What does the Second Amendment mean?
The Second Amendment is a superfluous restraint on federal power. Congress does not have the power in Article 1, Section 8, or anywhere else in the Constitution, to pass gun laws or to abridge the right of the people to keep and bear arms. As with the First Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment was put in place as a fail safe. If Congress tried to regulate, confiscate or pass any kind of gun law, the Second Amendment would serve as backup protection to explicitly bar Congress from doing so.
However, the power to control or regulate guns and other firearms is reserved to the state governments, subject to their respective state constitutions. Theoretically, state governments could completely disarm their citizens since the Second Amendment (and the entire Bill of Rights) does not apply to the state governments.
Second Amendment Protects an Individual or Collective Right?
People like to debate whether the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, or whether the Second Amendment merely references a collective right to keep and bear arms that belongs to the state militias (today’s state national guard). Some people even try to draw distinctions between hunting, self-defense and the right of revolution. These are meaningless debates because there is no correct argument either way. The Second Amendment is a superfluous restraint on federal power. The Second Amendment did not change the original Constitution one bit. The Second Amendment merely reinforces the logic of the Enumerated Powers structure. Without the Second Amendment, it is implicit that Congress has no power to pass gun laws. The Second Amendment made it explicit that Congress has no power to pass gun laws.
United States Supreme Court’s Misinterpretation of the Second Amendment
In modern times, the Supreme Court hears cases and attempts to divine the meaning of the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court, political pundits, and some in the general public indulge in these meaningless debates as to what this amendment really means.
How do you determine what substantive rights are guaranteed by a legal provision written as a superfluous restraint on federal legislative power? Answer: You either get out a Ouija board or you decide based on your arbitrary personal preferences. These politically connected lawyers that we refer to as, “Supreme Court Justices,” are making things up as they go. “Conservative” Justice Antonin Scalia will talk about “original intent” and decide more closely with pro-gun advocates. “Liberal” Justice Sonia Sotomayor will side with anti-gun advocates. But in the end, their decisions have nothing to do with the plain and long uncontested meaning of the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights.
Federalism – Gun Control Reserved to the State Governments
Under the current deformed state of the law, both Congress and federal judges have usurped the power for people to govern themselves at the state and local level. Matters such as gun control were supposed to be decided under state constitutions and state law. Congress has passed numerous gun laws over the years. None of these laws are Constitutional since Congress was never delegated the power to pass gun laws.
Constitutional Amendment Required for Federal Intervention
If Americans believe the federal government should be the body to control and regulate guns, that objective would have to be achieved through a constitutional amendment pursuant to Article 5. To achieve this end, two-thirds of both houses of Congress must ask for the power, and three-fourths of the states must delegate that power. Absent this course, the federal government has no constitutional authority to pass any law pertaining to guns.
United States Constitution – Second Amendment
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.