Our Relationship With Guns Has Changed Since the Founding of the Republic

Second Amendment Gun Rights

courtesy topic.com and Whitten Sabbatini

“But it’s not just the guns that have changed since the days of the early republic. It’s our relationship to the them. Most Americans nowadays aren’t living subsistence lives under constant physical threat. The frontier has been ‘closed,’ according to the US Census, since 1890. In 1933, the National Guard of the United States was officially consolidated as a reserve component of the US Army; the last freestanding state militias are gone. Hunting has largely transitioned from a widespread subsistence activity to a hobby serviced by a huge consumer-facing industry. The average American doesn’t need a gun leaning by the cabin door in the same way the average colonist did.” – Rebecca Onion in Automatic for the People [via topic.com]

comments

  1. avatar Wedge259 says:

    Whats up with that mp5 mag? A nod to the backward loadable HK mag?

    1. avatar Fred says:

      Came to ask the same questions. Unless there is something I don’t know I wouldn’t count on that minuteman in battle.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        count floyd can insert the mag any scary way he wants. veeery scaary.

        1. avatar Sasquatch says:

          Hahahahaha!!! From The House of Blueberry Pancakes (3D) perhaps?

      2. avatar anonymoose says:

        Look at his face. It’s a joke based on some picture of a female cop responding to a shooting or bank robbery or something with an MP5 with the mag backward. It’s kinda like the backwards bullets H&K meme. There are far too many “trained professionals” who put their mags in backward or their Eotechs on backward and don’t realize it until it’s actually time to shoot. I once even read a story about a cop who put .380s in his MP5 and didn’t understand why he had to rack the gun after every shot.

    2. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      When you hire a photographer and models you can’t expect them to actually know squat about firearms.

    3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      He’s the guy that would have put the ball in before the powder in 1776.

    4. avatar Scott says:

      If you go to the original source of the image there is another picture of the same guy with the MP5 and the mag is inserted correctly. I therefore conclude that this was a purposeful photobombing.

    5. avatar Em says:

      That was my assumption.

    6. avatar J says:

      he’s aiming for a transfer to the drum and fife corp.

    7. avatar John in AK says:

      It is actually a well-known feature of the H-K MP5 and its magazine: If you accidentally load the cartridges into the magazine backwards (bullet rearward), you can insert the magazine into the gun backwards, which in turn puts the bullets at the front, which makes everything OK.
      All serious MP5 operators that operate operationally know this; I’m surprised that you don’t. You probably don’t even have a beard, do you?

    8. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      “Most Americans nowadays aren’t living subsistence lives under constant physical threat”

      Except that those in our society that ARE living subsistence lives under constant threat are often the one’s whose 2A rights are the MOST infringed.

    9. avatar Mikial says:

      As always, I can depend on the commentators on TTAG to say something inane and utterly irrelevant to the article.

  2. avatar Silphy says:

    That picture irritates me for one reason….. that clip-a-zine is in backwards.

    In response to the article, tell that to people living in gang-infested neighborhoods that they’re not under constant threat.

    1. avatar Free Texas says:

      Our liberties are likewise always in danger.

  3. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Perhaps.

    But the average American has a right to have a gun leaning by the cabin door. You don’t get to impose a proof-of-need requirement on a right.

    1. avatar surlycmd says:

      Thank you. Clear, concise and well stated with 100% accuracy.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      Exactly. Not needing guns in the same way is not the same thing as not needing them at all.

      The rifle leaning by the cabin door has been replaced, for most of us, by the CCW rig. It serves the same self-protective function in which guns have served free Americans since the invention of America.

      1. avatar Matt(TX) says:

        Semi auto shotgun at my house.

  4. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Tell the young woman supporting her family by working late at night at a stop-n-rob. I’m sure she will feel safer than carrying that revolver her daddy gave her!

    1. avatar Gerard says:

      Her revolver will work better than that MP5

  5. avatar dookie says:

    He’s a damn british spy, dont know shit about guns…kill him?

  6. avatar Pg2 says:

    Old, dated argument. It’s not a Bill of wants, it’s a Bill of rights. There are many things today that people could never have envisioned in the 1700’s, and none of them negate the need for the average person to be able to defend themselves.

  7. avatar m. says:

    people carry so they can defend themselves from ebola-bama’s sons. shall not be infringed, t**t.

  8. avatar Shire-man says:

    Are all the oppressors and criminals gone?

    1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      Shire man…… Yes, now that we have laws against oppression and other criminal acts society is perfectly safe. The CIA, FBI, NSA, Justice Dept. are looking out for us ( or at us !). Sarc.

  9. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘…the National Guard of the United States was officially consolidated as a reserve component of the US Army; the last freestanding state militias are gone.’

    So the state militias that were in place to keep the federal government in check are gone and therefore we should just trust the federal government?

    1. avatar Owen says:

      Exactly. Absorbing the National Guard into the federal standing army did not replace militias. It was a consolidation of power move.

      This is why we need the 2nd Amendment so much. We need the ability to form militias outside of the federal hegemony.

      1. avatar Rad Man says:

        That argument drives me bananas too. Militias are unnecessary because we have the National Guard. Hello, still gubmint?!

  10. avatar Peter Anderson says:

    “In 1933, the National Guard of the United States was officially consolidated as a reserve component of the US Army; the last freestanding state militias are gone.”

    Alaska, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington would all like to have a word with you.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Yep.

      The problem for liberals in the gun control debate is that they don’t know what they don’t know – which is rather a lot.

    2. avatar burley says:

      Exactly.

      1. avatar Drake_Burrwood says:

        Except that the general “unorganized” militia still exists in federal statute.

  11. avatar Warlocc says:

    I think that MP5 mag just gave me cancer.

  12. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    The photo was obviously posed by gun grabbers. The next civil war between the Patriots and the Progtards should be interesting considering they cannot even get the over capacity clip into the vaunted military grade machine gun right.

  13. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Most colonists would consider most current Americans a bunch of whiny little spoiled brats

    1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

      I’m not so sure about that. Technology sure has changed, but the overwhelming majority of citizens are still punks and b!tches. Let’s not forget, only 3% of the colonists actually fought in the revolution. There were that many who were Tories who supported the British. The rest were either cowards or couldn’t be bothered. I think those percentages remain similar today. There are still 3% who consider themselves Patriots who are ready, willing and able to take on today’s Tories (the filthy Liberal Terrorists™️) in a “winner take all, once and for all” kinetic battle to restore our Constitutional Republic to what our Founders intended. I consider myself one of the 3%.

      1. avatar Rivahmitch says:

        With you, Bro. Semper Fi!!

  14. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    The average American doesn’t need a gun leaning by the cabin door in the same way the average colonist did.
    True.
    But they still need one,,,and sometimes badly.

    1. avatar Kenneth says:

      One can easily make the case that the need is greater today. Even a pack of hungry wolves or a grizzly bear at your door is a lesser threat than a pack of humans. Humans have a long and proven track record of killing every beast on the planet, even when armed with only pointy sticks(spears).
      Not that this author would ever listen to such a point. Gun grabbers know enough to avoid facts at all costs. But any thinking human knows just how dangerous a wild eyed fanatic is. Far worse than a hungry beast.

      1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        Kenneth…..don’t forget Antifa and BLM and a few others.

  15. avatar Eric Lawrence says:

    The average soccer mom doesn’t need to drive around in a 4000 pound wheeled monstrosity either. #nomorefordexpedition #nomorecadillacescalade

    1. avatar burley says:

      try 5500+ pounds, 4000 is not a particularly large automobile in the North American landscape. The Camry weighs 3500…

  16. avatar jwm says:

    Were the Pettits an average family?

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Yes, I’d say they were. Key word: were.

      If people start talking about my “average family” in the past tense, it had better be because I won the lottery or joined the Davos crowd, not because I needed a gun and didn’t have one.

  17. avatar Mad Max says:

    So, now everyone has a cop protecting them at all times and the crime rate is zero?

    I think the whole concept was that armed citizens formed the unorganized militia to protect themselves and their neighbors. When a bad guy caused trouble, they defended themselves and then contacted the local constable for investigation/arrest. Seems to me we still should be doing (and be required to be doing) this as responsible citizens.

    1. avatar David Walters says:

      Actually, I think Judge Napolitano gets it right when he says that our RIGHT to life, liberty and happiness is not only a constitutional right but a natural, human right. And, the three categories: life, liberty and happiness require both the right and the ability of an average citizen to protect what’s his, one’s own life, the lives of loved ones, the individual’s property and finances.

      There are times only a firearm will ensure those protections are secure and effective.

    2. avatar David Walters says:

      Great discussion of rights vs. wants and having the justify the continuation of rights on the basis of experience. But I especially liked the folks who reminded us that the right to bear arms was to prevent abuses by the government. I liked it so much because those comments / reminders are timely.

      How so? Because the elected President of the United States is currently under assault by the left and the intelligence community in what could only be legitimately called an attempted coup. And, it’s not over yet.

      Those of you who believe that an armed citizenry could protect our democracy may quite soon have the opportunity to demonstrate your fealty to those beliefs.

  18. avatar rc says:

    Oh, I get it…they’re still trying to sell the idea that the 2nd amendment is and always was about hunting and fighting off indians. Yet what hasn’t changed is the actual reason for the 2nd amendment…governments turn tyrannical, especially when lefties gain control over them.

    1. avatar Wedge259 says:

      “Fighting off Indians” isn’t a PC use either anymore.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        Many of the Indians of the time were organized in similar fashion to current gangs, though their drive bys were a bit different!

  19. avatar former water walker says:

    Everyone highlighted my talking points…but am I the only who glanced and read Rebecca OF the ONION?!? This reads like goofy satire. Especially living a scant 10miles from Chiraq(the natives are ALWAYS restless). I’ll keep my leaner. And everything else.

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Oh, I saw it.

      The first several thoughts I had, though, weren’t really suitable for a family publication, let alone the standards I try to keep for myself, so I just chose to not go there. 😉

      1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

        Is she the same “Rebecca” that popped into TTAG a year or so back and was very adamant about only debating us in private e-mail?

  20. avatar Moltar says:

    ask yourself this ma’am. Are you comfortable with the same laws for guns being applied to any other right enumerated in the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution? Would you accept licensing for free speech? Would you stand by 5th amendment free zones? Would you defend a business’s right to deny service to a person based on skin color? Could you defend a small town Sheriff insisting citizens house troops in their homes? We already know you’ll freely give up the fourth amendment so long as you don’t think it affects you, but can you compromise any other right the way we have already compromised the Second Amendment? If you can’t, then ma’am you have absolutely no right to ask us in your screed to compromise our Second Amendment right anymore than we already have and it’s quite insulting of you to ask us to do such. Problem is, you and those like you do not own guns and do not know the first thing about them nor are you willing to do even a modicum of research to learn anything about them other than what you see on TV and in movies. Therefore, all these gun laws you yearn for do not affect you in the least; whom do they affect you ask? They affect the millions of law abiding Americans who happen to own guns, criminals do not care what your fancy parchments full of rules say they’ll continue to acquire firearms to aid their illegal enterprises. Your gun laws only affect those who spend literally billions a year on guns, ammo, and accessories. So please ma’am quietly leave us alone. We’ve given you more than enough.

  21. avatar ollie says:

    In 1933, FDR did lots of things to create a bastion for dictatorial rule. He patterned his actions after those of Stalin and the Bolsheviks. One of FDR’s first executive orders created the Import-Export Bank, who sole purpose at that time was to provide credit to the collapsing USSR and prop it up. He tried to pack the Supreme Court. Most European countries emerged from the Great Depression by 1934 or 1935, thanks to FDR’s idiotic bumbling the US lingered for another four years. Much of FDR’s family wealth came from selling opium to the Chinese, it’s like having El Chapo’s grandson as our president.
    FDR set a good example for today’s democrats.

    1. avatar Ingenero says:

      I agree…but he didn’t pattern off the Soviets (though he sympathized with them), but Woodrow Wilson. Below is an article about it, also pick up “Over Here: The First World War and American Society”. Wilson was a megalomaniac tyrant of the first order. Thank God for Warren G. Harding (for all his faults) and Calvin Coolidge.

      https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/woodrow-wilson-red-scare-true-hysteria/

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Woodrow Wilson was the prototype for every jackass from an Ivy League school since.

        The single best thing we could do to restore the liberty envisioned by the Founders would be to put every Ivy League school out of business. Every last goddamn one of them is a factory turning out tools like Wilson, FDR, the Bush clan, et al.

  22. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    I like the concept of the photos. I am quite sure my ancestors would have been happy to trade their musket for an AK47 or an AKM and a bunch of ammunition and magazines. The standard carry load for the British Regulars when they marched on Lexington and Concord was 36 shot and powder, how much more devastating it would have been If the Colonists had brought them under fire with repeating arms using smokeless power!

    1. avatar fiundagner says:

      Gums of the south, by harry turtledove. Civil war south gets ak47s from time travelers

      1. avatar Zhang says:

        A better story is “A Rebel in Time” by Harry Harrison, where the time travellers bring a Sten submachine gun instead of an AK to the Confederacy. Makes more sense too as it’s much easier to build.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Rebel_in_Time

  23. avatar Gerard says:

    The guy on the left is obliviously an undercover anti gun activist. His cover was just blown

  24. avatar BLAMMO says:

    The right doesn’t exist because of the 2nd Amendment, the 2nd Amendment exists because of the universal human right to be armed. It’s We the People, both prohibiting the government from infringing the right and mandating the government to protect the right from infringement by state governments, authorities and other powerful entities.

    People who think the 2nd Amendment is a late 18th Century anachronism missed the entire 20th Century. Even though our common use of guns has changed, the World has not.

  25. avatar John Q Public says:

    Tell this Onion chick to “STFU !” I’m not interested in what she’s babbling about…..

  26. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Bravo Sierra,Rebecca Onion

  27. avatar Survivordude1090 says:

    The fact remains: Americans are and have been “frontier” people since the days of the Mayflower. And that’s something Europeans and the left don’t seem to grasp. Americans have it in their DNA to go and strike out on their own to new places with nothing other than what they can carry. The last (as far as I can tell) Europeans to do so we’re the Vikings, and look how the rest of Europe viewed them. They explored new places seeking their own way, and were very successful. The rest of Europe was bogged down in petty political nonsense. Europe hasn’t really changed much in over a thousand years. Everything that could be discovered was. Any sense of adventure and self reliance was all but stamped out long ago, except for a very few small groups, which happens to be the first Americans. We are encouraged, in my mind and even in modern times, to have that mentality. Most people call it “The American Dream”. And one of the best ways to preserve that “Frontier” mentality is to give and ensure a person’s right to it with something tangible. The firearm is that tangible reminder of being able to take care of one’s self. Take that away, and it won’t be long before you end up like Europe: castrated, dependant, hollow shells of once proud people that supplicate before Kings and tyrants.

    Maintain the frontier spirit. It’s what makes America.

    1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      Survivordude….. Well said. I like being a citizen instead of being a subject.

  28. avatar m. says:

    F brain-dead gun-control t**ts. Go back to your true calling, i.e., diapers, biscuits, and bj’s.

  29. avatar Felixd says:

    Re: The National Guard. Please read the Militia Act of 1903. It is still law. The concept of the “Unorganized Militia” is the foundation of the draft.

  30. avatar Gun Owning American says:

    Bill of rights, not needs.

  31. avatar RedRed says:

    Only tyrants want to disarm people.

  32. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    “….Today, anyone over the age of 18 possessing around $800 can purchase a semiautomatic rifle like the AR-15, capable of shooting 30, 60, or even 100 rounds at a time and able to be reloaded in just three seconds.”

    Just not worded right..Shooting should be replaced with word holding (magazine).

    And the article is just another gun grabber manifesto but with pictures.

    1. avatar Karl says:

      That’s a lie… prohibited persons can’t. Fill out a 4473 and you feel lucky you didn’t pull some of that sh!t when you were young and dumb. In addition some states have mag limits. Some states you can’t until 21. Some states you need to buy a special castrated version. She makes it sound like you just waltz into CostCo and impulse buy a 3 pack on your way to Vegas…

      1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

        I went on to read the entire publication..interesting to say the least, in a propaganda kind of way of course.

        The cartoon articles are of note, in that, the ‘scenes from a gun show’ gets alot of it right…still the anti-AR appears as well.
        https://www.topic.com/scenes-from-a-gun-show

        Still ..I’m wondering who the h3ll even reads this publication.

  33. avatar Ralph says:

    Yes, there have been a lot of changes, first and foremost among them is that Americans no longer have control of their own country. Which is why Americans certainly do need a gun leaning by the cabin door, the apartment door or the bedroom door.

  34. avatar Karl says:

    Look at that! No comment section they don’t believe in the modern day first amendment either.

  35. avatar MT Dude says:

    A liberal is someone who just hasn’t had their life genuinely put at risk by a bad guy yet. When one realizes there is evil in this world, and that without the capacity to defend one’s self or loved ones, one is simply prey, and they tend to wake up (and grow up).

    Such as it is, too much pampering and prosperity, they become seemingly isolated (though they are NOT) from the real threats of the real world and don’t see the need when they’re living in such an apparent bastion of safety and prosperity.

    News flash, safety can evaporate entirely and immediately at a moment’s notice.

    This is why a healthy dose of perspective, like getting violently home-invaded or being stranded in the middle of nowhere (with bears) can wake people up. It *shouldn’t* take that, but more often than not it does….if the person isn’t a total mouth-breathing backbirth.

    Oh and if someone says the frontier is “closed,” obviously they’ve not been up to the Yak or the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana.

  36. avatar MJG says:

    Guys I think it’s a heady H&K joke… not a mistake

  37. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    The economy sure has changed since the 18th century, but human nature has not, as evidenced by the routine abuses and massacres perpetrated by governments around thise globe on a daily basis.

    I love this country and do not want to hurt anyone. However, I also know that people only respect other people who respect themselves and who stand up for themselves. The best Americans do that. The rest of Americans are just free riders.

  38. avatar ozzallos says:

    Google “crime” + “looting” and then the venue of your choice, such as “sandy hook” for all of the modern musket justification you need.

  39. avatar Ark says:

    You heard it here, folks: Your right to own a gun in conditioned on the existence of a frontier and the threat of Indian raids.

    1. avatar Ingenero says:

      So we have to move to Kashmir?

  40. avatar IdahoPete says:

    I am totally sick and tired of the continued spreading of these leftist lies. Here we go again:

    A) It is the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of “needs”.

    B) The foundation legal document of the United States is the Declaration of Independence. That document mentions a large number of Rights, but only one DUTY. The 2nd Amendment prevents the government from interfering with that duty: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their DUTY, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” Subsistence and fighting off predators were a given (and unremarkable) part of the right of keep and bear arms, but not the primary purpose of the Founders (who were in the process of throwing off a despotic government).

    C) The “militia” are legally defined by the following:
    10 U.S. Code § 246 – Militia: composition and classes
    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
    (b) The classes of the militia are—
    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the UNORGANIZED MILITIA, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
    Guess what? The militia still exists in the US Code, outside of the National Guard.

    D) The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled, in the “Heller” decision (June 26, 2008), that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess firearms independent of service in a state militia, and that “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes….”

    E) For the intellectually challenged leftist out there, let me explain the phrase “shall NOT be infringed” in terms that even a leftist might understand: Put two six-year olds in the back seat of a car, and go on a long trip. Before you leave, run a piece of masking tape down the middle of the seat, and tell the two kids “This is YOUR side, [name], and THIS is your side, [name}. STAY on your OWN side, the two of you.” I will guarantee you that those kids will be able to define “infringed”, and will announce any such infringement loudly: “MOM, he’s on my side! DAD, she”s LOOKING at me on my side!!” “Infringement” will include airspace and foot room on the floor, and will be defined in the strictest possible terms by the affected parties. The main problem is that all leftists and many legal scholars lack the intellectual capabilities of a six-year old.

    1. avatar ams says:

      Why would you bring up intellect, it’s feelings that matter.

  41. avatar Joe R. says:

    We had a different relationship with women bavk then. STFU came with a backhand.

  42. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    “But it’s not just the guns that have changed since the days of the early republic. It’s our relationship to the them…”

    Actually, that relationship has changed not at all for huge swaths of people in the US. Rebecca from the Onion, there just doesn’t know any of them. Maybe she should get out more.

  43. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    No, we don’t need a gun by the cabin door as much: these days it’s “apartment door” what with the urbanization and all. Indeed wherever the door, we “need” the gun more.

  44. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    Tell me, what’s the ratio of people attacked by two-legged predators vs. four these days, compared to, you know, when the humans were more spread out.

    Asking for Rebecca, a friend.

  45. avatar Drake_Burrwood says:

    True.. what more need, is the handgun on their hip.
    Since Government has worked at creating prohibition economies to encourage growth of their budgets and centralization of power.

  46. avatar raptor jesus says:

    It’s not the Bill of Needs

  47. avatar Mikial says:

    “Most Americans nowadays aren’t living subsistence lives under constant physical threat.”

    Maybe not a subsistence lifestyle, but in truth we are under constant threat from ruthless people who are often armed.

  48. avatar ams says:

    The complete article when read in totality reads like black feminist drek rather than merely inane talking points espoused by the left. I am dumber for having read it.

  49. avatar Eddie Hubbard says:

    Rebecca Onion you say the average American doesn’t need a gun by the cabin door? When the HELL did you become GOD & make it your choice for me to have a gun? I’ll have 100 of them if I want that many. It is my choice, I run my own life, you are NOT my keeper. I am responsible for me & my family, not the law or the National Guard. They will be here long after the deed of some sick bastard on the loose that kills people shows up & thinks he is going to kill again . Well I have something for him or her. I happen to live out where there are bears, mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, hogs, etc. are. It is my job to protect my family, property & livestock. You have just shown you IGNORANCE to the world because today is just a deadly if not worse than the frontier was. There is a world of killers out there & the law cannot protect you from them. Take your liberal thoughts & stick them where the sun don’t shine & set FIRE to them.

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