reddragon70 wrote:As I understand it, based upon my rather flimsy grasp of history, the US Constitution allows the bearing of arms in order that you can defend yourselves against the dangerous and expansionist Brittish Empire. Ummmm...
As a history buff, I can tell you that this is partially true. The second amendment of the US Constitution is as follows: "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."
Back in the beginning, there was no US Army, there were only local militias. They were used to fight British and natives from the towns in the colonies. These loosely formed groups of men, were expected to provide their own weapons to bring into the fight. Now due to the nature of gunpowder, they did not store it in living quarters, due to its flammability. There were specific buildings, known as Powder Houses, where gunpowder was stored, generally in a central location in the town, and made of stone on three out of four sides. This way, if the building blew up, it was easy to rebuild. When a militia was called up, they generally assembled at the powder house, got their gunpowder and ammunition, so that they could take on whatever enemies were attacking the town.
When the British controlled these towns, the local militia could not have the right to bear their arms, or load them, because the British controlled the Powder House in each town. The amendment was so that the government had no control of the people (in the federal copy, it was People in the copies sent to the States, which in and of itself begs more questions) to keep (posess) and bear (transport and use) arms. This put control of these powder houses in the hands of the people (or People, depending on your interpretation).
I know of a Powder House whose foundation is still standing from Washington's time in Newburgh, NY. It bears out my theory for quick rebuild in the case of explosion because only three sides are made of stone. And believe me, I have heard of some horrible fires and explosions in these powder houses. It's only natural that someone got the smarts to make them so that they could be rebuilt quickly. Especially during the Revolutionary War.
That's what I know about it. Not what you were taught in school, but when do they tell you ALL the details in school?