The Massachusetts Court is Wrong About Banning Assault Weapons

Time reported that yesterday a Federal Judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging Massachusetts' ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, saying that the weapons fall outside the scope of the Second Amendment.

The court is wrong.

The Second Amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791. The Second Amendment states:

"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."

"Militia," as defined at the time, meant anyone over the age of 18. "Arms" constituted a weapon which was necessary for a militia or domestic military force that would be used to defend the State -- essentially, an army.  The language alone makes it clear that the Constitution sanctioned the use of weapons that would be used in war. Additionally, that's all they had at the time. "Weapons of war."

The common types of weapons used in the American Revolution were:

The Brown Bess: a short-range musket used during the early years of the war

The Kentucky Long Rifle: basically a sniper rifle

The French Charleville Musket: a lightweight, flintstock weapon used later in the war

The Pennsylvania Long Rifle: created by German colonists

The weapons that were available at the time were specifically for military use and the founding fathers did not specify a gun type in the Constitution, they specified "arms," which does not limit the extension of that right to only specific weapons. It allows for changes in the types of firearm used, while making inalienable the right to use such firearms.

Fast forward to today, where many of the standard military issued rifles have a mode on the trigger selector that allows for either a burst of 3 rounds with a single pull or fully automatic fire, which means an unlimited amount of rounds are fired with a single pull of the trigger.

These guns are illegal for private ownership.

There are also a number of other weapons commonly used in war, which are also illegal for civilian ownership. So, current gun laws already infringe on the spirit of the Second Amendment.

The current push for a ban on "assault weapons" is foolish, as true assault weapons are already banned. We currently have a climate of hysteria where people who know little to nothing about firearms are able to influence firearm policy. The current "assault weapons" and "AR-15" style guns  are being demonized and attacked simply because they look like full automatic weapons, despite the fact they do not function the same way.  Gun control advocates are trying to legislate cosmetic features that do not impact the performance of the weapon.

Appealing to her constituents emotions, Democratic state Attorney General Maura Healey said the ruling "vindicates the right of the people of Massachusetts to protect themselves from these weapons of war." She went on to say, "strong gun laws save lives, and we will not be intimidated by the gun lobby in our efforts to end the sale of assault weapons and protect our communities and schools."

But, as recent data from Europe shows, gun bans and strict gun laws actually result in increased violent crime, as a disarmed population has no way of defending itself.

Add to it the fact that in 2004 the US Department of Justice did not renew the 1994 assault weapons ban because studies showed that it had no real impact on reducing violent crime and it's easy to see that people like Healey, despite likely being well-intentioned, are devoid of all credibility on this issue.

We had an assault weapons ban and it didn't work. So, why such an intense push for another one?

What we are seeing right now is judicial activism and tragedies being exploited by left-wing advocates to push an agenda that seeks to disarm the American people. Because without doing so, it would be impossible to institute far more draconian legislation.

There is a reason communists and socialists disarmed their populations right before killing millions of their own citizens. And that is exactly why we have the Second Amendment.

For more detail, please see this lecture by Ben Shapiro: