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Reload! (courtesy

“I cannot believe that the founding fathers could never conceive a rifle firing quicker, but they could see into the future and think that we would be able to bounce a video signal off a satellite in space to provide 24-hour news coverage, in which we put some of the dumbest people on this planet on it because it’s their 1st Amendment right to try to negate the 2nd Amendment.” – TTAG commentator David P under the post CNN’s Don Lemon Owns a Machine Gun! Or Not

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  1. I was thinking about that. There was no difference between the military and civilian arms of the founding fathers. Therefore, if they were ok with civilian firearm ownership then, how would that be different now?

    • And furthermore, of the same sorts of arms the military uses.

      [sarc] Of course we CAN’T do away with the NFA, can we? [/sarc]

    • There was actually quite a difference. The military rifles had bayonet lugs and civilian rifles didn’t. One of the biggest problems for the Patriots was that they had virtually no bayonet capable rifles for the duration of the war, and this led to many defeats.

      The second amendment was intended to prevent this in the future by ensuring that the militia, which is every able bodied man, is able to come to war prepared with his own military grade weapons, much like the Greek Hoplites provided their own panoply of armor for their army.

      • I’m interested in your assertion. Do you have sources? That would seem to fall in line with the stories of militia running away during the fight. If I as militia had an empty muzzleloader and saw the redcoats charging with fixed bayonets, I would probably run too!

    • Also, unless my memory serves me incorrectly, weren’t the bulk of arms, artillery, and war vessels civilian own? And, not just during the Revolutionary war, but also during the war of 1812, decades later?

    • From about 1860 through WWII the average joe on the street could be a more advanced rifle than what the army was using a standard infantry rifle.

    • In truth Gen. Morgan was able to WIN a big Victory at Cowpens, Over the British redcoats because he had a company of men with Long rifles —— A Better long range Rifle (made in America)….that is I think the start of the term Sharp Shooters (SNIPERS) they got up in the trees and picked a lot of British Officers off… Better weapons helped the out come for sure… my point we under the Bill of Rights are to have Better weapons that a standing military …Like to day that would be machine guns etc… George Washington himself had several of the long rifles (Pa./KY.) and had very strong views about that the people had a right to the best in Firearms….or weapons…….

      • I agree with Almost everything’s you say but the part about te best weapon being a machine gun. A machine gun is a tool for a particular kind of job. A precision rifle the best of which we most certainly CAN own of we want to for over the 10k plus is another kind of took for a specific goal.

        • This. There’s a reason the Army switched to 3 round burst on their M16s, rather than keep them with full auto. Full auto is good for suppressive fire, but for the average soldier, using full auto just wastes ammo. Having full auto weapons as a civilian is fun and all, but not all that practical.

        • Yes a light machine gun full auto rifle has failed , but not all, the Thomson sub gun and the heavy Browning did very well in combat, We need (public) the better weapons that in a combat roll we should not be backward and the standing army have the best (the Bane of LIBERTY) the national guard is under federal controls , even what they look like …The founders would have a lot to say about today’s Socialism etc……

  2. With the Girardoni Air Rifle (which had a 20 round magazine) in service at the time with the Austrian military, I have a hard time believing that the founders didn’t have an idea of what kind of weapons would be possible in the future.

    • Good call Josh. It’s also one of the rifles Lewis and Clark took on their expidition, starting about 1804.
      (Granted, it was a pain to “reload” but what a beautiful design)

      • I maintain that L&C’s air rifle is the most important gun in the history of the United States.

        • Thanks for the video link Geoff. I have heard about that rifle over and over but have never seen one. I guess I thought it was a limited run gun where only a couple hundred were made. I didn’t realize a different government had used them for 10+ years.

  3. ….”.the difference between a semiautomatic and a fully automatic rifle are semantic”……..(or something along those lines)
    -Don Lemon

    Ear plugs mistaken for non lethal ammo……….

    magazine ammoclip………….

    shoulder stock thingy that folds up………….

    1st A is a freedom oftentimes used by uneducated morons-who use it to manipulate emotions of the unquestioning sheeple.

    The idiots leading the blind.

    • I believe in the 1st Amendment and the 2nd, no “But”s. Speech and Guns. The core of freedom. I don’t even have a problem with Don Lemon being so stupid, he is just some reporter. I never expected him to be an expert. What shocks me is that there are people stupid enough to listen, and no way for people who know better the Don Lemon to get out their own retorts on the same scale.
      Living in a world where news can travel from phone to phone across the world in seconds, why do people listen to CNN at all? Why do people keep drinking the kool-aid? CNN, Fox, they are all propaganda machines reporting their own shameful biases like gospel. FC once said, “We are in the killing business, and business is good.” FC, if you think you are making money, just look at what the business of brainwashing the people is doing. You have no idea what business being good is.

    • “…the difference between a semiautomatic and a fully automatic rifle are semantic”……..(or something along those lines)”
      -Don Lemon

      I don’t think the ATF, and a little something called, “a mandatory federal prison sentence” would agree. It’s not semantical, when confusing the two could put you in federal prison, for like, you know, life.

      • Actually The BATF would probably LOVE to establish that the difference between semi and full-auto is only semantic, because that would mean that under the NFA they could ban them all. Never give the ATF the benefit of the doubt that they actually care about the truth. They want whatever they can get. period.

        • Not gonna happen without re-writing the NFA.
          We should abolish it though. No where in the constitution does it give the government the right to restrict the defined rights of the people under the commerce clause.

  4. It is an astounding argument because our great nation has produced so many things the founders “could not envision.” Just in terms of weaponry, I’m sure laser guided bombs alone would blow their minds. The internet and television also. The slaves are free, they would get a kick out of that (well some of them.) My favorite retort to this argument is “do you really think general Washington would have turned down machine guns?”

  5. I think the founding fathers would be most impressed with Internet porn, strip clubs, and that shannon gets away with the claim that she is a mother to 5 kids. Just saying

    • I was thinking they would have been impressed with condom machines,The pay it forward guilt game at Starbucks, and the lie detector ” Test” on Tv.

  6. Don Lemon specifically and liberals generally have twisted logic and live in a reality distortion field. If it is something they like, then it fits. If it is something they do not like, they use linguistic contortions to make it mean whatever they want it to mean regardless of facts.

    I will be saving that quote for an appropriate argument with liberal friends

    • Here is the part about Don Lemon’s whole rant that really gets me angry. He went on the whole rant, not knowing the difference between full and semi-auto, making allusions that that was somehow tied to Ferguson riots, all BS but then he openly admits on air that he owns an AR. He mistakenly calls it a machine gun and ridiculously over estimates the rate of fire, but he says that he hates guns and that no one should have them but that he DOES HAVE one. Not that he HAD one…. Not that he bought it to prove a point and then sold it, or had it destroyed, or turned it into the police. You know, all the things he thinks gun owners across the country that cherish their guns should do (or be forced to do). No, he talked about HIS ar-15. In the present tense. As though somehow he is ok to keep owning it but the rest of us aren’t.

      Dear Don Lemon,
      You self entitled jackass. If you hate guns so much, put-up or shut-up, and get rid of yours. As a responsible, legal, citizen, I will take it (them?) off your hands for cash. Otherwise, stop bashing our Constitutional Rights which you benefit from as a gun owner and then earn your living from as a reporter, you hypocrite.

    • “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
      “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
      “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  7. Being a student of history, I know that many of the forefathers who participated in the writing of the Constitution and the early amendments were students of history as well. They knew that technology changes. They did not write the Constitution tied to the technology of the time, they wrote it to address human nature. From their understanding of history, they knew what leads to tyranny, and it is the same set of events and traits of a government that has lead to nearly every tyrannical government since recorded time. The words and ideas of these forefathers were true then, and they are more true today.

    • Yes! Especially apparent in the Bill of Rights. Grasping and holding dear this idea is the heart of preserving our nation. It transcends culture, and soars over something so base and fickle as politics.

      What kind of people would dismantle something so precious and rare? Maybe the human race is simply incapable or pathologically averse to living free.

    • Not only was the Constitution as written not tied to existing technology, it explicitly acknowledged and promoted the idea and expectation of invention. From Article 1, Section 8, powers of Congress:

      “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”

      The Framers not only realized the march of technology, but embraced it and regarded its pursuit as crucial to the success of the new country, so much so that they enshrined it in the Constitution.

  8. I think what the Founding Fathers couldn’t see was the breakdown of society where criminal behavior became expected, encouraged, and celebrated.

  9. All (U.S.) Revolutionary War (I) weapons [not captured from armories] were personally owned, to include cannon (both land and ship mounted).

    Some of this same function and spirit can be seen (from its inception but) even today in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol.

    Further, as was military custom, the only person to surrender their arms at the end of their conflict was the loosing party. If you “obtained” a weapon from the opposing fallen, it was also not-confiscated at the end of your enlisted term or the end of the conflict. View any revolutionary war museum’s weapons display (try Ft. Ticonderoga for example) and you will not find a weapon that has not been personalized by the carrier. Further, ALL weapons were allowed to re-integrate along with the “warring” citizens of the new independent nation (again, to include cannon). The U.S. gov’t later (in order to obtain uniformity of arms and their quality) contracted to arm its new Armed Forces, but the standing forces aforehand and at the time were hodge-podge. (And my GOD blessed them).

    The Purpose, though, of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, is for the day should it ever be found by the Citizenry (each to decide for him/herself individually) of the need to do the exact same thing again, against a Tyrannical government.

    • [sic] if your “government” (your neighbors, who needed a job, and there was either a job to do, or there was a solution looking for a problem) is attempting to strip you of your ‘arms’ it can only mean that they intend to further strip you of everything else.

      If a person “exercising” their first amendment right to a “free press” (not to be confused or co-mingled with their right to free-speech, or to megaphone over your free-speech [TERMS, .M. Thomas R., 2012]) is attempting to strip you of the only means of protecting that 1st Amendment Right (as all such rights delineated in the Bill of Rights are essentially freedoms FROM “government” and thereby solely protected by an armed citizenry [TERMS]), such person should be carefully scrutinized to determine their impetus and motivation, to ensure that they are not nefariously attempting improper acts as the agent of some anti-constitutional group or force.

  10. It actually is possible to envision. Broadcasting and whatnot requires science while guns are made out of unicorn horn by leprechauns in Nepal following a 1000 year old recipe that is stored in pieces.

  11. Just as a FYI, there were breech loading rifles extant during the Revolution, and there were several ideas by gunsmiths for multiple-shot weapons that would “reload” by pulling the trigger.

    You can see several such designs in the firearms museum in Cody, WY.

  12. While our founding fathers were may not have wasted time on thinking about things like future weapons, it was clear their intent with the 2A was to keep things fair. They WERE able to envision things like cannons and when they did not write, “The right to bear arms except cannons cause that is silly.” They also didn’t write, “The right to bear arms including cannons” Instead to keep the playing field equal they used something shorter and sweeter, “Shall not be infringed”. Knowing well and dandy that with they way the document is written I can could go out and buy a Howitzer they were okay with it.

    I honestly think they felt real good when they got done writing up this document how it would protect the future Americans and prevent tyranny and then of course we screw the pooch and start given up rights even the ones we know our founding fathers were able to envision.

  13. If the Lemon thinks that the difference between semi-auto and auto is just “semantic”, I suggest that CNN could save some bucks by contracting to pay him “x” dollars semi-monthly, and then paying him “x” dollars monthly. If he complained, they could tell him the difference between semi-monthly and monthly is just “semantic”.

  14. Watching Lemon try to puzzle out the difference between full-auto an semi-auto weapons comical until I realized that his stunning ignorance wasn’t permitting him to grasp the difference. I used to think that when libtard talking heads conflated simi-auto with full-auto they were intentionally producing misleading propaganda. Surely they knew the obvious difference . . . But they don’t. Lemon represents a whole demographic (see the previous thread about the 20-something firing shotguns for the first time) of “cosmopolitans”, people who live in cities, who are “knowledge workers” who lack even a rudimentary understanding of how things work. My experience of them, is that they don’t know how to fix things. They are people who call for help when light bulbs burn out. Trying to teach them how to do simple mechanical things is an exercise in frustration because they lack even an inkling of cause and effect. Even worse, you quickly learn that they really don’t want to know. I think they are the way they are because they’re from multi-generational families of cosmopolites, most of whom lack the kinds of skills-sets most of us take for granted. This is a serious cultural divide. People like Lemon aren’t at all like us.

  15. A press is a machine that squeezes. You can use it to stain paper any way you want, but only 1 sheet at a time, and no sheets larger than what one man can handle himself. The Founders would never have been able to imagine these high capacity web presses.

  16. Not only is it asinine to suggest the Framers had no concept of future advances in technology whatsoever, it’s pure lunacy to deny that they had no knowledge of the advances in weapons technology that had already taken place throughout history. From sticks and stones to swords and muskets, they were well aware of technology’s march. Even in their own lifetimes, weapons technology had advanced to the point that repeating or multiple firing weapons, what you might describe as early semi-automatics, already existed.

    In addition to the very able Girandoni air rifle already mentioned, with its 20 or so shot capacity, look up some of the repeating or multiple firing weapons that existed at the time of the Constitutional Convention. There were duckfoot pistols, pepperbox revolvers, Nock volley guns and more. One of my favorites was the Lorenzoni-type rifle. The mechanics of it were a bit complicated and ahead of their time, but they’d been ahead of their time for about a century or so, having been invented in the 17th century and long before the Constitutional Convention.

    What impeded its prominence was not a lack of imagination on the part of engineers, nor of ambition on the part of firearms owners, but rather the limitations of manufacturing technology itself. That kind of weapon required very precise measurements and very tight tolerances, manufacturing results which were difficult and expensive, but not impossible, to attain in that era.

    In your readings, you’ll find that progress in powders, firearms, and manufacturing techniques each jostled with each other to advance the overall state of the art of weapons technology. Picture the three joined up like two people would be in a three legged race at a company picnic. It’s herky jerky action among the three that animated the overall and relentless improvements in individual weapons. The Framers knew all of this and that’s why there were no specific limitations on the right to keep and bear arms.

  17. I see someone already posted about the Girandoni air rifle used by Lewis & Clark. There is another, more impressive weapon that pre-dates the Girandoni, it was made by an Italian gunsmith in the 1680’s!!! It was the Lorenzoni repeater. It later was known as the Cookson repeater (check out the NRA Museum video here: ). But these weapons, while expensive, were available pre-revolution. The Cookson was made in Boston, of all places and was capable of firing TWELVE ROUNDS, from a flont lock, without reloading. Needless to say, the most educated and well traveled men who wrote our founding documents must have NEVER heard of these amazing weapons, never.


  18. Is the second amendment the only one that was contemporary and was due to expire? Or when do the others expire?

  19. “I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters.” -Frank Lloyd Wright

    I believe if the founding fathers were able to see what their nation would eventually become, they wouldn’t have bothered with the revolution.

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