Any viable society must be a compact
between those who lived, those who
live, and those yet to live.
The Scope of the Second Amendment
by J. Neil Schulman
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
“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.
–Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
Statists who wish aristocratic domination over the people often enough interpret the Second Amendment as an historical dead-letter preserving only trivial hunting rights. They nullify the ability of the people to organize as law-enforcing militia. In their view militias (that means armed civilians, organized or not) have been replaced by armed paramilitary police forces and the various state and national military guards.
I don’t rely on the dissembling interpretations of those mendacious crats.
Neither, however, do I take the narrow interpretation of the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, or John Lott, that the Second Amendment is only about guns.
Some advocates are willing to include bladed weapons as arms. To me even that is a far too narrow interpretation.
The Second Amendment says “arms.” The crats want that to be as narrow as possible.
I’m a libertarian who insists that the interpretation be as broad as possible.
Here’s where I stretch out my arms and literally reach for the stars.
The Second Amendment protects anything the human mind can devise to expand and protect human liberty.
The rest of this essay will give some examples but — like the Ninth Amendment which reads “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” — is not to be considered exhaustive.
J. Kent Hastings
Libertarian, Second Amendment Professional,
Crypto-expert, Internet maven, HAM
This is the one which already has some legal precedents, since, as late as 1992, cryptography was on the U.S. Munitions List as an Auxiliary Military Equipment.
Since cryptographic codes have already been classified as arms, they’re already protected under the Second Amendment and – by extension – the possession and use of cryptocurrency are protected by the Second Amendment as well.
Are motor vehicles useful in warfare? Without question. Motorized vehicles are ubiquitous in military use – everything from Jeeps to tanks to armored transports. Being used in war has a legal precedent. In the Supreme Court case United States v. Miller (1934) the court wrote, “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.”
Motor vehicles are ordinary military equipment. So all are protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.
It would be difficult to find any kind of aircraft – fixed, movable, or rotary winged – piloted or drone – that is not part of ordinary military equipment. So all are protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.
The Internet was first developed and used by DARPA, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the Department of Defense. So the Internet is protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.
All Other Communication Devices
Does the military use radio? HAM and CB Radio is therefore protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.
Cell phones? Yes, sir.
Can you find things under your kitchen sink that might have military use? Then it’s protected by the Second Amendment.
Is something in your medicine cabinet used by the military? Something growing in your greenhouse, hydroponics garden, aquaponics pond? If it has any military use the Second Amendment protects your possession and use of it.
If any procedure, treatment, or device has ever been used by the military, the Second Amendment protects its civilian use.
Rocketry has been of military use going back as far as the ancient Chinese. Therefore it is of military use and protected by the Second Amendment.
I told you I would reach for the stars. Congratulations, Elon Musk. Falcon Heavy with its cherry-red Tesla Roadster now being driven to the Asteroid Belt by “Star Man” is protected by the Second Amendment.
Communication satellites? Satellite mapping? You bet.
The General Principle
Okay. I could go on forever. Here’s the principle: If anything has military use it is therefore protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.
And if you want to maintain the principles – or at least the pretense — of law and order, supremacy of civilians over the military demands this principle be recognized in both statutory law and court rulings.
If you don’t, stop pretending you believe in law and order, or liberty, or even such flawed collectivist concepts as democracy.
Neil Schulman @ Agorist.com
© 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved. Web and email links with attribution permitted and encouraged. Other reprints permitted only with prior permission of the author.
J. Neil Schulman is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, radio
personality, filmmaker, composer, and actor. His dozen books include
the novels Alongside Night and The Rainbow Cadenza,
both of which won the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Prometheus
Award for best libertarian novel, and the anthology Nasty, Brutish,
And Short Stories.
Read more about him.
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