Common sense tells me that American “forefathers” never foresaw the weaponry, population density, or the sociopathy of the 21st century. At the time the Constitution was adopted, muzzleloading firearms were, and had been the standard of small arms for hundreds of years.
America was a rural society with a culture of hunting and agriculture, slavery, and forced pacification of Native Americans. Our forefathers were concerned with the future of their republic, but with reasonably limited vision into centuries ahead. A better way to think of them might be as “The Ancients,” who wanted their experiment in democracy to succeed, above all else.
Since the inception of our republic, judicial interpretations have reasoned that potential defense of the republic from a corrupt government was (is) the primary reason for the 2nd amendment, according to “The Ancients.”
Our country must evolve so we can compete as a principled, moral example to the world, a united front to our adversaries and unfree people. We must have faith in democracy, in people’s will to overcome internal threats to self-rule. Promoting violence against your countrymen with AR-15s when you perceive things have not gone your way is interpreting The Ancients’ best intentions madly askew.
I hunted for meat and camped in country with large predators for most of my life, part of it as a professional guide in Wyoming. Firearms were a tool for the job at hand, but one to be wielded with deliberate constraint and ethical thoughtfulness.
Even as population doubles every 50 years and land resources become more crowded with every generation, there are still legitimate reasons for owning firearms. However, the phrase in the Constitution most overlooked by the judiciary and the gun lobby supporters seems to be the term “Well-Regulated.”
Clearly, we are not regulated well-enough for technological advancements in weapons and the populous world we’ve created — for people, for children to be safe. It’s time to rectify that aberration from The Ancients’ best intentions.
The gun lobby owns half of our lawmakers. People are misguided daily by the proffered concept that the Constitution is some kind of perfect, sacrosanct statement instead of a document meant to enhance American life, not prevent it from evolving with times.
It’s time for a new revolution by principled, 21st-century Americans. It starts at the ballot box in November.
Mark A. Zimov