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Taylor S. Carey: Read it yourself — ‘A well-regulated militia’

Taylor S. Carey

Murderous violence seems to be part of human DNA. To cope with and curtail our base impulses over the millennia, civilizations have evolved systems of laws and regulations.

Inexcusably, our nation has abandoned that responsibility and sacrificed true liberty — the right to be safe and secure not only in our homes but in public places — on the altar of an incoherent and rabidly corrosive cult of individuality inimical to the very idea of ordered liberty.

The Second Amendment has no place in this debate. It was never intended to create an unrestricted right to personal armament. How do I know this?

Read it for yourself: “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 Supreme Court’s tortured logic in the Heller decision threw out the purpose and intent language of the amendment and, contrary to the conservatives’ own holy grail — originalism — dismissed the wisdom of the founders in favor of the ardent demands and entreaties of the NRA.

Remember, prior to Heller, gun ownership flourished since before the formation of our nation as necessary to secure the survival and safety of the settlers. Arms were tools of survival. They put food on the table and provided a level of protection and self defense against threats.

But that era was not protected by the Constitution. That holy instrument was not even a glint in the eyes of the colonists. Gun rights were among the shared responsibilities of self-regulating communities. The traditions from that period carried over into the new nation generally unchanged.

The freedoms involved were not articulated in the Constitution because they were commonly understood and were not germane to the blueprint of the nation. Guns were regulated as they had always been through community and colony standards.

The Constitution did not change that, but recognized it in a limiting caveat enshrining the authority of states to keep and maintain militia, which are regulated, quasi-public institutions maintained for the common good.

Against this backdrop, the so-called right to bear arms has always been subject to regulation by the states as necessary to preserve and protect the public from false liberties espoused by the NRA, weapons manufacturers and rabid, anti-government anarchists.

The traditional right to own and use firearms is not constitutional, nor was it grandfathered into the Constitution by the Second Amendment.

Until the renegade Supreme Court’s Heller decision local, state and federal authorities were empowered to address gun violence as the circumstances dictated. Uvalde, Sandy Hook, and on and on are not conscionable under any legitimate interpretation of the Constitution.

We have always had the authority to regulate the ownership of firearms. We have always had the authority to deny ownership to individuals who represent a threat to our society, federal, state, and local.

The Heller decision changed that, of course. That warped and shamefully illogical decision has rained destruction upon our communities and killed our children for no reason in any way connected to legitimate, rational and ordered liberty.

Taylor S. Carey lives in Nevada City.


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