A Different View of the 2nd Amendment.

Ask anyone who is engaged in making noise for Gun-nut Nation why they think the 2nd Amendment is so important and they’ll tell you that we ‘need’ the ‘2nd Amendment’ to keep us ‘free.’ Or they’ll mumble something about the God-given ‘right’ to self-defense. Or you’ll get some half-cocked lecture on the ‘tyranny’ of government or some other nonsense.

I prefer the argument about the importance of the 2nd Amendment made by one of America’s most fervent gun owners, who not only was a life-long devotee to hunting in all forms, but also just happened to be the 26th President of the United States. In 1887 Roosevelt formed the Boone and Crockett club whose mission, then and now, was to develop public policies that would create a balance between the desires of hunters to kill game and the necessity to preserve species. Ultimately, B&C’s membership included just about every major figure in the environmental movement (Grinnell, Pinchot, Leopold) because they all agreed with Thoreau who said, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”

Teddy Roosevelt National Park – Thank you Sean Palfrey.

Here’s how Boone & Crockett defines the importance of the 2nd Amendment today:
“The Club is concerned with any restriction on the public’s legal right to own and use firearms for hunting that could weaken or undermine our unique and successful system of wildlife conservation.”

Hey! What happened to the God-given ‘right’ to self defense? Where’s all that talk about protecting us from the ‘tyranny’ of government? What about all those ‘patriots’ who demonstrate their love of country by walking into a Starbucks with an AR-15 slung over their backs?

I’ll tell you where it is. It’s a crock of sh*t. You want to believe that there is one, single community in the entire United States that is safer because everyone’s walking around with a gun? Tell that one to the residents of Sanford, FL whose armed, community-watch guy named George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin in 2012. Or try that argument out with the families and friends of the teachers and children slaughtered at Sandy Hook. After all, both Adam Lanza and his mother believed that having an assault rifle in their home represented their first line of defense.

I have spent the last seven years trying to convince gun owners that the armed, self-defense argument is nothing but a marketing scam. I have also spent the last seven years trying to make Gun-control Nation understand that ‘reasonable’ gun restrictions which preserve legal access to lethal products like assault rifles and hi-capacity, concealable handguns is also a marketing scam. Both arguments are nothing more than what pro-gun and anti-gun organizations believe their constituencies want to hear. To quote myself this time, both arguments are a crock of sh*t.

On the other hand, everyone likes the idea of wilderness. Nobody would dare argue with the concept of a tree. And this is why I think both sides in the gun debate need to spend some time thinking about the 2nd Amendment in terms of what the Boone & Crockett club has to say. Not only thinking about it, but thinking that perhaps here is the real common ground where both sides should meet.

Stay tuned and enjoy a lovely weekend.

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5 thoughts on “A Different View of the 2nd Amendment.

  1. Mike, the right to self-defense does exist. But the public carrying of weapons to that end, as you know & state, is at the least a double-edged sword. You want people to be able to defend themselves but then you don’t want unnecessary carnage as a bi-product. The latter is a problem with the public carry of weapons.

    Regarding the 2nd Amendment, it does seem written to keep (well regulated) militias in control of their arms, ammo & equipment, as well as ensure a steady resupply of such items. Concern about potential government tyranny was on the minds of the Founders.

    • Well stated. I think the premise that the people’s right to keep and bear arms per Federalist Papers being predicated on a well regulated militia (nothing about hunting that I know of in the Fed Pprs although it was enumerated, I think, in some state constitutions) existing allows for a lot of gun control. A well regulated militia, in the parlance of the day, was a properly functioning one. Not one where members of said militia are trying out their battle rifle skills on first graders or defining border missions for themselves independent of state or federal oversight.

      That militia is also a far cry from a yahoo walking into Starbucks with an AR slung over the shoulder, as Adam Winkler has elucidated in Gunfight. Heller, after all, did allow for restrictions on time and place as well as leaving the door open (as the appellate courts have walked through those doors) restrictions on kinds of arms. Of course precedent is only precedent until it isn’t.

      My problem with this whole argument is it keeps running to extremes with the NRATV on one side and Eric Swalwell on the other (with apologies to those who want those ARs rounded up rather than regulated). As my brother has stated, if we don’t get it centered we will keep watching the wacky pendulum swing.

  2. If our common ground is to ensure access to legal firearms for hunting – then shouldn’t hunting arms be allowed to technologically develop?

    • Its long past the point where arms for the battlefield and guns for hunting diverged. The ’03 Springfield is about the same as a Mod 70 or Rem 700; my stepdad has a sporterized ’03 as one of his deer rifles. Perhaps the M1 Garand and Browning Automatic Rifle (hunting version, that is) were the last examples before the fork in the road that Eugene Stoner and the Germans gave us.

      But there is nothing incompatible with an AR platform being used for hunting except one doesn’t need a quick change 30 rd magazine to hunt. In fact, many if not most states have mag limits for hunting protected game. One doesn’t need to slam in 30 rd mags unless, that is, one is expecting a suicide charge of wild pigs. My AR is really accurate at 200 yds, as a recent one-sided firefight with some steel targets showed, and with a 20 inch barrel, could reach out a little flatter.

      I suppose something like the neutered CA version of an AR platform with a fixed 5 rd. (more or less) hunting capacity and interchangable uppers for whitetail vs. woodchucks (6.5 Creedmore vs. 223, for example) would work for hunting while not being functionally very different from a traditional wood stock semiauto. Not sure how the magazines would work. Could also be used to train for that well regulated militia. But if I were to be in that well regulated militia, I’d prefer my actual weapon ‘o war, so to speak. Even if I have to get a permit for the damn thing.

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