2nd Amendment: Poorly Worded, Still Awesome
By Kevin Wilson
Alright, so when I opened up the bottle of Wild Turkey this evening, I was fully expecting to write a funny yet pointed prediction of the way things would turn out the next year. Sort of like everybody’s year in retrospective lists for 2015, only for 2016, because reasons. Or something.
But as I got to writing, the Wild Turkey started gobbling in my ear. It said something along the lines of “Dude, at least three quarters of these entries are going to be related to guns in some way or another. Why not just make that the focus of the article?”
Mr. Turkey, W. was completely right. I mean, we all know with the coming election, guns and the 2nd Amendment are going to be one of the issues to talk about, right next to whatever racist thing Donald Trump says or discussing how Senator Sanders manages to lock himself in a bathroom stall somewhere in March and starves to death because he couldn’t sell it on the idea of socialism.
When you get down to it, the 2nd Amendment is actually pretty terribly worded.
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.
Seriously, does that make grammatical sense to anyone? Two separate clauses that, when joined together by a comma, make two halves of two sentences. Only they’ve been combined into one sentence, and the missing halves are apparently off drinking away their sorrow in Tahiti or something. I’m not trying to be overly critical or anything, but that’s some next level vague shit. That’s some “fuck, it’s 0600 and this paper is due at 0800 and I’m still drunk from the night before” shit.
To be fair, historical records show that the founding fathers did spend an awful lot of time getting hammered during the constitutional writing sessions. Coming up with a document that would guide a new country through the next few centuries was probably stressful as hell, and they were bound to flub once or twice.
It’s also pretty clear once you go back and read what everyone had to say on the matter what they actually meant. As far as they were concerned, the very idea of a standing army was anathema to liberty, and the people should be perfectly capable of kicking the shit out of all comers when necessary. Let ‘em meet up when the need arose, shoot the shit out of the bad guys, and go back home.
Nowadays we recognize that a standing army is pretty much part and parcel with being a player on the international level. Without the ability to project force anywhere in the globe in a relatively short amount of timespan, and without the absolute knowledge that we’re the baddest motherfuckers on the battlefield, it’s hard to argue that America would still hold the place it does in the world today.
At the same time, it’s clear that having a heavily armed populace has served us well.
There’s a popular quote widely attributed Isoroku Yamamoto, the Japanese Fleet Admiral in charge of the Japanese Fleet in WWII, up until his untimely demise at the hands of American fighter pilots.
You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.
Historians are pretty sure he never actually said that, but there’s more than a grain of truth to it, especially when you consider that the same guy also said that the only chance of victory would come from storming Washington, DC and dictating terms to the White House. Yamamoto knew his shit, as evidenced by the fact that he ran roughshod over the US Pacific Fleet for some time, before we finally got our shit together. If we hadn’t killed his ass, there’s no telling how the campaign in the Pacific might have turned out.
The fact that he never tried it speaks volumes.
Part of that can be attributed to a simple lack of resources. Despite having a powerful Navy, WWII era Japan just didn’t have the manpower to launch a large scale assault. It was predicted that, if they managed to take Hawaii, they might have been able to menace the West Coast, and even stood a decent chance of capturing a major city or two. San Francisco was believed to be the most viable target.
But it’s also believed that they wouldn’t have made it all that far inland. An army marches on its belly, and an army on foreign soil without established supply lines has to rely on the land for food. Historically, pillaging has been as much about survival as it has been about instilling fear. Armies would send out forces to places like farms where one could capture necessary supplies while denying the enemy access to them. It worked gangbusters all over the world for thousands of years, but the US presented a unique wrinkle: most of our farmers are packing heat.
It’s unlikely that a single family with a handful of rifles could hold off even a relatively modest force for long. But each death the Japanese suffered would represent a nigh irreplaceable loss, and all killing the farmers would do was piss off everybody else.
There’s a reason that no one has ever really tried to invade the US in modern history.
It’s entirely plausible that the Communists could have used Cuba as a staging ground for an invasion of the Gulf Coast during the Cold War. You wanna take bets on how well that would have gone?
It might be fun to pick on rednecks, but we’re talking about a bunch of scary ass motherfuckers that spend their days hunting alligators and eating food so spicy that most people can barely stand to smell it. You think the insurgency in Iraq was bad? Achmed and Abdullah with all the 155 mm shells and Russian explosives in the world are not as dangerous as Jimbo and Leeroy with a case of Bud Lite between them.
The poor sons of bitches that tried to land anywhere in Alabama, Louisiana, or Texas would be immediately swamped (see what I did there?) by rednecks with hunting rifles who have spent most of their lives dreaming of that very moment. If they chose Florida they might be able to gain a foothold, but all that would do is give the crazy bastards a whole state to use as a shooting gallery.
And using the East Coast as a beachhead is just as stupid. The rednecks in Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia are an entirely different breed, but no less lethal for it. Even if they managed to take a large population center without a ready supply of rednecks and guns, such as NYC or Boston, it wouldn’t take long for us to start filtering in and collecting scalps.
So there you have it folks. The 2nd Amendment might look like the poorly worded rambling of drunks (because it kinda is), but it’s pretty clear that it’s played a key role in our nation’s defense, and will likely keep doing so for a long, long time. We’re probably going to hear a lot about it in the coming election cycle, and everyone is going to want to put their own unique spin on it. But when someone asks you why you carry a gun, you can look them in the eye and say “because the Red Dawn remake was pretty terrible.” Or something to that effect.