We’re hearing the argument again that the Second Amendment was only about muskets. Our founders never envisioned that high-powered rifles and handguns would ever be invented and taken up by ordinary citizens.
This is a curious argument since the designation “militia” is used. Does this mean that any military use of a firearm must be of the musket variety?
The musket argument has a history among Hollywood types. For example, actor Mark Hamill is best known for his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars series and less known as the voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. One thing he’s not known for is being a student of history, the Constitution, and logic:
In a tweet, he wrote the following about gun control:
“Don’t get me wrong, as a strong supporter of the 2nd Ammendment [sic]—I believe in every American’s right to own a musket.”
Piers Morgan said something similar:
“The Second Amendment was devised with muskets in mind, not high-powered handguns and assault rifles. Fact.”
See if you can find the word “musket” in 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.”
Even without this constitutional right, we have the right to bear arms. Rights don’t come from government.
The Second Amendment was included in the Constitution to ensure the already existing right to “keep and bear arms.” Hamill and Morgan should study some of their own history before they write on a subject like the Second Amendment.
“The right to have arms in English history is believed to have been regarded as a long-established natural right in English law, auxiliary to the natural and legally defensible rights to life. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court remarked that at the time of the passing of the English Bill of Rights there was “‘clearly an individual right, having nothing whatsoever to do with service in the militia’ and that it was a right not to be disarmed by the crown and was not the granting of a new right to have arms.”
“The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.” (Source: Wikipedia)
The Second Amendment doesn’t say what type of “arms” is included in the right to bear them. There’s a reason for this. Our founders knew that the definition of “arms” can change over time…