Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Basement Militant

Such is the text of the Second Amendment, adopted in the Bill of Rights back on December 15th, 1791.

During the War of Independence, George Washington lead what was known as the Continental Army, created on June 14, 1775. Men who had served in the British army and the colonial militia composed this army.

We won our independence on July 2, 1776 and signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. After the war, the Continental Army was dismantled, and it was up to the State's militia to defend the new nation. The sovereignty of the country depended on the brave men that after the war were tending to the lands given to them by the new Republic as payment for their valor. At that time, the settlers were still battling the Natives and their priority was to defend their families and homestead so in 1791 Congress created the Legion of the United States to protect the settlers from the Natives and to protect the country, but that lasted for only 5 years, and it was disbanded in 1796.

The United States Army was created on June 3, 1784. The entire population of the United States back in those days according to the first Census was 3,893,635. That figure included women, slaves, children, men and "other free people" which I am assuming were free people from other races such as Asians. Only 807,094 were free men over the age of 16, but it is not specified up to what age so we can safely assume that seniors are included in that figure nor was it specified that these males were all in good health or if some of them were physically impaired due to the recent independence war. Regardless, during the Revolutionary war, according to Wikipedia, our forces at the height of the war consisted of 35,000 men in the Continental army, 44,500 in the militia and 5,000 in the Continental Navy. We had the support of 12,000 French that fought with us in America and approximately 60,000 French and Spanish that were helping us in Europe. The total able bodies we had during the prime of the war was a total of 96,500. The British empire, on the other hand, had 56,000 in the army, 171,000 sailors, and their allies were fighting alongside with them like Germany with 30,000 men, the Loyalists (traitors of the revolution) 50,000 and Natives with 13,000 totaling 320,000 men. The British navy alone had more men that the entire forces of the Revolutionary army!

I am mentioning all of the above to emphasize the importance the militia had back in those days and why the second amendment was redacted. The country didn't have enough men to sustain a strong enough army to defend this country from an invasion. Every able man would have been called to serve in case of an invasion, and they had to be ready to defend the country, every single one of them, or they would have faced severe penalties.

The only time in modern history when the United States called upon its citizens to fight in a war, not voluntarily, was during the Vietnam War. That created an uproar among the citizens who did not want to serve and most were against the war and refused to serve. Among those that refused was Cassius Clay or as he is called today Muhammad Ali. Those were difficult times that led to massive manifestations in every city of this country and to an unwritten promise from the government that the hateful draft will not be implemented again. So there the militia and part of the second amendment went... except for the part of holding on to their precious guns at all cost!

Now, the argument of gun control is on the table once again. Again we hear the typical outcries that "over my dead body will the government take away my guns," or "it is my Constitutional right to bear arms" etc. Most of these gun owners, men and women alike, have not volunteered to fight in any of the current wars being fought - and they have had plenty of time to do so; we've been fighting these wars for 12 long years - but most haven't even thought of putting their life on the line. No, they couldn't care less about the militia part of the Second Amendment, all they care for is their right to bear arms but, for what purpose and intent?

According to them, it's to defend themselves and to defend the country against the tyranny of the government. To defend yourself, you don't need an unlimited number of guns since you only have two hands and, to defend the country I am sorry to say that those guns - including assault weapons - will render themselves useless if faced with a real army, especially our army with unlimited funds and with every thinkable and unthinkable weapon at their disposal so that argument it's a pitiful one.

Another argument it has been repeated to no end is the one "now is not the time" to discuss gun control. When is the "right time" to talk about bringing sense back to the American people?

On July 27th, 2008 Jim David Adkisson fired a shotgun at a congregation at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church with the intent to kill liberals and Democrats. Mr. Adkisson decided to do his deed during a performance of a musical presentation by youngsters in the Church, killing two people and injuring seven. That event was swept under the carpet because "it wasn't the right time" to discuss gun control.

We had Congresswoman Gaby Giffords January 8, 2011 shot during a public meeting where eighteen people where shot and out of the eighteen, eight died. We let that horrible occurrence slide because it "wasn't the time."

Then, on October 24, 2012 Floyd Palmer shot and killed Gregory McDowell who was leading a prayer inside the World Changers Church International in Georgia. It barely made the news, "it wasn't the right time" to discuss gun control after all the suspect killed only one man. Again we must wait for the elusive "right time" to discuss the issue.

Barely a month later, in California, on November 4, 2012 Andres Ordonez was shot and killed as he was coming out of the Principe de Paz Church. Another man shot, no big deal... It is still "not the right time" to engage in any conversation about gun control.

December was a terrible month. On December 14th, 2012 in Connecticut, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the worst carnage we have seen occurred. On that fateful day, twenty young children ranging from 5 to 6 years of age and five adults were shot several times by Adam Lanza for no apparent reason. The country was in shock, the majority of sensible and responsible adults, including some gun owners demanded a reform to our gun laws.

A week to the day later, on December 21st, Jeffrey Lee Michael killed 4 people in Pennsylvania. One of the victims, Kimberly A. Scott (58 years old), was killed inside the church while she was putting up the Christmas Decorations.

After these two last shootings, the NRA and gun fanatics are still claiming "this is not the right time" to talk about gun control. If the killing of 20 young, innocent children inside an elementary school is not a strong enough argument to initiate a conversation to reach some changes we can agree with... what will it take and when will the right time be?

I hate guns, however, I accept them. I accept that there will always be those that in order to feel secure must have their guns. I accept one or two guns and perhaps a rifle to hunt, even when I despise hunting, I must not impose my views on others. My questions to the gun fanatics that defend their rights above else are: What about my rights? Why are my rights not as weighty as yours? Why, if I am capable of accepting your ballistic attitude but you are not capable of accepting my peaceful one? Can we find a middle ground where we can respect our individual rights or is it that because you have a gun and I don't, your rights are more valuable than mine?

There is no need for a 100-bullet magazine unless we're fighting a war. We are mature adults, and part of that maturity is the capability to understand that we don't live in an ideal world; we can't have everything our hearts' desire or do whatever we want. There must be boundaries because the obsession of gun owners interferes with the obsession of pacifists. I can't understand why I must sacrifice my rights in order for the gun lovers to have as many and different weapons as they wish. If it were for me, all guns would be banned, but I do realize it is an impossible dream. If I accept for people to have guns, why are gun owners reluctant to give an inch and accept that there are certain weapons that do not belong in the hands of the public? Why are pacifists the ones that must accept the wishes of those who seem to be more immature and aggressive? Is it the guns they possess that give them that power? Is it because they can shut us up with a bullet? I refuse to give in to their manipulation. If they have rights, I do too. Either we meet in the middle, or we are going to demand a reform to the second amendment. For starters if you are part of a "well regulated militia" then go and fight in the war; those that have remained here during these long twelve years should pay a hefty fine after all, our economy is in desperate need of funds and what this country has in excess are basement militants.


  1. You may want to do a little research on the history of 'draft'in the US. While I agree with your sentiments, having facts makes for a more convincing argument.

  2. Anonymous, I know about the Selective Service. I know that even today a man must register once he reaches his 18th birthday. But it was only during the Vietnam Era that those registered were called to serve, not voluntarily but mandatory. That never happened before Vietnam and it hasn't happened now, even when we have been engaged in a war for twelve years.

    According to http://constitution.org/mil/cs_milit.htm, the meaning of "militia" is:

    The word "militia" is a Latin abstract noun, meaning "military service", not an "armed group" (with the connotation of plurality), and that is the way the Latin-literate Founders used it. The collective term, meaning "army" or "soldiery" was "volgus militum". Since for the Romans "military service" included law enforcement and disaster response, it might be more meaningfully translated today as "defense service", associated with a "defense duty", which attaches to individuals as much as to groups of them, organized or otherwise.

    As far as I can tell, most of the obsessive gun owners do not purchase guns with the intent to defend the country. Most didn't volunteer to go to Iraq or Afghanistan, most haven't gone to assist others in disasters and we have had many. The article wasn't about Selective Service, it was about the Second Amendment and the phrase "well regulated militia" which can't be applied to any of these gun owners, even when registered with the Selective Service.