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.
Arguably the most controversial of all the Amendments, the right to keep and bear arms is paramount to individual freedom and is key to not only individual sovereignty but the sovereignty of the United States. After all, if the military should fail to defend the United States, the responsibility to protect the country falls to the citizenry.
Under 10 USC § 311, all able-bodied men between 17 and 45 years of age who are citizens of the United States or who have declared intent to become a citizen comprise the militia of the United States. More specifically, it is called the unorganized militia.
And should the citizenry fail to protect the country, the country falls.
But the right to keep and bear arms extends further and comes down to one simple concept: the police do not have a responsibility to protect you, only to enforce the laws and ensure those who break them are arrested and appropriately prosecuted. And in some situations and locations, the expectation of police protection is unreasonable, such as in remote, rural locations.
Now the police do have a responsibility, to the best of their ability, to prevent crimes from occurring. This means that if an officer arrives to a crime in progress, they will try to put a stop to the crime through reasonable means. But if the police can’t arrive in a reasonable amount of time, it’s up to you to defend yourself.
But the Second Amendment applies to more than just firearms. It applies to anything that can be used or brandished as a weapon — crowbars, baseball bats, Coca-Cola bottles. To "keep and bear arms" means simply that you have the right to possess use a weapon.
But is this really a "right"? Let us recall what I said about the definition of a right:
A right is inherent and inalienable, something for which no action is required of anyone else for you to retain, but much action is required of you for you to protect.
Under this definition, is the "right to bear arms" actually a right? First, anything that is perceived as a "right", whether actually fitting the definition or not, will be dubbed inherent and inalienable. And if it is something you believe in, it’ll be a point of view you’ll expend effort to protect.
But the key question is this: is any action required of anyone else for you to retain or exercise this right? No.
Even if firearms didn’t exist, you could simply clench your fist, or you could fashion your own weapon by brandishing a fallen branch as a club or even a large rock.
A person’s right to self-defense is inherent, and the right to bear arms is an extension of this. The right to bear arms means simply that you can brandish a weapon in an effort to defend yourself, your family, or someone else.
But the government does not have a right to tell you which weapons you cannot use, at least not without good reason. For example, while firearms can kill people, bombs can kill a lot of people and bring down buildings, so there is ample reason for the government to deny you the ability to obtain and possess them.
Firearms however hold a special meaning under the Second Amendment for one simple reason: they are the most effective personal assault weapons when it comes to fending off an attack from other individuals, foreign invaders or, in the worst case scenario, our own government.
They are also the reason the United States won her freedom from England. Never forget that.
But firearms are necessary in many places for personal defense for another simple reason: those who may intend to harm you might be carrying one themselves, and its never a good idea, to borrow the cliché, to bring a knife to a gunfight.
Plus someone intent on turning you into a crime victim will likely back down upon realizing you’re carrying a firearm.