'The Second Amendment Doesn't Say What You Think It Does'

Hannah Levintova, writing for Mother Jones:

As America grapples with a relentless tide of gun violence, pro-gun activists have come to rely on the Second Amendment as their trusty shield when faced with mass-shooting-induced criticism. In their interpretation, the amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms—a reading that was upheld by the Supreme Court in its 2008 ruling in District of Columbia. v. Heller. Yet most judges and scholars who debated the clause's awkwardly worded and oddly punctuated 27 words in the decades before Heller almost always arrived at the opposite conclusion, finding that the amendment protects gun ownership for purposes of military duty and collective security. It was drafted, after all, in the first years of post-colonial America, an era of scrappy citizen militias where the idea of a standing army—like that of the just-expelled British—evoked deep mistrust. (Boldface emphasis mine.) This piece reminds me of what I think is the biggest problem with anti-gun control rhetoric today: the "right" to bear arms. The problem is, which is alluded to in the article, is that the Second Amendment was drafted during a wholly different era of US history. There's no longer a need for citizens to form militias, which is what the amendment was designed for. In short, the Second Amendment is antiquated and unnecessary, and pro-gun nuts should stop to consider the context of their beloved shield against gun laws.