The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted in 1791. (Protects the right of citizens to bear arms.)
Here are a few facts/glimpses of the United States from around the time of adoption, nearly 225 years ago. (Sources linked:)
- The population of the United States was estimated (via the first census) at about four million people. (Including slaves.) The country's largest city is New York, with a population of about 33,000. (FYI: The nation's population would grow to about 5.3 million in 1800....)
- Population per square mile: 4.5 people
- Number of states: 14 (Vermont added as the fourteenth state in 1791.)
- Approximately five percent of Americans live in "urban centers" of more than 2,500 people.
- The U.S. Mint is created. The steamboat is patented. The U.S. Post Office Dept. is established in 1792.
- George Washington is the nation's first president. The cornerstone of the White House is laid in 1792.
- Predominant occupation, inhabitants: Subsistence farming/food production.
>>>All Americans understand that the founders of the United States were great visionaries. They fully expected the young nation (1791) to grow. (Mainly westward, of course; see "Manifest Destiny", etc. (one link). Guns were important for settlers of the vast new frontier.)
...What no human being could completely foresee or anticipate, around 1791 adoption of the Second Amendment, are the following (via images):
(12/16/12 screen capture, off-site link to source)
Bushmaster ACR (long version). (Automatic combat rifle.) 8 August 2009. Source: https://picasaweb.google.com/flackez/GunWeapons#5426520128822256930, via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_Combat_Rifle Author: https://plus.google.com/photos/100300742207467019663/albums?banner=pwa No author endorsement of this website is expressed or implied.)
Update re the assault weapon above: If interested, read about gun-law loophole shenanigans (i.e., 'BS' -- ultimately with deadly consequences, in Newtown, CT) here: Off-site link, new window opens: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/newtown-sandy-hook-school-shooting/hc-newtown-assault-weapons-20121217,0,7818253.story
A double drum magazine filled with 100 rounds. Similar to the Beta C-Mag. Author: Martin Meise. Obtained via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_capacity_magazine#High_capacity_magazines
No author endorsement of this website is expressed or implied.)
And also, two brief, pertinent information sources. Off-site links, new windows open, no affiliation:
>>> Blind allegiance to an out-grown -- if not partially-obsolete -- constitutional amendment must end. The United States (and much of the world) regulates and controls hazardous substances... of many kinds.
Control of deadly-effective modern guns/ammunition must follow.
(Update: Pls. refer to Michael Bloomberg's 12/19/12 USA Today article, "....ways to stop gun madness". Off-site link, new window opens: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2012/12/18/michael-bloomberg-on-need-to-control-guns/1777889/)
(Update/comment: View a pretty scary news article 'slideshow' via the following link. This, within a generally pro-gun-control state. (Some of the 'large-capacity guns' may ostensibly be for "hunting". You need a Bushmaster 'AR' (or an AK-47) to mow down a (ferocious?) deer...???) Off-site link, new window, no affiliation: http://www.wcvb.com/news/-/9849222/17809426/-/pbj074z/-/index.html)
...As we witness far too often: One deranged/criminal individual - almost anywhere - now can gain terrible power to destroy many, many lives. It will be a significant challenge to implement improved control.
(But arming (even) more civilians only increases chances/potential for more gun violence, and/or gun chaos (e.g., in crowded/public environs).
(Update:) Although - as alluded to here in this July, 2012 post (link, new window) - worthy of consideration might be a national (yes, possibly government) program where suitable individuals (even compensated volunteers) are vetted, evaluated, and properly trained to perform deterrent/interdiction functions akin to armed air marshals ...."on the ground". Such individuals would be sworn to uphold duties, with regular re-training and re-evaluations required. Augmenting police and private security, these "public safety marshals" could be deployed at schools, malls, theaters, and other public locations.
Similarly vetting/training a few teachers (+ the principal?) at many schools - 'equipped' for emergency response to gun attacks - may need to be "on the table" as well. (At least until improved weapon/ammunition laws/controls are in place and have time to be (somewhat) effective (in society).....)
Update: There are quite a few other ideas being offered, that do not necessarily involve arming more people: Bank office-type concealed alarm buttons under teacher/administrator desks at schools, automatically-locking entryway security 'vestibules' at school entrances. Etc., etc.
One place to submit your good ideas....Off-site link, no affiliation: http://www.whitehouse.gov/share-your-thoughts-reducing-gun-violence?