From My Cold, Dead Hands
July 7, 2012 17 Comments
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.
US Constitution, 2d Amendment. Commonly called the “Bill of Rights”
We’ve discussed this before but, with rumors of the prospective signing of the UN arms control treaty running rampant, maybe we should again.
The point of the Amendment isn’t to allow you to go hunting, not that it stops you.
Nor is it really there to allow you to protect yourself from criminals, although again, that is clearly within its purview, and a very valuable feature.
The point of the amendment is the very final check on tyranny. At the time of the Founders, the militia was defined as all able-bodied men older than 18 (usually there was a commonsense upper limit).
The founders had just fought a Revolution and intended for this country to remain free. We formed a regular army (The Continental Army) but standing military forces were widely distrusted (quite a difference from now when the US military is by far the most trusted institution in the country). There were organized state militias but, in the last resort, it was up to the people.
The founders worked very hard to separate the powers of government among the states, the Congress, the President and the courts but, I think they knew that a cabal could, over time, subvert the whole system. So again they adapted from the past. From Wikipedia:
Whereas the late King James the Second by the Assistance of diverse evill Councellors Judges and Ministers imployed by him did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant Religion and the Lawes and Liberties of this Kingdome (list of grievances including) … by causing severall good Subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when Papists were both Armed and Imployed contrary to Law, (Recital regarding the change of monarch) … thereupon the said Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons pursuant to their respective Letters and Elections being now assembled in a full and free Representative of this Nation takeing into their most serious Consideration the best meanes for attaining the Ends aforesaid Doe in the first place (as their Auncestors in like Case have usually done) for the Vindicating and Asserting their ancient Rights and Liberties, Declare (list of rights including) … That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.
In the last analysis, the freedom of America is in the hands of the American People.
Or as we commonly say, “The Second defends the Rest“.
This is the right that would be tyrants want to remove above all others, the reason is obvious, an armed citizenry is not easily cowed. In fact, we remember, in 1940, there were drives here in America for extra sporting arms, to arm the British in case of invasion, They went pretty well.
One of the strongest proponents of our gun right was the late actor Charlton Heston. Here are a couple of videos he made on the subject.
hattip to Blogsense by Barbs’ From My Cold, Dead Hands.
Defending Freedom; for an American it is not only your right, it is also your duty.
- Talk Is Always Cheaper (markamerica.com)