• Stuart Williams

The 2nd Amendment

One gun owners view on how to help come to terms with the 2nd Amendment.

Point 1. The word Gun does not appear in the 2nd Amendment, the word used is Arms.

The literal meaning of the word arms is weapons, ammunition and armaments. Today, that includes nuclear bombs, chemical weapons, fighter jets, etc., etc., hence, if we take the language literally, we should have the right to bear all arms, including the aforementioned and more.

Question 1.

Should we have the right to bear all arms in the literal sense of the word, i.e., for those who can afford them, or get our hands of them, carrying nuclear bombs around in the back of our trucks, storing chemical weapons in our refrigerators, etc., etc.?

If lawyers challenged SCOTUS to rule on the literal language used in the 2nd, they would be fighting for the right for us to bear all Arms, just as the language states.

Of course, we all know that arms were much different in 1791, so the question must be asked, did the Founders mean the arms available at that time, as the word “future” does also not appear in the 2nd?

Point 2.

Given we do not have the right to bear all arms, someone or something must have interpreted “Arms” to mean guns. That interpretation is important because it may or may not be what the Founders intended.

Question 2.

Given the law as it stands is an interpretation of the word Arms, and only the possible intent of the Founders, what guns (if they did not mean all arms) did they mean. All guns, or some guns?

Certainly, the guns in 1791 were nowhere near as lethal and powerful as they are today, and again, the word future does not appear. So, did they mean arms to be only the guns of their time? Did they mean it to be the guns of their time plus the knives, cannons, and bombs of their time? Or did they intend it to be the guns of their time, and all future guns?

Point 3.

No matter what we believe, the 2nd has been interpreted to mean guns, and seemingly all guns, but that is not what the 2nd says, and may not be what the Founders intended.

One thing we do know is that the intent was to allow the formation of a well

“regulated” militia to defend itself against a tyrannical government.

Point 4.

I think it is clear what the intent was back in 1791, although the language about with what “arms” is nebulous, and thus has been interpreted to mean what we have in place today.


Most challenges to the 2nd focus on taking away rights, maybe the challenges to SCOTUS should be to expand rights by cancelling the interpretation and implementing the literal meaning of the word arms.

Question 3.

Do we believe that it would be right to let us own any kind of arms we can get our hands on or afford? This is a simple yes or no.

If yes, then we would be upholding the literal language of the 2nd. If no, we will be interpreting the language of the 2nd. If we interpret the language, should we not be clear as to what the interpretation is?

I am for the right of appropriate people to own guns, as I think the intent of why is clear. I believe it would be in the best interests of all involved to amend the 2nd to include literal language that provides us with the right to own guns, but it would help if the language clearly stated what type, and under what circumstances should people be disavowed of owning them.

Thus, I believe an amendment to the 2nd would clear up a great deal of the back and forth what we constantly witness, and to me the choice is simple.


1. Uphold the literal wording of the 2nd and allow us to own any kind of arms we can afford or get our hands on

2. Create a new interpretation that clearly upholds the intent we know about (the why) but puts absolute clarity on the what and how.

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