"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."
— Second Amendment, Bill of Rights
Perhaps the most important amendment of the Bill of Rights, for without it, all the others are inconsequential. Let's be honest. The Founding Fathers did not trust government. Not even the one they formed. Why? Because they understood that man's nature is fallible and easily corruptible, particularly so when prone to avarice. That's the history of man. And they knew history too well. Still, a government was needed. The Declaration of Independence announced to the World our rejection of England's rule. The Constitution gave us a government, a government structure, and a set of guidelines operation of that government. The Bill of Right gave us protections from our own government's inevitable overreach and potential abuse of power by placing limitations on it.
President Obama, in a 2001 interview, said some disparaging comments about the constitution. He said and I quote: "a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you but doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf." President Obama, in a rare display of candor, admitted what many leftists feel in regards to the constraints our Constitution places on government.
But the Founders were deeply purposeful and intellectually coherent in their definition of rights. The important characteristics are these: First, they exist outside of us, coming from God or nature, not government, and so are independent of the whims of government and cannot be either manufactured, given or of even greater concern, extinguished when they get in the way of government. In other words, our rights are Inalienable.
Anti-gun advocates and their gun control allies in the presstitute mainstream media, are all products of the 20th Century. And of course, there is the Democrat Party, the party that gave us slavery, the Civil War, the KKK—the country's original gun control organization—Jim Crow laws, and the first national gun control laws in our history.
One popular tactic had been the disingenuous attempt to squeeze out of the 2nd, words to the effect that the Amendment, refers to a "collective" right to firearms, not an individual right. Their argument was that the 2nd guarantees that only the state's sanctioned national guard's right to arms, will not be infringed. A brilliant tactic I must admit. Particularly so, if you apply 20th century English to a document written in 18th century language. But the SCOTUS settled that back in District of Columbia v. Heller, when it said the 2nd protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms. End of story. Let's hope.
To understand gun control advocates, you must first realize who they are. They usually fall into one of these categories: the uninformed, mistaken, indifferent, disingenuous, and the biased. There is also the radical members of leftist activist groups, who use every means at their disposal, in order to attain the total disarmament of the American people. Their true and unequivocal goal. These are the most dangerous, as their lies and rhetoric, can influence the less motivated. Like the old saying goes, "If you have to exaggerate, bend the truth, or outright lie in order to advance or validate your position, you have no righteous argument. For only evil emerges from deception." With that allow me to present my case.
Early Americans had a collective fear of standing armies. In fact, of all the powerful memories and emotions the Founders brought to the constitutional debates, apparently none was stronger than their fear of standing armies. Here are some examples:
"The necessity of an armed populace, is the protection against the disarming of the citizenry, and assurance that a real militia could defend liberty against any standing forces the government might raise."
— David Young, a lieutenant in the Kincardineshire Volunteers Militia, 1798-1816.
"A militia when properly formed, is in fact the people themselves, and render regular troops in great measure unnecessary—by establishing a militia, a distinct body of military men is to be avoided."
— Richard Henry Lee, writing under the pseudonym "The Federal Farmer."
But if the people were not to maintain a standing army, whence would come their defense against armed aggression? The anti-federalists believed that through the existence of a general militia of able-bodied, armed citizens, in each state and in every community, ages 16-60, providing their own weapons and ammunition. They could answer the call to assemble and muster a defense of life and property. Don B. Kates, one of the country's leading 2nd Amendment scholars, observes:
"The militia was the entire adult male citizenry, who weren't just simply allowed to keep their own arms, but affirmatively required to do so. Moreover, the duty to keep arms applied to every household, not just to those containing persons subject to serve in the general militia."
It is hardly credible indeed, to assume that the term "the people," intended (by James Madison) to represent the individual right of private citizens to assemble and peacefully petition the government, as in the First Amendment, then transform the Second into a collective right of states, and then miraculously returns it to a right of private individuals as in the Fourth Amendment, which spells out the right to be "secure in their persons, homes, papers, and effects." It is disingenuous to believe that.
Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, statesman, diplomat, and the Third President of the United States of America, also had something to say about guns and the price of freedom:
"Let you gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks. No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. For what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time, that their people preserve the right of resistance— The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is nature's manure."
Pretty harsh isn't it? Enough to make a snowflake melt and anti-gun progressives toss their cookies. But that's how serious the Founders understood the concept of liberty to be. Those are hard words indeed. But they reflect not only the necessity to be armed at all times, but the willingness to use them. Jefferson, as well as the rest of the Founders, understood too well, the depravity and the lust for power so prevalent in the human mind, even in the best of men. They knew that tyranny and cruelty are inevitable realities of government.
The 2nd, besides the natural God-instilled instinct and God-given right to self-defense, also meant to be a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of the would-be ruling class—politicians—and as a necessary and efficient means of regaining rights when violated by a self-serving government.
Thus the meaning of the 2nd undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia would be assembled, shall have the inalienable right to keep and use their own firearms, and they need no permission, regulation, or government approval.
Tench Coxe, writing under the pseudonym, "A Pennsylvanian," for the Pennsylvania Gazette, wrote on February 20th, 1788:
"Who are these Militias? [A]re they not ourselves? Congress has no power to disarm the Militias [armed citizens]. Their swords and every other terrible implement of the soldier [firearms], are the birthright of an American...[T]he unlimited power of sword is not in the hands of either the Federal or State governments, but where I trust in GOD it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."
Wow! There is no way to misrepresent the sentiment of the time Mr. Coxe intended to express isn't it? The Founding Fathers, well-versed in classical philosophy, English common law, and the history of the world, also drew inspiration from from the writings of one of their principal mentors, William Blackstone, who wrote that the right to bear arms as being essential for self-preservation and national defense, and that self-defense being, and I quote:
"The primary law of nature, which cannot be taken away by the laws of society. The natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and its laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression."
This suggests that Blackstone, a principal inspiration to our Founders, saw political overtones in the right to keep arms. It explains why in the Bill of Rights, the 2nd is only preceded by the rights to freedom religion, expression, the press, and petition of government, the 1st. Then followed by the guarantee against the quartering of soldiers in private homes, the 3rd, and that followed by the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the 4th.
We see as a result, several powerful influences in the thinking patten of our Founding Fathers. Their Anglo-Saxon philosophical heritage, their education in English Common Law, the history of the world, and the impact of the realities of their colonial life. They saw that being prepared for the potential for self-defense against aggressors, either in the form of criminals, Indian raiding parties, a foreign invader, or even an out of control government, was a moral imperative.
I believe I have made a credible argument on the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. However, I have no illusions of having reached the reasoning of many of the dedicated anti-gun crowd, as most of their opposition-mentality,
is derived from a mixture of fear and loathing of guns, and those willing to use them. And as such, they aren't content with just avoiding guns, they are opposed to the idea of you having them at all. To continue with all the evidence and material available to validate my argument is an exercise in futility with so many in that anti-gun camp. Those with a pathological disdain for all things related to the 2nd, cannot be persuaded to see the light.