A blogger at the Economist writes about gun control. He begins -
CONSERVATIVE Republican Brett Joshpe thinks the Republican Party has to embrace "sensible gun control" or pay a price at the ballot box.
Kevin Williamson calls Mr Joshpe's reasoning "soft-headed":The purpose of having citizens armed with paramilitary weapons is to allow them to engage in paramilitary actions. ...
The blogger, who goes by M.S., then goes on to examine, discuss, and dismiss Williamson's argument quite effectively (read his post). The blogger the closes with:
Thinking about this question, however, is a useful exercise, because it helps us to picture what it is that Mr Williamson has in mind. He believes that American citizens have the right to engage in violence against the United States' armed forces and state or municipal police forces, whenever they decide that governments are usurping their powers. He believes in a right to insurrection. There is no such right in the American constitutional order. It is illegal for American citizens to decide on their own to attack law-enforcement agents or soldiers, regardless of whether they believe them to be acting on behalf of the "arbitrary power of rulers". In America, the government is chosen at the ballot box, and our representatives make the laws and execute them. What Mr Williamson is saying here is that Americans must have the right to own military-caliber weapons because such weapons are necessary in order to commit treason. [I bolded certain phrases for emphasis]
The blogger then proffers his view of the Second Amendment:
I have a different, somewhat idiosyncratic take on the second amendment: I think the first clause (the "well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" part) is clearly a logical qualifier, and since history has demonstrated that militias are not necessary but actively pernicious to the security of a free state, the rest of the amendment simply drops. But I also have no problem arguing that the damn thing ought to be repealed. It has nothing to do with any important human freedoms, and any of the founders who thought it did were wrong.
I agree. I've been increasingly disturbed by what I hear from the right about why they are arming themselves with semi-automatic military-style weapons: because they believe our (freely elected) government is becoming tyrannical and they want to be prepared to fight back. That is treasonous. This isn't the government I would create if it were up to me and there are a LOT of things it does that I don't agree with, but the government we have is the government that the people voted for, and no citizen has the right to take up arms against it.
We would be much better off as a country if the Second Amendment was repealed. Today's firearms are so different and so much more destructive that what the founding fathers could ever imagine that it adds nothing to the betterment of society. If repealed, I have no doubts that there would be no cry to ban all firearms. No industrialized nation bans them. Huge majorities of Americans support firearms for hunting and self-protection, and that won't change with the repeal of the Second Amendment.