More on: Second Amendment Rights

April 17, 2013

Today the US Senate sent us a clear and plain reminder that our society lacks critical thinking skills, and that few are really engaged in civil discourse.

What troubles me most – as a dues paying member of the NRA – is that Wayne LaPierre – who apparently found a convenient way to avoid military service when his number was called – is busy manufacturing incendiary stories about ‘big brother’ and attacks on ‘Second Amendment Rights’.

Wayne is playing into a base of folks who didn’t do so well in school and may not really understand or appreciate what our forefathers were thinking back in 1791 when they proposed the Second Amendment.

If Wayne would just take the time to read the Second Amendment, he would likely learn that our Second Amendment – when it was adopted in 1791 – preceded the invention of: the electric light; the automobile; the internet; and the modern firearm.

That’s right. In 1791, the right to ‘keep and bear arms’ referred to single shot, black powder firearms.

If the NRA spokespeople and their posse want to preserve the rights granted under the Second Amendment, then I say: “Single shot, black powder!”

Rhetoric and debate: Over!

One Response to “More on: Second Amendment Rights”

  1. walrus51 said

    The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

    In 1791, the 13 original states were still reeling from recent events, including the ‘Revolutionary War’.

    Here is an edict from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1792:

    “Every non-commissioned officer and private of the infantry shall constantly keep himself provided with a good musket; with an iron or steel rod; a sufficient bayonet and belt; two spare flints; a priming wire and brush, and a knapsack; a cartridge box or pouch with a box therein, to contain not less than 24 cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a horn; and shall appear so armed, accoutered and provided, whenever called out, except that when called out to exercise without cartridges loaded with ball, provided always that whenever a man appears with his rifle all his equipment shall be suited to his weapon; and that from and after five years from the passing of this act, all muskets for arming the Militia, as herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound; and every citizen enrolled and providing himself with arms, ammunition and accoutrements, required as aforesaid shall hold the same exempt from all suits, distresses, executions or sales for debt or for payment of taxes.”

    In 1791, it was clear that the single shot, black powder musket, on which the Second Amendment was based, was nearing obsolescence. What wasn’t clear is how many years it would take to see a reliable and effective upgrade to become available.

    From 1791 to the1840’s, or so, not much changed in terms of firearms which would be available to U.S. Citizens who were willing and able to keep and bear arms.

    In 1805, the tides started to turn when the Harpers Ferry Armory in West Virginia produced the ‘Harpers Ferry Model 1805 Flintlock Pistol’. It was based on conventional technology for the time, incorporating a 10 inch steel barrel with a curved pistol handle. The trigger operates the flintlock action consisting of the cock-lever, frizzen and flashpan. The ramrod was set just under the barrel, and the caliber is 0.54.

    Samuel Colt is widely recognized as the innovator who developed the first mass-produced, multi-shot, revolving firearms. Various revolving designs had been around for centuries, but precision parts couldn’t be made with available technologies. Colt was the first to apply Industrial Age machining tools to the idea. Mass production made the guns affordable. Reliability and accuracy made the Colt a favorite of soldiers and frontiersmen. The Colt Third Model Dragoon percussion revolver (ca. 1853) is often cited as the first reliable ‘master weapon for civilians who hailed it as a powerful weapon of the time’.

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