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Here’s how the NRA lies about the Second Amendment

The notion that the Second Amendment is about allowing the citizenry to mount an insurrection against the government is exactly backwards. Rather, it’s about conscripting the citizenry to suppress insurrection.

Andrew Reinbach EXPLAINS:

If somebody brings up the first phrase–” A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” they [the National Rifle Association, et al] insist the militia meant the people at large, and that the idea was to create a counterweight to the central government, so it wouldn’t dare infringe on the people’s rights.

I’m sorry to have to burst their bubble–well, not really–but the legislative history following the Second Amendment’s passage very clearly supports the opposite of what they say. In 1789, the militia was intended to substitute for a standing Army, and to defend the government from insurrection.

Congress passed two Militia Acts in 1792. The first created state militias, each under control of that state’s governor, specifically created to resist invasion, and suppress insurrection. The second directed all able-bodied white men between the ages of 18 and 45 to belong to their state militia, own a gun and related equipment for that purpose, and report for duty twice a year. The law even laid out how many bullets each militia member had to bring with him–25 if he owned a musket, 20 if he owned a rifle. After the Civil War the Acts were modified to allow black militia members to belong. In 1903, the state militias were merged with the National Guard.

Aside from frontier fights with the Indian Nations, the militia was used only twice between 1792 and 1814: Once against the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pa. (led in person by George Washington); and then at Bladensburg, Md., to defend Washington DC against the British (the militia ran at the first volley and the day has been called the Bladensburg Races ever since). There was one use of a militia under the Articles of Confederation; in 1787, Shay’s Rebellion in western Massachusetts was put down by a private militia after Shay’s men attacked the Springfield armory.

There is no record of any legally-constituted militia “defending the people against a tyrannical government” under the Constitution–acts it would construe as treason, under Article 3, Section 3 (“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”) The only way to claim otherwise is to use the Civil War as an example. Even then, using state armies that way fit the Constitution’s definition of treason; it was simply expedient after the war to let the matter go.

Given that, anyone can see that the militia under the Constitution was an instrument of the state from the first, and never meant to safeguard the people from the state. What the NRA is doing is trying to confuse colonial militias–when there was no United States–with militias under the Constitution.

The record likewise makes clear that personal gun ownership was protected by the Second Amendment as a way to arm the militia. Of course, lots of people owned muskets or rifles then anyway. And in general, most people didn’t care. But a glance at the historical and legislative record explains why the Second Amendment has three clauses in one sentence and can’t be understood without considering all of it–screams from the right notwithstanding.

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38 Comments

  1. Except it still says that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

  2. Regulation is not infringement.

  3. How do you figure that?

  4. Luke Fredrickson

    Every constitutional right we enjoy has limits, and the right to bear arms is no exception. The state simply has to prove a compelling interest to enact and enforce limitations, which it clearly has today.

    Breaking existing gun laws should result in strict, unwavering penalties. Give people 6 months to register or turn in their illegal guns, followed by:

    Possess an illegal firearm? 5 years in a federal pen.
    Use one to commit any crime? 20 years.
    Fire an illegal gun? 30 years.
    Catch a felon with a gun? 30 years.
    Manslaughter/murder with an illegal gun? Life w/no parole.
    Traffic illegal guns? Life w/no parole.

    We would still endure crazies using legal guns to massacre innocents (more of a mental health problem), but the commonplace urban shootings would dry up quickly. There is simply no reason to continue playing pattycake with anyone who carries illegal weapons.

    If convicted, that NY lady who bought that violent felon the Bushmaster rifle should spend her life perfecting license-plate manufacture.

  5. On the books
    http://www.fedcoplaw.com/html/federal_firearms_laws.html
    http://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/rpt/2012-R-0345.htm

    Any person who uses, carries or possesses a firearm § 921 (a)(3), destructive device § 921 (a)(4), silencer 921 (a)(24), or armor piercing ammunition § 921 (a)(17)(B) to commit any of the following Federal crimes is subject to severe mandatory minimum prison terms and the death penalty if murder occurs during the crime.

    In New Jersey a class 3 felony if caught with non-licensed Red Ryder Daisy bb gun.

  6. Walt Faulkner

    “There is no record of any legally-constituted militia “defending the people against a tyrannical government” – Maybe your fact checking should extend back to 1946 to Athens, TN (not that far from Oak Ridge). You should find the Battle of Athens as that example.

  7. Tim Knight

    Ignoring the context and historic origins of the law to twist it to your liberal bent is just dishonest.

    “. . .No free man shall be debarred the use of arms within his own land.”Thomas Jefferson.

    “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined.” George Washington.

    Not to mention that the phrase refers to Protestant law that clearly gave rights to individuals to arm themselves.

  8. “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.”
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi

  9. From a Professor of law.
    “English history made two things clear to the American revolutionaries: force of arms was the only effective check on government, and standing armies threatened liberty. Recognition of these premises meant that the force of arms necessary to check government had to be placed in the hands of citizens. The English theorists Blackstone and Harrington advocated these tenants. Because the public purpose of the right to keep arms was to check government, the right necessarily belonged to the individual and, as a matter of theory, was thought to be absolute in that it could not be abrogated by the prevailing rulers.
    These views were adopted by the framers, both Federalists and Antifederalists. Neither group trusted government. Both believed the greatest danger to the new republic was tyrannical government and that the ultimate check on tyranny was an armed population. It is beyond dispute that the second amendment right was to serve the same public purpose as advocated by the English theorists. The check on all government, not simply the federal government, was the armed population, the militia. Government would not be accorded the power to create a select militia since such a body would become the government’s instrument. The whole of the population would comprise the militia. As the constitutional debates prove, the framers recognized that the common public purpose of preserving freedom would be served by protecting each individual’s right to arms, thus empowering the people to resist tyranny and preserve the republic. The intent was not to create a right for other (p.1039)governments, the individual states; it was to preserve the people’s right to a free state, just as it says.”

    http://www.guncite.com/journals/vandhist.html

  10. Any person who is actually delusional enough to think they will need to use their firearm to repel the oppression of the US government (or that a gun would be effective against the US military if it actually did come to that anyway) should not pass the mental health exam to get a gun in the first place.

  11. brian c marty

    Summary of 2013 legislation

    Following is a summary of the 2013 legislation:

    Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
    120 specifically-named firearms;
    Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics; and
    Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.
    Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:
    Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test;
    Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test; and
    Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans.
    Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
    Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
    Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment;
    Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes; and
    Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.
    Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:
    Background check of owner and any transferee;
    Type and serial number of the firearm;
    Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
    Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
    Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration.

  12. Andrew Rienbach is wrong. For example, “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” (Tench Coxe in ‘Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution’ under the Pseudonym ‘A Pennsylvanian’ in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1

  13. Craig Knauss

    Wilson,

    Law professors are law professors. Nothing more. Nothing less. For every professor that has an opinion one way, there is another professor who believes the exact opposite.

    It is the Judicial Branch that interprets the law, not law professors.

  14. Chad Daly

    The value of firearms as a deterrent. This is never factored in to any of the statistics that are presented on this subject. I realize that often the area with the strictest gun laws have the most violence. The horror of the events last week cannot be adequately expressed but I am not sure that additional gun laws will solve or help the issue. Criminals find away. How come no one in the “media” mentions the 1927 killing of 38 children by dynamite in the United States? Or the 3 recent school mass murders in China with the use of a knife? Should we create more laws on this? When will the laws end. To the issue of deterrence I offer the following personal examples:
    1.) My mothers close friend while shopping at a Mall Department store in the 1990′s went to the restroom shortly before closing time. (8:45pm) While alone in the restroom the door opened silently and the lights were turned off. The person approached her stall and began breathing heavily. She pulled the 38 revolver from her purse cocked the hammer back and said you come one step closer and I will blow your head off. The lights came back on and the door closed. How come this was not all across the news hailing the value of the gun?
    2.) My close friends sister in law who lives secluded in the country. Home alone when a truck full of strangers arrived knocking on the door. She was not going to answer since she was home alone. They broke in the back door and began to go through her house stealing various items. She hid in the bedroom closet with her husbands 12 gauge. Eventually in the bedroom one of the thieves said check out the closet…She ejected a shell so they could hear that there was a loaded gun in the closet. They ran out of the house as quick as they could.
    3.) While living in Tampa Florida I was driving with my best friend in his Ford Bronco. We were college students driving on a major highway. (Similar to Kingston Pike in TN) A small Nissan cut us off. We exchanges “expletive deletes” (Not advocating this approach). At the next stoplight I saw the man reach into his clove box about 4 cars in front of us. I turned to my friend and said he just pulled out a gun!!! He emerged from the car with the automatic pistol in his hand walking toward our vehicle. Wedged in traffic we could not move our vehicle. My friend pulled his 44 Magnum (Dirty Harry Gun from his console, he had a right to carry permit, I did not) I ducked while he opened his driver door brandishing the shiny long pistol. Seeing this the man ran back to his car and drove away when the light turned green. All of my true stories show how violence was avoided because of the deterrence the GUN provided. How come none of these stories are ever discussed? If I offer 3 stories and I am one person I believe this benefit out weigh’s all the negatives the media continues to feed us….

  15. Absolutly correct Craig but you forget opinion pieces from Andrew Reinbach has that same validity.

    “Andrew Reinbach is Grand Vizier of Reinbach’s Observer. He’s been toiling in the vineyards of journalism for 30 years, mostly writing about real estate, banking, finance generally, and, more recently, the intersection of politics and money.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-reinbach/

    This is not even close to reality it’s just more of Pat Cunningham humor but its just not funny!

  16. Luke Fredrickson,

    “If convicted, that NY lady who bought that violent felon the Bushmaster rifle should spend her life perfecting license-plate manufacture.”

    Luke, Do you mean that lady from the state of Connecticut where the shooting took place? If so that will be impossible since she was killed that day as well. And the weapons were here not his.

  17. Here is how our most famous rich citizens are huge hypocrites and liars. No wonder so many of them lefties!

    Watch out for some of the language in the youtube clip it is very salty.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxRlpRcorEU

  18. Craig, I used a Law Professor who teaches “THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT”
    vs. a journalist who gives his opinion. The journalist has no law degree and possibly no degree at all. I know you lefties have no respect for the rule of law, you just respect feelings.
    You can have an opinion, but facts are facts unless you are a progressive.

  19. The reaction of some folks to this post is purely Pavlovian, isn’t it?

    All you have to say is that the NRA is lying about the Second Amendment, and the gun nuts go ballistic (so to speak).

  20. http://harpers.org/blog/2012/07/the-price-of-gun-control/

    “In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control—no friend of the gun lobby—evaluated fifty-one studies on everything from the effectiveness of gun bans to laws requiring gun locks, and found no discernible effect on public safety by any of the measures we commonly think of as “gun control.” Two years later, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine did a similar survey and came to much the same conclusion.”

    People are just trying to correct your assertion.

    Now for a real conditioned response mention you don’t believe in man made climate change, the drooling dogs will come out of the woodwork.

  21. Craig Knauss

    Wilson,

    And Obama got his law degree from Harvard University School of Law, was president of the Harvard Law Review and taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago. Yet you righties claim he doesn’t understand the Constitution. Where’d you get your law degree?

    I do respect the rule of law and have at least had a graduate law course. Have you? And professors do not establish the rule of law. The Legislative and Judicial Branches do. Got it?

    I would like to see some actual, verifiable, facts from you once in a while, not just a link to some BS that’s someone’s personal opinion. Facts mean nothing to a Regressive.

  22. Luke Fredrickson

    Big Dave says:
    December 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm
    Luke Fredrickson,

    “If convicted, that NY lady who bought that violent felon the Bushmaster rifle should spend her life perfecting license-plate manufacture.”

    Luke, Do you mean that lady from the state of Connecticut where the shooting took place? If so that will be impossible since she was killed that day as well. And the weapons were here not his.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    No Dave, I am referring the lady in NY who allegedly became a “straw buyer” of the Bushmaster for the felon who killed the firemen.

  23. Craig,
    Who is talking about President Obama?
    I was talking about the journalist Andrew Reinbach, did you read Pat’s post?

    Who said anything about a law professor establishing the rule of law?

    I give you links and I even give you your prized Wikipedia links.
    Where is the FBI link you touted?

    I think Rockford College offers reading comprehension classes. From your responses it is clear you read at about a 3rd grade level.

    Typical liberal, they don’t debate, they just change the subject.
    >”I would like to see some actual, verifiable, facts from you once in a while, not just a link to some BS that’s someone’s personal opinion”
    Well I think you need to make that clear to Pat.
    http://blogs.e-rockford.com/applesauce/2012/12/30/heres-how-the-nra-lies-about-the-second-amendment/

  24. Craig Knauss

    Wilson,

    I mentioned Obama because he taught Constitutional Law which includes the Second Amendment. (You did know that, right?) And the number of ABA aprroved Law professors is now estimated at 17,080 (source: Jack Crittenden, editor-in-chief of The National Jurist). So your unnamed law professor is hardly unique.

    TWICE I gave you a Wikipedia link that presented the FBI data. If you are a too retarded to read it and understand it, that’s not my problem. Maybe you should work on your own reading comprehension instead. And maybe take a real law class sometime so you will understand how our legal system works.

  25. Wikipedia is not the FBI.

    You mentioned Obama, why? You have a link to his lectures on the second amendment?

    As I said if you don’t like links to bs, then tell Pat as that was his source for claiming the NRA lies.

    You lecture me about Law professors not establishing the rule of law.
    Well that makes no sense since I made no mention of them doing such.

    And you use the “rule of law” incorrectly Craig says; “I do respect the rule of law and have at least had a graduate law course. Have you? And professors do not establish the rule of law. The Legislative and Judicial Branches do. Got it?”
    Yea I got it, you have no clue.

    from your beloved Wikipedia
    “The rule of law is a legal maxim whereby governmental decisions are made by applying known legal principles”
    Definition
    “the principle that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced; the principle of government by law.”

  26. The author needs to spend more time studying history books than trying to figure out why the NRA is lying. At the end of the day history has a way of repeating itself (Germany, China, France………) and any American with a backbone is not going to lay his arms down only to succumb to the will of the government……

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”

    – Thomas Jefferson

  27. Joe: That s0-called quotation from Thomas Jefferson is bogus. There’s no record of Jefferson having said those words:

    http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndbog.html

  28. shawn johnson

    Another column and opinion from someone who doesn’t own a gun. I don’t own an assault rifle but I do support our right to bear arms. I have a gun for hunting and to protect livestock. I have never even pointed a gun at another person and pray I never have to. That maniac didn’t get those guns legaly he killed his own mother to get them. The guns were not evil just the person was. Now all the legal and innocent gun owners are being targeted for the acts of these evil people.

  29. Mr. Pat Cunningham.. you’ve said that the 2nd Amendment is about militias (National Guard of the States) and not about individual rights, that it’s a lie from the NRA …

    The primary Constitution of the State of Pennsylvania voted in 1776, stated in its article XIII:
    “XIII. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”
    What means “the defence of themselves and the state” in the constitution of Pennsylvania? This Constitution was amended in 1790 and its article IX section 21 says explicitly:
    “Section 21
    That the right of citizens to bear arms, in defence of themselves and the State, shall not be questioned.”.
    Is it not clear enough?
    The Constitution of the State of Vermont 1777 says the same: “That the people jave a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State… ”
    These 2 Constitutions are prior to the US Constitution voted in 1787 and the Bill of Right voted in 1791, and seem to have influenced the writting of the US Constitution. So the constitution of Pennsylvania and Vermont prove that it was the individual right for the citizens to have weapon for the defense of themselves and the State. At this time flintlock muskeet and rifle was the most advanced fireams of these time and in use by the military . A trained soldier could shoot 3 times a minute with a flinctlock muskeet, while older system was way slower. The founding father never wrote that the civilian should not have the flintlock muskeets used by the military, they should be allowed to have only the slower and older system (like arquebus a match lock firearm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matchlock ).
    Let see what the Constitutionof the States which entered in the USA after the US Constitution was voted (after 1787) :
    Kentucky 1792 and revision in 1799 : “That the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questionned “.
    Tennessee 1796 : ” That freemen of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence “.
    Ohio 1802 : ” That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State,… ”
    Indiana 1816 : “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State.. ”
    Mississipi 1817 : “Every citizen has the right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.. ” is this one clear enough ?
    Connecticut 1818 : “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself nad the state “.
    Maine 1819 : “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms for the common defence, and this right shall never be questionned”.
    Alabama 1819 : “That every citizen has a right to bear arms in defence of himself and the state “.
    Missouri 1829 : “… that their right to bear arms in defence of themselves and the Sate cannot be questionned “.

    Yes someone lies : Either the NRA, but in this case History and the Constitution of all these states also lie.. or you, Mr. Cunningham, and those like you who claim that the 2nd Amendment is about the right for militias to bears arms.

  30. You know what: if you say that the 2nd Amendment is about the Militias so the USA should have the same system than Switzerland: every citizen are provided a full automatic assault rifle (a real one, in Switzerland it currently the SIG Stg 90) he takes at home with ammos (the word “assault weapon” is deceptive on purpose to suggest a military weapon while historically since Korea War military want automatic weapon not the semi automatics available to the americans citizens, they look like military but does not havfe the capacity of full automatic weapon accepted seek by the military, so it a big lie based on the technical ognorance of the public).
    After serving with honor the time of military duty, every Swiss soldier can ask to keep the military weapon he was issued: it’s the reward from his country for the service he had acccomplished, he has just to pay a fee for the transfert paperwork, and because of the other European countries who fuss about the presency of military full automatic weapon in the hand of civilians, now the transfered military full automatic weapon have to be converted into semi automatic only like. In the USA full automatic weapon are forbidden since 1934 with the National Firearms Act, regular citizens cannot have automatic military weapon without a Class III permit.
    A shameful lie (one more) from gun prohibitionnists.

    Talking about Switzerland, Swiss Socialist party wanted to reform Switzerland military system in which the soldiers take back home their duty weapon and ammos and to trigger “gun control” (but in reality gun control means gun prohibition in your mind) policy. They lauched a national vote in Swizerland about this question in 2011. During the vote campaign they use shameful lies and opinion manipulation methods, at the beginning the polls give them winner of the vote . But their lies were shown to the Swiss citizens and finally they lost.
    I will show one of their lies and statistic manipulation: they shown the Swiss suicide rate with firearms which is higher than the European average… and they hammered the false idea that in Swizerland guns push people to commit suicide, they tryed to put the subliminal idea “gun=suicide”.
    When we analyse the global suicide rate (suicide committed with all means) the Swiss suicide rate is even slightly lower than the stronger gun control European country. When firearms are not available people kill themselves even successfully with other means (jumping under trains, jumping from a building, hanging, crashing their car,… you name it). They suggest that if gun were banned there will be less suicide in Switzerland, but in the other European countries, train, rope, cars, buildings, medicines..you name it, should be banned to reduce their suicide rate.
    Of course these gun prohibition proponents forget to mention that in the GUN FREE Japan (ownership by civilian is forbidden by the Japanese Constitution) the suicide rate is twice the US suicide rate… it will immediatly show their fraud suggesting that Swizerland has more suicide because of gun.

    This is one of the lie and fraud of gun prohibitionnists.. the Swiss nation saw enough of their frauds, got digusted, and voted against them.

    I wish the US nation will have more intellectual awareness and stop buying these fraud and lies… When gun prohibitionnists often use the “argumentum ad personam” or “Argumentum ad hominem” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem ) per instance to devilize NRA and gun owners, “argumentum ad lapidem” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_lapidem ), “argumentum ad captandum” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_captandum ) or “argumentum ad passiones” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion ) and I’m sure that I missed tons of other fallacy reasonning and opinion manipulation methods.

  31. We would do well to upgrade our gun regulations to match those of Switzerland set in their 1999 Gun Act. They have much stricter background checks, permit requirements, and limit ownership to three guns.

  32. Big Dave

    AP, you nailed it!

    What the left will never tell you is the law in 1934 on automatic weapons was to get them out of the hands of criminals. All you need to do is take a look at Chicago during that time period and the criminals were shooting up Chicago with Thompson Machineguns. So his law was passed and guess what the only ones who have automatic weapons is the criminals. Can you imagine that!

    Similarly Pat puts a post up about Hitler not taking away guns. Which is correct but what Pat will never tell you is Hitler turned this German government against the citizens and that is where the 2nd amendment comes in. The German Government killed some 14 million German citizens under Hitler’s rule.

    The 2nd Amendment is there to protect the citizens from an out of control government should that ever happen! The Founding Fathers were smarter than Pat on this, thank God for that.

  33. Big Dave

    December 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm
    Luke Fredrickson,

    “No Dave, I am referring the lady in NY who allegedly became a “straw buyer” of the Bushmaster for the felon who killed the firemen.”

    Luke that is against the law now. So if this is true she can be arrested for it.

  34. Our first release from ‪Guns Across America, Tennessee, 19th of January 2013. Joe Carr Speaks about H.B. 0042‬, followed with a short interview.

    http://youtu.be/ihEHy-UPmhY

  35. BobTheTomatoe

    This clown has no clue what he is talking about.

    “they [the National Rifle Association, et al] insist the militia meant the people at large, and that the idea was to create a counterweight to the central government, so it wouldn’t dare infringe on the people’s rights.

    I’m sorry to have to burst their bubble–well, not really–but the legislative history following the Second Amendment’s passage very clearly supports the opposite of what they say. ”

    The second amendment was clearly written to protect the people’s liberty

    Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: “Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” (spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789.)

    Alexander Hamilton: “…that standing army can never be formidable (threatening) to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in the use of arms.” (Federalist Paper #29)

    “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” Tench Coxe in “Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution,” under the pseudonym “A Pennsylvanian” in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789.

    “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.”
    —Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).

    Thomas Jefferson: “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms… The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”, letter to William S. Smith, 1787, in S. Padover (Ed.), Jefferson, On Democracy (1939), p. 20.

    “[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually…I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor…”
    —George Mason

    The Second Amendment was meant for the majority of Americans to have firearms

    “Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American… [T]he unlimited power of the 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.”, Tench Coxe Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

    Alexander Hamilton: “Little more can be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped.” (Id) {responding to the claim that the militia itself could threaten liberty}” There is something so far-fetched, and so extravagant in the idea of danger of liberty from the militia that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or raillery (mockery). (Id)

    “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…[T]he unlimited power of the 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.”
    —Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

    No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
    —Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.

    Patrick Henry: “The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.” 3 Elliot, Debates at 386.

    O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone…Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation…inflicted by those who had no power at all?
    — Patrick Henry Virginia ratifying convention

    “The people have a right to keep and bear arms.” Patrick Henry (Elliott, Debates at 185)

    Richard Henry Lee: “To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…” (LIGHT HORSE HARRY) LEE, writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic (1787-1788)

    George Mason: “I ask you sir, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people.” (Elliott, Debates, 425-426)

    You’re a stupid fruit loop.

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