That said, I find some humor in memes like the one below that was recently posted to social media by an old acquaintance of mine.
I mean, just the image itself is comical. It's 2015 and you're posting pictures of our very first President from some 230+ years ago and what he said about bearing arms. Do you really think George Washington could foresee some disgruntled Montanan with an arsenal that would make some third world countries salivate? He wasn't advocating the individual rights of citizens to stockpile grenade launchers, automatic rifles or weapons of mass destruction. That's simply ludicrous.
I know there are some gun rights nutjobs that foresee a looming zombie apocalypse and so they have to be prepared, but for the sane among us, we trust our government and our military to protect us from national threats, and our law enforcement and National Guard to protect us locally. We have no real reason to suspect that zombies, or any other threat, will be travelling neighborhood-to-neighborhood or door-to-door wreaking havoc.
We don't live in 1776 among tyrants with their own militias. We don't have towns waging mini-scale wars against each other. Nor are we going to devolve into some third world country controlled by nomadic warlords anytime soon.
And how long has it been since we settled our individual disputes with guns anyway. Even people from Oklahoma to California don't draw weapons in the street to settle disputes anymore. Well, maybe if you live in Compton, but that's another culture altogether. This isn't the Wild Wild West, people. We settle disputes through our court system, not through vigilante justice.
So why do we blindly defend the 2nd Amendment, written in a different era by men who were forging a new government, as if it means every Joe Blow in 'Merica should own 20 guns?
Author Michael Waldman has studied the 2nd Amendment and has a keen perspective on what the original framers were aiming for. "But when you actually go back and look at the debate that went into drafting of the amendment, you can squint and look really hard, but there's simply no evidence of it being about individual gun ownership for self-protection or for hunting. Emphatically, the focus was on the militias." (His full interview with Mother Jones is here).
We call them our volunteer National Guard now. They are the only militia we need. That is, unless you are some coked-out conspiracy theorist who believes our government--by the people, for the people--is so corrupt that it's out to kill us off one-by-one. Our government is NOT some other-worldly synod made up of cyborgs and Sith lords. They are just plain old citizens like you and me. Likewise, our "militia" is made up of mom's and dad's who sign up to be weekend warriors and stand ready to defend us.
Again, this isn't 1776, so for someone to post the meme above to Facebook is truly laughable to me. I'm really not scared that the British are coming. Nor am I worried that Blountstown is going to get so disgruntled with the way Tallahassee is running this state that they are going to take up arms and march down Highway 20 to bombard our city. At no time now or in the future will I have the need to take up arms against my brother over some land dispute. No, we will not be choosing weapons and marching any number of paces. I may choose to slap him with a pair of white gloves, but then it'll most likely just end in us rolling around on the ground, slapping and yelling profanities at each other. Ah, the good ol' days...but I digress.
We are a civilized nation. We've invested trillions into our national defense. And at the local level, we have armed security called Guardspeople and law enforcement officers. They are well equipped to defend us. So unless you live in Compton, do you really need that AK47?