Stoicism, 2nd Amendment, and Right to Bear Arms

In the United States, the 2nd Amendment is here to stay.  I couldn’t imagine anyone taking that amendment away any time soon.  In fact, it’s hard to to imagine the 2nd Amendment being infringed much either.

The 2nd Amendment reads,

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.

Legal scholars have spent a lot of time interpreting exactly what that amendment says and what the US Founding Father’s meant but it’s basically been interpreted to allow people to own firearms.

So how do modern Stoics deal with the issue?  I think wisdom would tell them that the 2nd Amendment is here to stay, unless unlikely repealed, and we have a Constitution to follow so we might as well as make the best of the right.

One could argue that Stoicism provides a framework for self-defense.  If a home invader tries to take your life (a preferred indifferent), as a matter of justice, you have a right to pull out your AR-15 Rifle and defend your life.  Police are a preferred indifferent but sometimes they take a while to get to your house which would be a total dispreferred indifferent.

One particular preferred indifferent is having a country free from government tyranny.  The US Federal Government will have a significant greater difficulty disarming people and seizing their property through Martial Law with the 2nd Amendment fully protected and not infringed.  Also, the United States would be harder to invade with a well armed citizenry.

The only issue with right to self-defense is it’s not applied fairly throughout the United States.  A modern Stoic might think it’s time that the government issues some kind of gun welfare system, where guns are given to impoverished communities at super low prices or for free.  Also, the black and hispanic community deserve to protect themselves just as much as the white community and many of our social attitudes have to change.  After all, everyone deserves a right to the preferred indifferents, security and life.

A modern Stoic would be free to consider what kind of sensible gun laws might need to be implemented to stop mass shootings.  One of the things they might consider is limitations on magazines and clip sizes.  We already have a ban on fully automatic weapons, so it might be prudent to ban bump stocks on semi-automatic rifles.  Also, criminal and mental background checks should be enforced.  Some consideration might also be given to the “gun show loophole.”  Also the Center for Disease Control needs to be able to study gun related deaths, so that we know how to better prevent unnecessary deaths from gun-related violence.

black rifle
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5 thoughts on “Stoicism, 2nd Amendment, and Right to Bear Arms

  1. With all due respect, what you forget is the entire 2nd Amendment refers to the right of the state to protect itself with a well regulated militia. That phrase well regulated militia has very specific meanings according to George Washington. From Washington’s very first State of the Union on January 8, 1790.

    “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”

    Washington was speaking on the need for states to ensure that their militia were well trained and supplied. A trained and well supplied state militia were essential to the security of the United States because the founders did not want a large Federal army.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I do in fact know about that aspect of the 2nd Amendment. I was just discussing the modern interpretations of the 2nd Amendment for citizen gun ownership purposes since they’re now legally and politically relevant. Thank you for letting me in on the history some.

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  2. Thank you for this post. As a gun owner, and a law enforcement professional, I am deeply concerned with the NRA-driven intoxication with firearms in the United States. It’s virtually impossible to have a reasonable conversation with the other side.

    For the record, I am focused on reasonable gun law reform (not banning). We absolutely must do everything we can to reboot our society which has now gotten way too conducive for violence and especially active shooters. Gun law reform (not banning) is just one element (among many others) which needs addressing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No one should be for the banning of firearms in the United States if they wish to follow the Constitution. And you’re right, we need wise laws regarding firearms. It is people that kill people, right? So we should be regulating their use of firearms to ensure that the bad guys don’t kill good people. It’s just logic 101. Though the 2nd Amendment specifically says “shall not be infringed” it was written in a time when people were using muskets, not semi-automatic rifles. So at this point regulating semi-automatic rifles would not be an infringement upon musket use. Thanks for your background and take care!

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  3. I agree with you that no one should be seeking to ban guns. The reason I nowadays consistently word it that way is because NRA types immediately take the argument in that direction (i.e., they presume one is arguing for a complete ban).

    As you can likely tell, I like your posts and find value in them. I am grateful for your work.

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