Opinion » Letters

The Second Amendment was an afterthought



Greg Larson’s response (“What did Adolph Hitler have to say about gun control?” June 26) to Art Tyree’s letter to the editor of June 19 (“Yosemite Sam deniers and tyranny criers”) contains many factual errors. The most obvious and commonly cited one by gun advocates is the assumption that the Second Amendment is the overarching rule in this matter. The be-all and end-all. It is not.

Remember, the Second Amendment is just that: an afterthought following what was prescribed in the original Constitution.

Here are the relevant passages:

Article I, Section 8: “To provide for calling the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organising, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress ... .”

And Article II, Section 2: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into actual Service of the Untied States ... .”

The Second Amendment has nothing to do with “individual rights.” The word “people” is collective, meaning all of us, much as “militia” could not be construed to be a single individual or individuals.

“People” and “militia” are plural. If the framers had meant otherwise, they would have written and codified the language as “persons” or “individuals.”

Hackneyed, anecdotal quotes are just immaterial.

-- Joseph Rank - Grover Beach

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