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Adam Johnston over at the Foundation for Economic Education recently wrote an article examining Biden’s anti-gun policies by contrasting them to the gun-related works of JFK, Frederick Douglas, and Samuel Adams. This caught my attention partly because some friends were discussing JFK as the last pro-2A president a few days ago. Johnston states JFK saw the Second Amendment as a right that must be upheld due in part to the fact it protects other rights.

Johnston used the following to explain:

[W]e don’t need to hearken back to the colonial era to understand the importance of the Second Amendment. One of America’s most revered Democratic Presidents, John F Kennedy, stressed the importance of an armed citizenry during a commemorative message on Roosevelt Day in 1961:

“In my own native state of Massachusetts, the battle for American freedom was begun by the thousands of farmers and tradesmen who made up the Minute Men―citizens who were ready to defend their liberty at a moment’s notice. Today we need a nation of minute men; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. The cause of liberty, the cause of America, cannot succeed with any lesser effort.”

It’s important to note that JFK preserved the link between the “Minute Men” of America’s Revolutionary period and ordinary modern-day American citizens. Unfortunately, that linkage tends to be broken whenever there is a debate over the “true meaning” of the Second Amendment.

Johnston briefly touches on the verbiage of the Second Amendment, noting how the English language has indeed evolved over time:

Without going into a full blown history lesson, “well regulated” in the 18th century had a slightly different meaning than the word “regulated” does today. Around the time of the writing of the Constitution, “well regulated” referred to something being in proper working order, calibrated correctly and functioning as expected.

Back to the idea of Kennedy as a great pro-2A president. JFK was a lifetime member of the NRA, something that might cause heads to explode today, but was seen in a different light nearly sixty years ago. Kennedy was the only Democratic president with a lifetime membership. We’ve had eight Republicans that fit the bill including Nixon, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. And yes, JFK’s reputation while in office tended to tilt toward supporting gun rights.

There are many who argue the last time we had a reliable pro-2A president in office was JFK. Some say it was Reagan (something you might want to research more completely). And there are those who feel Trump has done a good, or at least passable job of protecting our gun rights.

What constitutes a pro-2A president? What do they have to do to prove themselves in your eyes? Do one or two slip-ups of a sort negate great things they may have done to further gun rights? Who do you think the last solidly pro-2A president was?

 

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52 COMMENTS

  1. Politicians who support the entire Bill of Rights are uncommon, most want to pick and choose, or make up new bits as they go. Even worse they want to pick and choose who get to exercise those rights and when.

    • Actually Obama was the last pro 2A president…he is a constitutional scholar. Your gun rights were safer during the 8 years under Obama than they were the 4 years under Trump. Crying and butthurt from “flat earthers” who are incapable of acknowledging reality will begin below. ⬇⬇⬇

        • How about complaining that he couldn’t get “assault weapons” banned after Sandy Hook? He didn’t sign any anti-war laws because, after seeing the destruction wrought by Obamacare, he had a Republican legislature that wouldn’t let him pass his agenda. Now, he calls for semiauto bans, magazine bans, universal background checks (registration), and removal of due process (Red Flag Laws).

      • This absolutely ignors MOST of what he said most of which were lies.

        Your head is so far up your ass you are in danger of suffocation.

        This is a good thing.

  2. While Ronaldus Maximus had a lot going for him (I still consider him the greatest president of the 20th century), he was hardly a friend of the Second Amendment.

    Two words: Hughes Amendment

    • Ronald Reagan was anti RKBA. He passed the first gun control in CA as governor, the 1967 Mulford Act, which was also supported by the NRA. Designed to keep the Black Panthers off the streets, it still exists today banning the open carry of long guns. He signed the 1986 FOPA that eliminated civilians owning any machineguns after 1986. He uttered the famous “nobody needs an AK47 to defend their home” in 1989. After he left office he supported the Brady Bill in 1991, and his written support of Clintons AWB was key in getting GOP support.

      He also supported the Communist Party. Dont believe me?

      Search the term “Red Ronnie Reagan communist” and dive into the facts about Reagan, the useful idiot of the NWO globalists.

      • Totally agree, this is all true. Reagan was in fact himself a bit of a philosophical leftist. He’s every boomer fudd Republicans favorite president and they vehemently defend him against any criticism. The truth is he arguably did more damage to the Republican brand than anyone seems willing to recognize. He severely watered down the party and drove it completely away from “good guy” Dwight Eisenhower Post WWII Republican politics. He essentially remade the Republican party into the Democratic lite neo-con infested disappointment we know today. Trump has forced a populist course change in the Party and has made it very difficult for the old neo-con boomers to go about business like they once did. That is why he is hated by most of the current Reagan Republicans in charge of the party. Trump has quickly made the Republican party completely his, and has been tearing power away from the neo-cons. The stealing of this election was a group effort. The old flag Republicans want the same thing as the Democrats. They are all corrupt neo-cons of some variety and they desperately want their swamp back and to have the plebian constituency back in a servile place.

        • Let’s look at one incontrovertible fact: Ronald Reagan’s profession was____an ACTOR. He never strayed from that.

        • True dat, Reagan was the quintessential Boomercuck phony. Reagan only two “accomplishments” were tax cuts and Muh Russia. Reagan completely ignored the cultural rot engulfing American institutions because “Muh Russia”.

          And let us not forget the original Boomercuck, Barry Goldwater. Goldwater attacked Eisenhower the most successful Republican POTUS in the 20th century. Ike served 2 terms and Goldloser lost in a 442-89 landslide to LBJ. Nuff said

    • We shouldn’t lionize JFK, especially those of us who lean right. Kennedy used the power of the regulatory state through the FCC and the IRS to destroy his political opponents in the conservative movement. He used the FCC to shutdown the first generation of conservative talk radio and marshalled the IRS to harass rightwing political organizations. His actions served as a template for his successors, LBJ and Nixon.

      https://www.cato.org/policy-report/march/april-2020/how-jfk-censored-right-wing-radio

      • Piss on all that, JFK was the architect of the Vietnam war, an attempt to convert a Buddhist nation to Catholicism or kill them all in the attempt. As a Senator he convinced Eisenhower to send 600 advisors, and as President he sent some 13,000 more, also supposedly “advisors”. Made it an obvious move for LBJ to lie his way into being a “wartime President” to get his sorry, racist ass reelected. Any other actions of JFK pale in comparison, cost us 58,000 lives and the respect of the world, just to please his bud, Francis Cardinal Spellman.

        • Klamath Falls Herald and News: Tuesday, September 27th, 2016/Letters To The Editor

          Trump description would fit LBJ well
          Letter to the Editor Sep 27, 2016

          In her Sept. 20th letter Sandy Couch describes Donald Trump as “narcissistic and egotistical.” That is an accurate description of Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) , perhaps the worst president in American history.

          Unfortunately, an issue doesn’t disappear simply because it’s been ignored, censored, covered up and concealed for decades. Also, the legacy of deceit, abuse of power, and political corruption that continues to curse America today! Case in point: “American Experience, “LBJ: Beautiful Texas/My Fellow Americans. A profile of Lyndon B. Johnson.” This recently aired on KSYS Channel 8.1 Aug. 15 and 16, respectively.

          Consider the following the itemized links below:

          Barr McClellan’s 2003 book: “Blood, Money, and Power: How LBJ Killed JFK”. Also posted at YouTube.

          J. Evett Haley’s 1964 book: “A Texan Looks At Lyndon: A Study In Illegitimate Power.” “How Persecution of American Christians Really Began in The US!” via the Constitution Party of Oregon (www.constitutionpartyoregon.net) posted under “Liberty In The News.”

          Trump to Pastors: ‘Christians Have Been Silenced Like a Child” via Pat Robertson’s 700 club confronts the 1954 Johnson Amendment which remains blatant censorship.

          “Lyndon Johnson Murdered John F. Kennedy” at YouTube. The oppressive 1968 Gun Control Act LBJ signed into federal legislation and its Nazi/ racist roots long since exposed by JPFO, Inc. at http://www.jpfo.org.

          Finally, the Vietnam War (1961-1975). How LBJ and then Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara greatly escalated this “no win war” in Southeast Asia. And at a cost of 58,000 American lives. Lyndon B. Johnson likewise paved the way for Carter, Clinton, and Obama.And while Richard M. Nixon was no saint, he wasn’t even in the ballpark with Lyndon when it came to the above political atrocities, abuses, and crimes against the American people.

          James A. Farmer, Ashland
          Since October 2016 a resident of Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)
          Long Live The State of Jefferson!

        • to LarryinTX
          Are atheist’s just afraid to bring this up? Are they afraid of being accused of being called anti-Catholic? Like the ones who burned priests at the stake?
          JFK did say his religion should not be used as a reason to vote against him. I don’t hear to many people saying the Vietnam war, was a war to make Vietnam catholic.

          I will have to do some research on the this meeting with Francis Cardinal Spellman in NYC. This is the first time I have heard of it. I know most atheist’s are democrats. And they don’t want to attack democrat Catholics. The prefer to attack conservative Christian republicans.

  3. It is hardly necessary that any president likes guns, or goes out of his way to promote guns and the Second. It is only necessary that they understand that the regulation of guns today is unconstitutional. It is only necessary, IMO, that a president will uphold the constitution. Anything else is treason.

    • JFK has been disavowed by today’s Socialist/Liberals as being not “Woke” enough. Many of JFK’s policies now fit closer to Republican Ideals than today’s New World Order Democrats.

  4. I’m not a fan of JFK. While his tax and economic policies were good for the country. He was the one who sent 16,000 American combat soldiers to Vietnam. He started our involvement in that war. And using his executive powers, signed an E.O, allowing government workers of unionize. This has caused a great loss of Liberty to the nation as a whole.

    He took a hands-off position when it came to Black American citizens being attacked and oppressed in the United States. And he publicly complained about it because he said it made the United States look bad to the world. And the USSR and Communist China took advantage of this.

    But its important to put his words about the 2nd Amendment in the context of the time he said them. Because if black people had not been denied their second amendment civil rights. There would be far less of a need for federal intervention. And perhaps without saying it, this is what motivated JFK to make his statement on the second amendment in the first place.

    In 1961 when he made this speech about the Second Amendment, Robert F Williams and other blacks, were using guns to defend their lives from being burned alive by racist white mobs. Back in 1957.
    This was big news when it happened. And the Civil Rights leadership was frightened that the white liberals would withdraw their monetary support, because blacks were seen using guns to righteously defend themselves against murderous violence.

    I don’t know what motivated President Kennedy to make that speech in January of 1961. But I do know what was going on in the country at that time. And I believe it was not a coincidence that he made that speech supporting the Second Amendment, at a time when there was extreme mob violence going on in the country. And local governments at the time refused to intervene.

    And while many people in the “gun Community” don’t like President Trump. On several occasions he has said it was a good thing innocent American citizens used their second amendment civil rights to defend themselves. He even said this outside of the US on one of his overseas trips.

    And that is something that no previous president has done. After mass shootings have occurred at churches and schools.

    • We had US military in Vietnam as early as 1955, and probably before that. The escalation was by JFK, pushed from the Pentagon. He wanted it to be a short time thing, but he was killed and LBJ went with the program.
      You can’t put this all on JFK.

      • I understand that people who like JFK want to ignore the truth. John F Kennedy was a war hawk. John F Kennedy was a warmonger. John F Kennedy ignored President Eisenhower’s final address. The one that everybody likes to call “the warning of the military industrial complex” speech. President Kennedy increased defense spending. Under the Kennedy administration the nuclear submarine building program greatly expanded.

        John F Kennedy was anti-communist down to his core. And he would spend millions of dollars and spend thousands of American soldiers lives fighting communism wherever he saw it.

        • Indeed. Kennedy ran to Nixon’s right on the Soviet Union during the 1960 election. The false notion of a missile gap started with JFK. The Eisenhower administration couldn’t correct Kennedy because it would have betrayed the existence of the U.S. government’s spy satellites.

          Kennedy also greatly expanded the international welfare program known as foreign aid. Pointless handouts which bloated the size of the federal government, robbed the taxpayer, and incentivized corruption and dependence aboard. The Cold War was a liberal internationalist scam.

        • you say that like its a bad thing. Vietnam was certainly a quagmire though and should have never been escalated unless we were willing to through with the potential outcome, another Korean-Penninsula-esque limited military exchange with China. Of course, we were not and therefore should have limited involvement to material assistance and limited SOF support, but South Vietnam was pretty corrupt and FUBAR so it was always going to end how it did. Kennedy also expanded the Army Special Forces program, which was really ahead of his time considering how the future would see tons of unconventional warfare and opponents.

      • The first US military in Vietnam were put there by Eisenhower at the urging of Senator John Kennedy, you don’t let him off that easily. While the good senator was accomplishing that, the Archbishop of Saigon and his brother, the future president of South Vietnam (installed by the US) were the houseguests of Francis Cardinal Spellman in NYC, since they were likely to be killed if they returned to SVN, as they eventually were!

        • Cardinal Spellmann didn’t mastermind just Vietnam, he was also behind RFK’s assassination, the Unabomber, the invasion of Panama, New Coke, the collapse of the USSR, 9/11, the 2007/08 financial crisis, and Benghazi!

  5. JFK was perhaps the last good dim. Anyone who claims they “know” what he’d do if he lived are delusional. Like Vietnam and the Civil Rights Act. Reagun was the worst. All talk from the so-called great communicator. As DJT IS. WE are ultimately on our own. And I am mt own militia…

  6. Over the last 6 months Ive read Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin book series; 20 incredibly well researched historic novels of British Naval warfare between the end of the 18th century and the War of 1812.
    O’Brian has a meticulous understanding of the language of the error, in every regard, from the salons of wealthy London, to Whitehall politics, to the decks of the various warships and their voluminous specific terms, to lowly Bostonians, to whalers, to scientists, to slave traders…you name it and his 20 novels touch on it and explain it in tedium.

    In the course of the novels the term “well regulated” comes up at least six times and it always refers to something that is in proper working order or as prescribed. Read one of the exchanges and it becomes clear: https://books.google.com/books?id=w75mUHae_2kC&q=regulated&fbclid=IwAR04e7jLq7bXXpyXwoWLW8Mc7S67zYDXExestvUdn5EFEXJJs-Bn-PhPR78#v=snippet&q=regulated&f=false

  7. Lifetime member: You’ve been a member for all your life, or at least most all of your adult lifetime.

    Life member: You gave the NRA $200 while running for President in the 1980s and started calling yourself a ‘lifetime member’ in order to deflect attention away from the fact that you were a Constitution hating douche.

  8. The below appearing is excerpted from the article.

    Without going into a full blown history lesson, “well regulated” in the 18th century had a slightly different meaning than the word “regulated” does today. Around the time of the writing of the Constitution, “well regulated” referred to something being in proper working order, calibrated correctly and functioning as expected.

    Regarding reference to the “slightly different meaning”, someone has a distinct talent for UNDERSTATEMENT, if I may so note.

  9. JFK gave us unionize government workers, even FDR thought it was a bad idea. He did cut taxes from the ridiculous levels Ike had signed off on. There was womanizing and Bay of Pigs of course but also a lot of speeches everyone remembers.

    Bush 41 was a life member of the NRA until Wonderful Wayne called certain law enforcement agencies jack booted thugs and he renounced his membership.

  10. Although that quote by him is taken way out of context. Look up the full message and he wasn’t talking about guns at all.

  11. Little known fact about the Kennedy family. At one time before the Kennedy Compound was essentially shuddered, the Kennedy family owned one of the largest private collection of Class 3 weapons in America. It was kept at the Hiannis Port Compound on Cape Cod, Mass. They had a full time armorer to maintain the weapons and also to maintain a supply of ammo for each weapon so that when family members came to the compound they could shoot.

    Yes John Sr and Jr were both staunch 2A supporters. But the above is the reason that Class 3 items are still legal in Mass.

    • Wow. I thought MG’s were illegal in that state? Its to bad the state level gun rights groups don’t have the courage to bring this up.

  12. They pay lip service to 2A, but they don’t do anything or act against it. Trump said bad things about silencers and good about Red Flag, but didn’t take action on them. He did tell ATF to get rid of bump stocks. Hopefully, he appointed a bunch of 2A judges. W was certainly no supporter. Had the 92 crime bill’s ban not expired while he happened to be in office, he would have taken no action to repeal the “assault weapons ban.” He didn’t propose or lobby for PLCAA. H.W. started the assault weapon import ban by defining them as no being sporting. Reagan didn’t advocate the good parts of 86 FOPA, and signed it with the bad. Nixon? IDK, probably didn’t care one way or another.

  13. What did he actually do, as oppoosed to some talking, to expand 2A rights? Lots of Dems and Republicans do a lot of talking today, but no positive action. Even worse, they do a lot of phony supportive talking, then turn around and vote our rights away.

  14. Trump has been pro-2A for decades. He was, though, influenced by his NY background for a long time.

    Problem with ideologues is that they become dogmatists. They judge not based on intent, effect, or sentiment, but on adherence to an orthodoxy.

    Trump banned bump stocks because they effectively create full-auto fire. I have elsewhere made originalist argument that would preclude full-auto from 2A protection. I’ve also raised ideas which, while not serving self-indulgent desires of some, would actually make intent of 2A–efficacy of civilian Militia–stronger, & probably more legally secure.

    Perhaps you think all that makes me not pro-2A. Yet, in reality my ideas make RKBA something MORE sustainable today. My aim goes beyond 2A, in fact. It is to see an armed citizenry, not simply a citizenry with a right to own guns.

    Truth is, Trump is the most pro-2A GOP POTUS since Teddy Roosevelt. He’s learned to depart from some problematic stances, and he stood strong after Parkland. Be objective.

  15. The murder of JFK, his brother, and many others by the hands of the CIA should have awoken Americans that a Deep State exists and its not an imagination of TV series Get Smart or Man from Uncle script writers. For Gods Sake most Americans still believe the 9/11 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon were carried out by Camel jockies.

    The corruption within the US Government is so deep and wide that a hundred more years of elections wouldnt change a thing for the better. Why ? Because the Deep State is not an elected body. Because the Deep State is Global. Because the Deep State exists to destroy America from within. And the Deep State controls the elected ones.

    And to those who arrive in DC primed and ready to do good for mankind, the American people, or even their bookie, they soon will be drawn into the sharp toothed jaws of ther Deep State minders. They got to Trey Gowdy in 4 years. Others we believed to be Patriots and Soldiers have made sudden decisions in favor of the Deep State. Trump is remaining tough but he may hang on too long like JFK did. Of course the Deep State will kill him and anyone else who gets in the way. Its beneficial to count our enemies by their endurance in Washington, or in endurance in offices of State and Local Governments. Pelosi, Schumer, Mcconnel, and the long list of old men and women who grow grey and then white haired in office. Are they really working on your behalf ?

    Sure the enemies of freedom know us, read our mail and messages and know all about us. Its also never too late to go dark.

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