Someone shared this article with me called “NEW DISCOVERY: First Half of the 2nd Amendment” which asserts that the first half of the 2nd Amendment (which they’d never seen before) proves that the 2nd Amendment applies to the militia.
The Bill of Rights have been around for almost 220 years and this is a “new” discovery? I love satire sites, I really do… The problem with satire sites is that many don’t realize it’s satire…
At any rate, I decided to take the opportunity to explain, a bit, how the Amendment is written and why.
A simple lesson in commas explains it very well.
Commas are used for many things. The two that come into play here are when listing things and framing clauses.
Let’s break it down.
The 2nd Amendment reads:
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 list of things it’s separating are the the militia and the right of the people. The clause is the explanation of why the militia is necessary.
If you remove the clause you get:
A well regulated Militia, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
However, if you remove the clause, it looks weird. You can make it a better sentence – prettier – by putting in the word ‘and’.
A well regulated Militia, [and] the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
But, the writers of the Bill of Rights wanted to clarify that a militia is needed to keep our states secure. It could be written to mean the same thing using parenthesis, but it just wouldn’t be as pretty and neat…
A well regulated Militia (being necessary to the security of a free State) and the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
People say that the right of the people bearing arms was to arm the militia, but since we have the military – the people no longer need to be armed. The military is, so we no longer need to be, but it’s two different things in the Amendment – not related. The military has no bearing on the right to bear arms.
If you know anything about history and when these were written, an explanation to why we were given this right isn’t really necessary – but an explanation as to why owning a firearm makes sense shouldn’t be necessary either and well…