The 2nd Amendment – Let’s Break It Down (Views From an NRA Instructor)

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.”

In the early days of our country’s founding, some very brave men wrote those words along with many others in the Constitution of the United States. The Bill of Rights, ratified on December 15th, 1791, is the foundation on which we all stand. The men who penned the Constitution were forward thinking, almost visionary. They knew the hearts of people, and the constant attacks our rights would have to endure. Every amendment contained within the Bill of Rights is vitally important to our freedoms as American citizens.

The 2nd Amendment is of particular interest to me, personally. As a free people, with an unalienable, God-given right to defend ourselves, we are guaranteed the ability to “keep and bear arms”. “Keep” means just that. They’re ours and nobody can take them. “Bear” means to have, to hold, to use when threatened. Somehow, over the course of the last 2 and a half centuries, power hungry federal and state tyrants have chosen to impose rules, regulations, and limits on the types of “arms” one can have, how many rounds those firearms can accept, where you can possess them, etc..

All that said, we must reflect very deeply on the differences between society then, and society now. During our nation’s infancy, every household owned a firearm. Young men were taught from a very young age how to use these weapons, and they understood the importance of protecting themselves against all kinds of threats, sometimes acting as the “man of the house” while their fathers were away. It was considered a right of passage to hand guns down from generation to generation. Firearms were used for putting food on the table, as well as security. Mothers and wives also knew how to use the firearms. A family’s gun was an invaluable component of the household, providing sustenance, safety and security for the family.

There are nearly 400 million guns in this country. That is more than one firearm for every man, woman and child. Unfortunately, many of those guns are possessed by people who don’t have the benefit of the “gun heritage” their ancestors enjoyed. They’ve decided to make that purchase because the world is getting more and more dangerous, and for that, I applaud them! However, merely owning a firearm does not guarantee them safety against bad actors. Not by a long shot! In fact, the firearm they possess could cause more harm than good if the owner is unfamiliar in its use.

Nationwide, there is talk within the different states of “Constitutional Carry”, which, essentially, secures a citizens right to carry a concealed firearm, anywhere in the country, without a permit. In a perfect world, this would be a perfect state of being. But it’s NOT a perfect world, and people aren’t perfect. As an instructor who’s seen the result of dangerous firearm handling first-hand, I can tell you, unequivocally, that people need training. Even people who come to me only for the “piece of paper” that enables them to get a concealed carry permit, because they “have experience”, STILL need training. A good instructor will reveal the bad habits a person didn’t even know they had.

Merely owning a gun isn’t enough. These days, “gun heritage” isn’t in everyone’s DNA as it was at the time of our founding. Learning the safe and proper way to handle your gun is essential, and consistent training with it can mean the difference between a fun hobby with a side of security, or a tragedy waiting to happen. The time and money you spend on training pales in comparison to the financial and legal nightmare following an “accident” with a firearm.

Get armed, get trained, be prepared.

Karen Murray

Franktown Firearms – Training Team Leader