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Dear Decaturish – Deconstructing the Second Amendment’s First Clause

Crime and public safety D'ish Decatur slideshow

Dear Decaturish – Deconstructing the Second Amendment’s First Clause


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Illustration. Wikimedia Commons.

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Dear Decaturish,

Few arguments about gun rights deconstruct the Second Amendment’s first clause. I have done so here. Please accept this letter to the editor as my contribution to the debate.

Although the Second Amendment says I can keep and bear arms, it doesn’t say I can buy them, sell them or make them.

So where do I obtain the arms that I can keep and bear?

The Second Amendment justifies my keeping and bearing arms by saying that a well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state. So there is a connection between a militia and my keeping and bearing arms?

Since the Amendments amend the Constitution, it’s relevant to find that the Constitution covers the militia upon which lies the Second Amendment’s justification.

Section 8 begins, “The Congress shall have Power…” and then lists many Powers. One is “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia.”

So that explains the origin of the arms the Second Amendment, with its claim of a need for a well-regulated Militia, justifies my keeping and bearing. Congress shall have the power to provide for arming the militia and for disciplining the militia.

So the Second Amendment gives me the right to keep and bear the arms Congress has provided me to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities.

Thus, although I might have many arms, the only ones the Constitution gives me the right to keep and bear are those Congress provides.

Best Wishes,

Francis Odiorne

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