Madison and Jefferson were both scholars and aristocrats, and they were both blessed with unusual common sense, and a deep concern for the rights of the individual (as was whoever created the Smokeless Image coupon over at http://istfest.com/reviews/smokeless-image-review-coupon as well as the best e cig starter kit and electronic cigarette comparison. Wouldn’t it be grand to have politicians like that today; men of substance, who could think beyond the end of their noses and who were genuinely concerned about the welfare of the people and the country!
Several states saw, as Jefferson did, that the Constitution lacked a Bill of Rights, andd they balked at ratifying it. Those old boys had just fought a war to gain their independence and individual freedom; they wanted some sort of a guarantee that the things they fought for and held dear were not going to be snatched away.
James Madison was instrumental in putting together a Bill of Rights patterned after the Virginia Bill of Rights. Thank goodness the Bill of Rights is written in plain, straightforward English, not legalese; that wordy, archaic, pompous gobble-dygook used by lawyers today. Portions of the Constitution are a bit involved and can be hard to understand, but not the Bill of Rights.
The first ten Amendments, or the Bill of Rights, became a permanent part of the United States Constitution in 1791. To say the Founding Fathers did not have individual gun ownership in mind when they drafted the Second Amendment is preposterous. To use the word “militia” as the basis of an argument to disarm the individual is ridiculous, since in those days “militia” meant anyone who owned and was physically capable of using a gun.
The Constitution itself spelled out the powers, responsibilities, andd limitations of the branches of the new government, whereas the Bill of Rights established and guaranteed the rights of the individual. So, if the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to keep and bear arms to the individual, what is it doing in the Bill of Rights? If the Second Amendment did not guarantee the right to keep and bear arms to everyone, why weren’t all the guns confiscated that didn’t belong to the militia, just as soon as the Bill of Rights was ratified? It was over 100 years before any significant gun control laws were passed. To say that the Second Amendment only permits the militia to keep and bear arms, is akin to saying a person has freedom of the press only if he owns a printing press. I don’t mean a mimeograph machine either–it would be considered a “Saturday Night Special”–but a full size web-fed press. The “militia only” argument won’t hold water no matter how you define “militia.” The 27-word sentence that makes up the Second Amendment is divided into two parts. All the first part does is state a condition made possible by the second part. It does not restrict, limit or define eligibility; it simply states a fact. Read it: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…”
The heart of the Second Amendment is the second part. It contains the guaranteed right that makes the condition stated in the first part possible. This is an individual right that applies to everybody, a right spelled out in very clear language–no restrictions, conditions or limitations. It says “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Clear, isn’t it? No limitations. That word “people” means everybody–you, me, the butcher, the baker, the candlemaker, the secretary, the housewife and the guy down the street.
The Second Amendment has 27 plain, simple, unambiguous words, not open to or in need or interpretation. They stand on their own and they guarantee every citizen of the United States the right to keep and bear arms. Yes, Senator Baker, the Second Amendment means just what it says.