear, and applying them to modern technology may seem awkward.For gun advocates, the Second Amendment contains thirteen words too many—and, of the remaining fourteen words, several are quite inconvenient. Gun advocates must argue that our founding fathers really meant what they did not say:“The right of an individual person to keep and bear any arm he wants shall never be limited.” [The pronoun would have been masculine, because in the late 1700s only certain men could “keep and bear Arms”.]Our founding fathers wrote what they meant in the prose of their times. They did not include phrases which they considered irrelevant, and they did not choose words without understanding what those words meant.Their words withstood the test of time for over two hundred years of respected jurisprudence. But in recent years, five Supreme Court Justices have twisted the wording of the Constitution to address their personal agendas, including an interpretation of the Second Amendment that is supported more by National Rifle Association (NRA) dogma than by two centuries of jurisprudence.Such Supreme Court decisions betray the values of our founding fathers. They amount to five politically appointed lawyers, who sit for life and are not answerable to the electorate, making new law for the entire country. The societal effects of such new laws are pernicious, tearing at the very core of our American democracy.How did we get to such a place? Too many Americans have become complacent—allowing gun advocates to dominate the national debate on firearms with a twisted version of the Second Amendment, permitting right-wing Supreme Court Justices to replace historical legacy with personal agenda, tolerating elected officials who sell their political souls to the NRA.As a society, we can no longer condone the perversion of our Constitutional ideals and the erosion of our democratic values. We must understand what the Second Amendment really says about guns, and how that reflects the intent of our founding fathers. Otherwise, we will have no response to the knee-jerk reaction that every gun restriction violates the Second Amendment. We will feel powerless as each year thousands of innocent people, including far too many children, are needlessly killed in the name of protecting the fiction that gun rights are sacrosanct under the Constitution.The arguments to reduce the extreme level of gun violence in America are diverse: from personal to social, from rational to emotional, from moral to political, from logical to legal. This book explores many of those arguments, providing a reference point for those who seek gun sanity rather than gun proliferation—and offering a dialectic basis to counter the tone-deaf arguments from the NRA and their ilk.Much of the discussion related to the Second Amendment involves lawyers and judges, but this book is not for legal experts. Rather, it is intended to bring a wider understanding about the Second Amendment: its history, its meaning, its place in American society, its role in American culture.One caveat: This book uses the term “gun advocate” as a short-hand description for those who are committed to perpetuating the American gun culture, such as the NRA. Obviously, not every gun owner is a gun advocate.