Why the Second Amendment


Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings, said: “The British are not coming. … We don’t need all these guns to kill people.” Lewis’ vision, shared by many, represents a gross ignorance of why the framers of the Constitution gave us the Second Amendment. How about a few quotes from the period and you decide whether our Founding Fathers harbored a fear of foreign tyrants.

Alexander Hamilton: “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed,” adding later, “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government.” By the way, Hamilton is referring to what institution when he says “the representatives of the people”?

James Madison: “(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Thomas Jefferson: “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”

George Mason, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights, which inspired our Constitution’s Bill of Rights, said, “To disarm the people — that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

Rep. John Lewis and like-minded people might dismiss these thoughts by saying the founders were racist anyway. Here’s a more recent quote from a card-carrying liberal, the late Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey: “Certainly, one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. … The right of the citizen to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible.” I have many other Second Amendment references here.

How about a couple of quotations with which Rep. Lewis and others might agree? “Armas para que?” (translated: “Guns, for what?”) by Fidel Castro. There’s a more famous one: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.” That was Adolf Hitler.

Here’s the gun grabbers’ slippery-slope agenda, laid out by Nelson T. Shields, founder of Handgun Control Inc.: “We’re going to have to take this one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily — given the political realities — going to be very modest. … Right now, though, we’d be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time. … The final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition — except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs and licensed gun collectors — totally illegal” (The New Yorker, July 1976).

There have been people who’ve ridiculed the protections afforded by the Second Amendment, asking what chance would citizens have against the military might of the U.S. government. Military might isn’t always the deciding factor. Our 1776 War of Independence was against the mightiest nation on the face of the earth — Great Britain. In Syria, the rebels are making life uncomfortable for the much-better-equipped Syrian regime. Today’s Americans are vastly better-armed than our founders, Warsaw Ghetto Jews and Syrian rebels.

There are about 300 million privately held firearms owned by Americans. That’s nothing to sneeze at. And notice that the people who support gun control are the very people who want to control and dictate our lives.

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    The Founders understood what a tyrannical leadership would do, if they ever got the chance. And in no uncertain terms, here is where it is at – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/01/07/fiddling-with

    And DHS, via the (hidden hand of) Valerie Jarrett, are in it for the long haul – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/12/27/dhs-americas-

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • Viet Vet

      And so are we, lock and load!!!!!

  • crackerjack

    Masons' Virginia was nearly half black, and the white population lived in constant fear of slave insurrection. The main instrument of control was the militia.

    The second Amendment was an instrument of slave control, putting guns in the hands of the white militia and denying Congress control over the white militia out of fear Congress may refuse to call forth the militia to suppress an insurrection

    • UCSPanther

      Sorry, but white guilt doesn't cut it.

      • crackerjack

        Sorry, but its not about white guilt. Its about the aim and intent of the Second Amendment.

        • Kevin Stroup

          "No free man will ever be deprived the use of arms." – Thomas Jefferson

          What was the aim and intent of this statement?

        • tagalog

          The intent of the Second Amendment was to protect the gun rights of the people in ALL the states, not just Virginia.

    • RKV

      Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania certainly had 2nd Amendment analogs in their early state constitutions and no (or minimal) slavery. Not buying your assertion.

      The 1790 census puts the slave population of the US at about 18% and that of Virginia at about 40% slave. 40% <> 50%.

      Militias were a feature of colonial life since the earliest days – a feature which was inherited from the UK. See the Massachusetts Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company started in 1638 for example.

      Do bother to learn some facts before giving in to the knee jerk white guilt trip thing. OK?

    • RedWhiteAndJew

      Per usual, you have no idea what you are talking about. I refer you to Clayton Cramer's, The Racist Roots of Gun Control

      It is "gun control" (more precisely, people control), which sought the denial of arms to blacks, which is a shameful mark on our nation's history, not the Second Amendment.

      • crackerjack

        Nonsense. This whole "rights to arms" mantra is a hoax. The US sends its troops to deny the Afghan and Iraqi population arms. If arms bring freedom, shouldn't the US be providing the populations of these countrys with arms?

        • RedWhiteAndJew

          You do realize you are talking about:

          1) War zones
          2) Areas not part of the US, and therefore not subject to US law

          The military are not police. Look up Posse Comitatus sometime.

        • tagalog

          Actually, U.S. forces, as a matter of express policy, do not interfere with individual law-abiding Afghans possessing small arms.Our troops used to disarm people routinely; they don't do that now. In Iraq, our armed forces don't do much of anything any more. It would be foolish of our troops to give Afghans any arms because some of them would use them to shoot at our troops.

    • Rifleman

      If that were true, you'd have citations and quotations from the Founding Fathers to back it up

    • Pontotoc Bill

      Crackerjack: Provide proof of your claim. Otherwise it is nothing but your opinion.

    • pyeatte

      You are on crack alright. How dumb can you be?

    • Viet Vet

      You're as dumb as a board. The Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution researched the 2nd Amendment exhaustively in 1982, and produced a 175 page report, which delved back in history several hundreds of years. It is no longer found on the internet, but when it was I downloaded the whole effing thing.
      http://www.constitution.org/mil/rkba1982.htm

    • Ol' Reb

      The "main instrument of control" was the government, and its military.
      It is quite clear you have no understanding of the Second Amendment, and the reason for it.
      And, please, try not to reveal your complete ignorance by making every a "black thing."

  • Gamma

    Why not ask the Democrats why they don’t focus on keeping guns away from criminals and the mentally ill and leave the good guys alone? If they can’t keep guns from the bad guys and the mentally ill now why do they think that keeping guns away from the good guys will make anything any better, it can only make it worse.

    • michael

      amen brother
      the gun is only as bad a the person useing it

      • Mark

        But let's face it….. There are new (culturally) "popular" rules: "Good guys" with guns are not good guys anymore, we are now bad guys (unless we are in professions directly controlled by politicians and approved elites, like bodyguards; and some of those good guys will eventually have to be weeded out or "retired"). Even 80 year old retired Marine Generals are given no deference under the new "popular" rules as they are manhandled by the TSA.

    • tagalog

      Have you noticed how muted the discussion of hospitalizing the disturbed temporarily for observation as to danger has become?

      Come to think of it, what discussion? It came up and then disappeared from the public forum almost immediately.

      As they once said when they were students a long time ago, "the issue is not the issue." The REAL issue is getting rid of the Second Amendment as a meaningful statement.

      • OH-ME-OH-MY

        Amen!

    • Mary Sue

      the only problem with that is, Democrats and their ilk regularly regard people such as ourselves as "mentally ill"…

    • Larry Robinon

      Deep Space. Were you in the 'Nam when peasants gave a well trained and equipped military fits. Not only U.S. troops but a lot of very good Australians and Nungs not to mention the CIA and other agencies.
      The Vietcong and NVA were poorly armed in most instances but were resourceful. Do you not think the well armed populace of the U.S., many of whom are extremely well trained and armed, could not manage to get their point across. Our soldiers are not going to destroy their own countrymen by taking orders from our bunch of money grubbing politicians. Our soldiers are intelligent and know right from wrong. They will not blindly follow orders of politicians who they know are in bad need of replacement already.

    • Kepha

      The reason, Gamma, is that for the Left, criminals are a "socially friendly element" (that was how Solzhenitsyn described the thieves in the Gulag).

      • Viet Vet

        The left has been coddling criminals for decades.

  • Deep Space

    I enjoy your articles a lot and have often cited your experiences as a youth to illustrate how poverty doesn't 'impoverish' but this concept that guns are to be used to protect us from the government is just plain silly. Assuming things actually came to that the only way that a group of citizens could mount an effective uprising would be to be armed in such a way as to take on what has been described even by conservative commenters as the best trained and armed military in the world. Our military firepower and weaponery makes an absolute and complete mockery of any backyard talk about 'revolution' which is nothing more than the booze adled talk of baseball cap wearing military wannabes who've read too many military thrillers and spend hours on InfoWars.

    • Thomas Beach

      The deep space must be between your ears. Your shallow thought process where generating scenarios for confronting our government in the future only serve to reveal your lack of understanding of what the second amendment actual means and it's importance. Yes, I suspect you are one of the latte-sucking takers in our country whom I would bet is receiving government assistance in one form or another.

    • UCSPanther

      Fact: Most gun owners (Including ones who own the much maligned AR 15) aren't like your Hutaree idiots or ARM clowns.

      Generalizing and trying to confiscate private property will anger a LOT of people. Guaranteed.

    • tagalog

      The idea that guns being used to protect a person from the government is "just plain silly" is a statement that would be interesting if it were made to Randy Weaver or the relatives of Elian Gonzalez.

      The idea that a lightly-armed group of insurgents could not possibly stand against a modern armed force like the United States armed forces is one that might be asserted to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the government of Vietnam, and a good many other people who, at times, opposed the great might of the U.S.A. with hand-forged Thompsons and AKs. You can still get a hand-forged AK in Peshawar. They sell lots of them. Americans can plant IEDs by the side of the road too.

      • pyeatte

        You really don't have clue.

      • Viet Vet

        U.S. military take an oath to protect the constitution of the United States. The military votes in the 80% percentile for republican candidates because they know republicans support the U.S. Constitution. Nuff Said!!!!

    • Pontotoc Bill

      You make the false assumption that the military would obey orders to put down any and all insurrections/revolutions.

      The military swears to obey the LAWFUL orders of those above them. As a retired military man, I assure you that the military, as a whole, would NOT obey illegal orders.

      • pyeatte

        You are absolutely right. I am also ex-military and my oath is to protect and defend the Constitution – not the President if he should go against his oath to do the same. That is the strength of the Constitution and the oath to defend it.

      • Viet Vet

        Exactly!!!!!

    • Rifleman

      Apparently you don’t know much, if anything, about logistics, Deep Space. Stateside US military basing and the supply chain are set up for political expediency, not defensibility or even logistical efficiency. Our military has far more widely and thinly spread assets to defend, than people and equipment to do it, and that’s not counting the non-military federal assets that have to be defended, and the transportation infrastructure. Even if all their suppliers, and all the state and local governments and their LEO’s
      Don’t feel too bad though, people that take such events lightly haven’t thought it through much better than you. It would be a huge mess that would likely kill millions, just from illness and exposure. It’s not a place any sane person wants to go, but it’s better than being owned by the state.

    • pyeatte

      If we are ever faced with a government and a President that goes for dictatorship, the military is Obligated to not support this new government or President by a sworn oath to defend the Constitution – including millions of veterans who took the same oath.

      • Viet Vet

        And we are there!

  • EthanP

    I have Gotliebs "Rights of Gun Owners". In it he quotes numerous passages from the "Federalist Papers" on the founders intent. Imagine my surprise when I found that all gun rights passages are usually edited ot of recent publication. This attack began in 1934. Grew in 1968, 1986. and 1989. 1993 was a preamble.
    They smell blood in the water. Many gun owners support an "assault weapons/magazine ban. They will learn too late.

  • Asher

    Our Founding fathers knew of tyranny and evil men, that is precisely why any new legislation to absolve 2nd amendment rights and the bill of rights will not be recognized..the real war comes if they try to collect guns!

  • Asher

    A well armed militia are the citizens!

  • cxt

    Deep Space

    I hate to bring a Glen Beck quote into the mix–I generally like Beck but often find he takes seveal steps to far–starts out ok–then quickly gets to "Uh….wait just one minute…..what did you just say?"

    But people were saying the same sort of "the military is too well armed etc" for a milita to work. Beck quipped–my paraphrase:

    "The same people that keep saying the military is too well armed for armed citizens to make any diffrence are the same folks that keep saying that we can't possible win in Afganistan."

    The very idea that guns would be needed for protection vs ones own government is deeply unsettleing—however in context/objectively its not really a question of overt firepower and training as any number of world-wide conflicts have shown.

  • RedWhiteAndJew

    I don't understand how this is possible! The media and left wing politicians keep telling us guns are bad. They can't be lying to us…can they?!

  • Fred Glass

    The meaning of the 2nd amendment clearly states it's purpose: " A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed". It is the only amendment that states the purpose of the stated right. This right to keep & bear arms has nothing to do with hunting, target practice or even personal self defense. Thus so called assault weapons are especially "necessary" in order counteract the government's monopoly of violence. A target pistol or hunting rifle would not do the job that 2nd amendment says is "necessary".

    • Jim_C

      Fred, how do you interpret the "well-regulated" part of that statement in terms of today's world?

      • Viet Vet

        A well regulated (trained) militia (the whole of the citizenry), being necessary to the security of a free state (the nation), the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    • Pontotoc Bill

      Fred, you have FAILED to read the Supreme Court decisions in DC v Heller and McDonald v Chicago.

      Try again. You left out commas in your "quote". The actual quote is as follows:

      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.

      • Viet Vet

        A well regulated (trained) militia (the whole of the citizenry), being necessary to the security of a free state (the nation), the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    • tagalog

      Respectfully, your conclusion is not mine. The Second Amendment, like all of the amendments, does indeed state what idea has motivated it, but that "purpose" clause does not modify the fact that the amendment concludes with the language, "…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," meaning that the people (as individuals) have the right to keep and bear arms -with the exxpectation of the tme that they will be expected to use those arms for the common defense- for whatever purpose, including militia purposes, they may want to put them to. But I wholeheartedly agree that weapons that are useful for militia purposes are explicitly covered by the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

  • Atlas_Collins

    The 2nd amendment is clearly an implicit threat directed toward those whom the people consent to govern over them. Anyone who claims otherwise is either deluded, ignorant or collectivist/statist vermin with designs upon the people's liberty.

    A disarmed people is, by definition, an unfree people; therefore any attempt by the federal government to abrogate the 2nd amendment would effectively dissolve the social contract (constitution) that is the legal foundation of the government itself.

    Leftist scum have long yearned for 'revolution.' In this they may finally get their wish.

  • OH-ME-OH-MY

    People talk about citizens not having the power to fight our military. Many also assume that all of the military and law enforcement will take part in firearms confiscation. I think (and hope) that the majority would refuse to do it. They understand the constitution better than most of our "leaders".
    DHS, on the other hand, I'm not so sure of.

    • pyeatte

      These people are Obligated to defend the Constitution – so is the President. If we get a President who tries to become a real dictator, the military is obligated to not follow him – by sworn oath.

    • US Army (retired)

      Our Founding Fathers were proud that Americans were trusted with arms because they knew that only when people are armed could they truly be thought of as free citizens. And that's where the circle closes. Those who want to DEPRIVE YOU OF YOUR RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS ARE INTENDING TO DEPRIVE YOU OF YOUR FREEDOM, period. Like the criminals their policies encourage, these elitists know that it is always best to disarm victims BEFORE you enslave them. — Charley Reese

      "Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy … censorship. When ANY government, or ANY church, for that matter, undertakes to say to it's subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how good the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, NO amount of force can control a FREE man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything. You CANNOT conquer a FREE man; the most you can do is KILL him." — Robert A. Heinlein

      "All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void." Marbury vs. Madison 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803) The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

  • tagalog

    When Lewis says "The British are not coming," he's right. In this day, it's the collectivists who are coming. In fact they're already here. In force. Buy more guns.

    And don't forget the ammo.

    • Jim_C

      What are the "collectivists" armed with?

      • tagalog

        Gun control laws.

        • Jim_C

          Aw, they're just blowin' off steam.

          Making new laws helps people feel better!

          • tagalog

            True, true…

      • Mary Sue

        Ask Senator Di-Fi, the hypocrite carries concealed.

      • Rifleman

        The collectivists are armed with the police power of the state, and an collectivist msm that will help them in any and every way it can, Jim.

      • Viet Vet

        Condoms.

  • pyeatte

    All members of the military take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution – not the Commander and Chief who takes the same oath. If we come down to a dictatorship, that means the POTUS is in violation of his oath and the military is obligated to Not follow. This means there is an effective army of veterans, including police officers, out there who are also bound by that oath, know how to shoot and are, for the most part, armed. Add in the rest of the mostly armed general population and we have a revolution to set things right. In fact when the chips are down, there are not that many people left to support a dictator President.

    • Viet Vet

      The left will take a s*h*i*t kickiing.

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  • Deerknocker

    The Madison quote above cites "the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” The US government, even the left wing of that government, once trusted its people to be responsible gun owners. I'm afraid that with the 60s came a political generation of leftists who because they possessed a few college credits more than the average Joe, endowed themselves with an elitist attitude by which the common Americans were viewed as stupid and brutish. This self appointed elitist class, now come to power, doesn't trust America, and feels only the elite may make decisions for Americans on guns and so many other matters. The point is our elites are not half as smart as they think they are. They drink the kool aid of every liberal opinion maker that comes down the road, and refuse to listen to counter arguments. If they do not trust us, surely we have more valid reasons to not trust them.

    • Viet Vet

      They well take a big fall!

  • Jim_C

    Is having a standing army constitutional?

  • dnha14

    Representative Lewis has no clue that he actually IS the British.

  • W. C. Taqiyya

    A timely post. And a very necessary reminder for all of us. I have been deeply saddened lately by some of those on the putative right who rant against the recent publishing of the addresses and names of registered gun owners in two NY counties. Sure, I know that the publishers probably intended to scare gun owners. But, when people like Janine Pirro go on FOX condemning the publication of what was and is public information, I have to say ,slow down lady. Aside from the obvious first amendment issues, she is also damaging the second amendment and helping anti-gun groups. How is this so? Simple, gun rights advocates have always claimed that gun ownership enhances personal safety and that ones right to self defense is part and parcel of the second amendment. Now, according to Pirro and some few false flag 'conservative' blogs, having other people know you own a gun is, in itself, a danger. Well, if people knowing you have a gun is dangerous, guns cannot enhance personal safety. In fact, as a matter of simple logic, gun ownership must be inherently unsafe. Unless you keep it a secret, like it's some kind of tacky, immoral, dirty laundry. Foolishness. Now, what stings is the fact that this nonsense is being broadcast by people calling themselves second amendment advocates and conservatives. I wonder, would the founders have been worried if their gun ownership was public knowledge? Of course not. Instead of being fussy, scared little bunny rabbits like Pirro, gun owners should be proud to know that so many of their fellow citizens also own guns. It should make us all feel safer and it should make second amendment advocates feel empowered to push harder against any efforts to strip Americans of their rights. Thanks to that NY publisher, we now know that many, many NY residents own guns and keep them in their homes. That's a good thing. Push back against the tyrannical urges of our political elite and push back against those who only pose as conservative second amendment advocates.

    • Viet Vet

      Don't get stuck on stupid. Many women who had been the victims of domestic abuse and had finally found a place to live incognito and had taken guns to protect themselves were outted by this nefarious maneuver by this leftwing rag.

      • W. C. Taqiyya

        So, you admit that guns don't provide any personal security then? Good for you, at least you are not a hypocrite about it. Take all the guns away. Bully for you!