With all this chatter about peoples' Second Amendment Rights, I've noticed that the strongest "Second Amendment" supporters regard the amendment as sacrosanct: It means "People are allowed to have all the guns and ammo they want," without any regulation of any sort. So I read the text of the amendment:
The Second Amendment:
As passed by the Congress: 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.
As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
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.
It's that simple. And because of that simplicity, some people think they are entitled to buy as many guns and as much ammunition as they wish, and carry those guns were ever they wish.
Now compare the Second Amendment with the First Amendment:
The First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
As you'll note, the First Amendment is just as simply worded as the Second. However, in practice, the First Amendment does have accepted limits: You can say what you wish, but you may not incite riots, libel or slander people, etc. You are also allowed to practice your religion as you wish, but you are not allowed to perform human sacrifices, burn heretics and blasphemers, etc. And while you may "assemble peaceably," you are not allowed to block someone's path, take over someone else's place of work, etc. "Nuisance" law suits are discouraged, too.
So if First Amendment rights can be limited, why is this so much different from the Second Amendment? What makes gun ownership so different from, say, free speech that you can be arrested for screaming things at people, but you can't be arrested for defying gun laws?
I say this "all the guns I want" attitude is nonsense, something propounded by gun nuts to keep the law, society and reality at bay while they shoot things full of holes.
First, consider the first four words of the Second Amendment:
A Well Regulated Militia...
When America was formed, this country had no standing army. Thus, every farmer and backwoodsman with a gun was expected to do his part to defend the nation; the Swiss have this kind of "citizen militia." Today, we in America have a standing military, including a military reserve and national guard. If that part of the amendment is taken seriously, then only active military, reservists and national guard members would be allowed to have a gun. Further, prospective members of the military are screened for psychiatric problems before issuing a weapon. Note, too, that military training requires extensive firearms training; most civilian gun purchases do not ask for either.
Given the above, the Second Amendment does not guarantee unrestricted gun ownership any more than the First Amendment allows slander, libel, human sacrifices or autos da f