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.
-Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
As I stated yesterday, I completely understand and agree with a citizen's right to bear arms for protection and hunting along with all the reasons the settlers wanted the provision in place:
Virtually another "check and balance" of government.
But, I have to say that your arguments have yet to sway me insofar as the assault weapons:
JRob wrote: "The 2nd Amendment ends with, "...shall not be abridged." The words, "...unless the gun looks scary" do not appear."
Bram said: "Our Founding Fathers didn't write the Second Amendment so they could hunt or even protect themselves from criminals. It was created so that we can, if necessary, overthrow a tyrannical government. So I for one will be keeping my "Assault" rifle (it's actually more of a battle rifle).
Once you look at what an "assault rifle" really is - a medium powered semi-automatic rifle - it isn't very scary."
But, here's where I'm getting hung up.
If the founding fathers could have glimpsed into the future at how weaponry was going to evolve...would they have made the blanket provision they did? If they knew that there would eventually be a gun that could fire 50 rounds per second?!
What type of guns existed when the Second Amendment was written?
Arms in 1791
Let's look at arms – specifically, guns – as they existed at the time of the ratification.
Guns in 1791 WOULD
...be made by a gunsmith.
...have rudimentary rifling.
...be single-shot weapons.
...be loaded through the muzzle.
...fire by means of a flintlock.
Guns in 1791 WOULD NOT
...have interchangeable parts. (Popularized in 1798)
...be revolvers. (Invented in 1835)
...be breachloaded. (Popularized in 1810)
...use smokeless powder. (Invented in 1885)
...use a percussion cap, necessary for modern cartridged bullets. (Invented in 1842)
...load bullets from a clip. (Invented in 1890) (source)
I just can't help but feel that the authors of the Second Amendment wouldn't have painted it with such a broad brush had they known what was to come...