Let’s Talk About The 2nd (and 3rd) Amendment

Sunde White Illustrates her essay about the second amendment

answer: gun nuts

Welp, it’s official.  Gun violence is the leading cause of death in American kids under the age of 19.  There have been 127 mass shootings in 2023 and it’s only March.  We have probably all heard about the Tennessee shooting last week where 3 beautiful kids are gone forever along with 3 upstanding and loving adults that tried to protect them.  Turns out these mass shootings are happening constantly and we don’t even hear about all of them.

America’s gun fetish and bastardization of the 2nd Amendment is terrorizing us all.  We are stuck in minority rule.  Literally no one wants to live like this but we do because the weirdos on the Supreme Court are like, “STatEs’ rIGHts!!!!!!! But no state can tell you that you can’t own a gun!!!”  There are a lot of other reasons why we’re here like gerrymandering in states that produce very extreme elected officials, the NRA funding those officials and then just a lot of screaming about Americans’ “RiGHt to BEAr  ArMS!!!!” that is supposedly protected under the Second Amendment of our Constitution, but is it really?

What if the use of the Second Amendment to allow US citizens to be big spoiled, paranoid babies and carry around weapons of war was total bullshit?  Let’s learn about this amendment and while we’re at it, let’s talk about the Third Amendment because I feel like they actually go hand in hand.

First of all, what the heck is an amendment?  Amendments are individual rights afforded to the American people by The Constitution.  The Constitution is a document that the Founding Fathers of the United States wrote in 1787 to define the fundamental laws of the Federal Government. The first ten amendments were written in a thing called The Bill of Rights which was ratified (or accepted) by the State Legislatures in 1791.  Since then 17 other amendments have been added.

The First Amendment is really cool.  It just says that we are free to practice whatever religion we want, we can protest when something pisses us off, we have freedom of speech and freedom of the press, a right to assemble and petition and the Federal Government can’t stop us from doing these things. Okay, that’s super awesome.

Here’s where things get wild.  The next two amendments are about soldiers.  The more you read about the context of these amendments the more you realize that the Fore Fathers seemed to have unresolved trauma and perhaps even PTSD because of how they and all the colonists had been treated for about a hundred years under British rule and more specifically under the rule of King Henry III.

We all know the general story.  A bunch of British people moved over to America and created 13 colonies that remained under British rule for over 150 years.  Everything was cool for the first hundred years under King Henry I and King Henry II but then Henry III came along and made living in America under his rule a total drag.  He looked at the colonies as a petulant child that needed to be punished to be kept in line.

He imposed extreme and unfair taxes onto the colonists for literally everything including tea, printed paper and sugar.  He also passed a law called The Quartering Act which required local governments to house and feed the British Soldiers.

The colonies were already teeming with soldiers but in 1754 England was fighting a war in America against the French for land rights so there were a ton more soldiers than ever before and they all needed to be housed and fed.  Henry thought it would be a cool idea to force colonists to give up their houses, pubs, town halls, barns and any other structure if some British soldiers needed a place to stay.  This law and all the other taxes, resulted in The Revolutionary War which lasted for 7 years and ended with  the colonies gaining their freedom and becoming The United States of America.

Needless to say, that after a hundred years of being occupied by British soldiers and then another 7 years of being in a war with them, The Forefathers were sick of their shit.   When it came time to write down individual rights for the American people  they were like, “Amendment One:Freedom of speech blah blah blah…religion, blah blah blah etc etc and Amendment Two and Three: No assholic, unregulated soldiers anywhere near any of us.”  They hated soldiers so much at that point that they weren’t even sure that the freshly created USA should even have a military!

They finally decided that they should have a military for the purposes of protection against foreign enemies but they wanted strict control of it so that no soldiers could go rogue and get out of control.  For that reason the US military is under civilian leadership.  The Congress is in charge of allocating funds and overseeing their decisions.  The Forefathers also made sure that the military did not exist to police American citizens.  The military does not exist for domestic conflicts, only international conflicts.

So now that we’re all caught up, let’s read the actual wording for The Second Amendment.  It goes like this:

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.”

Wait. A. Minute.  Hold on a second.  So the first half of the 2nd Amendment is conveniently left out by gun nuts, the NRA and the GOP?  Yes!  The Forefathers were like, “Listen, if you have a well regulated group of trained soldiers that are armed just to protect the state then those individuals can have guns.  But we’re freaked out by soldiers so we want them monitored by the state so they don’t go rogue against our citizens.”

You know what is technically considered to be a well regulated Militia?  The National Guard is.  Yep, it’s a state run militia that the governor is in charge of.  A bunch of paranoid white supremacists that get together once a month on their friend’s Idaho homestead to practice shooting their AR-15’s and brainstorming how to kidnap lady governors is NOT a well regulated militia.

Let’s move on to the Third Amendment.  Here it is:

“No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

The second and third amendments were about controlling soldiers and militias so they would not be able to terrorize the American population ever again.  The irony is is that the way the 2nd amendment has been bastardized and misused it has created self declared civilian soldiers within our population.  They are mercenaries that have armed themselves because of their own delusions and prejudices.   They think they should be the ones to control the population because they have a Supreme Court given right to bear arms.

But what about us?  The general population just has to put up with self assigned Militia members, white supremacists, angry teenagers and randos with grudges just wandering around with submachine guns? They’re just free to walk into our shopping centers, post offices, dance halls, businesses and elementary schools to either kill us all or to just intimidate us with their body armor and unpermitted AR-15’s??

The 3rd Amendment was written because entire colonies were forced to house armed soldiers, not just in their homes but in private and government buildings.  I would argue that Americans’ 3rd Amendment is being violated by forcing us to put up with self proclaimed soldiers and unregulated militia members that we are forced to live with, in our stores, government buildings, schools, protests and demonstrations, public transportation and everywhere else.

There is no way the Forefathers would have wanted delusional pseudo soldiers wandering our streets literally violating the entire Bill of Rights that they wrote, completely ruining our ability to pursue our happiness.  It seems like they loved the idea of a free society and hated the idea of tyranny in any form–  especially if that tyranny came in the form of American citizens armed like soldiers.  They specifically wrote the 2nd and 3rd amendment so that Americans would never have to be held hostage by soldiers ever again but it has had the opposite effect.


***This was a long one.  Thanks for reading it. I know voting sounds so boring but it’s our only way out of this.  I don’t mean voting for president either, I mean voting for every micro election.  Vote for the dog catcher, local legislators, school board, city council, congress people and senators.  Only vote for people that are interested in reducing gun violence.  Thank you!******