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Bri_L's avatar

Should the 2nd amendment be updated to reflect the unforseen change in technology?

Asked by Bri_L (12176points) March 21st, 2008

It was written in a time when the need to form a sudden melitia for the protection of self, settlement, state and country might be needed. Those were not exaclty the type of guns we have now.

Does the type of gun matter I guess is my point?

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27 Answers

Spargett's avatar

I think law abiding citizens should be allowed to protect themselves, their family, and their property from other who wish ill intent.

I won’t get too deep into this, but it’s pretty much proven that gun control does nothing but create an illusion of safety, and disarm law abiding citizens. The problems related to gun crime do not revolve around the gun, they revolve around much deeper social issues, which are much to openly talk about and harder to tackle.

Canada has way more guns than the US, with only a fraction of the gun crime. Switzerland requires each on of it’s citizens to be trained and keep an assault rifle, yet gun crime is completely none existent. I could go on and on with examples proving that it has nothing to do with the gun, it’s the people.

Even if we completely get rid of guns, people will still kill each other with other weapons. Most of the largest massacres in Africa were carried out with machetes. My friend from Fiji (which outlawed guns) says there are just as many murders in Fiji, except people are hacked and stabbed to death instead of shot.

So again, I don’t think people should be able to have flame throws, mini guns, or rocket launchers, but they should be able to keep “reasonable” arms for both sport, recreation, and self defense.


Bri_L's avatar

@ squirbel – thanks! that is an intresting thread!

@ Spargett – I was aware of those same facts and was surprised to find myself thinking the same thing for the first time ever.

thanks for the input.

cwilbur's avatar

Start the amendment process if you think it should.

Bri_L's avatar

@ cwilber wow that was useless. I could rack up 2548 stars to if I had input like that.

squirbel's avatar

cwilbur wrote a more detailed explanation saying the very same thing in the question thread linked above. Repeat questions take more effort to answer the same way.

Bri_L's avatar

squirbel – your right and I read that to.

cwilbru – sorry , bad day. very, very bad day. It may be my right to be an ass but I dont like being one. sorry.

winblowzxp's avatar

If you take away the right to bear arms, then you have no militia.

rob's avatar

Should the first amendment be changed to reflect the changes in technology? There’s been a lot more change in the technology associated with the first amendment than the second. I think the meaning is still the same even if technology has changed. It is meant as a means of protection from enemies, both personally and as a nation. Technology changes for enemies just the same and we should be afforded the same resources to protect ourselves. Concealed Carry is one way to protect ourselves with the current technology and hasn’t caused us to go back to the wild wild west. It’s just a current method of protection afforded us by the second ammendment.

ArchaicLion's avatar

The ATF does actually decide if the gun matters. If you want to split hairs a modern auto-loader is much more advanced than what our forefathers would have been familiar with. But there are many regulations concerning the specifications of firearms that can be built, purchased, carried or used. An example is the .50 that you see in all the movies. It does not shoot .50 ammunition (it uses .50 AE) because the actual bore would be larger than .50 in order for the bullet to travel through .50 rifling, making it an illegal handgun (over .50). Magnum Research imported true .50’s originally and they were turned back for modification to comply with federal law. In more recent times there have been advancements in sintered ammunition, where the bullet is made of compressed powder. Some of the rounds will explode once they hit their target making the normal hydrostatic shock of a bullet look like a scratch compared to the damage they do. Some contractors in the middle east actually got in serious trouble for using sintered rounds (they are not considered mil-spec) in combat but because they were not military they just got a slap on the wrist. This type of ammunition is regulated heavily.

Should the 2nd amendment be updated? Why would it be updated if the potential problem of future weaponry is already policed and regulated?

VS's avatar

I think the 2nd amendment is fine just the way the founders of this country wrote it. Modern technology has nothing to do with it. Yes, arms are much more advanced now, but the intent of the founding fathers was that law abiding citizens could arm themselves for protection from whatever unseen forces might arise. In those days, I imagine the unseen forces might include foreign intruders. Nowadays, well it might be the same.

woodcutter's avatar

I really don’t believe that advances in technology was unforeseen. The founders must have figured guns would get more advanced as did everything else in society even in their lifetimes. Whatever the military gets hold of, “the people” should also have.

TexasDude's avatar

Sure, why don’t we update the first amendment too while we are at it. I mean, the Founders could never have known about dangerous high-capacity ink pens, rapid-fire printers, and long range radio broadcasts.~

In all seriousness, the 2nd Amendment is fine the way it is. There is no reason why law-abiding citizens shouldn’t be able to buy modern weapons.

Nullo's avatar

I say leave it be.

By all accounts, Admiral Yamamoto a man of some import during the Second World War had this to say on the subject of an armed citizenry:

“You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.”

josie's avatar

The purpose of the second amendment is to provide the very last check against a government that stops protecting human liberty, and begins to encroach upon it. It has nothing to do with the type of gun.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Historically, freedom is lost when the government becomes dictatorial, and only seldom from invasion from without. The Constitution was deliberately made difficult to amend precisely to protect freedom from hasty or ill-considered alterations. The Founders never expected there to be a dispute over whether individual citizens should be able to own guns.

iamthemob's avatar

@josie – Against the federal government. And you’re right.

So, should state militia membership therefore be a prerequisite for gun ownership? The dispute is about something that the founding fathers didn’t feel was at the heart of the matter – that people would have the weapons to protect them from criminal invaders.

CaptainHarley's avatar

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

I’d say that’s just about as definitive a statement as could be made.

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” (Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.)

iamthemob's avatar

Interesting edit, @CaptainHarley. Of course, the full sentence includes other important, limiting clauses:

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.

If that’s to be considered definitive, then the Militia is a necessary part of the right.

CaptainHarley's avatar

The discussion of this topic among the signers of the Declaration, as well as many others, gives more than sufficient weight to the right of the people to bear arms.

For example:

“The great object is that every man be armed . . . Everyone who is able may have a gun.” (Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution.)

“The advantage of being armed . . . the Americans possess over the people of all other nations . . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several Kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in his Federalist Paper No. 46.)

iamthemob's avatar

“Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defence, the militia, is put in the hands of Congress?” – Patrick Henry, on the importance of the independent Militia.

“Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defence be the_real_object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” Id.

“When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually…I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor…” George Mason, Virginia Constitution Convention

The concern was born in a great part, perhaps the greatest, with the concern that the government would disempower the people. The Bill of Rights was meant to limit the federal government control over both the people and the states. When we understand it in this light, we see that our concept of why we should be able to bear arms and the type of arms we do is very different from the original.

I’m not against the right to bear arms at all. However, the arguments based on fear of some random intruder was not the underlying reason – it was to protect the individual from the tyranny of those trying to enslave him.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I have no argument with that. : )

CaptainHarley's avatar

For an excellent analysis of the language of the Second Amendment, see:

iamthemob's avatar

I prefer this – it balances sources.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Interesting. I bookmarked it for future reference.

iamthemob's avatar

it’s kind of great. It sums up arguments from both sides, without lending specific credence to either.

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