Original Intent

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Gun control advocates insist The Founders could not have intended ordinary citizens to own the same weapons as the government.  Why, every Tom, Dick and Harry could have a machine gun!  They could use those weapons to overthrow the government!  The Founders never intended that, surely?

I’m not so certain.  We’re talking about the guys who planned and conducted a years-long guerilla war to overthrow the existing government.  Their speeches, pamphlets and Declaration expressly justify taking up arms against the King.  The Minutemen used every weapon they could beg, borrow or scrounge.  Washington crossing the Delaware at Christmas was a raid to steal British muskets, powder and artillery.  Most of the rebels brought their own hunting rifles which were more accurate at long range than the weapons British mercenary troops were issued; they were better than military-grade.  The Founders knew from close-up and personal experience what arms citizens needed, and what they were needed for.

Gun control advocates think The Founders were happy ordinary people had military grade weapons long enough to throw off the British government, but intended to restrict military grade weapons to the government only, once The Founders took control.  That’s how socialist dictators do it in banana republics.  That’s how gun controllers would do it, if they were in charge.  Why wouldn’t The Founders act the same way?

Because they just fought a long, bloody war using barely trained and poorly equipped civilians as impromptu militia forces.  Because they knew how hard they had to work to gain their freedom.  I strongly suspect The Founders wrote the Second Amendment to ensure ordinary citizens access to weapons at least as good as the government agents have, in case they’re needed to throw off another tyrannical government in the future.

Gun control advocates picture George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as distinguished gentlemen.  They imagine The Founders must have viewed the world the way sophisticated and urbane Liberals see it today.  That’s the wrong mental image.   To understand The Founders, stop thinking like New York Liberals and start thinking like the Montana Militia.  That’s a much better picture of the men who fought at Valley Forge and Bunker Hill.  Now you understand Original Intent.  And now you know why it terrifies New York Liberals.

And you know why they work so hard to repudiate their actual legacy.

4 thoughts on “Original Intent

  1. “Gun control advocates picture George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as distinguished gentlemen.”

    Joe, That sentiment may go by the wayside with their declaration that Washington and Jefferson were racist and all things in memorial to them need to be removed (namesake places, statues, et.al.). Once they accomplish that they can “purify” the context of their intentions. Further attack on 2A will be inevitable.

  2. Oops: should have read “purify” the context of the FOUNDERS intentions.

  3. If you want to know the original intent of the Second Amendment, read Scalia’s opinion in DC V Heller. Scalia shows exactly what the founders meant by using contemporary documents, many written by the founders themselves.
    The dissenting arguments were remarkably unpersuasive. They relied on precedent decisions written by non-founders, and on appeals to emotion. Breyers dissent was particularly tone-deaf: ” . . . there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas.”
    The more likely you are to be a crime victim, the less the second amendment guarantees your right to self defense. Right-o Justice Breyer!

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