The second amendment and the wisdom of our founding fathers
Welcome to today’s podcast. You know, America 1.0 did not work out so well. Did you know there is an America 1.0? Sure, after winning the war for our independence, the Articles of Confederation were ratified. Our current Constitution had not yet been written. Instead, we went with a system of state power, a Confederate system of government.
Looking at the debate getting wall-to-wall coverage on the news today, we can not help but ask, how did it get so bad? Actually, it all went sideways on March 1, 1781, with the ratification of the Articles of Confederation by all 13 states. By 1787 things were really pretty bad…so much so, that Antifa of today would be considered a mild nuisance by our founding fathers. A new system of government was required, one that engaged the people in the governing process and eliminates (or at least minimized) the elite power players who were seeking the goals of the power-greedy.
In Federalist Paper #1, Alexander Hamilton wrote, “AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.”
I will do my level best to avoid making this podcast a history lesson on the wisdom of the Federalist Papers. I only reference these passages to highlight the discussion of political discontent that was alive and well at the very beginning of our nation. It is this knowledge that leads me to believe in the over-riding importance of the 2nd Amendment.
The men who wrote our Constitution had fought a brutal war with soldiers comprised mostly of farmers and ranchers drawn together to fight tyranny and oppression by a ruling monarchy. The intent of the 2nd Amendment was to give civilians the ability to stand up against future foes who would one day try to overthrow the American system and enslave its’ people. The framers knew any outside assault against America would be met with the most vigorous defense as all men within earshot would take up forces against the invading army. No, the framers of our Constitution saw a more subtle threat to our system, a danger from with-in. Their vision was not one of prophecy, but rather that of an active spectator.
“A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives.” – Federalist Paper #1, Alexander Hamilton.
The challenge of today is the debate over the meaning of the term “militia.” The Second Amendment is simply enough written, but using old English: so the definition is up to interpretation. “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.” As is true in today’s judicial system, understanding the intent of the law is most important. The term militia is not a reference to an army or any on-going organized military unit. The term was used to highlight the importance of creating a plan for the defense of our nation against an enemy, the intent (as written by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper #29) is evident. The militia is only an as-needed force comprised of “sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens.”
States were to select officers and create strategies and infrastructure for an effective defense. However, the constitutional restriction prohibiting a standing army from operating on American soil, without extreme allowances from the government, limited the ability for a standing army to adequately provide for the immediate defense. Therefore, the States would create the infrastructure for the rapid deployment of a civilian militia, when required, to put down any insurrection.
The primary concern of the time was not weapons being in the hands of civilians, every one of the time was armed. The fears of the time were, would the militia be used against the wishes of the state of America itself? Hamilton wrote: “Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits, and interests?”
Therefore it is safe to put to rest to the notion that the Second Amendment only grants the right for soldiers to be armed. Our founding fathers felt it critical to our nation’s defense that all members of society be armed and ready to defend our country.
So let’s talk now about the idea of owning a gun. Should it continue to be a right? The liberal media and liberal political elites say no. Using the deadly means of a firearm should be reserved only for those designated, through training and certification, by the state. Some on the left publicly temper their passion by suggesting they just want to remove weapons of war, but based on the framers’ intent, weapons of war were precisely what they were protecting. Nowhere in the Constitution or the federalist papers does any words reference ‘hunting.’ However, numerous times, self-preservation and the defense of our nation are written. Put another way, the 2nd Amendment was put in place to grant American citizens the ability to effectively kill any force working against liberty and freedom. Would not a mugger in the street constitute a threat against liberty and freedom? Would not a tyrant usurping freedom of movement or speech constitute a threat against liberty?
War is always the last-ditch effort, but eliminating the instruments of warfare will not make safe the goals of liberty. Let’s explore more in-depth, and let’s start at the easy part…the invasion from a foreign force.
An armed group of people crossing our border with the intent to overthrow our freedoms is an obvious threat that constitutes deadly force against. Would not it be a good idea for citizens to be armed appropriately for the fight? The invading force will most certainly have the most effective weapons of war for the time, should not those in the path of death and destruction be afforded the same opportunity? Right about now is when some idiot on the left cry’s out, “should we allow citizens to have nukes?” Then the conversation devolves, and the narrative is taken over. “How about bazookas, should those be stockpiled in every suburban home?” The nuke question is just stupid. Radiation would kill the family long before they ever used it, but the bazooka question is valid and should be explored.
Yes, citizens should be allowed to own any weapon of war that might be called upon to repel the assault of an invading force. An invading army will likely have rocket launchers, tanks, and helicopters. As was proven in the Russia / Afghanistan war in the 80’s, a Toyota truck and a rocket-propelled grenade is very effective against both tanks and helicopters. If you were you pinned down by the enemy fire, wouldn’t you want every means possible to defend you and your family? We must go back to Hamilton’s words, if we can not trust “…our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens…” with the means of self-defense, then we’ve got much bigger problems.
Even with the deadly firepower in question, when confronting an invading force, only a very tiny percentage of the liberal population would restrict access to weapons of war. Theirs is not a question of national defense, but of moral grounding of the act of killing in the name of self-defense. It is the unlimited shades of gray that cloud the mind of most liberals. The endless “what-if” scenarios are what break the idea of the 2nd Amendment for a liberal. The liberal orthodoxy is grounded in the peaceful resolution to our differences (not really evident right now by the actions of the occupy, lives matter, and Antifa movement, but I digress). Shooting a potential bad guy is only permissible when it is clear and without question a life threatening situation. Liberals wish to grant a second chance to all who threaten harm to another—right up to the moment when it is clear the attacker means to hurt or kill. Less than lethal means of defense are the preferred methods of self-defense championed the left. We should only incapacitate the mugger and let the legal system handle the punishment.
The liberal orthodoxy believes that eliminating weapons that can kill will reduce violent aggression. They’ve said as much in the most recent American Presidential Campaign. But let’s get back to the question the left always wants to avoid. Should a person who feels threatened, have the right to use deadly force to protect themselves? If the answer is yes, then means of protection is irrelevant. A handgun, shotgun or semi-automatic rifle is just a tool for the job.
As is consistent with this podcast, the argument is not over the words on the piece of paper. I believe 90% of the American population can come to a consensus on the reasoning behind the Constitution. This podcast is about what Conservative Americans should do about it.
“Why have police if we are just going to encourage people to kill those who threaten them, let’s just go back to the days of the wild west.” I heard that quote spoken at a city council meeting just a few years back. Obviously spoken by someone who does not trust their “…sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens…” The committed left doesn’t trust anyone who disagrees with their political ideas. The good news is these idealist folks are more interested in self preservation that political ideology. They know the number of armed Americans out numbers even the biggest armies of the world. Trying to directly disarm Americans is a suicide mission.
Over the last 30 years, Democrats have worked passionately to elect people who believe deadly force should be reserved for only the policy and military. Interesting to note the steps recently taken by the left to limit when police officers may use deadly force…but that is another podcast topic for another day. Liberals believe citizens can not be trusted to know when their life is in danger. If you pay attention to their words and actions (sanctuary cities, second chance prison release, treatment of MS13 gang) you might deduce Democrats today care more about the rights and well being of killers and rapists. But we would be wrong. Violence and public turmoil is means to and end.
Change in America only happens after a crisis. 9/11 proved the passion of Americans for safety and
Conservative Americans must stand up. Vote. Run for office. Engage your elected officials. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Make your voice heard; do not allow the radical left to dictate when, where, and what you speak. Speak your mind and stand your ground. Our forefathers knew America balanced on a razor’s edge, and all evil needs to gain a foothold was for good people to stand by and do nothing.
Don’t let evil take a foothold. Go out today and take a class is how to use a gun. Buy and gun. Practice shooting.