No, the Second Amendment does not mean you can have AK-47's
The Second Amendment of the Constitution was ratified 225 years ago. To put that in perspective, in the same year that King Louis XVI was caught trying to escape the French Revolution, steamboats got a working US patent, Mozart’s opera “Magic Flute” premiered in Vienna and there were no banks until December of that year. During the same era, African Americans were only counted as 3/5 of a person and slavery would not be abolished for another 60 years! Also, if you were born in 1791, you could expect to live to the ripe old age of 33.35 years, if you weren’t one of the unlucky ones on the wrong side of the 24% infant mortality rate. (WHO citation.) America in the 18th century was no picnic.
Life in the brand-spanking new US of A was grueling. There were thieves, Indians, swindlers, drunks and bad guys. There were community-based “watch men” who served as police but only in the more urban areas of the States. The New York Police Department wasn’t established until 1845. Obviously, these new Americans living the dream on the prairie needed protection. There was no dialing 911 if a gang of horse thieves came to your homestead. “The Right to Bear Arms” was essential to survival. Surviving to the whopping 33.35 years if you were lucky. “The Right to Bear Arms” meant Colonial muskets — the flintlock musket — a muzzle loaded with a single shot or grape shot (multiple balls), fired from the shoulder. The Musket had a short range and was not very accurate but would scare the offenders away.
I’m no fire arms expert, but common sense and a bit of research reveals (surprise!) that a musket is quite different from the semi automatic weapons we have today. The same automatic weapons that are used in war zones, in mass shootings and massacres. The Newtown shooter (I WILL NOT USE THIS PERSON’S NAME, EVER.) used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, capable of firing 45 rounds per minute. 27 people including the Asshole Shooter’s own mother were killed that day. 20 of them young children getting excited for Santa to come and about the upcoming holiday break. If Asshole Shooter had only a musket, there would not be as nearly many casualties and Newtown wouldn’t go down in the deadliest school shooting in US history. An “active shooter” alert — a phrase that has become a part of our sad, gun-loving language is a hell of a lot less terrifying if the perps only have a shoulder held musket. In the five minutes of the Newtown attack, Asshole Shooter easily mowed down classrooms full of children. He fired 156 shots. Most victims were shot several times. Six-year-old Noah Posner was shot 11 times. ELEVEN. Noah’s brave mother opted for an open casket so people could see what bullets do to human flesh. These children were brutalized.
Language is a tricky thing. It is subjective. The Second Amendment was written in the spirit of our newfound freedom by our forefathers who were pretty damn smart. James Madison’s reflection on the Second Amendment clearly expresses that the right to bear arms “shall not be infringed” since a “well-regulated militia” is the “best security of a free country.” Now, 225 years later, America is now the world’s superpower and has a fabulous militia! Yay, First Responders! Our modern militia are brave police officers who come when you call, day or night; sleet or snow! Oh, we also have a pretty kick ass US military. (Thank you for your service, ladies and gentlemen.) Mr. Madison was not encouraging private citizens to weapon up with rifles, carbines and machine guns like a Somali warlord. You can dial 9-1-1 or just use your musket to scare off those horse thieves. I’d bet George Washington’s wood teeth that the First President agrees with me.