Mustering Muskets

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Haphazard Historian.

There is some ongoing debate concerning the Second Amendment, so in this brief essay I shall attempt to offer my perspective on the issue. The Constitution itself was forged from formidable debate — the people composing it had differing ideas of what should be in it, how things should work, and what role everyone should play. It should be no surprise that such a contentiously derived document continues to stir controversy to this day.

At the time of its composition, most agreed though, that a large centrally-controlled professional army was an oppressive instrument, consequently they believed that everyday citizens should protect themselves. They saw first-hand what the King’s army was capable of and wanted no part of it. These were idealist sentiments though, because it turned out that Joe the baker and Sam the carpenter didn’t make for effective soldiers when compared to hardened professionals.

Because of this inherent limitation, the federal army grew and professionalized. But this large-scale and long-term professionalization of a centralized army is where the people abandoned the Second Amendment. Additionally, people gave up self-policing in favor of professional law enforcement. So the deed is done, the people have long abolished the Second Amendment.

The Civil War proved that the people are not capable of standing up to the Federal Army. That notion is long gone. And in the modern era, the people are already not allowed to bear the most effective armaments of the day. Distrust in government faded over time and the people apparently decided they could trust politicians to wield their power wisely.

Within this context, it does seem out of place to allow individual ownership of weaponry with high-rates of killing power. Many weapons are already barred from ownership under this exact premise. The semi-automatic high-capacity firearms that are available today have unfortunately proven their effectiveness in killing and should logically fall under the same restrictions.

To resurrect the sentiment behind the Second Amendment, the people would need to dismantle the bulk of the federal army, prohibit professional policing, allow public access to all weaponry, and regularly train with neighbors for their common defense. Yet historically, the people seem more willing to pay others to do it for them.

If some still romanticize the militia system, perhaps they could muster with the muskets of that bygone era as they’ll have a similar effectiveness against modern missile systems. In short, individual ownership of semi-automatic high-capacity firearms has no proven track-record of promoting liberty, it’s a failed experiment in that the practice has only ever provided power to psychotic individuals, allowing them the capacity to terrorize the community at large and to take freedom from those they assail.