Shall Not Be Infringed. What Does It Really Mean?


“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Over the years we seen a gradual errosion of our absolute rights on many fronts. In the case of guns, it’s been widely
accepted by those in power that as long as the government allows the people to own some sort of gun, that the 2nd Amendment
right has been preserved.

What does “infringe” mean? Does the term mean a total ban?

Merriam-Webster defines “infringe” as encroaching on a person’s rights. The definition of “encroach” means to enter by
gradual steps or stealth, to impede one’s ability to excercise their rights.

Is that not exactly what we have witnessed since the Gun Control Act of 1965?

I remember when the gun control crowd swore that all they wanted to outlaw were those cheap little “Saturday Night
Specials.” They defined them as inexpensive, mechanically unsafe handguns that were only used by criminals. They swore that they’d never come after long guns like rifles and shotguns or expensive, well made handguns.

George Bush, Sr. wasn’t in office thirty days when he was paid a visit by a gang of bureaucrat police chiefs. That afternoon Bush signed an executive order banning so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines. In 1993 Diane Feinstein drafted an assault weapon ban that Congress passed by a one vote margin and in 1994 Clinton signed it into law.

The law came with a 10 year expiration date and it was only by a stroke of luck that in 2004, with the 9/11 atrocity still fresh in mind, Conservatives had the clout in Congress to allow the ban to expire.

During that 10 years the gun control crowd, feeling emboldened shifted their attention to what they hoped was the next easy target, 50 caliber rifles. Try as they might they couldn’t advance their agenda and so it was set aside for another day, because they never give up and they never go away.

Two years ago they proposed a ban on tactical shotguns which they defined as a shotgun with a short barrel, pistol grip or folding stock. The idea was to use wording already in existing gun law that reads “Any weapon with a bore larger than 50 caliber which is deemed to have no sporting value can be banned at the discression of the ATF Director.”

“At the discression” (of an unelected appointee) means on a whim, an end run around Congress. Owners of such shotguns would’ve been required to register them as if they were a machinegun.

Once again (excuse the pun), we dodged that bullet when conservatives swept the mid-term elections and sent the anti-gunners scuttling for cover.

But now, with a fresh tragedy to exploit and feeling secure after the re-election of Obama they’re at it again. Once again we find ourselves debating the same old talking points, citing facts and figures as if any of that matters to these people.

More people than ever own guns, largely the result of Obama and the guns people have been buying are tactical rifles, shotguns and handguns. Public opinion favoring more gun control is at an all time low. Yet the anti-gun growd and their political allies couldn’t care less. That said, what is the value of this incessant debate?

In coming weeks there will be a new “assault weapon” and magazine ban, this time even more draconian than the last and there will be no expiration date.

It seems that the people have but three options:

1) Comply with the law, and the next and the next until eventually you have no freedoms left.

2) Refuse to comply and in so doing make yourself a criminal.

3) Take up arms against the authorities as in the Revolution and Texas War of Independence (The first shots in both conflicts were fired when the authorities attempted to sieze weapons held by the citizenry).

I predict that most people will opt for number 2 and then the ball will be in the government’s court. Will they tolerate their authority being held in widespread contempt? Will they choose to escalate the situation and what will be the consequence if they do?

Stay tuned folks, history will be made either way.


  1. I don’t think he’ll get an assault rifle ban, I think Obama will try and introduce restrictions on magazine capacity for all weapons and more red tape for selling firearms that no one’s going to bother to obey. I don’t think Obama cares whether it’s enforceable, he just wants to look effective and give the NRA a bloody nose for not supporting him and playing up to Democrats.

    • Whoopie


      I hope you are right Stefi. But regardless, it will be yet another incremental step toward the inevitable. In some ways I find that more insidious, like slowly boiling a frog by gradually increasing the water temp. Or water wearing away a rock. This is the tactic the Left has been successfully using for decades. Drip, drip, drip.

      • I think the Democrats are in real trouble politically, they would have been better off in Obama had lost the election. He has very little support amongst white voters and will piss most of them off even more over the next four years. I can’t see blaming Bush for the state of the economy washing during the mid-terms. So any legislation has to be done now. If he is crafty he will draft legislation that allows individual states to reduce magazine capacity for all weapons, which there is less likely to be opposition to. Will Arizona, Texas, Florida etc. really care if California reduces rifles, shotguns, and semi autos to six round mags, if they can have unlimited round magazines? That could be a problem.

        I think there has been a slow erosion but the 2nd amendment is problematic because it’s meaning is very obvious and it gives Americans an absolute right to both own and carry all arms, and to form into ad hoc militia for common defence. But I remember what Glock did the last time Washington tried to ban regular capacity handguns and the result is that more regular capacity Glocks were sold.

  2. G8RFN

    In the mind of a thinking person, it means exactly what it says … “shall not be infringed”. Seems fairly straight forward to me. In the World of Next Tuesday it can mean a lot of things. Mainly, how you can spin a crisis and the BS to your Progressive political advantage.

    • Betty Butter

      And when you operate with hate rich white American gun owners as your foundation, infringing with verbal threats, bullying and intimidation is always a good game plan.


  4. Pingback: New York High School Student Suspended for T-Shirt About Second Amendment - Blur Brain

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