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.