36. What Is The Second Amendment?

In previous episodes, Connor and Brittany have talked about the Bill of Rights and how important it is to protecting us against governments that try to infringe on our rights. Today we talk about the Second Amendment included in the Bill of Rights, the right to bear arms.

Links:

Terms:

  • Democide: death by one’s own government

 

Here is the transcript of our conversation:

 

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: Hey, Connor.

Connor: So I’m a gun guy. Are you a gun gal?

Brittany: I Am a gun gal.

Connor: All right. Well, I have many guns. I used to be a boy scout back in the day. My dad was our scoutmaster. He would take us boys shooting a lot, both as Boy Scouts and also me and my brothers. We have four boys in my family, and I’m the oldest, so we’d go shooting a lot. So I thought today we could talk about the Second Amendment and the Second Amendment. As you know, Brittney gets a lot of attention. However, I don’t think a lot of people could quote maybe verbatim what the Second Amendment actually says. Myself included.

Brittany: I was gonna say I don’t think I could. I know words, like certain words, but I couldn’t say the whole thing,

Connor: So of course when we say the Second Amendment, what do we mean by that? We mean it’s the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. This is part of the Bill of Rights. And we’ve talked in a past episode about how, They said, Oh, we’ve got the Constitution. It only gives the government certain powers. And then there was a group of people who are like, No, we wanna limit things even more. We wanna be very explicit. And Brittany, I say my prayers every day, and I say thank you to those people who did the Bill of Rights, because, without it, we’d be in a lot of pain. And so the Second Amendment was one of them, and perhaps is one of the more important ones.

And here’s what it says, and then we can talk about it so that the text of the Second Amendment says a well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. So bear arms, we’ve seen funny cartoons. Yeah, People holding a bear arm that they ripped off of a bear. It’s not actually bear arms, that’s bear firearms. So that’s another word for the gun, a firearm. So it’s bearing firearms, it’s holding, it’s using, its, yeah. Possessing a gun. So it’s saying the right of the people to keep and use guns shall not be infringed upon. And why shall it not be infringed? Because it’s necessary. A well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state. Let me throw this at you, Brittany. What does it mean? A free state? If it’s necessary for a free state, What do you suppose that means?

Brittany: A free state, I would just say for us to continue to live in the liberty that was intended when our Bill of Rights and our Constitution were drafted and signed. But to that, I think that can mean different things to different people. I have heard people who don’t like guns say that means that you have the right to not live in a place with guns. So freedom. It is an interesting line. I’m interested that you picked that line because it kind of has different meanings to different people, doesn’t it?

Connor: Yeah. I think from everything I’ve read, the founders would very clearly articulate the argument or say that a free state means a government of the people elected by their representatives that they protect their rights, a constitutional republic not a democracy. That we have a free state. In other words, a government that preserves our freedom. And so as you look at all the people who were advocating for the Constitution and for the Bill of Rights, in particular, I think unanimously if not almost all of them said basically exactly this and why? Well, of course, they had just gotten done fighting a revolution against

Brittany: Their government.

Connor: Against their own government, the most powerful government we might add in the entire world at the time, which those people had to have been crazy to take that on. And yet they did. But how did they do it? Well, it’s because they all had muskets, they all had guns, and they could defend themselves. So let me ask you this, Brittany when we’re talking about preserving our freedom, can you preserve freedom from an oppressive government without weapons?

Brittany: Absolutely not. That is my final answer. I don’t think there’s even any room for debate on that. One

Connor: Episode concluded. So that’s interesting, right? Because guns, we think about guns a lot, are weapons, firearms, and so forth in the context of keeping us safe from burglars, right? Bad guys who wanna come into our home. And that’s all well and good. Absolutely right. That happens. And people regularly routinely protect themselves from bad people. But what happens when bad people are in the government? What happens when it’s the government coming to take over your rights? I watched a documentary that is probably not so much for the kids, but maybe the adults would be interested in Netflix, the documentary Waco, right? About the events at Waco. And if you’re gonna watch it, just prepare to hate your government a little more than you already do.

Brittany: Scary. It’s so scary.

Connor: And there’s a line in there, I don’t think it’s a spoiler, so I’ll go ahead and share it. But there’s a conflict between the government that’s just trying to punish and punish and punish these people. And then you’ve got these religious people who have some would say strange beliefs or whatever, but they’re trying to do their thing. And Khoresh the leader is kind of an odd duck. And so the problems happen and happen and happen. And pretty soon there’s a firefight, there’s a shootout that ensues between the two different groups. And you’ve got the followers of Khoresh feeling like they’re defending their home and their families. They’re being attacked by their own government. And there’s one line in there where someone shouts, What do they say? I think they say, Call the police or call for help. I think that’s what it was. It’s like, call for help. And the guy responds and says, Who do you call when it’s your own government?

Brittany: That always gives me chills.

Connor: Right? And it’s one of many examples we could share. And so it’s a really interesting question. We think about Second Amendment and guns in terms of keeping us safe. Or some people say hunting, even though I don’t see the word hunting anywhere in the Second Amendment. They specifically, you gotta think, these were the founders that just fought off a government. It wasn’t about some bad guy trying to steal their gold coin from under their bed. They very much had in mind when they wrote this, being able to keep a strong government in check. And I gotta thank Brittany, and I want your input here that whether it’s a foreign government like China or Russia or someone that wants to invade America, or even the American government wanting to control people and take away more of our rights, I gotta think that the fact that so many people own guns, that becomes a bit of a, I’m gonna use the word deterrent. That’s a fancy word. It’s a deterrent, meaning it deters or stops the government or the other person from wanting to do something. A deterrent is like a wall, an obstacle to deter someone from the action. And so having all these guns is a deterrent for a tyrant, a dictator bad government from restricting our rights. What are your thoughts?

Brittany: Oh, absolutely. In fact, I’m gonna get this country wrong, so I’ll maybe link it in the show notes after. But in World War ii, there was only one country that Hitler, the bad guy of World War II didn’t invade. And the reason he did not invade it was because the citizenry all had guns and it wasn’t in his best interest. This isn’t in Europe. I mean, one of the only countries in Europe, he didn’t invade but that was his main reason. And there, there’s a whole book written about it, which I’ll try to find and link down in the show notes that basically talks about that. That was his whole premise is he said, how we would be so silly to go into a country where everybody’s armed because we’re not gonna be able to take over. They’re gonna shoot us. So I think absolutely it deters or deters bad governments and bad people from wanting to go mess with anybody with a weapon, but especially a gun.

Connor: Yeah, I think that’s so important. And so that’s the second amendment. There’s a saying, I’ve often heard that the Second Amendment is what guarantees the first that the First Amendment, as we talked about, free speech and being able to worship where you want and affiliate with who you want. And there are governments in past world history and even currently today that do not respect people’s religious choices or their free speech and let them protest or publish or read whatever they want. There are governments currently that control these things for their citizens. And so the idea that the Second Amendment guarantees, the first is that having firearms, having the ability to stop a bad guy, even a bad guy in government is what helps defend our rights, including the right to free speech and religious freedom and free association with the people you wanna hang out with.

And so, it’s very interesting to think of how important that is. Now, Brittany, I’m gonna throw kind of a curve ball at you that I get from a lot of people and I wanna see how you respond. Some people say, Well, that the government like you, silly people. You think the Second Amendment is about having guns to fight your own government, but the government has nuclear weapons and helicopters and grenade launchers and automatic rifles, and the citizenry doesn’t have any of that. So it’s silly to think that the Second Amendment is about keeping your government in check. How do you respond?

Brittany: Well, they are silly for a few reasons. One we already know it has, that’s why we’re a country. So we saw it happen. Maybe they didn’t have those other things. Then the other thing is, you and I have talked about this, the Bill of Rights was not written for the people, It was written for the government. And what I mean by that is, yes, it was by the people, but it was written to restrain the government to stop the government from infringing on our rights. It wasn’t written to tell people what they had the right to do or what they didn’t have the right to or what they do with the right to do. Excuse me. So that argument’s always been silly to me because here you have a whole document where all 10 of the amendments are things government can’t do, and then all of a sudden people wanna say, Well, nope, not the second one. That one is different. That one’s just no guns. So that’s always been a little bit confusing to me, cuz we already know that that’s what the purpose is of this document. Or sorry, Buildings.

Connor: Yeah, yeah, that’s right. And just because the government might have more powerful weapons does not mean that it’s wrong for people to have firearms or that there may never be a time, Imagine 20 years from now, let’s say things get really bad and there’s a civil war or there’s another revolution, or who knows what, right? But just imagine with me, and there’s plenty of dystopian fiction out there that shares examples of these things, and just because the government has nuclear weapons and missiles and all kinds of crazy stuff, doesn’t mean they would actually use it against people, or it doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be some citizens or people in the military who have access to those things, who wouldn’t then be on the side of the Patriots against the government. You can’t predict how those things are gonna go. You No, but definitely nuclear weapons and stuff, it gets pretty crazy to think that if the government ever wanted to use it against its own, people. However, there’s a word I wanna share, Brittany and I wanna bring it up because it’s a perfect example of what we’re discussing. The importance of having firearms, the importance of protecting yourself to maintain your freedom. It’s a word called demo side. D E M O C I D E side involves death like suicide or homicide. But the demo aside is very different. So pop quiz, Brittney, have you ever heard of that term before?

Brittany: I’ve heard of it, but I dunno what it means.

Connor: So democide is death by your own government. Think of democracy, right? Democracy plus homicide is democide. And in the 20th century alone, I don’t have the statistic pulled up, I wrote it in one of my books, but it’s staggering. Tens of millions of people were killed in the 20th century, which means all of the 19 hundreds by their own government, not a foreign government in the war, although plenty of people died that way. Not homicide by just a random murderer or getting hit by a car. This is death by your own government. You look at like communist regimes, especially what’s happening right now in several countries as well. The government can just exterminate you. It’s happening. And I always pronounce it wrong, Brittany, maybe in China. The Uyghurs, I think is how you pronounce it.

Brittany: I can’t pronounce it either. I know what you’re saying, but I can’t.

Connor: Yeah, They’re this Muslim community in China, and they are basically being exterminated right now by their own government because they believe differently. Of course, in North Korea, there are other countries and why can they get away with it? Well, of course, they know that these people, they’re like Plato, totally malleable. In other words, they can be manipulated and pushed around and changed, and the people can’t fight back. They don’t have guns, they don’t have weapons. They can form no resistance. So it goes to, these things don’t always happen, but they can happen. And that’s really scary to show what happens when you don’t have the ability to defend yourself. But it also suggests the importance of making sure that we can and do defend ourselves so that we never get to that point.

Brittany: I think it is also a matter of there’s a quote, what is it? An armed society is a polite society. And I think that kind of relates to the government too. They’re going to probably treat us a little better if they know that if things really get bad, we are armed. And not that it should have to come down to that, but again, an armed society is a polite society, so it kind of keeps us in check.

Connor: I think that’s exactly right. And this whole episode is reminding me that I actually need to clean my guns. It’s been a while since I oiled and cleaned them, so I’ve got some on my to-do list. Look, not everyone is a gun person and that’s totally fine. Some people are scared of ’em or don’t wanna handle ’em. But broadly speaking, generally speaking, it is important to make sure that we have the tools of defense, not only, again, some potential bad guys but against our own government if it ever got to that point. As scary as it may sound, we’ve been there before and a lot of people are dealing with it around the world right now. So the Second Amendment is super important. Super important Part of the Bill of Rights, part of the Constitution. Kids’ gun safety, of course, is super, super important.

But perhaps you can ask your parents to take you down to a local gun range and take a little class or get a little lesson and better learn how to properly use these things. They should be treated with respect. You should absolutely be safe and make sure that an adult is helping you at all times. But I have taken my kids shooting and we teach them the proper use of these weapons and we ’em locked up in a safe and make sure that we’re taking proper precautions, but that we do have those tools there in case they’re ever needed. So a fun conversation between a gun guy and a gun gal. I guess we’ll leave it at that point. Brittany, thanks for chatting.

Brittany: Talk to you next time

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