Political activism has taken a turn in the past twenty or so years. Gun ownership has been spun, almost in the fault of lobbying groups like the NRA, as an extention of some redneck natural right to hunt big game. The reason the constitutional design of the United States of America included a right to bear arms was to allow for a militia. This has nothing to do with your committment to the flag, the president, or thewar on terror. The Second Ammendment was added to give you a means by which to protect the rule of law in the constitution FROM the powers of state, such as the president, the military, the police, etc. The founders did not realize or believe that the federal military could ever be stronger than their militia, but just in case, the right to bear arms was provided for.
This is not a right to a hunting rifle, a pistol, or any weapon suitable for either home defense or hunting. This is, effectively, a right to raise a militia of the people with the same or stronger military might of the state itself.
This is the design of our system of government. Removing a systemic component without replacing its function would be like taking the rear axle off of your car and replacing it with nothing. Now the primary check and balance of the people, the militia, effectively doesn't exist, and the mainstream media has so effectively spun the issue with one sided hit pieces that the people are eager to give awaythis crucial piece of design of our system.
Let's look at the intent of the right to bear arms. The government was built under the concept that government is run by mortal men who tend to corrupt when bathing in sociopolitical power. This required checks and balances to ensure that noone could seize undue control over the lives of the citizens and push laws on them that they found unacceptable. One of the strongest forms of power is military. Enforcement of the law requires the usage of weaponry, and creation of systems of power can be taken on by these means as well. Knowing that public officials, military generals, police, etc might begin operating in a way which is not legal according to the rule of law, a government of the people should empower the people to defend themselves against rogue activity. The sheer capability would discourage such activity as the power to do so wouldn't exist. For example, if a law enforcement officer or corrupt official wanted to push something on you which is in violation of a law, and you, your brother, and father all possessed assault weapons and had rigorously trained with a militia, a simple phonecall to your neighborhood troops would create a very sticky situation for the corrupt official. The knowledge that this outcome was a real possibility would prevent such actions.
Now the next emotional extention of this, is the fear that this militia would undue the rule of law because without a military edge the state couldn't defend the rule of law either! However in a government of the people, the laws reflect the morality of the people the laws govern. This would mean you would now have an ADDITIONAL law enforcement agency, your neighbors. The odds that a people would only support laws in contradiction with their own desired way of life in a majority is negligable. Essentially these laws would be created in support of the people, and if someone wanted to go "virginia tech" he would no longerhave support of his community, who would consider him a threat to their safety and act as a first line of defense.
Only through the total failure of a politician would you ever have a showdown between the military or law enforcement and the people, and if it were to happen, which it rarely would, it would probably be necessary in order to protect the rule of law.
For those of you who trust the government and feel this is an unreasonable thought, think about HR 1955, Patriot Acts episode 1 and 2,military commissions act, and the ending of the posse comitatus act. In the terms of the past two presidents we've seen the first and second ammendments, the writ of habeas corpus, unwarranted search and seizure,and cruel and unusual punishment protections thrown out the window. If you feel that Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the other iconic figures of our past would want their images used to promote a government that doesn't enforce the rule of law they risked their life in a revolution to establish, you're living in a fantasy world.
The final argument you get against constitutional provisions is that they are antiquated, and not with the times. Although this is a very blanket and somewhat poorly rationed statement (the strongest argumentyou ever get for it is that the "founding fathers never imagined a world with [insert piece of technology here]" without explaining how this piece of technology makes liberty impossible and fascism or socialism suddenly a good idea again), I will address it: our current system is a decaying constitutional republic with authoritarian socialist tendencies. It only gets its power through a contract with the people short of a military coup. Knowing this, to say constitutional republics are out of date is a nice argument for abandoning the system, provided you have a totally new system and can get the support of the people. If instead you intend to fix it by just perverting a constitutional republic by selectively enforcing certain laws and ignoring others you are effectively creating nothing, which is something worse. This strategy is similar to a model tee car owner who, upon discovering the invention of jet airplanes, attatches a jet engine and landing gear to his car trying to keep with the times. This does notmake an airplane, this just makes a really screwed up dangerous car.
Now more than ever, you need a gun, the founding fathers warned us that this would happen, and we're not listening. They went to war with the English over a stamp tax. Warrentless wiretapping, torture, arresting people without trial, thought crime bills, 30% taxation, some of which is going to fund things which were not authorized legislatively, direct taxation, suppression of freedom of speech and the right to beararms... Next time you look at a picture of George W Bush or BillClinton in the White House with George Washington's picture behind them, be a pal and warn them to watch their back.