Just in case you were wondering, history indicates that in this country most people--at least someone in every household or family--has owned one or more guns since there was any history to be written post European
Prior to that, as I understand it, here in North America and "New Mexico" (a.k.a. the Southwest) the
Imagine if we were still stuck in that situation today and your local and national politicians kept passing legislation banning the possession of the common mineral Flint used to make spear points and arrowheads?
Instead of lamenting baggy pants and rap/hip-hop/rock music-- parents, pundits, politicians, and news reporters would still be debating the collection and ownership of what...
Fast forward to yesterday, and I'm quite pleased to comment here about Article Four of the originally proposed twelve articles (a.k.a the Second Amendment included in what today is called The Bill of Rights) being upheld by the US Supreme Court.
Specifically, the Supremes reported the final outcome of taking a couple of months long look at the "Constitutionality" of Washington DC's strict 1976 gun control law.
In case you don't remember, our Nation's highest court had already started down the slippery slope of Judicial regulation of firearms in the 1939 legal case regulating the ownership of sawed off shotguns (i.e. scatter guns with barrels less than 18" long) in The United States vs. Miller, an analysis of the decision repeated here for your consideration:
In United States v. Miller, the Court sustained a statute requiring registration under the National Firearms Act of sawed-off shotguns.
After reciting the original provisions of the Constitution dealing with the militia, the Court observed that ''[w]ith obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted with that end in view.'' The significance of the militia, the Court continued, was that it was composed of ''civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.''
It was upon this force that the States could rely for defense and securing of the laws, on a force that ''comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense,'' who, ''when called for service . . . were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.''
Therefore, ''[i]n the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than 18 inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well- regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.''
OK, let's digress for a minute...
Here's the wording of "The Second Amendment":
"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."
While I'll agree that the old dudes wearing the white powdered wigs could have been a little more precise with their language, I still think that their meaning is clear.
Think about this issue with me for a minute, because I agree with part of the Supreme Court's earlier decision while thinking that they still managed to wimp out in the end when they reported their verdict.
Back in the seventeenth and eighteenth century...heck...even into the late 1800's when they put the Confederate Army together, when called to arms
The Sargent or the General didn't line everyone up and call them to attention only to walk along the rank and file complaining about the quality of a given weapon or the length of its barrel, did they?
I suppose that if you did show up at a muster and didn't have a suitable gun the government might manage to help you borrow one from one of your fellow militia
Imagine running across hedge rows and fortifications with a flintlock rifle with the stock painted OSHA orange and the words "R E N T A L" or "L O A N E R" burned into the stock?
But I digress...
I did a little Googling and found that the Army National Guard dates from The Massachusetts Bay colony in 1636, BUT....
Since the early governments weren't really into
You know, come to think of it, that's probably where the idea of having a cannon or other artillery piece sitting around outside the local armory or National Guard headquarters probably comes from. While they had a "BYOG" policy, it wasn't very practical to have a "BYOC" or "BYOT" ("bring your own Cannon" or "bring your own tank") policy because of the cost and inconvenience.
I suspect that back in 1776 the cannon sitting out by the sidewalk actually worked, and was subject to actually firing a few cannon balls in anger or on the fourth of July instead of having its barrel filled with concrete or hosting a birds nest each summer.
Today all those old rusty guns do is give the local "Vets" and "Vet Wannabes" a place to stand around and slosh cheep Scotch and Bourbon on their shoes while telling wildly animated stories about their days spent mobilized with the Alabama National guard in the wilds of Ft. Rucker's Officers' Club.
Also, today, if you actually tried to own your own Cannon or Tank, you'd most likely find an image of yourself being broadcast on the local 11 O'clock news being dragged from your home by the local SWAT team while the "professional media" described your arsenal of semi-automatic weapons found in your bedroom under your Lynyrd Skynyrd album collection.
So any way, if my six guns were residing here with me on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River rather than hiding on the farm in Alabama, I'd take them all out of the cases, boxes, and other resting places and pet them and clean them in a reassuring manner.
I absolutely believe that the Supremes got it half right in their 5-4 decision (having left the door open for further consideration and limitations in the future.)
The Courts and the other members of law enforcement need to spend more time enforcing the existing well founded laws, punishing people that commit crimes with guns--handguns or those of the BB variety--and less time trying to take guns of any shape, form, caliber, barrel lenght, or other description auto loading or otherwise out of the hands of upstanding law abiding citizens.
Just imagine if Owl Gore had been elected in 2000 and instead of Roberts and Alito we had a couple of the idiots currently sitting on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California residing on the US Supreme Court today?
World disorder and high gas prices aside...THINGS COULD BE A LOT WORSE... in this Redneck's considered opinion.
That will be all...for now...