Hunting For The True Meaning Of The Second Amendment

Hunting For The True Meaning Of The Second Amendment
The Hi Speed National Match trigger is a luxury item designed for rugged use. Here it resides in a Brownells M16A1 replica with original Vietnam-era furniture.

Fighting the narrative-shifting rhetoric that muddies public understanding of 2A freedoms.


We all know that gun-control advocates usually have a sub-par understanding of firearms. Be it U.S. firearm laws or how a gun functions, proponents of stricter regulations almost always unwittingly reveal their ignorance. A common and egregious example: the Second Amendment pertains to hunting. Again, this mischaracterization reared its ugly head, this time by the Washington Post’s editorial staff.

In a recent article regarding David Chipman’s confirmation hearings to lead the ATF, the Post claimed, “AR-15s are unnecessary for hunting, protection or any other legitimate civilian application, and their popularity reflects poorly on supposedly responsible gun owners.” Whoever penned this claptrap is clearly out of their depths or dishonest. Neither becoming of a major media organization. I say this not simply because I disagree with the position (though I do). But because it’s a distortion of one of this nation’s most important founding principles.

Nowhere in the Second Amendment is hunting mentioned. Militias are. In particular, it specifies a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. Anyone with a passing knowledge of American history understands the militia then, as now, is comprised of private citizens with their own weaponry. Not deer rifles, but so called weapons of war. The right is so sweeping, contrary to what President Joe Biden might say, citizens even owned cannons at times.

The scope of the Second Amendment is understandable when put in context to America's Founding Fathers' experience. They resisted tyranny, fighting a violent revolution against the world's most powerful army. In response to this, the least of their concerns when crafting the Bill of Rights was squirrel stew. It was liberty and maintaining a free people.

Admitting this truth is difficult for many in today's palliative and decedent times. Blame the chattering class in part. Years and decades of lobbying a flabby-thinking public with phrases such as “responsible gun ownership” and “assault weapons” they've shifted the debate. It's so askew even ostensibly pro-2A advocates often use the anti's language. This is perilous footing for defenders of liberty.

As to the WaPo editorial, the writer either doesn’t understand the Second Amendment or they're attempting to mislead. Maybe both. Otherwise, how could they deem an AR-15 has no legitimate civilian applications? Beyond the rifle being a stalwart defensive tool and on target hunting iron, it is exactly the firearm the Second Amendment intends to protect. It, the AK, FAL, AR-10 and a slew of other semi-automatic firearms are the modern equivalent of the privately-owned military arms of the past. Computers haven't restricted the First Amendment; advancements in firearms technology haven't restricted the Second.

Do not allow yourself to be swept along with the gun-grabber’s paradigm shift. It's time to stop ceding the narrative to politicians and media talking heads, politely agreeing legitimate gun ownership is the right to hunt. The Second Amendment is enshrined in the Bill of Rights precisely to preserve liberty—even if its defense requires another revolution. In this country, you
are free to express your opposition to this right, if you wish. However, it won’t change the amendment's true meaning.

Ignorance and deceit will sadly continue to control the narrative, much to the chagrin of patriots, civil-rights advocates and the historically literate. Don't let it. The next time you hear someone imply that the Second Amendment exists for any other reason besides opposition to tyranny, ask them: What the hell are you talking about? No amount of disinformation can change the uncontroversial truth. The constitution does guarantee your right to own weapons of war, and not for hunting rabbits.


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  1. Your article is spot on. The Second Amendment was the one amendment written for a specific reason and it was not “hunting”. When the Constitution was written a “well regulated militia” was defined as every able bodied male owning a firearm and at least 10 rounds of ammunition. When I was in elementary school in the early 50’s, we were taught the Constitution and Bill of Rights and their meaning. My third grade teacher said it best when she told the class, “… the Second Amendment is there to remove a tyrannical government. It is not only our ‘right’ but our sacred duty to remove tyrants should they ever take control.” The main threat back then was Russia and Communism here in America as witnessed by the Senator Joseph McCarthy hearings. As disabled combat vet and career military, I fought against Communism in Southeast Asia and later defended our Republic in Strategic Air Command fighting for peace by preparing for war; nuclear war. America’s enemies did not change; they only metastasized into a Stage IV cancer. For those who served and swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of these United States, we swore an oath to God without an expiration date that came with a signed, blank check payable upon demand for up to and including our very life. We may yet be called to cash that check. Some of the “youngsters” here do not realize that but then, having just recently retired from teaching, I know few of us who taught actually TAUGHT students. The vast majority did and do “indoctrinate”.

  2. There are two key words in the preamble of the second amendment, Regulated and State.

    Let’s take State first. The word State means exactly that and applies to the individual states of the union. It does not mean the Federal government. If it’d did the preamble would have read like this instead:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free Republic”.

    The Federal government at the time was telling the states that they could NOT infringe on the right of individuals to bear arms. Bear is very clever as well because you can’t bear an arm if you don’t physically possess it. Basically, all state laws restricting possession of firearms in any way are in violation of the law of the land. And by consequence the federal government can’t violate the mandate either because it would be telling the states to violate the original mandate. The only way to do that would be through a constitutional convention. That’s a lot harder to do than what most people think.

    The other pesky term is “regulated”. That one is much simpler. It means “trained “. Trained as in knowing how to use the firearm. That’s it.

    It’s that simple. It’s only activist legal maneuvering that tries to complicate such a simple mandate.

  3. I can but agree with the article however something must be done to curtail the outrageous incidents, all too often repeated, of mass shootings. In order to get away from the Polarisation of seemingly entrenched positions both sides need to come together and find a way forward that not only protects the right to bear arms but also ensures, as far as it is possible so to do, that innocents will not have to fear the insane, unbalanced or down right evil who perpetuate the misuse of firearms. Do not loose sight of just how fragile your democracy is and how close you are to seeing it eroded. America was once a great country and can be so again but the only way forward is to recognize that your political system has become so polarized as to be almost unworkable. As a nation and a people you would do well to take heed of how my country works, we have a high level of gun ownership, low crime and a political system that allows everyone to have a voice but ensures that politics works for the majority and not for narrow self interest groups.
    Keith Pike Switzerland

  4. Pretty sure the 2A speaks of a ‘well regulated’ militia. Who regulates? The government of course. We’re a nation of laws by government, not vigilantes. The author here seems to imply the desire of all opposed to gun control are ‘grabbers’ but that’s hardly the truth. Take away guns? No, that’s abhorrent. Reasonable controls? Reasonable.

    • No need to add to “reasonable controls” Try enforcing laws already in place… and applying them equally to all citizens and aliens.

  5. “We bear arms to keep from becoming enslaved by the federal government AND to protect ourselves from the tyranny of OUR REPRESENTATIVES, whose dereliction leads us to suffer the same fate of foreign nations.” – George Mason


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