When was this amendment determined to be the law of the land? On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, was adopted, having been ratified by three-fourths of the states and passed by Congress September 25, 1789. The President, at the time, was George Washington.
There were thirteen states in 1790, so that means 10 states ratified this amendment – a significant segment of the original 13 colonies. Based on the 1790 US Census we had a total population of 3,929,214 citizens (about the population of San Diego County today). Many of these people fought for the freedom of our country in the Revolutionary War, which ended in 1783.
The founding fathers decided that they must allow citizen defense. These men, like Alexander Hamilton, were imagining the need for each state to have a “well regulated militia”, or a state National Guard. That’s it … in a nutshell.
The second amendment says nothing about a group of weekend warriors carrying AK-47s or AR-15 assault rifles and running around the woods with war paint on their faces playing soldier like they were 10 year olds. Or teenagers on the south side of Chicago killing each other by the dozens every weekend. In our collective efforts to ignore the true meaning of the second amendment …. we now have lone wolves with the shooting power of an automatic capable of killing 100s of people in minutes, including a classroom full of six year old children, a bar or movie theater full of innocent people and more. Stupid? Ya think?
By the way, our founding fathers never imagined assault rifles. The Flintlock was a pretty sophisticated weapon in 1791. That weapon took some time to load and shoot, however. The rifle, in it’s original form, wasn’t even invented until the mid 1800s – and even it wasn’t automatic.
Fast forward to the 2010 census. The US population is 100 times what it was in 1790 – over 310 million people.
Knowing what we know today, i.e., that it is possible to kill hundreds of people in seconds with one rifle, ask yourself one simple question:
Would 3/4 of the 50, or about 38 states, ratify the 2nd amendment today?