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“The Supreme Court decided in 2008 that the constitution’s Second Amendment, which begins with a clause about militias, gives individuals the right to own guns. Many Americans have come to embrace a novel political ideology, concocted by pro-gun lobbying groups, which holds that firearms are the cornerstone of political liberty and that restricting them would cause more crime. Other Americans find such reasoning absurd . . .

“But the country already has over 300m firearms in private hands. For those who see America’s high rates of gun murder as largely caused by its high rates of gun ownership, this leads to a sense of acute despair. Faced with a situation they find morally unacceptable and practically unsolvable, many prefer not to think about it.” – Barrel of deaths [via]


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  1. Aren’t we all glad that hillary doesn’t get to nominate anybody for scotus? A country founded on individual rights has a group right in it’s most important document?

    Batshit crazy is the technical term for the left.

    • Those of us who look at the situation rationally understand that most gun related crime DOES NOT result from the number of guns in this country; but rather from the high number of criminals and gang members here. One need look no further than Chicago for proof of this fact.

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong… but wasn’t the 2nd amendment written as a direct response to the actions of those limey cunts?

      • They should move to Mexico or Saudi Arabia. They say they want to help those people and like diversity, but they threaten to move to countries that are less diverse and more white then America. Liberals are the biggest hypocrites on this planet. They are a giant parody of themselves and they don’t even see it.

    • This question: If you subtract out the number of suicides by firearm and the number of intentional murders by gang bangers of other gang bangers (done with illegal guns that they would find a way to obtain no matter what – tools of the trade), what percentage of the 300 MILLION estimated firearms in America are used to commit actual crimes, or tragically mishandled to result in accidental deaths, every year? Somewhere around .0003% if my math is correct.

  3. The vast majority of those deaths about which There Economist is so exercised are the sort of people who improve society by their absence.

  4. I hear liberals all the time say that gun ownership isn’t guaranteed for individuals, only for militias. And that militias mean National Guard. Here’s the deal liberals. Last I checked, the National Guard won’t let you in if you’re over a certain age, or if you can’t pass a PT test or for any number of reasons and each state has it’s own rules for joining. This means in a liberal’s eyes, everything the 2nd Amendment GUARANTEES can be denied to citizens even ones who’ve never been convicted of a crime. The Bill of Rights is a list of things that Federal, State, and Local governments can’t take away… except for the parts that liberals hate. Those things can be taken away.

    • If memory serves, back in the day, there were two militias; the organized, and the unorganized. The organized was overseen by the government (i.e. The National Guard), while the unorganized was made up of ordinary citizens and not directly overseen by government.

      • I believe that if the private ownership of guns is abolished, but the ability to form/join militias not controlled by the National Guard is not abolished… it would create a rise in the number of militias popping up where groups of people upset at the government would band together in an attempt to protect their rights. Can’t have guns without being in a militia? Cool, my wife and I are now a militia and everyone in my neighborhood is welcome to join. I’d also caution liberals against trying to claim every Amendment with multiple points means you have to achieve all points to have any of them. If that’s the case. then only religious members of the press who are also assembled have free speech. The more power any group has, including government, the easier that power is to abuse.

    • It doesn’t take a scholar to figure this out. Supposedly Amendments 1 and 3 through 9 are individual protections from government actions and the 10th a state protection, but the 2nd is an enumerated power of the federal government? If that were the case the 2nd Amendment would have been an article in the Constitution not in the Bill of Rights. Their view makes no sense. But then these people don’t care about the Constitution or the limitations it puts on their power.

    • Rhetorical comment, but if the Second Amendment applies only to “Well regulated militias” then why doesn’t the second clause state specifically “…the right of the militias to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”?

      Somehow I doubt the well-educated men who wrote, debated, voted on and ratified the Bill of Rights would have made such a silly mistake as using the word “people” if “militia” had been their intention.

      • This is a good point. The phrase “the People” clearly covered more than double the number of individuals covered by the term “the militia”. And, this distinction was self-evident in the era. The militia excluded all females, the very young and the very old. It also excluded a few prominent civil and ecclesiastic officials. IF the authors and ratifiers intended to include well under 1/2 of the society comprised of “the People” then it is reasonable that they would have done so. IF the authors and ratifiers thought that “arms” were far to dangerous to civil order to be entrusted to women, children, the elderly, civil officials and men of the cloth then they would have excluded them from the class holding “the Right”. Instead, they excluded only those in whose hands arms could not be entrusted in view of concern for public safety: natives; aliens; and, slaves/blacks. The phrase “the People” served to identify the members of the entrusted class succinctly.

        • Thank you for conceding my point, however, where exactly in the Second Amendment did you find this:

          “Instead, they excluded only those in whose hands arms could not be entrusted in view of concern for public safety: natives; aliens; and, slaves/blacks.”

          As I read it the Second Amendment specifically states that the government may NOT exclude ANYONE, much less those you have listed. There is no “but” in the 2A, nor an “except for…”.

          The whole point of the Second Amendment is that if (when) the government or people such as those you have singled out frighten you then you have the natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to arm yourself to protect yourself from them.

    • “I hear liberals all the time say that gun ownership isn’t guaranteed for individuals, only for militias.”

      They are adamant about that.

      Funny thing, though –

      How many state constitutions at the time the ‘Bill of Rights’ was drafted explicitly state the right to bear arms is a citizen individual right?

  5. If the Supreme Court justices truly believe that the Bill of Rights “gave us rights,” we are all in trouble. The Bill of Rights protects our God-given rights, rights we are all born with, from being infringed upon by the government.

    The Founders took this as a given, and because of that those inalienable rights were not included in the original Constitution. The Framers did not feel there was any need to put them in it, as they understood that we all simply had those rights. It is a testament to the Framers’ astounding wisdom that they correctly foresaw that government would eventually want to restrict our rights. Thus, the first ten amendments were born- our Bill of Rights.

    • The Bill of Rights also protects all the rest of us who were “given” our rights from some other source than your God.

      Not being argumentative or provocative, I just like to keep that fact in the discussion.

      • Cliff H,

        Actually, if you deny God, then there is no design or authority to nature, everything is happenstance, and there is no inherent value or meaning to anything. Therefore, under that environment, there are no inherent rights. Only the law of the jungle applies.

        This is the danger of denying God and trying to claim anything that transcends government power, such as unalienable human rights.

  6. …which begins with a clause about militias…

    …concocted by pro-gun lobbying groups…

    There is a great deal of intellectual dishonesty in this article. “The people” are the militia. It was always their intention that the people be armed. yes later the national guard was formed. I don’t see how forming the national guard eliminates the people’s right to be armed.

    The idea that we would stand against media colluding liberal rights hating politicians looking to form and force their own personal vision of utopia on us because of a few lobbying groups is ludicrous. The defense against these laws have been forming in the minds of people for generations. We all see where they are headed and we don’t like it.

    • Quite to the contrary. The People and the militia are NOT synonymous. It was inconceivable that the militia was understood to include women. To be a member of the militia meant that one had a duty to respond the “hue and cry”. If one individual had this duty while another did not, then there is a distinction. A husband had this duty, his wife did not. A boy too young did not have this duty. A man too old did not have this duty. A few others were exempt, e.g. the mayor and the minister.
      A previous poster points this out and he is quite correct. It is absurd to argue that “the Right” was assumed to be held by a sub-class – the militia – while the phrase chosen to identify that class was the distinct term “the People”.
      For the anti’s argument to hold, they have to explain why the authors and ratifiers neglected to use the phrase “the militia” but instead chose to use the phrase “the People”. Surely such sloppy wordsmithing would have been pointed out in the newspapers and private correspondence of the time. Citations please!
      The antis can’t sustain this argument. And so, the whole notion of “the Right” being reserved to the militia falls flat on its face.

  7. If these douche bags are this panicked over firearms then they must be absolutely hysterical over medical malpractice killing so many Americans each year. They must live in a constant state of despair!!

  8. It’s high rates of minorities in urban areas killing each other though gang wars and turf disputes. These are facts that are easily provided from various sources. It’s ideology and lazy journalism that keeps providing these articles with the same premise over and over again.

  9. My question is this, if it’s a right of the militia then why are the people even mentioned? I’d think you’d just leave them out of the issue entirely.

    • ‘People’. As in People’s Republic of China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, etc.

  10. 2nd A supporters should really be against the war on drugs. A lot of crimes originate on this atrocious attempt of state trying to own our bodies. Without the war on drugs, homicides and crime would fall sharply and the anti-gun lobby would be weakened even more.

    • This concept should be central among people who support gun rights. Gangs thrive on the sale of illegal drugs. If they became legal (which they should be anyway, as long as alcohol is legal), then their revenue would dry up. But, the government needs as many bad guys as possible so they can perpetuate the illusion that we need more government to protect us. The more scared people are of the bad guys, the more accepting people are of “necessary steps” like police militarization and foreign intervention. Nice little racket they have going.

      • I think drug use is stupid and self-destructive, but look – you’re either for freedom or you’re not. The “war on drugs” is about the most anti-freedom thing that’s ever been implemented, and it has to end immediately. Back in the ’90’s, Trump agreed. Will be interesting to see what he does now that he has the levers of power.

    • Yeah all those drug dealers will go back to their regular engineering and accounting jobs.

      Hey if the urban Left is up for this grand social experiment then I’m willing to go along because I live out in the rural sticks. I’d be willing to bet that urban burglaries and muggings would skyrocket but because I won’t feel the burn it might be fun to watch.

  11. He also forgets to mention the British fudge their homicide figures by not counting terrorism deaths and by only counting homicides where people are convicted. Amazing how you can compare apples and oranges then proclaim a difference

  12. The second amendment was written just after private gun owners turned militia men had fought and won a war against a tyrannical government. How could anyone possibly interpret it to have any less of a purpose than to arm the citizenry against the potential tyranny of the government? Especially when you look at the other writings the founders made.

  13. Every time a leftist or a Limey cries, an angel gets its wings.

    And since Trump’s election, the air is thick with angels.

    • You know it. I’ve been getting so inundated with angels, it’s like there is this fluttering cloud of monster moths around the lights over my bench.

      It makes it really difficult to work on guns when you’re brushing away loose feathers and laughing your ass off.

  14. The militia clause only underscores the individual right in the second amendment.
    Regardlessly, criminal in general and gang related in particular homicide rates are only loosely related to the firearms saturation in society. I watched a fascinating documentary on gangs in the former USSR (!!!!) Armed to the teeth with “cold weaponry” and very successful in eliminating each other. One does not need a firearm to kill. I am preaching to the choir, naturally.

  15. “Many Americans have come to embrace a novel political ideology, concocted by pro-gun lobbying groups, which holds that firearms are the cornerstone of political liberty and that restricting them would cause more crime. Other Americans find such reasoning absurd . . .”

    Those ‘other Americans’ are more commonly known as ‘morons’.

  16. That last line kind of sums up how I was feeling about a Hillary presidency… glad to see we were pulled back from the edge!

  17. These autoplay audio adds are loud and annoying. You shut them down or pause them and they turn themselves on again.

  18. Except, the overwhelming majority of guns are in the hands of people who are overwhelmingly law abiding. Most of the violent crimes of all kinds, including homicides committed with firearms, are committed by a small minority of minorities, many of whom are already prohibited possessors of firearms.

    Soooo……….the gun grabbers’ solution is to disarm and further infringe the law abiding, when neither they nor their self-defense firearms are problem? “Other Americans find such reasoning absurd”, huh? Well, THIS American finds their so-called reasoning worse than absurd, more than misguided. It’s so far removed from resembling reasoning, that it can only be regarded as lies and/or the lunatic ramblings of diseased minds. Yes, I said it. This isn’t just a difference of opinion. These people are a mix of some who are incapable of reason and others who exploit them for the purpose of exerting power over others.

    Some predict that when fascism comes to America, it will be cloaked in patriotism, others, that it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. Perhaps. Most likely it’ll come in waves of whatever works with whomever is still left to object. Right now, it’s coming steeped in public health and safety cliches and for-the-children emotional appeals.

  19. 1.) In order to regain trust in all levels of government. An Addendum needs to be introduced to the 2nd Amendment to make it a “Capital Crime” for any Politicians, Police Officers, or Police Departments, Federal, or state agencies, or private organizations, or Businesses from depriving, or infringing on any US citizens Civil Right…Under penalty of imprisonment, fines, and compensation of said violations of not less than $250k…

    2.) Under the 14th amendment clause. This addendum maybe applied to other Civil Rights, as needed….

    3.) For US citizens trapped in Draconian paramilitarizied police-safety states…Where Law enforcement is encouraged to be aggressive against the US citizenry…Where the 2nd amendment, and other Liberties have taken a backseat to “Special Privileges” assigned to LEO/ Government job entitlements through “Government carve-outs”…The creation of Federal laws to Ban all “Police Unions” in Public services! And the formation of Nationwide Full independent Civilian Review Boards for Accountability….

  20. Does anyone know about the Federalist papers anymore? The economist could get the exact meaning of the 2A from the author. It’s so simple to google it, read it, and understand.

  21. Who were the Militia when the Constitution was Drafted? Free men, unpaid Volunteers who had to provide and maintain their own equipment! formed in each town for the common defense of said town, then organized into larger groupings, for townships, county, etc! why because there wasn’t a standing army at the time. If our Anti- American Democrat friends had brains and could think they would understand that Militia means people, and not construed to mean Army Reserves, or National guard as they re totatly Federalized at this Point!

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