Virginia gun owner militia open carry
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert
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By Brandon Williamson

The founders didn’t know we’d have guns like AR15s.
The Second Amendment is about the militia.
Weapons of war have no place in civilian hands.

These and other arguments from the left are often used to justify stripping you of your right to keep and bear arms, but they are all incorrect and easily dismissed with just a little historical knowledge.

First, we need to ask why we have the right to bear arms. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to ensure that the citizenry has the ability to resist a tyrannical and oppressive government, with force if necessary. We had just fought a war against the most powerful empire in the world. American victory would have been impossible without having firearms comparable to those used by the most powerful military in the world at that time, Great Britain.

The necessity of arms comparable to the ones used by government forces to resist tyranny should itself be sufficient for everybody to understand the purpose of our Second Amendment rights, but leftists will point to the “well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” line as proof that the right was intended to apply to military forces.

They somehow manage to be correct and incorrect at the same time. They are incorrect in their insistence that this line refers to state-sponsored military forces. They are correct that it does relate to military forces, just not in the way they want it to mean.

We can look at laws written around the time of the Constitution to understand who the framers meant when they referred to the militia. The Militia Acts of 1792 made it clear that all men are part of the unorganized militia, that is a militia force composed wholly of the citizenry, without government control. The Militia Acts required all men to maintain personal arms sufficient for warfighting as well as a specified amount of ammunition for the same purpose.

This law was updated in the 1860s to include men of African descent. Unfortunately, these laws have been ignored for some time. But if they were to be updated for the modern era, in keeping with historical precedent, they would include all men and women because we the people are the militia that the Second Amendment references.

Following that line of thinking, the leftist arguments about the technological advancements of firearms being more than the founders could conceive, or that weapons of war have no place in civilian hands, are laughable.

The founders were well aware of the fact that technology advances with the years. In 1780 the Girardoni air rifle, a 20-round repeating firearm, entered service with the Austrian army in limited numbers. It later went on to be one of the weapons that went on the Lewis and Clark expedition.

There were several other examples of weapons that far surpassed the standard musket from the era such as the Puckle gun and Ferguson Rifle. The founders were well aware of these weapons and to claim they didn’t know arms technology would advance is, simply put, idiotic.

The final argument about how civilians should not be able to own “weapons of war” is painfully contrary to the intent of the Second Amendment. If you’re not convinced, consider the numerous privately organized militias, including artillery sections, which were funded by private citizens, not the government. That is the equivalent of a private individual today buying a Howitzer or other piece of field artillery.

Biden confused lost
President Joe Biden (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Cannons and small mortars were the artillery pieces of their day. In addition to that, it’s a simple fact that the flintlock musket that one might use for hunting in the late 1700s was for all intents and purposes equally capable to the muskets in use by state-sponsored militaries.

In summary, Americans should have the ability to own any firearms they might need for warfighting. It should make no difference if that person chooses to arm themself with a .300 Winchester Magnum rifle fed from a five-round magazine with an effective engagement distance of 1,100 yards or an M240 belt-fed general purpose machine gun with an 875-yard max effective range against a point target.

American history is clear on this – the Second Amendment included, and includes, the right to keep and bear all arms necessary for self-defense, as well as to provide a check on a tyrannical government. To pretend otherwise is to mislead the American people, which may be the intent of these arguments all along.

 

Brandon Williamson is a U.S. Army veteran, and the Director of Social Media at Young Americans for Liberty. He lives in Wyoming.

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40 COMMENTS

  1. 2A is our free pass for being armed. How we use those arms is up to us. Hunting, self defense, recreation or overthrowing a .gov gone to tyranny are all equal under the 2A.

  2. “First, we need to ask why we have the right to bear arms?”
    For the same reasons we have all the other rights in the Bill of Rights.
    The abuse by the monarchies was fresh on the founders mind and they sought a society where power came from “we the people”. Had it not been for abuse and “we the people” been treated right there would have been no reason to bring about change.

  3. Nice to see an army vet on our side. Usually about now the media will grab some retired general to tell us “I am an army general! I know that weapons of war, guns like the AR that are the same as what I used in battle, shouldn’t be in civilian hands!”

    No doubt as soon as they finish with the actors and traumatized kids asking for gun control, they will grab a couple ex military “experts” to make the case.

    Reactionary legislation means criminals, terrorists, and victims in mourning are determining the scope of our freedom. It should never be that way!

    • CNN grabbed a retired law-enforcement officer who is also a “card carrying member of the NRA” and who worked part-time in gun retail while also working as a cop, to write an article on why the AR-15 has absolutely no place in civilian hands. He then proceeds to write all manner of rather absurd reasons that make me question his knowledge of guns, for example he speaks of the “power and accuracy” of the weapon, and how it isn’t good for self defense because it can penetrate through multiple walls into the neighbor’s home. To which I’m thinking, “You do realize there are plenty of lever-action and bolt-actions that will do the same thing and which are more powerful and accurate (for bolts anyway) than an AR?”

    • An actual AR-15 has never been used in military battle by U.S. military forces. A modified and redesigned rifle based upon, ultimately, a general modular pattern was and the military designated it the M-16 for their original and different ‘M-‘ designations since for various versions.

  4. “well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”. Emphasis on the word FREE.

    The Right to Keep and Bear arms, is the Right to be Free. – A modern interpretation to an old Sci-Fi novel (The Weapon Shops of Isher, A.E. van Vogt, 1941).

  5. ‘…….an M240 belt-fed general purpose machine gun…..’
    🤔
    Nice………but I want an M134.
    Unfortunately, a manufacturers license is required to own the de-linker assembly.

    I got to shoot an M134 last year, geared to 50 rounds per second.
    It HAS to be the best grin generating lead slinger known to mankind.

    Not my vid…….

    https://youtu.be/R9BqKT03aiw

  6. I always liked the inane theory that it is a collective right which grants the federal government the power to raise an army.

    As if any of that makes sense in any context real or imaginary.

    • Oh, I’m sure they believe that “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” applies only to their State Assembly.

  7. It’s also worth pointing out that the term “militia” was used interchangeably with the professional armies of the time and the “unorganized” military groups. This can be seen in the Federalist Papers, #29. I’m fairly certain that there are other sources that bear this out, but this is one source that shows that the gun grabbers are full of sh*t in their interpretation of the 2A.

    • This is EXACTLY the reason why Harvard and the like DON’T TEACH THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.
      The federalist papers go again the agenda, therefore they get swept under the rug.

      It’s a feature, not a bug. 🤔

    • Read the Anti-Federalist Papers, they speak about “the militia at large” vs “select militia.” There are also writings that speak about the existence of militia living in the territories at the time.

      • IIRC, the anti-federalist papers were produced as an argument to keep the Constitution from being ratified by the states.

        The federalist papers are the owners manual to the Constitution, providing details to the states as to how the Constitution/Fed Gov would function if ratification was achieved.

        • Yes, but the anti-Federalist Papers use the language of the time, and thus use the word “militia” in the same manner as the Federalist Papers. Also, the Bill of Rights was only added to appease the anti-Federalists in order to get them to support ratification.

        • I’m going to read the anti-federalist papers.
          It will help provide more clarity/definition into the meanings of words/phrases from that period in our history. 👍

  8. Of course they want to mislead, why do you think they use the term Assault Weapon, or Automatic.

    • Having assualt weapons is exactly what the 2Ammedment is about. We the People should have the power to resist tyranny.
      There is no reason Our giverment should fear that, unless it has a reason to.

    • Almost EVERY law schools is teaching WHAT to think, not HOW to think. 👍

      Columbia Univ was handed over to the faculty of the Frankfurt school post WWII.
      This was the poisoning of the US education system.

  9. Those first two statements are correct.
    The founders had no way to predict our technology. That’s why they used generic terms like “arms”, “speech”, and “the press” in the Bill of Rights, so the protections would keep up with technology.
    And the second amendment is about the militia, because the people are the militia.

  10. The concept of the right to arms to check a tyranny long predates the Founders. Aristotle talked about it in his work “Politics.” And the right to self defense also long predates the Founders, with all manner of scholars that influenced the development of Western civilization speaking of it. Also the Founders who were Federalists saw the Bill of Rights as redundant, because as Hamilton said in Federalist 84, “for why say that things shall not be done for which there is no power to do?” But the anti-federalists would not support ratification without a promise to add one in.

  11. On the phrase “well regulated,” just use Google Books. Google did everyone a great service by scanning all manner of obscure books from the 1800s and 1700s into their computers and making their texts searchable. Type in “well regulated” and you’ll find all manner of examples, such as well regulated machine shop, well regulated horses, well regulated household, well regulated life, I think even well regulated hairstyle and well regulated drawing room can be found.

  12. So the AR15 is a “weapon of war” yet there isn’t a single country that uses it as their main battle rifle.

    I’ve yet to hear a single Republican state that fact on TV.
    Our “Republican leaders” are morons.

    • According to the grabbers: It’s a weapon of war that would be useless in a war. At least they are consistent in their inconsistencies.

  13. After WWI, the US military came to control a large chunk of Germany’s military arsenal. Because this is ‘Murica, they brought the spoils of war home and sold them on the streets of New York, including machine guns and artillery pieces. Sauce: https://youtu.be/NYYX3aoNoW0

    • How about raising a one finger salute to gun gabbers? They hate us AR owner’s. Nuff said. I will never surrender my rifle…

  14. “(Spoiler Alert – It Isn’t Hunting)”

    🤔 You misspelled that.
    “Albert” has a “b”, like b!tch.

    🤣

  15. I keep having to explain the same to anyone who argues that these rifles aren’t ment for hunting or the 2nd was written when muskets were the main weapon.

  16. I always found the argument that the founding fathers never expected this or that to be ridiculous as it applies to firearms. Throughout the history of guns, people have always been trying to improve accuracy, capacity, and rate of fire.

  17. First, I agree with the premise, the 2A is NOT about hunting, or even personal defense (although both of those ARE inherent in the right); it is about the ability to resist and defeat a tyrannical government – ours or someone else’s. Full stop. The “militia” is every non-disabled adult between 18 and (I believe) 40. All else is quasi-intellectual dickbeating.

    Second, less important, but worth noting, the AR-15 is NOT “unsuitable for hunting or sporting uses”. As far as hunting goes, depending on state law, an AR-15 is quite suitable for shooting anything up to small deer. I know for a FACT, from personal experience, that in many parts of Texas that have problems with wild/feral pigs, an AR platform rifle (including many in the puny 5.56 caliber) are quite popular for “hog hunts” (been there, done that, got the T-shirt). Some states allow them to be used for deer, and I’ve hunted with people who used them – not my choice, but, then, I’m not much of a fan of the venerable .30-30, either. You want to participate in the TOTALLY LEGAL frequent “3-gun” and “tactical” competitions? Pretty much going to need an AR. Because of their relatively low recoil, and their tendency NOT to penetrate suburban walls, many people consider an AR pattern rifle a great choice for home defense, especially for smaller folks, older folks with arthritis, etc., who may not be able to handle other options effectively.

    But, . . . IT DOESN’T FRIGGIN’ MATTER!!! Folks, it’s not called the “Bill of Needs”, or the “Bill of things we approve of”. It’s the friggin’ BILL OF RIGHTS. Not your fuckin’ business what gun I want, why I want it, how many of them I have, or how much ammunition I’ve stored, UNLESS AND UNTIL I criminally misuse the firearm. Period friggin’ dot. Your “opinion” about what gun I “need”?? Tell it to someone who gives a shit.

    • Spot on LOD.
      ARs are the rifle of choice for hog hunting.
      It’s common to hear ARs chambered in 308 referred to as ‘Hog Hammers’ at gun stores across the entire state of Texas.

      I know well over a dozen women who have AR-15s for home defense. Took a few out shooting for their first time too.

    • I’ve have and have used the AR as hog hunting tool, but in .308 here in TX. However, I have seen multiple pictures where a 5.56 round does not fully penetrate the hog’s protective shield around the shoulder area. The tail of the bullet was still visible. Shot placement is key with the 5.56 round. An ear shot will work but the margin for error is small.

  18. ” . . . but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.” – Federalist 29

  19. Too bad they sunsetted the law when enacted. “Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That this act shall continue and be in force, for and during the term of two years, and from thence to the end of the next session of Congress thereafter, and no longer.

    APPROVED, May 2, 1792.”

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