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Do we still need the Second Amendment?

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To be clear, I love guns. I own all the Rambo movies. If it weren’t such an expensive and impractical hobby, I would probably own lots of guns. What I’m not crazy about is being shot by people with guns. And I find little comfort in laws that promise strict penalties against people who commit gun violence. After all, it won’t make me any less dead.

Gun ownership is a part of American culture for many people. Some kids learn how to shoot before learning how to ride a bike. As such, the right for law-abiding and mentally competent citizens to keep and bear arms for sport, self defense, or any other reason that does not result in the death of innocent people should be upheld by law. But the Supreme Court’s perverted and expansionist view on this issue shows how the vestigial Second Amendment, much like the appendix, has outlived its usefulness, only waiting to one day explode in our guts without warning.

If you’re thinking the Second Amendment gives you the right to keep and bear arms to defend your family and property, it doesn’t. The Bill of Rights does not protect you from your neighbor. It only protects you from the government.

In 1787, it was logical to assume a well-armed public would forever be an effective check against governmental power. Throughout history, empires and tyrants have fallen by way of civil revolt. Brave Americans picking up their personal arms and forming militias to expel our British occupiers won our own independence. The Second Amendment remained a bedrock foundation of our liberty against the possibility of a tyrannical government up until Sept. 18, 1947 with the establishment of the U.S. Air Force.

Even if a militia the size of Spartacus’ were armed to the teeth, without air support the U.S. military would mow them down like grass. That’s not to say people haven’t tried. In 1993, cult leader David Koresh and the Branch Davidians exercised their Second Amendment right to fight back against the “tyrannical” government by murdering four ATF agents who were attempting to execute a search warrant of their ranch. Two years later, militia movement sympathizer Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, all in an effort to ignite a revolution against our “tyrannical” government.  Even today, anti-government militias are expanding at a rate unprecedented in recent history.

So if the violent overthrow of the government by the public is impossible, why exactly do we need the Second Amendment? It currently serves only to make it difficult to restrict arms sales to criminals and the insane (because of the off chance they may need a weapon to fight a tyrannical government) and to deny the authority of states and local communities to pass their own weapons laws tailored to their community’s needs.

It’s time for the Second Amendment to go. It’s time to empower our states and communities to make decisions on this issue that are crucial to our security.

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30 Comments

  1. tarena Dec 9, 2010

    I kind of find your arguments very contracting. You gave reasons as to why it should be taken away and the only purposes for it serve now. Based on your arguments given, I feel your reasons against the second amendment are stronger and favor its retention than why it should be taken away. For example your main reason for taking it away is to prevent “violent overthrow of the government by the public” with supporting examples ( e.g Oklahoma one). Your reasons for taken it away is because it restricts illegal purchase of weapons to criminals and insane people. Also, prevents communities from passing their own laws regarding weapons usage. Don’t you think these two reasons are strong enough to make us want to retain such a law? Would it not sure continual security and protection for citizens? I feel your argument for letting go the 2nd amendment are just not strong enough.

  2. The 4th Dec 9, 2010

    Start with a false premise and you can “prove” anything – “If you’re thinking the Second Amendment gives you the right to keep and bear arms to defend your family and property, it doesn’t.” But read District of Columbia v. Heller, “And whatever else it leaves to future evaluation, [the Second Amendment] surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.” At least read the case law interpreting the Second Amendment if you are going to opine on the subject.

  3. Curtis Dec 8, 2010

    To answer your question of do we need the second ammendment, it is an unopposed yes by any truly free thinking individual. Have you ever been shot at? I doubt it, and if you were what dumb s**t act were you inguaged in. You say you “love guns” just as long as you liberal handlers protect you and your opinions with their guns, but do not own any. You Sir are a liberal elitest and are truly what is wrong with America today. To prove my case in point, you use the information provided by the Souther Poverty Law Center to name who they consider to be hate groups. They are a hate group in their own right. But to really prove the point lets look at where else gun control or gun confiscation has taken place and what were the results. Armenian Genocide: 1.5 million Killed By Gun Control, Communist USSR: 60 Million Killed by Gun Control, China: Nationalists or Communists Kill Perhaps 100 Million, Using Gun Bans, Hitler Kills 21 Million; Includes Race Specific Gun Control Bans, Guatemala’s Gun Control Bans Helped Paramilitary Killing or Disappearing of 200,000. This list goes on and on and on. Now lets look at Switzerland. It is mandatory that every head of a household own, maintain, and be profecient with a firearm. Switzerland enjoys the lowest violent crime rates on the planet. Please grow up and get an education before you go spouting off your opinionated BS.

  4. Your Daddy Dec 8, 2010

    You’re assuming that gun ownership causes violent crime. In fact, both the National Academy of Sciences (in 2004) and the CDC (in 2005) have examined the relevant science and concluded that there is no evidence that gun ownership causes violent crime (or suicide), nor that gun control laws have any effect.

    In addition, you are dead wrong on the meaning of the second amendment: read the Heller decision.

    In addition, you are assuming that a tyrannical government would be willing to exterminate it’s population wholesale, and that the whole of the armed forces would be fighting on the side of the government. Neither of those things are likely to be the case, so in practice (however unlikely the whole scenario), private firearms would play a role in protecting people from tyranny.

    You are completely wrong and have no case. Please stop trying to use the government to gratify your childish emotional need to make other people behave in ways you approve of. It’s no different to opposing gay marriage.

  5. Maghhrib Dec 8, 2010

    David koresh didnt murder anyone. his religious followers used firearms in self defense.

    why were the ATF agents raiding his home when koresh offered to allow them peacefully in his compound weeks earlier for them to inspect all his firearms?

    peacefully walking in isnt enough. they have to call out their raid teams in full gear and with machine guns, and execute a perfect raid while painting koresh as an enemy of the government so that they can divert attention to why they need more funding because “theres just too many crazy nuts out there willing to engage the government”.

    if the average citizen raided a persons home on the excuse that they thought their neighbor had illegal guns, and the home owner killed them, nobody would complain.

    but when cops raid peoples houses instead of accepting open invitations to peacefully search homes, there’s no problem with that.

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa395.pdf

  6. Anonymous Dec 8, 2010

    Wrong.

    You are presuming facts not yet in evidence. If you think for one minute that the reaction to a totalitarian takeover would be to stand against the military, you are sadly mistaken.

    The military are our brothers, sisters, and cousins. Do you REALLY think that they would fire on us?

    No, the real stand would be against their civilian MASTERS. And they would be mowed down without compunction.

    Think THAT might change their minds?

  7. J. Scalia Dec 7, 2010

    The author obviously does not own a firearm, nor does he realize a gun’s usefulness. Instead, he’s fascinated by make-believe Hollywood movies to extent that he owns all the Rambo movies. Also notice how he never says he’s a gun owner. Instead he adds the comment, “If it weren’t such an expensive and impractical hobby, I would probably own lots of guns.”

    The right to gun ownership extends beyond the original purpose of keeping our government in check. Self-defense is a basic right and gun ownership guarantees that we are not ruled by the strongest, meanest, most violent people in our society.

    I have personally lived through three times where you could not pick up the phone and call 9-1-1 for help; the 1971 Sylmar quake, the 1991 riots, and the 1994 quake. If you needed the police, they weren’t coming. Basically you were on your own. Just look what happened in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina where armed thugs roamed the street stealing and committing rape and murder at will.

    I feel I have a duty and obligation to my family and neighbors to be armed and prepared for any emergency (especially after the Big One that is supposed to hit, maybe during our lifetime). If you do not see the value in being armed during/after disaster or civil unrest, then you have the right not to be armed. In the meantime, don’t advocate repealing MY constitutional rights with ignorant and ridiculous arguments that are beyond laughable.

    As a side note, when Reginald Denny was having his face smashed with a brick during the riots, the police were cowering indecisively at their command post. After he recovered, Denny tried to sue the LAPD for not rescuing him. The Supreme Court threw his case out and ruled there is NO police duty to assist INDIVIDUAL persons from harm. The police have a duty to protect SOCIETY as a whole.

  8. Anonymous Dec 7, 2010

    What crap.

    There’s every indication that the federales fired first at the Davidian compound. The leading theory is that a member of the ATF good squad, in disembarking from the horse trailers, accidentally fired his weapon. At that point, ATF goons, assuming the Davidians were shooting, opened up on them.

    The four agents killed in the raid were on the roof trying to enter through a window. Video shows three entering the room, followed by a fourth on the roof throwing a grenade into the room and hosing it down with machinegun fire. Best evidence is that at least three of the goons were killed by the fourth goon, who was subsequently killed.

    Of course, there was no evidence to examine. The ATF/FBI made sure of that. After pumping a highly flammable gas into the building (a tear gas mixture more concentrated than had ever been tested on anyone), the building ignited and burned to the ground, destroying the evidence. After the fire was out, contrary to good police practices, the area was not roped off to search for evidence, but rather, was bulldozed to conceal any possible evidence.

    Of course, David Koresh was a nut – but in America, the storm-troopers are not supposed to murder and burn people just for being nuts.

    As for the utility of the Second Amendment – Koresh could have killed all of the ATF agents that day. Following the initial assault, the ATF was out of ammo, pinned down in the compound, baking in the hot Texas sun in their black Nazi attack uniforms, with no water and no help on the way. It was an extreme tactical error by Koresh not to take hostages, but instead, to permit the goons to take their wounded and retreat.

    As for the ability of an armed people to resist the most powerful military in history – look to Afghanistan. Third-world people with minimal education and limited support have done well. What if they had been better armed, better equipped, better trained and able to get into the logistical tail of their enemy?

  9. JJ Swiontek Dec 7, 2010

    There is an old Armenian saying, “He who would take your weapon, would take your life.” One question Mr. Helmbrecht: Why do you want to kill your fellow American?

  10. republic4u Dec 7, 2010

    I think I could take down a MIG 29 with my 44Mag Henry lever-action from the saddle knowing the weak points on the plane. With a dozen friends, it would be more fun than shooting clays in Georgia on a sunny day. Oh, with dwindling gas supplies, how’re you gonna keep ‘um in the air.

  11. Vlastic Dec 7, 2010

    Nation’s armies can’t conquer Afganistan, people armed primarily with just small arms.
    Not to mention in Governments there are no heroes willing to die for freedom, just cowards hiding behind lies, deceit, in for a dough.

  12. Bill Dec 7, 2010

    Wow, I am still reeling from this very poorly written and ill conceived article. Aaron starts out with a chart from the SPLC, a group well known for their propaganda and outright lies. The SPLC has ZERO credibility with any thinking person. Then this is this incomprehensible statement:

    “If you’re thinking the Second Amendment gives you the right to keep and bear arms to defend your family and property, it doesn’t. The Bill of Rights does not protect you from your neighbor. It only protects you from the government.”

    What a poor, confused man!

    Aaron then goes on to state that no civilian army can defeat the US government with their array of fancy weapons. Aaron, you should try telling that to the Viet Cong and the Afghans.

    Aaron refuses to state facts and depends entirely on very weak emotional appeal. The facts are in, Aaron. The States with the least restrictive gun laws have a lower crime rate than those with the most restrictive. Law – abiding gun owners defend themselves from violent criminal attack over one million times each year. What makes you think taking away a person’s defense from criminal attack is the moral thing to do. What, or who, gives you the right to tell otehrs what rights they can and cannot have? You LOSE!!!

    1. Diamondback Dec 7, 2010

      Oh yea, watch this! Come on neighbor, come and try to take my food, water and supplies.

  13. Let me summarize Mr. Helmbrecht’s argument: Because the military can “mow” down the citizenry “like grass,” the government might just as well take our guns away so no one gets hurt.

    Wow… Really?

    Maybe the government should require us to remove the locks from our doors so they won’t have to go to the trouble of breaking them down.

    This is truly one of the most astoundingly foolish arguments I’ve heard on the issue. And this from a self-professed gun-lover?

    1. Diamondback Dec 7, 2010

      Beware anytime they start out saying they support the second amendment or the ownership of guns. It’s typical. Watch what they do NOT what they say.

  14. Buzz Dec 7, 2010

    The second amendment is the lethal force which backs our sovereign authority over our servants. As the Sovereign, we cannot ‘overthrow’ or ‘challenge’ our government; we simply re-instruct them. When it doesn’t work, then we have tyranny and we continue to follow due process to unseat them.

    Part of that movement is to educate the electorate: Militia within the meaning of the second amendment was every person, since there was no organized police force until the middle 1800’s and no National Guard (often misnamed militia) for another 130 years.

    Here’s a line that betrays tyrannical thinking: “Even if a militia the size of Spartacus’ were armed to the teeth, without air support the U.S. military would mow them down like grass.”

    Is he saying that our military is again the people and will come for us? Then our fears are coming true.

    The bottom line is that citizens cannot challenge servants, we instruct them; it is the servants who challenge us.

    Militias are groups of sovereign citisens who simply understand limits of government assets in terms of reactiont ime in disaster. Being prepared to respond within minutes of disaster is Militia’s primary mission, and being armed is an essential part of this for the good of the community. Militias are comprised of doctors, nurses, educators, engineers, variousoother experts and volunteers and everyone who comes to appreciate how a community is so on its own that it would be unreasonable for a state, local or federal government to discourage such preparedness.

    And after all that lip service of teaching citizens to have plenty of blankets, batteries, food and water!

    Why would they discourage preparedness? Armed citizens are not anti-government, they are pro survival when government simply cannot keep its promises.

  15. theaton Dec 7, 2010

    It doesn’t matter if the Second Amendment is repealed or not. The right to keep and bear arms and all rights are Creator bestowed. These rights pre-exist any government and can’t be taken away by man or government. These rights being infringed is why we divorced ourselves from England. Infringing our rights further will, if we have the courage of our founding fathers, result in the full restoration of our Constitutional Republic by whatever rightful method required.

    1. Mggtz Dec 7, 2010

      THANK YOU….why can’t people realize this. Perfectly stated. It is UNBELIEVABLE that people just do not get it. There is now way that ANYONE can tell you what our rights are, they come from our creator. http://www.guned.com, check it out, that is why the 2nd Amendment is by far the MOST important.

    2. Diamondback Dec 7, 2010

      Go ahead. Repeal it. Then come on over and take my firearms! If every guy like me only kills one government agent confiscating firearms, WE THE PEOPLE win hands down as we outnumber them by the millions.

  16. thePoliPit Dec 7, 2010

    This might be the most illogical argument I’ve ever read. Mr. Helmbrecht apparently believes the 2nd Amendment should go away because: Strict gun laws don’t do what they are suppose to, the original intent of the 2nd Amendment was to “check” the over reaching governmental power, and this is no longer possible. Wow! Where to begin? It should be noted that murdering someone with a knife, bat or brick is illegal and punished severely also, however there is yet to be a demand for abolishing knives, bats and bricks. Laws cannot make an immoral person behave morally, they can only promote the proper action. He then makes the ridiculous claim that since U.S. citizens cannot equal the firepower of the U.S. military, we might as well throw in the towl on the right to bear arms. This logic is dangerous and not true. Example: Since the government didn’t listen to the voice of the citizens, i.e. 60% opposed the Obama Health Care plan, we might as well get rid of the 1st Amendment because it doesn’t work anyway. Furthermore, 50-60 million U.S. citizens possess arms. If you think any military could survive an armed revolt, God forbid, then you are insane. However, the worst aspect of your argument is that since the advent of the Air Force, we no longer possess the same firepower as the military. Following your logic to its natural conclusion; we should then have the right to bear arms equal to that of the military. I have a purchase order ready to go for my new F-16 Falcon.

  17. ecolon Dec 7, 2010

    There seems to be this impression that our modern marvels have somehow elevated our spiritual, intellectual level to a point were we no longer suffer from the condition of being human. Arguments are made about the society that we have build around us and the philosophy in which we would love to wrap everyone around. One in which we respect everyones freedoms and boundaries and education and good parenting all meet to create a harmonious environment in which all of us would peacefully thrive.

    That place just does not exist. Look at the news, any of them. Not even the fear of death can suede a person from committing murder as we can clearly see each and every day. We have created an organization and empowered them, charged them with our protection and safety while completely surrendering our individual ability to do the same. Time and time again that organization demands more and more power, more and more exemptions, more and more from us while exempting itself from the same restrictions. It offers no guaranties of protection but demands it for itself.

    I think that the genius in the restrictions to congress – regardless whether they can carpet bomb us or not – is that the founding fathers recognize the inherent dangers in the model they created. They saw the most dangerous loopholes and sought to close them. They saw what could happen long term. They knew by studying the past that the human condition never changes, what changes is the toys we play with. Those toys, those technological advances never evolve us in a positive manner

    The human condition of the people we have place in power is what we need to worry about and that is the essence of the second amendment.

  18. Justsumstuff Dec 7, 2010

    “That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”

    1. Justsumstuff Dec 7, 2010

      The writer think that the second amendment should go. They haven’t done their homework. I forgot to state, this is: from the Constitution of Virginia Article 1, Section 13. Militia; standing armies; military subordinate to civil power. How many of us know what our own state’s Constitution say? So many states agree with the 2nd amendment. Also, there is a reason that Japan didn’t invade the west coast in WW2. A commander went to college/university in the USA an said that Americans have guns in every household, the Japanese army would be out gunned.

  19. Leif Rakur Dec 7, 2010

    If the Second Amendment is no longer necessary, it is because a well regulated muilitia is no longer seen as being necessary to the security of a free state, its functions generally having been replaced by the now-accepted peacetime standing army. The fear that the federal government will infringe the right of the people to provide militia service (that is, “bear arms”) really belongs to another century.

  20. Perspixx Dec 7, 2010

    Funny you should mention the Second Amendment… because every time I read the Daily Sundial, I question the value of the First Amendment.

  21. T21 Dec 7, 2010

    This article is actually very confusing to me. Maybe I’m confused because I’m shocked someone could think this way or because the reasoning is just very confusing.

    There are laws making it impossible for criminals to purchase guns. Background checks have kept over a million dangerous citizens from purchasing a gun. The Second Amendment isn’t there to promise everyone access to guns (you lose your rights when you become a criminal). The Second Amendment is to make sure the innocent have access to guns, because criminals ARE CRIMINALS and will find a way to get a gun no matter what.

    1. Diamondback Dec 7, 2010

      Where in the Constitution does it say you lose your rights upon conviction of some state designated “crime.”?

      That’s all LEGAL QUACKERY BULLSHIT!

      You only lose some of your rights once CONVICTED AND WHILE INCARCERATED!

      All the rest is unconstitutional bullshit.

  22. Carl from Chicago Dec 6, 2010

    This is among the most naive of the second amendment opinions that I have ever read. And I am a scholar of second amendment history (including modern opinion). Mr. Helmbrecht has every right to his opinion, but some opinions are persuasive, while others are not.

    1. Umi_turncoats Dec 7, 2010

      While I agree with you that everyone one has a right to an opinion I think that you are diminishing that right to this person by directly approaching him and not his actual opinion. Perhaps it isn’t wise to go right for Mr. Helmbrecht when you could have easily just stated your facts and how they disprove his argument.

  23. Buster Cap Dec 6, 2010

    If you support a repeal, all you need to do is get 2/3 of each chamber of Congress and then 3/4 of all the states to agree. Right now I think you could convince 20% of each chamber to go with it and maybe 5 states.

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