"the right to bear arms"
...Panama Explains the Second Amendment
Rockvale TN Dec 2012
A long, long time ago in a place called Europe, there were basically two classes of people: Nobles and Peasants. The Nobles owned the land, which had been given to them by the King, who'd had it given to him by God. The Peasants worked the land and made it produce by the strength of their backs and the sweat of their brows. Then the Nobles gave some of the produce to the King, and as a reward to the Peasants, would sometimes let the Peasants come into the Castle and watch them eat.
You can see right away that every once in a while an especially bright Peasant would realize that the Peasants were getting the shaft, and perhaps foment a revolt.
The Nobles, no dummies they, either, could see this, too. So they figured out a way to keep the Peasants down. And here's how they did it: they decreed that no Peasant could own or even learn to ride a horse, and Peasants were not allowed to have weapons, such as swords, in their possession. So whenever the Peasants rose up, the Nobles would just ride them down with their horses and skewer them with their swords.
You still with me, NRA? Because here's where it gets interesting. Allowing Nobles to have swords and not allowing Peasants to have swords became known as “The right to bear arms”.
Nobles had the “right to bear arms” and Peasants did not have “the right to bear arms”. Because if they did have that right, there was a very strong possibility that the Nobles would get their asses handed to them on a platter, the Peasants would no longer work for them and the King would be very angry.
This situation persisted in this place called Europe for a very long time, several hundred years in fact, until some of the Peasants (and Nobles) came to the hallowed shores of America. They had a war...we call it the Revolution, but it was really a rebellion...no matter.
After the colonists had won their war and had their own country for a while, it became necessary to have a Constitution. That's the one that begins “We the People...”
Included in that Constitution was a section now known as The Second Amendment. And what it said, and still does, is that everybody had “the right to bear arms”. Simple as that. But what it meant is no Nobles, and no Peasants. Still does. It didn't mean, nor does it now mean, that everybody should run out and buy an assault rifle.