07 January 2013 | How I See the Second Amendment

In reading Ron Chernow's biography of George Washington, it seems that I've come to a clear understanding about what the Second Amendment means. The fear of a standing army in colonial times wasn't a transient one, but a deep seated problem, especially for a young country that associated that with tyranny (i.e., martial law). If what would wind up being the Second Amendment acted as a check on a central power's propensity to grow more authoritarian and endanger the freedom of people, then a "well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," would certainly be a needed thing.

I think one of the key issues is a "well-regulated Militia," and let me tell you, the guys who like to put on army fatigues and act as if they're Rambo are not what I would consider well-regulated in any sense. These are the guys who worry me more than anything else, because not only do they not seem very bright, but I would not trust these guys with much of anything, especially my life. And the concept of checks and balances seem to be pretty foreign to them, given an inclination that people have to stop being democratic citizens and assert power over others for themselves.

And while I may not trust the government very much, we do not live in colonial times and guess what? We *do* have a standing army, but at least our experience has been that the military is under civilian control. I don't dismiss the Second Amendment as archaic, but I highly doubt federal troops are going to take over any state. I am aware of then federal troops have been called in to backup the implementation of laws (desegregation), but it's the tyranny of my fellow citizens that I fear more than anything else.