27 Words – the 2nd Amendment Explained (Updated 8 Dec, 2013)
The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights

The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads; “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.”

I have always struggled with the wording and logical sequence of the 2nd Amendment, even as I instinctively understood its meaning from the first time I read it.  Although Americans no longer speak the way our Founding Fathers did, the words were clear enough to me.  Still, I felt that it was an archaically structured sentence which I had difficulty explaining to anti-gun… ‘persons.’

A friend of mine recently sent a brilliant analogy which in a few words strips away my confusion and locks the language of the 2nd Amendment into crystal clarity for me forever.  I pass this analogy on to you…


The anti-2nd Amendment community has for a long time deliberately misread that particular amendment, to the point of ignoring the logical structure of the sentence.  They contend that the 2nd Amendment authorizes “A well regulated Militia” to “bear Arms.”  They go on to say that “Militia” have now evolved into our standing military… and you know the rest of the story.  Bottom line – no guns for you!

The real structure of the 2nd Amendment is this; here is a benefit derived from X, and the rights to X shall not be infringed.  To read the 2nd Amendment in any different context requires deliberate, intentional ignorance.

For example; suppose we said, “Healthy bones being good for children, the right of children to drink milk shall not be infringed”.  The “progressive” read of that sentence, taken as they read the 2nd Amendment, would be: “Only children with healthy bones are allowed to drink milk”.

Excuse me, but you have to be a real **** to interpret that sentence in that way.

Let’s try another example; “Quality orchestras being of value to the culture of the state, the right of the people to own musical instruments shall not be infringed.”

Have I just said that only orchestra members can own instruments? Of course not!


Pretty simple, huh?

Now with this simple analogy I have a clear and concise way to explain the language of the 2nd Amendment to those who would rather this particular amendment not exist in the first place.

Please take the time to read through that simple explanation a time or two.  Mull it over in your mind and store it in your brain cells where it may be quickly recalled the next time you face an anti-gun… ‘person.’

The US Constitution is short.  The original handwritten document is only four pages long (albeit large pages of parchment.)  The Amendments are also short.  The language of both is very concise and direct.  The Founding Fathers were men of few, but powerful words.

“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.”

That’s it!  That’s the whole damn amendment!  That’s not the first and most relevant sentence.  That’s not a preamble.  That’s the entire 2nd Amendment!  I envision our Founding Fathers, having penned such a simple powerful sentence, hoisting beers and congratulating themselves.  “How can such a simple sentence possibly be misunderstood or corrupted by our children?” they must have exclaimed.  Yet here we are.

Our laws today are ponderous, repetitive, often contradictory and nearly always require teams of lawyers for accurate interpretation, so it is not surprising that the 27 words that comprise the 2nd Amendment seem insufficient by today’s standards to convey the full, clear meaning to some… especially to those who oppose personal firearm ownership in the first place.

“A well regulated Militia” sufficient to ensure the “the security of a free State” springs only from a society that is familiar with and accustomed to shooting guns, just as an orchestra springs only from a society that is familiar with and accustomed to playing musical instruments.

Further a secure, “free state” is one in which citizens are able to defend themselves, their homes and property from danger – even if that danger comes from their own government.  Our Founding Fathers knew this having just separated from one such government.

The very first sentence of the U.S. Constitution reads, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Look at every one of these recent mass shootings which are the mainstay of the anti-gun movement.  In every case there were no Police, no armed security guards… and more glaringly not one single person amongst the victims that was an armed, concealed carry citizen who might have returned fire and stopped the shooter.

We are fast becoming a society that fears and shies away from firearms.  People that own firearms, practice with them, and obtain concealed carry permits are increasingly painted by a decidedly left-leaning media with the colors of instability and fanaticism – as a clear danger to the security of a free state rather than the very mechanism our Founding Fathers put in place to ensure the eternal existence of that structure.

Gun familiarity sufficient to produce a “well regulated militia” and a secure “free state” starts with our children, who must be taught how to handle firearms safely and responsibly.  It starts with a family that acquires and maintains guns in their homes.  It starts with sport and competition shooting on weekends and even at school on sport marksmanship teams.  It starts with family trips hunting, fishing and practicing other outdoor skills.  But these things are not the goal of the 2nd Amendment, they are simply the necessary preparation for the realization of the aforementioned.  Without the freedom to develop a universal skill with firearms in our society we cannot suddenly have “a well regulated militia” and a secure “free state.”  In that scenario only the government would be armed… and on that day we will be slaves to the power of that government, whether that government crosses the threshold of actually using that power against its citizens or not.  We see this scenario playing out in Egypt and Syria right now – an oppressive government suppressing a largely unarmed (or at least ill armed) populace.

“Can’t happen in America” you say?  You’re dreaming.

The following relevant quote has been attributed to Isoroku Yamamoto the Fleet Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, allegedly delivered to his senior staff during a discussion whether or not to invade a vulnerable and unprepared America following the attack on Pearl Harbor; “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”  While some claim that this statement is misattributed it is nonetheless absolutely true.

The hundreds of thousands of guns our government wields can never be successfully win the day against hundreds of millions of armed Americans so long as the 2nd Amendment stands, unless we turn away from the gun as some sort of “abhorrent object of evil”, and accept our role – even when the 2nd Amendment exists – of sheep… sheep that are so obviously ill-protected by our Police… sheep that are even now threatened by our own watch dogs – the very government we have created – grown militaristic, intrusive, arrogant, and unchecked (see my many articles on these subjects posted to this website.)

In response to recent mass shooting I have noted that the Left-Wing media has found a new talking point which you will begin to hear spouted by the anti-gun talking heads on the major news networks.  This new theme is that American is being ridiculed by other nations and even thought “uncivilized” by the rest of the countries in the world because of our “gun culture.”

Really?  That’s supposed to bother me?

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