While there is still debate surrounding this definition, when it comes to how the Second Amendment is perceived at the federal level, the 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller makes it quite clear that the above definition (currently) stands.
The problem, however, is in just how vague such an idealistic construct really is. What is tyranny? Depending on who you ask, the answer to that question may be radically different from another’s. Like beauty, our understanding of tyranny is really in the eye of the beholder.
To someone who is left-wing, tyranny could be a government that takes away women’s reproductive rights; tyranny could be a government that makes it nearly impossible for people of color and low economic status from being able to vote. To someone who is right-wing, however, tyranny could be a government that tries limiting one’s access to certain weapons and ammunition; tyranny could be a government that forces their citizens to pay a small portion in taxes to help pay for medical healthcare for all.
Therein lies the problem with the Second Amendment. It does not provide an actual definition of what is to be considered tyranny. And thus leaves it to the imagination of its citizenry – the very people of which the Second Amendment allows to become armed and violent under the vague justification of what they perceive to be tyranny.
Take for example the Congressional baseball shooting that took place last month on June 14:
However, there’s nothing we can really do about it now. As much as I’d want to abolish the Second Amendment, in the 21st century, the Second Amendment has become cemented and solidified via the emergence of additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing).
Before 3D printing made its way into the consumer mainstream, abolishing the Second Amendment could’ve been easily achieved. Guns and ammunition would instead be exchanged via the black market at a price so high that the vast majority of people wouldn’t be able to afford them. And yet, with 3D printing, gun manufacturing and sales have now entered the same realm as that of film and music exchange via torrents. One’s access to guns is now simply one click away.
And when it comes to ammunition, well, that all depends on how you define “ammunition.” The power of 3D printing has opened up a whole new mode of “imagination engineering.” The world of tomorrow’s weapons and ammunition are going to be radically different from what we consider weapons and ammunition today.
This is the age we live in now. It doesn’t matter whether today’s extremist was left-wing or right-wing; it doesn’t matter if it was simply one man with a gun. Tomorrow’s extremist(s), whether they be left-wing or right-wing, will have highly specialized access and understanding of the Internet; tomorrow’s extremist(s) will have highly specialized access and understanding of 3D printers; tomorrow’s extremist(s) will have highly specialized access and understanding of drones.
Yes, the extremist behind the Congressional baseball shooting may have been merely one man with a gun. But tomorrow’s will be able to print their guns in the same way we download music today; they’ll use drones to drop DIY bombs from our airspace, and they’ll use the Internet to gain access to our vulnerable power grid and collapse our entire socio-economic foundation at the single stroke of a keyboard.
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