When my brother, Ronnie, and I got our first BB guns, the National Rifle Association was a gun safety group, not a weapons industry promoter, which now, sadly, distorts the Second Amendment to its patrons’ purposes.
The Second Amendment is just one sentence. Its very first phrase proclaims the necessity of strong “regulation.” It defends the right of “the people” (a collective pronoun) to protect their “free State” by vesting them with the power to form “a well regulated Militia.”
This power, formerly reserved for kings, to “keep and bear Arms,” is now an unalterable right of “the people,” not of any individual. In a democracy, “the people” are sovereign.
Ronnie walked in front of me as I was about to pull the trigger. This scared me. I realized, even at that young age, that guns are not toys.
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Most Americans are likewise sensible, but the corrupting influence of money and electoral cowardice have turned the Second Amendment into a hideously distorted shibboleth, a sacred cow, preventing us from stopping a social travesty.
The Australians, a frontier population much like us, took legislative action after a gun massacre, effectively reducing gun violence.
Let us follow their brave example.