It’s a little-acknowledged fact that the second amendment, as currently interpreted, does much more than give people the right to ‘bear arms’. Everyone knows that it allows people to own and use guns. That’s what the text of the amendment talks about, after all. But owning and bearing are what gun owners do, and most Americans are not gun owners. But, the second amendment’s range far exceeds simple gun ownership. The second amendment’s greatest effect is to require that the possibility of gunfire is present in every situation in the US. It ensures that every situation you, gun owner or not, can find yourself in contains a non-zero chance that you will be shot to death – not the certainty, just the chance.
Like most people, I don’t own a gun. Decades ago, I had two, but I sold them because I wanted some money to buy a guitar. But I can still be killed by one! There is always the chance that there will be someone with a gun nearby who shoots it my way. The second amendment guarantees that chance.
And people fight to maintain this possibility. They fight hard. When someone tries to say “No, gunfire will not be a possibility in this situation,” they get very upset, indignant, red in the face. They yell and scream and call their Congressmen. They demand that the possibility of death by gunfire be restored. They march, they wave copies of the Constitution. They brandish their guns menacingly, whenever someone tries to create a situation where gunfire is not a possibility. They are deeply committed to maintaining the possibility that everyone in the US can be killed by a gun.
In fact, the requirement that being shot at, or being shot, or being killed by gunfire is possible in every situation is, to them, a fundamental and defining feature of the US itself. They insist that without it, we, or least they, would be diminished.
We hold this truth to be self-evident: that all men have the right to be a possible casualty of gunfire, goddamnit.