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The Second Amendment

Second Amendment Scroll

There aren't a whole lot of things my pie hole can spew from memory. John 3:16, my kids' birthdays, and the Second Amendment. And, if you hadn't noticed, two out of those three are controversial to at least some degree for some people.

I get goose bumples all the time whenever I stop and think, and actually ponder, the significance of all three of those things I've committed to memory. I won't get into a Bible lesson, but I take it quite literally. The kids are human beings I actually helped create. Three things, actually. And, if I were being honest, that's kind of a scary proposition when you think about it.

And finally, the topic of this article, the Second Amendment. Our themed week dedicated to combat gun control wouldn't be complete without breaking that Amendment down as far as we can keeping in mind that I'm not an attorney at law. I'm just a regular guy trying to navigate this thing called life as successfully as I possibly can. So what I'm trying to say, is that I'm no expert.

What I do have, though, is actual, real life common sense with a set of eyeballs able to read, and a fully functioning brain.

Let's get started. It says this:

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 way I see it, the Second Amendment while standing on its own as one document, can be broken down into three subsections for clarity. Most people break it down into two sections, but I'm different here. These are the parts as I see them:

  1. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,
  2. the right of the people
  3. to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

All three parts are equally important, but for the sake of ease let's tackle that first section, first. But, before we do, we need to have a solid understanding of where our founders were coming from. These United States of America were re-born out of war. Not just war, though. We had a parent who was abusive and we sought to be born, again, in freedom. The Red Coats taxed us. They treated us poorly. They made an attempt to confiscate our founder's guns, and were successful in at least one area of New England, Boston.

They took the American's guns for “temporary safekeeping” and never gave them back. The people were not happy. In fact, according to many historian scholars that was one of the tipping points for us earning our freedom as we went to war with Great Britain shortly after that fact. Here's the interesting part, when the 2A was written, everyone was considered militia.

Today that term gets thrown around like it's a bad thing, but, truth be told, there were Army Regulars and then there were local militias made up of farmers, blacksmiths, and bankers. If you were an able bodied man, usually about 16 years of age or older you had a gun. You trained with your gun. And, you were ready to mobilize against a tyrannical government ruled by militant leaders at the drop of a hat.

In other words, they were regular people. Citizens. They were you and I–freedom loving Americans.

When the Second Amendment was penned, it was understood that the militia was necessary for freedom. And that, my friends, is what the first subsection of the Second Amendment says: The militia is necessary for freedom. It was necessary to win over freedom as well as to keep that precious freedom. The founders understood this because they had endured it first hand.

Great Britain at the time was a Tyrannical government. They're one of our greatest allies now, but it wasn't always peaches n' cream. Let's move on.

Subsection two is conveniently easy to understand as a free people. We are still the freest nation on the planet, even though our freedoms are continuously withered down by those who hate it.

The Right of the People.

Something that is considered a right is something that is a guarantee. Whatever follows this section was meant to be something that could never be debated. How could it be? It's a Right of the people. It doesn't get any simpler than that. What is that Right? Well, it's the last subsection …

… to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

We'll get to the keep and bear arms part in a second, but let's focus in on the shall not be infringed part.

Not only is that thing a RIGHT, it SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

They went so far as to say it two different ways so it couldn't be confused. The Right of the People … Shall not be infringed.

The Right of the People … Shall not be infringed.

The founders chose their words very carefully when they penned the Second. If you notice, they didn't say “should not” “would not” “will not” won't be” or anything else they could have said. They said SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED to negate any confusion.

Interesting concept to say the least. What ever that Right is must be important. I mean, it's a Right that Shall not be infringed. Right?

Just for the sake of argument, let's take a gander at what the word infringed means because I understand it's a big one and may be confusing to some of our anti-gun readers out there. Infringe means:

to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another

So to break it down Barney style (think big, purple dinosaur), it means that you cannot violate or encroach upon a right. What Right I hear you asking?

To keep and bear arms. BOOM! Mic drop.

But WAIT!!! There's More!!! Let's dissect the words keep and bear, as well as the word arms.

Keep means:

to retain in one's possession or power

Bear (v) means:

to be equipped or furnished with (something)

Arms means:

a means (such as a weapon) of offense or defense especially : FIREARM

Now let's put it all together to see what we've come up with in terms even a child could understand. The Second Amendment essentially means this: Citizens are necessary for freedom, and guns are a necessity to keep that freedom. So much so that citizens have the right to possess and carry guns on or about their person to prevent tyranny from ever taking hold in this country again and nothing could EVER take those guns away from the citizens.

Too bad I already Mic-dropped or I'd do it again.

Finally, we have the intent of the Second Amendment as written by the founding fathers. What did they mean when they wrote it? Naysayers will say that a “well regulated militia” means the National Guard who serves as a final force to be reckoned with should an invasion occur.

But, if we were to take what the founding fathers have said we see that it is much more than that. Remember that the founding fathers were those who declared us free, wrote the Constitution, and several supporting documents like the Federalist Papers.

From Federalist Papers 46, our 4th President James Madison writes:

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. 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.

Do I really need to dive any deeper than what is said here by one of the people who founded our country? That, my friends, is what is known as a truth bomb. You can debate what the Second Amendment means all you want. You can say that “well regulated” contradicts “shall not be infringed” all you want. What you cannot do, however, is debate the meaning of words written down by the man who is often called “Father of the Constitution.”

Americans have the advantage of being armed to defend themselves and their country/state. And, other governments are afraid to trust people with arms, outside of the military. That's where we're headed, folks. There are plenty of people in our gooberment who don't trust us with arms. You know what I say?

Too effing bad, and, I hear Canada is nice this time of year, don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.

You can't really disagree with the writing from the man himself. America is armed. To the teeth, as it were. Deal with it.

Or leave.


You can find that Federalist Paper and many others, here. If there is ever any doubt what is meant about something of old, just reading what the folks who wrote that thing believe in their own words should be enough to squash any doubts. Let us know what you think about what I said here in the comments below. And, if you have a moment please share on your social page.

Oh, and go vote. Please.

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9 Responses to The Second Amendment

  1. Michael Ivey October 18, 2018 at 9:26 pm #

    Hi Josh. Just read your article. Good for you and having the nuts to say so. I would go even further and say that any law that prevents me from owning ANY kind of weapon is a violation of the 2nd Amendment. I should be able to own a full automatic pistol or rifle if I can afford it and purchase it. Whatever the Gubmint owns, I should be able to own it too. Every law on the books that denies me that right is unlawful. So…….

  2. Patrick McGuire October 31, 2019 at 10:50 am #

    Josh, So right brother. If we are not armed, we are fodder to a Corrupt gooblmint. First they take our guns. Then all our rights. Next thing you know we will be living in a Socialist State. F… That. Cold dead fingers is what I say!! Pat

  3. Sargent Mike October 31, 2019 at 2:04 pm #

    I am a gun owner and a Marine (from the Vietnam era). I support the second amendment to a degree. However, I have a couple of points that I would make to clarify your position (as I understand it).
    You kind of blow through the “well regulated militia” portion by indicating that we were all militia at the time and, that may be true. That is why the founding fathers wrote the second amendment the way they did (as you have repeatedly said). BUT a well regulated militia means WELL REGULATED! You were a Marine so I know you know what regulations are – so a “well regulated militia” means a militia with RULES. That doesn’t imply “anything goes and I can do whatever I like,” it states that the militia (or the people, as you stated) follow those rules! It’s the first line of the 2nd amendment. Secondly, you kind of gloss over “arms” in your presentation. Why do arms mean guns? Nowhere in the 2nd amendment does it say you can have guns. In fact, it says you can “bear arms,” that can mean carry a sword. At what point does the 2nd amendment say “You can have as many guns as you can afford?” If the government wanted to cripple the 2nd amendment as you interpret it, all they would have to do is regulate or ban ammo – the 2A doesn’t guarantee ammo.
    All I am getting at is that the Constitution was the document that was agreed to and the amendments were a method to alter that document (hence, the term “amendment”).
    Have a happy Veteran’s day – thank you for your service.

    • Joshua Gillem November 1, 2019 at 8:35 am #

      You are wrong, sir. “Well regulated” when the Constitution was written did not mean anything about rules. The term “well regulated” was a popular term for the time that actually meant “functioning properly.” I urge you to look it up so you don’t have to take this junior Marine’s word for it.

      After all, a militia of the people cannot be effective if it’s not functioning properly.

      Why would they want rules put on the people’s gun ownership when one of the reasons they went to war to win their freedom was because the Red Coats seized both their guns AND ammo. I urge you to look up the powder alarm of 1774 to see what I’m referring to.

      The phrase actually reads “to keep and bear arms.” Keep means “own” and bear means “carry.” And, in fact, it does say that I can own whatever I want, because if you keep reading, it says “shall not be infringed.” There are absolutely ZERO restrictions placed on the type of “arms” I can own, which I guess will bring me to my next point.

      The term “arms” has always meant anything you can arm yourself with. Could it be a sword? Sure, it can. But, being that any of our attackers won’t likely be using a sword if they ever invade the United States, I’m not sure the type of arms matter. The point is that we need to be sufficiently armed to prevent something from happening here in America, and if something ever does happen, We The People are armed to the teeth to protect us.

      Finally, a word about ammo, you’re right the 2A doesn’t directly say anything about ammo. Then again, as you pointed out, guns are useless without ammo. Because of that, and the 2A having that part about “the right of the people … shall not be infringed” the two go hand in hand. To think otherwise after you hopefully have read that the revolution was provoked by way of the Redcoats trying to take away black powder (as pointed out above), to say that it doesn’t cover ammo is asinine.

      Thank you for your comment.


    • Ian Tillotson October 16, 2020 at 2:59 pm #

      Hey Marine, you swore an oath to uphold the constitution. That means you need to read and understand what it means, not weasel-word around it because you think you know better than the founding fathers. Their words were forged from lengthy and intense debates over not only what rights should be in the Bill of Rights but what each and every word, and phrase was meant to convey.

  4. Jan Greene November 1, 2019 at 3:19 am #

    These very same words were said between my sons and I yesterday. California is not the John Wayne, Kit Carson fantasy hollywood version.

    California has recently been held hostage by the Utility Company, PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC.

    Its an eerie feeling as I light candles for heat, hope my batteries last all night, and set up a small sterno stove to boil some water.

    It’s freaky quiet. Dont even hear the homeless like every other night…no cars. No highway traffic, no sirens, no dogs barking.

    Amazing to see the entire night sky. Beautiful. Warn evening. No sounds of deer.

    My thoughts? Wheres my gun? Where’s the super bright strobe? Where’s my dog?

    Recently there have been a series of shootings, one of which an individual had purchased at a LEGAL gun show in Nevada, a gun in California, but with the strict changes to be limited amo and longer background wait time, the amo used in said event was purchased in Nevada and brought to California.

    Now parking lots at out of state gun shows are patroled and record California license plates. Border patrol is waiting. Arrests are made and “guns are taken off the street”. Win. Win.

    Demacrats want open border. Counties want ” legal marijuana grows” ..

    I need my own security on times like this. Disabled. No car. Full bred male german shepard, unable to evacuate quickly.

    I am my own grandma malitia in the darkness of gold country.

  5. Karen Liguori February 7, 2020 at 9:16 am #

    I order 2 copies of the second amendment from you. When can I expect them?

    • Joshua Gillem February 7, 2020 at 9:28 am #

      Hey Karen,

      We just checked and don’t have any orders from someone with your name or email. I modified your comment to remove your personal details.

      You may have ordered from someone with a website name similar to ours.


  6. Matt B. March 24, 2020 at 8:06 pm #

    Hi Josh,

    Very good article. I always listen intently when any veteran speaks about subjects such as the second amendment.
    I’m not a veteran by any means & recently purchased a shotgun & pistol to go to the local range with .. that’s all.

    I hope w/all my heart that I never have to use it to defend myself or my loved ones w/deadly force. But feel empowered to know I have that option.

    I’m a staunch advocate of the second amendment. When it was written the nation was emerging from being under the thumb of tyrrany.

    I don’t think that’s such a real threat as is the access to illegal guns by those w/nefarious intentions.

    I’m able to shut down those that will talk & talk about how the gov’t. Should seize everyone’s guns & the problem will go away.

    I point out maybe Legal registered firearms. It’ll be a cold day in hell before any armed criminal would give up his piece over to the fuzz or any other branch of law enforcement.

    I stress to them that illegal firearms are as easy to get as drugs & available in the same places. Easy one stop shopping for those w/malce in their minds.

    They usually shut right up & are at a loss for a reply. The gun laws especially for purchasing long guns need to be strengthened especially here in no, no New York. It should take longer then 10 mins. To purchase a deadly weapon.

    I don’t mean to aimlessly ramble but I think we have a more real threat then tyranny from our gov’t. It’s called CRIME which comes in all shapes & forms.

    Like the saying goes w/1 slight difference you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight & you sure don’t defend your self from a gunman w/ a knife.

    These 2nd amendment naysayers don’t realize the looming vulnerable position that we’ll be put in if the get their way.


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