The Right to Bear Arms

The Right to Bear Arms

Last week I was making my way home from Deer Island. While waiting for the ferry to the mainland I noticed a car in the line-up with New Hampshire (U.S.A.) licence plates. A question that I had for many years came to mind. I figured that this might be a good time to have it answered.

I assumed the couple in the car were husband and wife. They looked like they might be retired. He smiled as I approached the car.

Good day folks. Welcome to Canada. Is this your first visit to New Brunswick?”

He explained that they actually owned land on the island and that they spent their summers there.

Well, I guess that makes me the visitor. It certainly is a pretty place to spend the summer.”

He agreed and told me the story of how his mother was of Canadian stock and how the property had been handed down.

I continued, “I have a question for you. On your licence plate you have the motto, Live Free or Die. I am curious, is there no middle ground there; I mean, does it have to be just one or the other?”

He chuckled, “It does sound a bit extreme, doesn’t it?”

I added, “Personally, I would like to have the option of something in the middle, at least for a little while anyway.”

At this point his wife looked at me and said in a rather stern tone, “It is about the right to bear arms.”

Really, I didn’t realize that.” I thought it was about not being dictated to by a country located five thousand miles away.”

In the same tone she continued, “In New Hampshire we have the right to carry revolvers.”

He followed, “We don’t carry ourselves but we do have the right.”

I thought I would roll the dice a bit, “You know, when the Second Amendment was written, all they had were muskets. Perhaps the amendment should have said, The Right to Bear Muskets.” Think about it. How does one carry out mass shootings with a musket? How long does one take to reload, 30 seconds? And if a guy were seen walking into a building with a dozen loaded muskets you would think someone would notice; they were, after all, the length of dinner tables.

He chuckled, she didn’t.

She said, in a more abrupt tone, “I am pretty sure that they had guns.”

He replied, “No. I think all they had were muskets.”

No”, she rebutted, “I am pretty sure they had guns. I will confirm that tonight.”

Her tone suggested that the conversation was over.

I was temped to ask her how she was going to vote in the November election but I think I figured that one out for myself.

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