The Self-Contradictory Second Amendment
The Second Amendment contradicts itself. On the one hand, well-regulated militia; on the other hand, uninfringed bearing of arms. But to regulate is by definition to infringe. One can make a lawyerly distinction between infringement and regulation; but the difference is relative to the observer.
Shall guns be controlled? For instance shall they be kept out of the hands of children, criminals, traitors and the insane? If not then the militia is not well-regulated; if yes then arms-bearing may be infringed.
Suppose that Mr. Discord, who constantly earns his name, wants a large stockpile of powerful weapons; may he buy it or not? If yes, then the militia is self-evidently ill-regulated; if no, then bearing arms is a privilege not a right; and if it’s a judgement call, then the Second Amendment has no legal force and in effect does not exist.
Perhaps, as a face-saving compromise, Mr. Discord has to fill out and notarize some paperwork before legally purchasing his arsenal. This paperwork, called the “Well-Regulated Militia Form, Schedule 23”, asks about name, address, e-mail, phone numbers, social security number, age, citizenship, restraining orders, psychiatric record, criminal record, safety and skill certification, types and numbers of weapons purchased and payment type. But you know how well Mr. Discord copes with paperwork. He’d call it bureaucratic interference with the free market.
Some say that the “well-regulated militia” clause is there just to justify the “bearing arms” clause. But if so then arms-bearing is the means, and well-regulation the end; so any arms-bearing that undermines well-regulation is against the stated intent of the Second Amendment. Any policies that aid one half of the Second Amendment and hinder the other half are in violation of it. Therefore the Second Amendment can exist only as a compromise.
No other amendment has a qualifying phrase. There is no First Amendment call for “well-regulated” speech or religion.
So the Second Amendment takes both sides of the gun control debate; therefore it can be quoted by both sides. How convenient! From this I predict that the big federal gun-control law, when it comes, will be titled, “The Well-Regulated Militia Enforcement Act”.