The Meaning of the U.S. Constitution’s 2nd Amendment

Eric Zuesse

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was written into the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in 1787 as the replacement-Constitution for this country, replacing the prior Articles of Confederation, which had bound the United States together as the nation’s first Constitution. We Americans live under America’s second Constitution, but the terms-of-reference in it are the same as for the document it replaced — the Articles of Confederation.

The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is very brief, and states, in its entirety: “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.”

The Articles of Confederation had said: “… every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.”

However, John Adams and others were disturbed to note that the “arms” in those “public stores” were insufficient; and, so, the drafters of the Constitution decided to allow the active members of each of any given state’s “well-regulated and disciplined militia” to use in his public official capacity within the militia, his own (privately held) “arms.” For example, Adams wrote to his wife, on 26 August 1777, “The militia are turning out with great alacrity both in Maryland and Pennsylvania. They are distressed for want of arms. Many have none, we shall rake and scrape enough to do Howe’s business, by favor of the Heaven.” What this meant regarding any possible foreign invaders who might want to invade and conquer the new nation, was dire for this new nation.

As the excellent Wikipedia article on this matter states: “A major concern of the various delegates during the constitutional debates over the Constitution and the Second Amendment to the Constitution revolved around the issue of transferring militia power held by the States (under the existing Articles of Confederation) to Federal control.”

The Second Amendment exists within that context — transferring, from purely local state-government control, to additional national U.S. government control, the existing, purely state-government “well-regulated and disciplined militia,” and doing it in such a way as to conscript, for this purpose, not only (as the Militia Act of 1792 was to express this matter formally) “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted)” but also those persons’ privately owned weaponry, or “arms.” The government was desperate for adequate armament, in order to be able to defend itself against any foreign invader, such as soon occurred in the War of 1812 when Britain invaded in order to re-subjugate the American people. And, the 2nd Amendment was therefore felt to be necessary, for those times.

Only government-controlled militias are referred to in the Second Amendment. This was a matter of protecting the government, not of providing self-appointed people the means with which to overthrow it. It was a matter of protecting democracy. Never were the militias private armies. Government control over them was always presumed when the term “militia” was being used in any legal sense. The NRA, Antonin Scalia, and others, have lied to deceive the American public to the contrary, but they all know the truth, because it’s right there, in the documents themselves, and stated very clearly.

My article “Las Vegas Massacre Proves 2nd Amendment Must Be Abolished” explains how it came to be that the liars have succeeded in changing the meaning of the Second Amendment so radically that, now, the “2nd Amendment Must Be Abolished.” What that sniper did in Las Vegas, on 1 October 2017, has transformed the American debate about “guns,” in such a fundamental way, so that, either the 2nd Amendment is to be repealed, “or else any entertainment-event or other event that attracts a mass of people, is an open invitation to anyone who wants to commit mass-murder — that the only access the law (the government) has in order to deal with such attacks is after-the-fact, once all of those murders and injuries have already been perpetrated. Nothing can be done in advance, so as to prevent any such attack.” Is a continuance of this situation tolerable to the American people? Or, instead, should the gun-question here now become: When is the 2nd Amendment to be repealed — how soon can it be done?

After that question becomes answered, the American people can begin to debate publicly the entire problem of identifying whom the deceivers had been, who had brought this nation to such a desperate situation, as this certainly now is. It can be a truth-and-reconciliation commission approach, or else a truth-and-punishment approach, but it will have to be done, in either case, so that this nation can move forward to a better future, no longer one that’s based on such horrendous lies, as have been perpetrated in this matter.

There can be no question, as to whether internationally the U.S. is extraordinary, or perhaps even unique, in its sufferance of such powerfully effective deceit, because the U.S. stands alone internationally, in its being in this situation. That, too, is proven clearly by the relevant evidence, which shows that the U.S. stands alone at the top among all nations in “Guns per 100 people”, and, also (except for the sole outlier, Mexico, which has both a relatively low gun-ownership and the world’s absolute highest “gun deaths per 100k people”) has the world’s highest “Gun deaths per 100k people” (after the number-one and total outlier, Mexico).

Clearly, America’s liars, in this case, have loads of innocent blood on their hands. The question now is whether the victims, both of the lies, and of the resulting multitude of injuries and deaths, will strike back, by rejecting the lies, and the liars. The only way to start that process, is by passing a new (and remarkably brief) U.S. Constitutional Amendment (of which we’ve now got 27): “The 2nd Amendment is hereby repealed.” That would be the start, of a very constructive process: restoring American democracy.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in 2008, poisoned the 2nd Amendment; and, as a consequence, the archaic and perennially contentious 2nd Amendment must now be annulled, so as to cleanse the U.S. Constitution of that long-archaic and counter-productive, but now outright toxic, part.

It was already gangrenous.

Now it must be removed entirely.

PS: Within just the first day of this having been published on October 5th, I received so many irrelevant objections to it in reader-comments, that there could be no doubt that the American public have been so effectively brainwashed by the NRA, Scalia, and others, so that anyone further who would think of posting a reader-comment here in response to the present article, should first click onto the link here (the last link in this article) at the words “in 2008” and then think through, very carefully, point-by-point, the argument there (which is an important precursor to this article), that’s presented against the key U.S. Supreme Court decision on guns (which was that one in 2008), which made private gun-ownership a U.S. Constitutional right, for the very first time, and did it by lying about the Constitution, as I there document. The name of that U.S. Supreme Court decision is stated there, and it links directly to that key decision, so that any reader of my article about it, can readily compare my statement about that decision, versus the actual text of the decision, and decide, for oneself, whether it is Antonin Scalia (who wrote that decision) or I (in my article about it), that is telling the truth about what the 2nd Amendment was understood to mean in its own era. Either Scalia was lying about the 2nd Amendment, or else I am. I am willing to respond here to further reader-comments if they address that U.S.  Constitutional issue, but I won’t waste further time replying to bot-minded reader-comments. I’ve had enough of that, by now.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • thomas h

    Horseshit. Show me how only letting the government have guns has ever made people free. You will fail spectacularly in that attempt.

    • Eric Zuesse

      You really want anarchy — no police at all?

      • Jason Walker

        Eric, I don’t think it’s an either or.

        I think what readers have been trying to convey is that whenever a government is untrustworthy, armed and violent, it behooves the citizenry to be armed, as well.

        Criminals will always have guns, so disarming the good hearted people doesn’t ever solve a problem.

        You do a lot of great work, and I appreciate your efforts. None of us are perfect, so just take a deep breath and sit back and look at the topic a while without identifying with any position and see what percolates.

        Love ya man. Keep up the good work.

        • cettel

          “Whenever a government is untrustworthy, armed and violent” refers to all governments, more or less, but is irrelevant to the question of the relationship between high incidence of private gun-ownership and high rates of “Gun deaths per 100k people” that my link documented.

          • sometime

            You, yourself are the one suckered. If you think the US Gov is obliged to, and morally so, go around the world, bombling 30 countries since the end of WW2, ( murdering tens of millions and yet ongoing) whom did not militarily threated the US, but it’s citizens having personal fire arms is a….How blatantly, bizarre is that…..Tis obvious to me your experience in living is to have been around the sunday school block…but a couple of times! ! !……you better get with the program of being real or stop writing….You Make No Sense What so ever. Damn, Man…this is the year 2017…and you want to throw out guns in the US, believing that will chill violence….when the problem is Violence….Not guns. To stop the violence, throw the US Military into the deepest part of the sea and leave it there..I am serious. The only people who would miss it are the people who line their pockets of taxpayers cash due to the military being there…AND no, the US would not be invaded by so and so…Countries around the globe would follow the US lead in getting rid of their own militaries…The central bankers of the world and the jews are the chief benefactors of a world tilting on exploding it self…..All the others alive are the victims…..WAR IS A RACKET . period

          • cettel

            That’s more irrelevancies. Many of the articles I write are exposing the evilness of neoconservatism (to “go around the world bombing 30 countries since the end of WW2″), but this ‘sometime’ thinks, somehow, that I myself AM a neoconservative. That person can’t do ad-rem, but only ad-hominem, ‘reasoning’, and doesn’t even know what relevance is.

            My article makes clear that it’s not about guns but about weapons, and laws, and government. But, evidently, ‘sometime’ doesn’t care what it’s about, and so focuses on”guns” and avoids entirely the article’s subject and the article’s evidence. Why do such people even read, at all? Is it only to find yet more ‘evidence’ to ‘support’ their existing beliefs?

          • sometime

            “…not about guns, but about weapons..” guns are weapons so your article is about guns…..
            Violence within America, is related to other violence within our country….If the US; Military is not violent…you better get off your meds. Get Rid Of It ( the us military) Write about our country without the Fed and without the US Military…both of them gone. If you will do that, you’re beginning to go around the block…other than the sunday school block….you will begin to inform the public of what real civilized culture is. How it’s possible to live in a positive world…rather than a world near to exploding itself….

          • thomas h

            To quote my linked article: Nations topping the list of gun homicides together with total homicides reveal little relationship between the number of guns per capita and actual violence. In fact, despite the immense amount of firearms in the United States, the United States has a relatively low homicide and gun-related homicide rate. This is why gun ban advocates often attempt to cite “gun related deaths” which includes accidents and suicide instead of citing gun-related homicides – even when advocating gun bans after high-profile mass shootings and murders.

            US firearms homicides are 3.6/100k.

          • sometime

            give em hell, here. This guy writer, is so full of bullshit…I think he stinks. To make it worse, he keeps getting in deeper in an attempt to convince readers that he can actually think…..He’s a sunday schooler. pure and simple…but has not lived out of that small cubby hole within….Damn…this web site should be able to provide articles of higher worthiness than this guy brings….

          • Nick Smegg

            No, they are 10.54/100k as compared to 0.23/100k in GB.Belgium was 1.82 and Germany 1.01. France was 2.82 and Japan was 0.06, Netherlands 0.58 and Portugal 1.58 . Can you see which is the odd one out?

          • thomas h

            Highest homicide rate on Earth goes to El Salvador with 108.64 murders per 100,000 people. The United States comes in at number 94 with a murder rate of 4.88 per 100,000 people. But you find 10.54 firearms homicides alone, by including suicides and accidents, which is intellectually dishonest.

            Do you see where you made your mistake?

          • Nick Smegg

            What is the source for that figure you quote of 4.88/100k. It’s just not true, so I suspect you mde it up. Unable to take too much reality, I guess.. My figure is accurate. The USA is way out of line among the civilised nations of the West.

          • thomas h

            Your numbers conflate firearms accidents and suicides with firearms homicides causing a higher homicide rate by all causes greater than homicide by any means. You can go to FBI/DOJ stats all day ling to prove you are retarded.

            Head check for you: Suicidal people with access to guns often use guns, especially males. This does not make the guns a sicietal danger. Suicides suicide. That is what they do.

          • thomas h


          • thomas h
          • Nick Smegg

            The Mint Press News article is flawed. In the case of Britain, for example, it looks at a very small category of weapons which basically only sports competitors held. It is little wonder that the homicide rate was unaffected by the (mistaken imo) ban in 1996. However, on the figures used by Mint Press, the stark divide between the US and the civilised world is clear.

          • thomas h

            The US is the civilized world and your double the actual murder rate firearms murder rate I have shown to be bullshit nine ways to sunday, as it conflates suicides and accidents. Gonna apologize for your conflation yet or do you have magic numbers on intentional homicide that the UN/DOJ/FBI know nothing of yet because they are not party to your fantasies?

            I have spent a LOT of time in Africa and Latin America. The USA is not particularly violent. We are more violent than the UK or Ireland, but that does not say much. Anders Breivik killed more people in Scandinavia in a period much greater than three minutes.

            If you want to worry about the USA, you might be better focused on the fact tgat, in 201 elective war and war-like actions, we have killed 20 million people since 1945. I am way more disgusted with that than a solitary murderer here and there, as you should be as well.

            Fellow Texas private gun owners did not do Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afganistan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, El Salvador, Columbia….

          • thomas h

            You may also find this of interest. I have lived all over in the states too, including Chicago twice and 3 times in Cali. Most of the US is VERY peaceful.


            I suppose any study that does not agree with your preconceived notions is flawed, or will you concede that you really do not know what you type about?

            I grew up in a gun culture gun world and still do not know anybody that murdered anybody. 48 years of being deeply involved in gun culture without knowing even one murderer.

            I used to have recreational light machine guns. Sold them as they burn ammo too fast. The only people they maybe killed were maybe fascists, when they were owned by the Royal Army and later Australian Army.

          • Nick Smegg

            Bullshit! A made up figure. Link to your source.

          • thomas h

            Scroll or, hell, for the retarded Iwill link again, dipshit.

            A link for the reading impaired:


          • thomas h
          • Army of Addicts

            So, do we just take it for granted that the US World Police Force is “just like any other government” in respect to violence?

      • Joel W

        Where do you get any advocacy of anarchism is his comment? And considering the state, throughout the whole of human history, has caused more pain, death & destruction than anything else, an anarchic society based on the Non-Aggression Principal most certainly cannot be worse. Maybe you should educate yourself on Anarchism in general, and more specifically Minarchism and/or AnarchoCapitalism before you make ignorant statements about an ideology you cannot understand. But based on all the articles of your’s I have read, you would crumble and cower in a society of truly unfettered liberty. No Alter of State to worship at. The horror.

        As for your police comment, the obvious false flag aside, it took police how long to respond to the incident? Over an hour (72 minute to be exact I believe). So yea, police are so damn helpful. When seconds count, police are minute (or hours) away.

        • Eric Zuesse

          Who, then, is to prohibit police and other government-officials from having guns and/or other forms of weaponry?

          • Joel W

            Well in a stateless society there is no government officials. Is that a difficult concept to understand?

      • thomas h

        I did not say that. I suggested a government monopoly on violence is not any kind of road to freedom. Try reading for comprehension.

        • cettel

          You are correct. You said “Horseshit. Show me how only letting the government have guns has ever made people free. You will fail spectacularly in that attempt.” I had overlooked your word “only.” Sorry about that.

          However, you misinterpret this article by implying that it favors “only letting government have guns.” It isn’t arguing for that. Please read it more carefully.

      • thomas h debunks your theory about guns making the US particularly violent, which it is not.

        • Eric Zuesse

          Oh, that old trick: comparing the U.S. to places like Honduras and El Salvador, instead of to other economically developed countries. In my article, I mentioned Mexico as the sole outlier only because it’s the sole one that’s within the OECD, but if you want to see comparisons instead with countries such as Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, etc., just look farther down that linked-to page, and you will see that broader comparison — which makes no sense at all, unless you want the U.S. to become a failed state or close to it.

          • sometime

            the US is today, a failed state. Stat’s or not. It has failed….big time. The list of it’s failures is so long I won’t go into it. The, against am law, bringing in of the Fed and then FDR’s horseshit did it to todays people living within the USA ….and here politically speaking the country attempts to crawl out of this monster trap… is and has failed …..troubles ahead abound….

          • thomas h

            Conflating in accidents, and the majority of fiearms deaths…SUICIDES…as “gun deaths” , as you did, is WAY MORE DISHONEST regarding the dangers of firearms in society than me pointing out states (failed or otherwise) with no lawful gun rights are exponentially more violent.

    • Nick Smegg

      Guns are not generally permitted in Britain and other European democrcies. 15,696 homicides per annum in the US as against 594 in the UK. The US has a population of 330 million and the UK 62 million. The difference is glaringly obvious. The US has five times the population and around thirty times the homicide rate.

      • sometime

        AND ?
        doesn’t mean get rid of guns!
        GET rid of violence as a solution to life’s every day problems…
        No collection of people, a society of people, can endure violence as a solution to problems…yet the US is unwilling to throw out the greatest provocateur of violence within ourselves and that is the US Military…Believe me. I have been there…..This US Military does not keep citizens of the US safe, just the opposite..It has bombed 30 countries after WW2, none of which presented a military threat to US….it has and still does to this day, murdered millions upon millions of innocents all around the globe…..and do I find you saying get rid of the US Military? NO…I’m saying that…and I’ve been there…Get rid of it. no we won’t be invaded by so and so..just the opposite. Other countries will throw out their own militaries….No People Anywhere wants the burden of enduring of and paying for a military…………………….Isn’t………….That …………..Clear?
        Christ man
        is … enough, enough?
        do you need your own property bombed also before your decide
        enough is enough?
        Nam was a horror…..
        and it’s yet going on with birth defects, water polluted, crop lands polluted and anxiety within the lives of many there who did survive the US….assult…the despicable Ken Burns with his hog wash bullshit, Gov propaganda film…shame on him…

        • Nick Smegg

          A lot of Brits know the difference in rates of violence and conclude that Americans are savages. Thye commit far more violence than Jihadis who know no English.

          • sometime

            absolutely…you are correct…
            Briton should never be a vassal state of the US but it is;;;;
            tell the citizens to turn away from the US…

          • MM59

            So not true.Many Brit and Aussie friends advise me to never let them take our guns

          • Nick Smegg

            You would be hard pressed to find anyone in Britain (except maybe a farmer) who would say that.

      • thomas h

        If you compare homicide rates and gnh cases, the UK is more violent. Cherrypicking “firearms homicides” is CHEATING.

  • kimyo

    Now it must be removed entirely.

    is it your view that americans can achieve this by voting? if so, how long do you estimate it will take?

    • Joel W

      2A can’t be repealed, amended, ignored, or whatever the tyrants want to do. But good luck getting the millions upon millions of guns already out there from us. I don’t care how many bullets DHS and various other illegal federal agencies have. Never gonna happen. There are 10 year old girls in Wyoming that are better shots than 99% of federal thugs.

  • Civis Americanus

    “Restoring [the] American Democracy” that never existed, eh?

    And how does repealing the Second Amendment restore a democracy we never had?

    And, if the US Constitution is a living document, why hold to the “original intent” Mr. Zuesse claims here? Our understanding of the Second has changed from that of the Founders.

    Of course, the twentieth century’s history of what governments have done when government has a monopoly on ownership of weapons gives us great cause for hope in Mr. Zuesse’s proposal. “Investigative historian”?

    • cettel

      Your assumption that the U.S. never was a “democracy” even in the limited sense that the Founders intended it to be, is very bad as an assumption, but if you can make a case for it in an article here, then please present it to the management, the blog’s owner, and if he thinks you’ve got a strong case there, he will publish it on your behalf, and I shall eagerly read it, and would be happy to comment upon it.

  • iseeit

    So we should just accept our fate, lube up, drop trouh..perhaps grimace and let these sociopath’s have their way?
    Your ‘critical thinking’ skills could use a serious tune-up.

    • cettel

      Your ad-hominem attack there is ‘evidence’ against precisely which specific factual allegation in my article here? Oh? Facts and logical reasoning from them, are unimportant to you, you care only about whether you like the person who states them?

  • jadan

    Were you alive and paying attention in February of 1970? You may recall that the well regulated militia of the state of Ohio gunned down its own citizens. When government is democratic and responsive to the will of the people, when it is government by and for the people and the people no longer fear it, then the 2nd Amendment will not be so relevant. Until then, only a fool will surrender to a government over which there is little or no popular control. In our oligarchy, ruled over by a loudmouth landlord oligarch you supported who pretended he was anti-establishment, government is held in check by the threat of an armed populace. You will notice that any attempt by citizens to form militia organizations is quickly crushed by a government that fears its people. You don’t have to be a militia per se, you can just be a weird cult like the Branch Davidians with guns in the basement and the government will put you down. But should government decide to impose its will on citizens by force, such as infringing upon the right to bear arms, these militias will form like they did for the Revolution. Americans are different. They demand individual freedom per the Declaration. They don’t trust their government because it is in the hands of special interests that care nothing for the rights of the small individual who hunkers down in his house the bank owns and feels more secure because he’s got some firepower in the closet. It is sad to live in such a place where too many people feel this way and mass murders happen on a regular basis, but repealing the 2nd Amendment isn’t going to help. Democracy is the only solution. When people feel in control and no longer fear their government, then they will lay down their arms. You’re not going to win any popularity contests.

    • cettel

      You start by citing the Kent State Massacre as being an invalidation of government. No anecdote, no matter how vile, can reasonably carry such weight as to affect political theory. Your assumption to the contrary is profoundly and blatantly false — in fact, stupid. Then you bring up the Branch Davidians event as being another such incident. I have no opinion regarding that incident. However, an undocumented allegation in the existing Wikipedia article “David Koresh” states: “Autopsy results reported that although the federal law enforcement personnel fired no shots that day, 20 people including five children under the age of 14 had been shot and a three-year-old had been stabbed in the chest.” Perhaps unlike you, I do not assume that the culpable side there was the Government instead of David Koresh. But, even if your assumption against the Government were true in that case, it wouldn’t affect political theory. Obviously, you don’t know this fact. And, by the evidence here of the way in which you ‘reason’, you’re strongly inclined to ignore it, and will continue to.

      • jadan

        Government has to be democratic if it is to be trusted. Kent State demonstrated failure of government, not the invalidation of it. You have an unwarranted trust in the federal government story of its slaughter of the Branch Davidian cult, and I suppose you believe the 911 fairy tale, too. You want to ignore these facts and diminish their importance by calling them anecdotes. There are many instances of government coercion of citizens on behalf of one faction or another in our history and this is just the way it has always been when government is not by and for the people. The story of this country is the story of police/military power suppressing the people on behalf of one oligarch or another, from the Whiskey Rebellion to Standing Rock. Like most journalists, you refer to this system as a democracy, when it never was and today is less democratic then ever.

        The federal government is consolidating its power down to the most local levels under the Patriot Act. There is universal surveillance. You’ve got a target on you, cettel. Your conversations are not private. You boast of your grasp of the facts and your objectivity, but bear in mind this is not your government. The government lies to protect itself. “National security” guarantees the unaccountability of government. You do not have the security clearance required to know the truth. Stop flattering yourself with fantasies of your x-ray vision that allows you to see through closed doors. This is not your government.

        • cettel

          This is Eric Zuesse, though the system sometimes posts “cettel” instead. I have posted many articles here documenting that, at least since 1981, this nation has not been a democracy but instead an oligarchy, a nation that’s ruled by its aristocracy. And I expose the rot and lies in their press, and the vileness of the invasions and coups that their Government of us perpetrates abroad, and the increasing inequality of wealth and of opportunity that it imposes upon all of us. So, ‘jadan’: what is your rant even about?

          • jadan

            It is about your idea that the 2nd Amendment should be eliminated. You acknowledge we have no democracy, yet you want to disarm the population anyway. Your man Trump is up there salivating over the prospect of using force against any convenient target and you want to make the American people even more vulnerable than they already are. That’s what my rant is about. I took the trouble to comment,so why don’t you read what I wrote?

          • cettel

            I have consistently criticized Trump, and he was never my “man Trump” but instead I was consistent in preferring my person Sanders, over everyone else in the contest. But this article isn’t about either Trump or Sanders or any other current politician but instead about the lies by Antonin Scalia and four other members of the U.S. Supreme Court in their 5-4 ruling in 2008 that in 1787 the phrase “the militia” (or most particularly “A well regulated Militia”) meant (both in common parlance and in the then-prevailing U.S. legal system and especially in the then-existing U.S. constitution, which was the Articles of Confederation) a privately organized and run body of men, instead of a publicly organized and run body of men, a branch of the state government.

          • jadan

            However “militia” was understood in 1787, I don’t see how that compels us today to dismiss the 2nd because a shooter commits a mass murder. You are too credulous to believe that denying the individual right to bear arms will prevent such things from happening. You don’t question the official explanation. You don’t consider that you are being manipulated through political terror. You don’t know how the secret intelligence agencies spend their black billions. You seem to think the 2nd is a corruption and that if we get rid of it, we can restore the democracy we once had in our halcyon days before Antonin Scalia.

            There never was genuine democracy in America. It has gradually become more democratic, though, and the right to bear arms has always been there, without being an issue. America lived on farms and everyone had guns and everyone knew how to use them. No one questioned the right to have guns.until the 20th. Lots of people shot lots of other people. So what? No one will say the American people are highly evolved spiritual beings. They killed all the Indians they could get away with killing, didn’t they? They enslaved black people and hung them from trees, didn’t they? The sheriff said the colored man with 50 bullet holes in him was the worst case of suicide he ever saw.

            And their government is worse than they are. It not only kills people in other countries with impunity, it also likes to kill its own people in the name of the greater good. And the people like to kill each other, also for the greater good. So it’s really dumb to say, take away the right of the people to bear arms. That won’t change the character of the oligarchy. You keep playing this tune at your own peril, you enlightened idealist.

          • Eric Zuesse

            You don’t mind the lies behind the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision. I do — very much. For judges to lie in order to change the Constitution terminates the Constitution. Our Constitution provides a terrific method for Amending it; that method has produced 27 Amendments. Lying U.S. Supreme Court judges changing it is treachery. It happened in District of Columbia v. Heller. And the solution to it now is to Amend the Constitution to eliminate that Amendment, which became archaic and harmful long ago and which those judges made toxic.

          • jadan

            The right of an individual to keep and bear arms in this country has not been questioned until the 20th Century so far as I know. As I said earlier, every home had its shotgun or deer rifle or six shooter, or all of them and then some. The 2nd seems to assert this right on the face of it, so if the court sets a legal precedent, based on common usage, I don’t see how you can say judges were lying.

          • Gary

            Cettel the phrase militia means the people you idiot. What do you think they mean by that phrase?

    • sometime

      Never lay down your arms…..they aren’t any problem….
      Never lay down your arms…..
      got it?
      because they are not the problem, nor the solution..
      Never lay down your arms…
      instead get rid of the US Military
      that’s right
      get rid of it.
      other countries will follow and all peoples everywhere will benefit.
      Keep the citizens arms
      get rid of the US Military

  • Joel W

    So the rest of the Bill of Rights applies to individuals, but for some reason the the Founders decided that 2A applies only to the state? Too much fluoride Eric? And if it applies to only the state, what does ‘shall not be infringed’ mean? Are you implying that the state might infringe upon itself its right to weapons? And to boot, you are using the CIAs WIkipedia as a source. High school students even know, or should know, that is not a valid reference source. Conveniently left this out you wannabe tyrant;

    “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”
    — George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on
    Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788

    The Militia Act of 1792 was AFTER ratification. You are entitled to your opinions, but you are most certainly not entitled to your own version of the truth.

    • cettel

      I neither said nor implied that the Militia Act preceded the Constitution’s ratification. Your point there isn’t relevant. But I clearly stated that it occurred sometime after ratification, when I said “the Militia Act of 1792 was to express this matter”. That’s what the phrase “was to” means. What is relevant is that the Militia Act of 1792 was a statement of, and reflected, the same time-period as that of the Constitution itself. You start by falsely reading what I clearly stated, and then you, in addition, falsely assume that there was some way in which the 3 years that separated the ratification of the Constitution from the passage of the Militia Act of 1792 contained circumstances which somehow place these two events into a different era from each other, for the purpose of understanding the meaning of the Second Amendment. You will therefore now have to either state clearly what you think to constitute such an intervening event that occurred between 1789 and 1792 to have been, or else you will have to recognize, for yourself, that you are both stupid (for having introduced both a miscomprehension and an irrelevancy) and a person who is so prejudiced regarding guns, as to be unreachable on the matter, by means of the combination of facts and logic. There are only those two options.

      • Joel W

        I never said you said anything. My post most certainly is not in response to anything you wrote. It is in response to the twisting of facts that the author is using.

        • Army of Addicts

          That IS the author. 🙂

          • Joel W

            I see. Was not aware of that. Well then I guess I did respond to him. And I stand by what I wrote. And this article nothing more than disinfo from someone who just doesn’t get it.

    • Nick Smegg

      The Tenth Amendment does not apply to states.

      • Joel W

        Did I say it that? I don’t see a single mention of 10A in my post. But 10A references the people, and the version I read many times mentions the individual states, not the ‘State’ as the collective.

        • Nick Smegg

          An individual state has sufficent powers to qualify as “The State.”

          • Joel W

            At the time the Constitution was written, the individual states were nothing close to the concept of the collective ‘State.’ At that time the individual states were essentially sovereign nations, each with their own Constitutions that actually meant something, and the collective ‘State’ aka the federal government, had severely limited powers, which are still to this day explicitly outlined in the Constitution, but ignored. The State mainly was in existence to raise an Army ONLY in the time of war (our standing Army is blatantly un-Constitutional) and to regulate interstate commerce ie make sure of individual state isn’t doing things such as laying tariffs on one state but giving favor to another, among a very, very few specific things.

      • GwendolynMDelaney

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      • Person223

        Bogus argument. A right which only prevents the federal government from infringing it but allows states to infringe the right all they want is not a right but a privilege to be be granted or taken by government at will. Your take, if true, would provide no true protection of our individual rights.

  • Army of Addicts

    So, by getting rid of the 2nd Ammendment, we would be “protecting democracy”, I guess.

    I would be more amicable to this idea if the police were stripped off their guns and we had guarantees that the military would never set foot in our communities.

    But that’s a pipe dream.

    • Eric Zuesse

      So: your “pipe dream” is to strip the guns from the police and allow guns only for suspected criminals; and what type of legal system would that be? But my article doesn’t even say that guns are the problem. Why can’t people respond to the evidence that’s cited, and to the argument in which it has been organized-presented? Are most people utterly lacking in the most-basic level of intelligence?

      Now, as regards reducing police use of guns, down to the level that’s found in, for example, UK
      that would be a good thing to do, if the U.S. didn’t have such an enormously higher level of private gun-ownership, as we are cursed with. But, like I said, guns aren’t the problem. The problem is liars, such as the NRA and Scalia who deceive bot-minds such as the commenters here, to think that the Founders believed that private ownership of “arms” (of all types) is an absolute personal right, instead of a matter that was and should remain under the control by and of the government. My argument is against liars, not against armaments — and least of all against guns. But I do recognize that the gun-manufacturers and the executives in the NRA are profiting enormously from those lies. They are the people who sucker you; they are the people who have made you their mental slave. Yet, you willingly stay their slave.

      • sometime

        you still don’t get it. Do you….dig yourself a deeper grave….better still, become a writer who can illicit articles which uplift the reader rather than the opposite…your so called facts are not that. and also…I’m more inclined to think…you’re an around the sunday school block a couple of times person and that’s why you don’t connect to reality as it truly is…Hey, I’ve been there…and guns ain’t the problem….
        Thinkers as yourself are the problem…..
        Go to war for awhile, I mean truly go there and then and if you get back you can personally call me on the phone and I will listen….cause you’ll be a changed person, writer or not…

        • cettel

          My background isn’t the issue here, the meaning that the 2nd Amendment had at the time of this nation’s Founding, is. Secondarily, I cite current statistics as indicating their wisdom in that meaning.

          • sometime

            I’m not attempting to belittle you….Nothing is followed by exactness…Nothing. In any countries history!…So the USA also….and anyway. What’s the point of even talking about the 2nd Amd? Who gives a rats ass….it had nothing to do with violence within the US in my lifetime and I’m 72 yoa…and survived Nam which had every thing to do in my lifetime……go and become a part of a war….and oh, You Won’t…I know…
            well then, get your imaginative hat on and understand that violence is perpetrated by Armies including within our US….9/11 and suppose you think this was an act of hillbillies from the middle east! If you are that ignorant of The World…today, then I will have to stop talking to you……………..I’m exhausted you come across as a moron yet I doubt that you are that,,,

          • cettel

            All of your comments say nothing, except about you and me. They are all irrelevant to this article.

          • sometime

            then if that’s the case
            have the site editors throw your article out…..
            cause you’ve said nothing… the article being put here
            also this web site is in need of material galvanizing it’s relevance to todays news…the people running the site are not on the ball…

          • sometime

            you are the article….you wrote it? or not? guess you didn’t . you’re a commentator instead….who wrote this anyway???
            dumb and dumber….

      • sometime

        I just want to shout. You horseshit bullshitter….you know where I was placed In the US Army? US Army Military Police….that’s where US56639487 is who I am…get off your high horse and be a real person……………maybe that’s not possible…

      • Army of Addicts

        This is a very important issue for many Americans, and tolerating the lies almost seems a necessary part of protecting their ability to own a gun. Sad but true.

        Whether owning a gun is a right or not, many think that it is. And if that supposed right is going to be jeopardized, don’t they at least have a right to have a say in how it’s all going to go down?

        Do people think they have a chance to be involved in that process to any significant degree? I don’t think so. So, the
        liars are their insurance policy.

        This country is not up to the task.

  • hyperbola

    The US Supreme Court has said that Zuesse is wrong. He will remain wrong until that decision is reversed.

    From The Supreme Court Decision
    The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home…..

    There is much better information/discussion about this decision/issue here:
    Surprising to see that Washingtons Blog censors comments that suggest the whole basis of Zuesse’s arguments is misleading. Censored yesterday.

    Another Mass Shooting, Another Grab For Guns: 6 Gun Facts
    Nothing is more deplorable than hijacking human tragedy to push an unrelated political agenda. A mass murderer taking the lives of some 60 people in Las Vegas this week has nothing to do with the majority of lawful firearms owners in the United States who aren’t and have no intention of ever killing another human being…..
    ….. Upon examining the following 6 facts, we will see that access to firearms has no significant relationship to violence – and that violence is driven by another entire set of factors that must be addressed if we honestly want a more peaceful and prosperous world.

    1. According to the FBI, more people die of barehanded assaults in the US per year than all rifle violence (“assault rifles” included) combined. In fact, homicide via personal weapons like hands and feet is more than double homicides carried out with rifles. …..
    …… Concluding Thoughts
    All 6 facts tell us that violence is driven by socioeconomic factors, not access to firearms. If firearms drove violence, the United States would be by far the most violent nation on Earth, followed by Serbia – they are not. The UK and Japan would have roughly the same rate of homicides – they do not.
    If you truly care about a more peaceful world, address the root causes of violence – which is clearly, obviously not access to weapons. Those who intentionally stir hysteria and prey on the emotions of well-meaning people to push issues like gun control have ulterior motives – and coincidentally allow all of the actual factors that drive violence – socioeconomic disparity and destitution – to continue or even expand.

    Mass shootings are not growing in frequency, experts say

    …. Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century. Chances of being killed in a mass shooting, he says, are probably no greater than being struck by lightning….

  • hyperbola

    Marilou Danley is Pulling a Marina Oswald on Us

    …… People don’t understand the gun-grabbing push that is behind the American Gladio campaign. The real one. Not the phony one being sold to fans of folks like Rush or Di$info Jone$.
    Let me explain it for you.
    They don’t want to take everyone’s guns. Don’t be ridiculous. What they want is to set up unelected boards in every state where they will assess your social media footprint or your emails or your letters to editors or your protest history, things like that, and make a determination as to whether or not you can be trusted with a gun.
    It doesn’t matter if it’s a weapon you intend to purchase or ones you already own.
    They want to evaluate you to decide if you have the right… to your rights…..
    …… Folks are going to be more accepting of “common sense” gun control under Trump especially since they decided to target a bunch of their own at a country music festival. Yes, passing legislation mandating various scanning equipment in hotels, colleges and high schools is part of it but it’s not ALL of it.
    There is so much to this it’s hard to explain in one brief article. Not only do you have the element of being separated from your constitutional rights by an arbitrary decision made by unelected hacks but, when it starts… what is going to happen? The decision will be made based on numbers of criteria like your internet footprint for instance. So that means everything you type or say online will factor in… so people will start self-censoring.
    Also consider the fact that once ONE constitutional right can be taken from you due to what you say and do online becomes the norm… how long before another right can be taken from you? And then another and another?…..

  • Bob

    I don’t mind if you don’t believe Americans have the right to own guns. There are lots of people who believe that. The ironic thing is the only way to take my guns away from me is by using a gun, which you would probably think is OK.

  • Beverly Larkwood

    Here is something to consider by those who feel their guns, especially military assault weapons, will give them an edge in defending themselves against the government.

    Do you remember the incident in Southern California a few years ago that involved an ex soldiers who was rejected by a police department as officer? He decided to get even and started to shoot police officers. Ultimately he ended up in Big Bear where a stand off took place. That was when police used some advanced tools for the first time. The suspect did not survive despite being excellent military and having assault rifles.

    Why do you think the police is now militarized with surplus material from the wars? We saw what they put on display at Standing Rock. An AR-15, AK 47, etc. is no match for a heavily armored truck with a 50 cal. machine gun turret or a drone with a Hellfire missile.

    Anyone who thinks they can challenge our totalitarian government to a shoot out at the Ok Corral will find themselves on the losing side. Check the National Defense Authorization Act. The military can now be mobilized to deal with civil unrest. There must be smarter ways to deal with our totalitarian government.

    • Sui-juris Dave

      Quoting the Declaration of Independence: “That whenever any Form of

      Government becomes destructive of [the unalienable, natural rights of
      life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness], it is the Right of the
      People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government… it
      is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to
      provide new Guards for their future security.”

      Can you leftist/progressive/social-democrats please explain just how the Hell
      abusive government can be altered or abolished, if the citizens are
      disarmed? Obviously no one envisions just one person or 100 people or even 1,000 armed people, standing-up to the government. But 100,000—? That’s certainly doable. Shouldn’t California be able to secede if its citizens choose to do so? Wouldn’t firearms in their possession make that viable? Compare that to the Spanish province of Catalan, which has voted to secede, but lacks the tools to make it happen (we’ll see what happens on Monday).

    • jadan

      That way is called guerilla war, unconventional war. It is wrong to think that the US government is totalitarian. If it were, there would be no guns available to the people. Standing rock was a non-violent protest. You don’t go head to head with Goliath. An armed populace is a credible threat to tyrants. Big Brother curbs his enthusiasm and works through subversion. This article serves that purpose. This mass homicide could also be a part of the strategy. Popular gun ownership remains a credible threat to tyranny today just as it was in 1776.

  • Sui-juris Dave

    Who cares what some parchment from 240 years ago states? Parchment, I would add, that barely obtained enough delegates’ votes in those states that did ratify it (and obviously, not voted on by the people at the time, and it goes without saying not voted on by today’s citizenry). It’s logical, that if one owns his own body and has a right to his own life (which each individual does, we’d all agree), then one has the concomitant right to protect that body and life—i.e. the right (not license, not government-granted privilege) of self-defense. And logically, the right of self-defense (or defense of another person) would include the right to weapons that government gangs—certainly their infantryman soldiers, their police—have access to. Government people aren’t giving-up their guns, ever…so why should non-government people do so?

  • thomas h

    68% of US murders occur in 5% of US counties. Counties with strict gun laws and low rates of firearms ownership.

    “The worst 1 percent of counties have 19 percent of the population and 37 percent of the murders,” the nonprofit research organization divulged. “The worst 5 percent of counties contain 47 percent of the population and account for 68 percent of murders.”

  • Neil S

    Eric, the Declaration of Independence, which stated the bases for the colonies to create their own states, says that each person has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Its signers understood these as natural rights, rights that are inherent in man. They can be neither granted nor taken away by the state; the state can only acknowledge or violate these rights (setting aside of course cases where the individual is being denied liberty because they were convicted of a crime). The right to life includes the right to defend one’s life by whatever means necessary. We know that the police cannot prevent a criminal act; by the time they arrive the act has already happened. So only the individual and those nearby can prevent it. In many instances, a firearm is the most effective means, or even the only means, to defend one’s self. Can you argue against any of this?

    The Second Amendment, worded as it is, has two opposing interpretations. But let’s set aside the meaning of the amendment. The Ninth Amendment says “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The right to defend one’s self is not in the Constitution, but it is certainly one retained by the people.

  • MM59

    “My article “Las Vegas Massacre Proves 2nd Amendment Must Be Abolished” explains how it came to be that the liars have succeeded in changing the meaning of the Second Amendment so radically that, now, the “2nd Amendment Must Be Abolished.”

    This article is crap. Why? Because you wrongly believe that our guns laws are the problem.

    Please review Mexico gun laws and Mexico’s cartel gun problems, just as one example. Mexico has the kind of gun laws you want here, but somehow that doesn’t stop the drug cartels, please explain why?

    Las Vegas massacre was most likely orchestrated by rogue government units – let’s discuss Operation Northwoods where are authorized military decides when it is appropriate to stage events to get the public to accept military intervention in another country’s business. Would you like yo opine on Operations Northwoods?

    For those that believe our guns will do any good against these rogue military psychopaths – please start researching “directed energy weapons”. We are outmatched.

  • Silverado

    His PS means he can dish it out but he can’t take it either. My 2nd Amendment rights are written in stone and were backed up by the SCOTUS and that’s all he needs to be concerned with. WhoTF does he think he is to come in here at this stage of the game with such nonsensical…ideas? Eliminate the 2nd Amendment?? That sounds like something that whack job Maxine Waters would want.

  • Gary Youree

    I truly doubt that if our government openly turns on us, starts rounding up those deemed subversive by the tools of the NSA, any hand weapons will do any good but become a target for drones. If FEMA, the military, ISIS, or whomever is used to subdue resistance to the status quo comes after the non-ignorant the collateral damage will be ignored as it is everywhere else, and hand weapons, automatic or not, will do us any good.
    Personally I would limit gun ownership to long guns, of any amount, only.
    In an open war concealed weapons are useless – and in our society – useful only for illegal purposes.

    Regardless of the weapon used, 50 people or 1 lone motorist, it all comes down to the mind behind the gun – not the gun. That said, the idea that more guns will be a deterrent to mad shooters, lone gunmen or the police, is absurd.
    As prevelent as guns are already in this country anything close to a repeal of the second amendment would be as useless as prohibition.