The Right to Bear Which Arms? – 2A Interpretation and the Federalist Papers

By LCpl Diana Sims – http://www.defenseimagery.mil/imageRetrieve.action?guid=ee89f78acb643b8db17f31c356d08a73bb545a31&t=2, Public Domain, Link

By Mark Houser

The 2020 presidential campaigns have just begun, but on the issue of gun control, we’re already hearing a common refrain from numerous candidates: The Second Amendment does not protect anyone’s right to own, as they put it, “weapons of war” (a term the candidates use to refer to such things as semi-automatic rifles and standard-capacity magazines).

That’s wrong. The Second Amendment unambiguously protects our right to own “weapons of war.” That is, weapons suitable not just for sport, but for combat.

James Madison

Public Domain, Link

Many people find this obvious. It’s hard to imagine what else the Second Amendment could possibly be intended to do. James Madison wrote the Second Amendment in the aftermath of a bloody war for independence from a tyrannical empire. The first shots of that war were fired to resist disarmament. Can anyone truly believe that Madison wrote the Second Amendment with, say, hunting or target shooting in mind? It’s a preposterous notion.

But, let’s suppose that we’re not sure what “arms” the Second Amendment refers to. How might we figure out what the authors of our Constitution and Bill of Rights were thinking when they used the term “arms?” Were they thinking about “weapons of war,” or something else?

federalist papers

Public Domain, Link

The Federalist Papers offer a window into the minds of the founders of our country and the architects of our Constitution specifically during the time between its writing and subsequent ratification (and the addition of the Bill of Rights).

In the papers, the term “arms” appears 27 times. “Arms” unambiguously refers to weapons (rather than something like “appendages”) 25 times. In every instance that the term “arms” refers to “weapons,” “arms” is used in the context of combat and warfare, not recreation.* Here are just a few examples:

“(W)ho, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.” –Federalist 2 (John Jay)

“(T)hat combination and union of wills of arms and of resources, which would be necessary to put and keep them in a formidable state of defense against foreign enemies.” –Federalist 5 (John Jay)

“To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands…fighting for their common liberties…It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.” –Federalist No. 46 (James Madison)

Moreover, in the papers’ extensive discussions of the civilian militia, there is never any suggestion that the arms of the militia ought to be different from or inferior to those of the state military. If anything, the papers call for parity in arms between the militia and the state military.

In Federalist 29, Hamilton wrote:

“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.”

This statement simply wouldn’t make sense if Hamilton envisioned the militia being armed with categorically inferior weapons compared to those carried by the state military. What good is a militia that’s well-trained, but poorly armed?

And note that the terms “sport,” “game,” and “hunt” do not appear anywhere in the Federalist Papers. That the Second Amendment protects the right to own weapons suitable for fighting is clear not only from what the papers say, but also from what they don’t say.

Gun control proponents are quick to point out that Madison and his contemporaries didn’t imagine the sort of weapons that exist today. That’s probably true, but it’s irrelevant to the question at hand.

We don’t say that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to typed or online publications simply because the Framers did not imagine typewriters or the internet. We don’t say that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to search and surveillance capabilities that the Framers did not imagine, such as GPS tracking. Technological development doesn’t change the fundamental nature of the rights that the Bill of Rights seeks to secure.

The Second Amendment clearly and unambiguously protects the right to own weapons suitable for combat. The Bill of Rights concerns itself with defense against tyrants–foreign and domestic–not with clay pigeons or whitetail deer.

The only way to escape this conclusion is to adopt a method of constitutional interpretation that willfully ignores the clear language and plain meaning of the Constitution and thus imperils every right that it seeks to secure.

Note, I have not argued here that it’s a good thing that the Second Amendment secures the right to own “weapons of war.” I have merely shown that the Second Amendment obviously does secure that right. Intellectually honest opponents and proponents of gun control alike must recognize that reality.

Yes, this is an inconvenient truth for gun control proponents, because it means that measures they think are “common sense” (like an “assault weapons ban”) are blatantly unconstitutional, and, if the courts are faithful to the document, would require a constitutional amendment in order to be legal.

However, gun-rights supporters can’t complacently retreat to the apparent safety of the Second Amendment, no matter how plain and obvious its meaning. On the contrary, they would do well to remember that the Constitution has been amended 17 times since the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

Our rights may be innate and eternal, but the document that protects them from violation is certainly not. And even if the document remains unchanged, we have ample evidence that, without our tireless vigilance, it will often be ignored.

So it’s not enough to merely have the Constitution and to know what it means. We must also do the continual work of holding our politicians accountable to it.

 

* The Anti-Federalist papers use “arms” in the same way.

comments

  1. avatar Colonel Napkins says:

    I used to think 2A didn’t cover nukes, but Swalwell made a case that it did.

    1. avatar Arc says:

      2A does cover indeed nukes. Of course, the owner is also responsible for ensuring the radiation doesn’t bleed off into nature or violate another persons rights and property. Assuming a manufacture would sell to a person of the united states, sales would be limited to a hand full of billionaires that could afford the facilities.

      I prefer the “If I die today, will this weapon sit here for a thousand years and not harm anyone?” CBRN/NBC weapons don’t usually pass that test but some can.

      Hobby and hunting rifles aren’t going to do a whole lot against a standing army, guerilla warfare or not. Arms applies to all weapons, weapon of the day, shall not be infringed. AKA constitutional / 2A absolutist.

      1. avatar jay y says:

        Afghan patriots held of Russian troops with wheel lock rifles right up and weapons taken from dead Russian soldier until the CIA started supplying them with other weapons. Also, the beginning Al-Qaeda.

        1. avatar Arc says:

          Held at bay, but were never able to repel their enemies. Modern day Afghanistan is pretty conquered.

        2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          I think you mean Lee Enfieds. Even then it wasn’t until we started supplying them with SAMs that things turned. Control the skies, control the ground. I remember when all that happened. We should have followed up. Instead we walked away. U.S. 1. U,S,S,R, 0. Gave room for the terrorists to move in.

        3. Actually, I remember reading an article long ago in Soldier of Fortune Magazine. Of mujahideen Sharpshooters using long black powder flintlocks we’re shooting down hind helicopter gunships. Amazingly these who is mujahideen Sharpshooters we’re able to shoot lead musket balls through open cockpit windows, or into open access doors or hatches.

        4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Aaron, I used to read that magazine in the early ’80s when I was active duty. They mostly covered action in Rhodesia (Be A Man Among Men, Rhodesian Army) and South Africa. Later Afghanistan. There were a few flint locks early on. I believe they were called Fusils. Could be wrong. The Afgans ditched them as soon as they could. Of course, they ditched the Lee Enfield for an AK. In my opinion, a step back in that open terrain. The Hinds didn’t start coming down until we gave them Stingers.

      2. avatar HellBilly says:

        I think state governments aught to at least have a limited number of nuclear weapons. The feds having sole control over such a powerful weapon is something the founders would definitely be against. That would also cement state level power against further abuses by the federal government. You figure once the feds finally go full Stalin, a number of state governments won’t stand for it, and with their even limited nuclear stockpile combined, it would force the stalinists to recognize it could not fully dominate the nation without destroying it.

        1. avatar Arc says:

          Indeed. Also, the state guards and militias will help themselves to the nuclear weapons stored in various states. I’m sure many will rebel in the military.

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          Oh joy, imagine Alabama under George Wallace with nuclear weapons. I think Randy Newman mentioned it in a song one time.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Oh joy, imagine Alabama under George Wallace with nuclear weapons.”

          Federalism was designed as a messy proposition.

        4. avatar HellBilly says:

          Far better then Iran and NK with nukes but you liberals are A OK with that.

      3. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        “Hobby and hunting rifles aren’t going to do a whole lot against a standing army, guerilla warfare or not.”

        I guarantee that a small force of dedicated guerilla fighters could do a helluva lot of damage to an invading, tyrannical, or otherwise “militarily superior” force. If you haven’t already seen this article written in response to Rep. Swalwell’s “we have nukes” comment back in Nov, please enjoy. The author uses some salty language, but articulates the point in perhaps the best way I’ve ever read. Worth the time to read it:

        http://monsterhunternation.com/2018/11/19/the-2nd-amendment-is-obsolete-says-congressman-who-wants-to-nuke-omaha/

        1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          Wow, weird coincidence!

          I stumbled across MHI #1 the other week cruising Kindle. Been binge reading for the last two weeks…I was born and raised in Alabama so I get the references in the books..lol. Desoya Caverns is really Desoto Caverns for those that have read the first books. Used to do field trips in grammar school to them. South Carolina is my adopted home last couple of decades though, still visit home place many times throughout the year.

          Not my usual type of story but the writer hooked me somehow, I’ve laughed quite a bit, now on #6

          If you are looking for pure escapism, especially when you have highly stressful job on most days, this is the book series!!

          Elves live in trailer parks and Orcs love heavy metal…who knew? Ok..to be fair, I knew about the elves already. lol.

        2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “I guarantee that a small force of dedicated guerilla fighters could do a helluva lot of damage to an invading, tyrannical, or otherwise “militarily superior” force.”

          If all we had was the stereotypical “Grandpa’s hunting rifle”, the gun the Leftists seem to be just fine with us possessing, the scoped single-shot bolt-action rifle, we could defeat the US military.

          The loss of life on our side would likely be ghastly. But we damn sure could do it. For many reasons.

          Leftists had better be careful it never gets to that point of the straw breaking the camel’s back…

        3. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          @Geoff @hazquestion

          The author correctly points out that ROE is going out the window after the Left/whoever starts the fight.

          There will be no lining up in rows in open field so to speak.

          The fight will be ugly, more ugly than most can imagine.

          However, some can imagine and discussing tactics on an open forum is not something I’m keen on doing. Suffice it to say the author only scratched at the surface of possibilities.

        4. avatar HellBilly says:

          Well, one thing “they” really fail to realize, is one of the greatest casualty producing weapons a guerrilla force would use is one that’s already illegal: IEDs.

        5. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “However, some can imagine and discussing tactics on an open forum is not something I’m keen on doing.”

          I’m not actively advocating anyone start a shooting war. I consider it a friendly reminder to those who might think it’s going to be a trivial exercise to “take weapons off the streets” just how expensive an endeavor like that will cost…

        6. avatar Arc says:

          Long read but I have to disagree with the portions about Iraq and Afghanistan. We have been fighting in those worthless countries for over a decade with ROEs instead of going in there and crushing them into the dirt. If we killed the insurgents and everyone that ever spoke to them, there wouldn’t be much left fighting us. But we seem to put too much weight on goat herders.

          I doubt CW2 will have winning the hearts and minds of the deplorable flyover country as a mission objective. The leftwing party also isn’t known for its moral restraint, the end justifies the means with them. War will be drawn down party lines and if you aren’t apart of the “IN” party, you are second class, if you go against the party, you and everyone you know is now the enemy.

          Most of the military boots are right wing right now but it may not always remain so. I also doubt there will be enough resistance in any armed force in the united states to prevent the bombs from raining down on Americans. Most will follow orders and choose safety in numbers rather than risk execution or being imprisoned as a ‘traitor’. Some will defect, others won’t as long they (the individuals) aren’t destroying their own neighborhoods. I don’t put a whole lot of stock in moral compass either. I got to see peoples true colors when there was no law or oversight to restrain them. Several had no qualms over torturing and abusing puppies, cats, and mice.

          You would have people from Texas taking over Hawaii and people from California taking over Texas, though the latter is kind of already happening. As long as “Its not my people dying” many will not think twice about “just following orders”. I knew a few who were more patriotic than others in the USMC. Those with more than ten years will probably be more worried about career, pension, and pass on the idea of rebelling. Some just simply like to blow shit up and shoot guns and don’t care whos on the receiving end.

          The military handles its own low level maintenance on vehicles, if its something significant, like rebuilding an Abrams, then its shipped off and a new one on the rotation comes in. The contractors will quit? Contractors like money and will continue to be aligned with the beast. The employees will quit? Not unless they want their families to be the first ones branded enemies of the state and hunted down. Those still loyal to the party in power that starts CW2 will quickly take over the factories and get trained up in their use.

          I considered the PMC route for a long time and still regret not taking that career choice. The door is still open for me, everywhere from the southern border to the shithole cities that have race riots but I’m still working on that whole peaceful and honest living thing (Its not working out too well). I would have to weigh the pros and cons for me and mine. I imagine that anyone doing PMC work during CW2 will find their immediate family getting some form of secured, patrolled housing and I would have a secured paycheck.

          I’m not fortune cookie but I doubt CW2 have the moral guidelines of old. It will not be to win the hearts and minds, it will be to exterminate the opposition. Men aren’t like they used to be in CW1, WW1 & 2. Putting it in those terms, if there is no meaningful infrastructure and a region is populated almost exclusively by your enemies, wipe it out. There is no reason to expend resources over it and those aligned with the party will not miss it, nor will they care about the outrage of the opposition. I don’t recall too much outrage over carpet bombing in Europe, and yes, we deplorables might as well be another country to the yuppies in the cities.

          MSRs will be established and patrolled vigorously with every available technology. Drones, G-boss, air and ground patrols, local nationals loyal to the party. Anything unnecessary may be bulldozed out of the way so it won’t be a haven for IEDs or insurgents. No one got near our MSR in Afghanistan because we kept it locked down from both ends, and someone in a cozy trailer kept eyes on it and our outposts from the sky. Servers will be fried by patriots? Maybe, but they will quickly be seized and staffed with loyalists. Some of those drones are run by people out in Hawaii and are purely on military infrastructure. I wondered for years about the rando satellite trailer box things that sprang up in the middle of staging areas and eventually someone explained that they were essentially running drones overseas.

          The enemy of my enemy is my friend. If CW2 kicks off, I wouldn’t put it passed the party to cut a deal with our enemies down in Mexico to divide and conquer, and you damn well know that neither the cartels nor the Mexican government will have any moral qualms about extermination and carving off their own piece of the USA.

          As for the portion of that article about crippling cities the he wouldn’t go into… Well, first off: (Disclaimer, purely for information purposes.)
          You start with a touche-feely place that gets all the EMS running wild, bring down the freeway overpasses if you have the resources to do it. Sabotage the electrical substations, it doesn’t take much but screwing with the cooling on them or flipping a few breakers. Then cut the fiber-optic backbone that feeds the city, shit, cut several of them. Internet will probably shit for a whole lot more people and any websites hosted there will be out of reach. If you wanted to get all fancy and got a hold of some radiological materials from a clinic or some shit or even Fentanyl take it down to a water treatment facility. Cites are very fragile things.

          All in all, no one knows how CW2 would play out other than it being chaos for everyone on all sides. I would rather have the best tools available to fight back if the call comes in my lifetime, rather than pops old hunting rifle.

        7. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Haz, you can guarantee all manner of shit, but *I* can guarantee that you have no earthly idea what that “standing army” you apparently have such faith in is going to do when you hand them loaded rifles and tell them to go kill their neighbors. I wouldn’t give two cents for your chances for survival. Every member of our military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution, and a whole lot of them mean it. My guess is that if you set loose the entirety of the military, more than half would immediately begin fighting against you, and many of the others you won’t be able to find, they went home for the duration. Stupid statements like yours or Swallowswell’s are just that, really, really stupid.

        8. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          @Larry,

          What the heck are you talking about? Did you even ready my comment? I was speaking in FAVOR of resistance militia.

          Do everyone a favor and check twice before joining a conversation.

      4. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “Hobby and hunting rifles aren’t going to do a whole lot against a standing army, guerilla warfare or not.”

        ‘Arc’?

        Do you know what another name is for a single-shot hunting rifle?

        A sniper rifle.

        (Singing) “Reach out, reach out and hurt someone…” 😉

        1. avatar Arc says:

          Every SHTF/CW2’s fantasy right up until the thermal equipped UAV pin points exactly where you are. Trees won’t do you much good unless they are extra thick canopies and block all line of sight. Not everyone has a thermal ghillie suit in their closet nor knows how to counter thermal. I suppose a space blanket, umbrella, or other such nonsense would work ok for a stationary position but any armed force will close with the enemy. You lay mines, buy time for a retreat, but you can’t sit there forever. You will need a superior force to back you up.

          Picture perfect 800 meter shots won’t be the norm. In my area, the best you are going to get is around 300 meters, barring a hand full of fields that allow for greater. Most distances before tree lines or other line of sight obstructions are 150-200 meters.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          @Arc,

          I recently had a conversation with a LE helicopter pilot. He showed me a recording of the camera feed for one of their nighttime chases, and even with the IR switched on, the thick trees obscured the view. He said trees are the best natural concealment to avoid any “eye in the sky”.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Arc, if I am operating that UAV, the guy who told me to kill my American neighbors does not want to be within its range, I’d be looking him up at home, if I can’t find him his wife or children will do, even his neighbors. How long do you figure it will be before another armed UAV will be sent out to kill people? Try to use some sense. The military is not made up of robots.

          Send out an F-16 to bomb rebels, don’t count on the White House existing after they land.

    2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Arms pretty well covers it,any and all ! Unfortunate that the Left doesn’t believe in freedom and liberty,however they are free to search for a country more to their liking,perhaps Venezuela,Russia or Cuba.

    3. avatar Mad Max says:

      Typical nuclear weapons aren’t very useful in a civil war that isn’t geographically divided.

      If DC were to nuke, say WV, they’d also likely be nuking themselves.

      Modern nuclear weapons are much more powerful than Little Boy and Fat Man unless you’re using something like a nuclear demolition device.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Typical nuclear weapons aren’t very useful in a civil war that isn’t geographically divided.”

        The EMP effect of high altitude air bursts would be devastating to electronics and communications, albeit indiscriminate.

        1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

          The EMP threat is vastly overblown. Yes it is a threat, but not like the doom merchants claim it to be.
          We have more risk from solar flares.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “The EMP threat is vastly overblown.”

          Interesting.

          Going back a ways, I was involved in EMP testing as relates to military capabilities. The effect was real. However, the focus was on means of hardening military assets against EMP (including erecting huge Faraday cages in major hubs and nodes). While the experiments were fun, they were not designed to protect what became “the internet”. We were looking at standard radio and landline comms, along with transistorization of onboard electronics. We had no interest in civilian applications. (the commercial world is too diverse as to permit effective hardening.

          While EMP is less effective now than then, the potential devastation to non-military equipment is not trivial. (haven’t seen a classified analysis of the magnitude of EMP against commercial comms in a few months, so things could have improved more than expected)

          Comes the revolution, electronic comms among the insurgents will be a significant limiting factor in waging guerilla war.

          Related note: EMP can be regulated (as in directed in time and place), whereas solar flares are inadequate for military planning.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Many modern nukes are “dial-a-yield” with selectable power down to far, FAR less that Fat man or little boy. Just turn the dial.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Many modern nukes are “dial-a-yield” with selectable power…”

          Really miss those, nowadays.

    4. avatar Swallow this Nuke Swallow Well says:

      And to think any Honorable Military Person with the codes(Assuming SwallowWell would ever be Potus) would launch such a attack on his own people or family that for which he or she swore to protect is silly would mean a mad world. I guess he assumes the Military would not launch nukes back @ him given WE the People are in Charge!

  2. avatar American Patriot says:

    If the weapons of war don’t apply to the common folks then it damn sure don’t apply to the law enforcement of the citizens. But then that’s just moot point, it your stupid enough to believe what the left says then you shouldn’t own a WEAPON!

    1. avatar Arc says:

      2A enshrined rights apply to all the people of the united states. Although I would recommend that anyone seeking a position of authority over the people, that person should be put through more stringent requirements and held to higher standards. Unfortunately, its the opposite.

  3. avatar EWTHeckman says:

    It should also be mentioned that Miller v U.S. was decided on the basis of two conclusions:

    1) The Second Amendment explicitly protects weapons of war (correct) which means that it somehow does not protect weapons which have no military use. (Whaaaaaa?!?)

    2) The short barreled shotgun in question was not known to be useful to the military. (It was used by soldiers in WWI.)

    1. avatar The Huscarl says:

      That decision sets up a paradox. If the amendment protects modern military gear, what good would banning obsolete weapons do?

      There’s no point in banning weapons because if they’re dangerous enough to be useful in war, then they’re protected. If they’re not, then there’s more dangerous stuff out there that the government can’t touch.

      1. avatar EWTHeckman says:

        Yep. That’s where the “logic” of the second half of point 1 just doesn’t make sense.

        The only part they got right is that the 2nd Amendment explicitly protects weapons of war. That would effectively overturn the NFA and every “non-sporting purpose” violation since that time.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Yup, those two conclusions and the fact that there was no defense presented, no defense attorney in the building. Who knew SCOTUS played that game.

  4. avatar D says:

    Follow this basic logic:
    1.The “arms” at the time were flintlocks.
    2. The military used flintlocks.
    3. Therefore, flintlocks were military arms.
    4. The 2nd A protects the right of citizens to bear arms
    5. Therefore, the 2nd A protects the right of citizens of bear flintlocks.
    6. Therefore, the 2nd A protects the right of citizens of bear military arms.

    It is so simple, that only a libturd would not be able to understand it–and that is the problem since this country has too many libturds.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Leftardism is a mental disorder,thus the term Leftard.

      1. avatar enuf says:

        Leftardism and Rightardism, two sides of the same coin.

      2. avatar Darkman says:

        It has nothing to do with understanding. It has everything to do with indoctrination. I saw the beginnings of this in the 70’s. While still in high school. Decisions were being made about what parts of history were to be taught. As well as how they were taught. The beginning of the revisionist history movement was in it’s infancy. Socialist reformation was showing up in the education system. This was brought on by young teachers who had already succumbed to the ideology. They were taught in college. Already being a student of American History since Elementary school. I spent a considerable amount of time in not only the library learning facts but also in the principles office. Due to disagreements with teachers over historical facts. Now after an additional 40+ years of this kind of indoctrination. Many have finally come to realize what has been going on. I believe We as a Nation have reached a tipping point. Where serious decisions must be made. Do the people who truly believe in the Freedoms instilled in the Bill of Rights. Allow things to continue as they are or Do they put a stop to it before Freedom no longer exists? Keep Your Powder Dry.

        1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

          In this way I’m thankful for my daughter’s history teacher in 8th and 9th grade. He teaches from the watered down state mandatory text book 4 days a week, but the 5th day he talks about the FACTS. He has the old no longer approved videos, letters from troops, etc… Reading the current text books from Roman times-WW2 you’d think people were lovey- dovey for our entire history until the Naxi’s showed up.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Reading the current text books from Roman times-WW2 you’d think people were lovey- dovey for our entire history until the Naxi’s showed up.”

          “Reading the current text books from Roman times-WW2 you’d think people were lovey- dovey for our entire history until the Naxi’s Trump showed up.”

          Updated.

    2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      I’ve put this argument forward before, maybe not here, but it bears repeating. At the time of our war for independence the standard issue weapon for most armies was the smooth bore musket. It had a maximum effective range of about 60 yards. Beyond that if you hit your intended target it was pretty much happenstance. About the same time there was new firearms technology in North America via Germany. (No matter how you feel about the Nazis you gotta love German firearms advances.) It was called rifling. Because of the spin imparted to the ball the effective range was increased to 300 yards depending on who was standing behind the rifle. They were commonly referred to as Pennsylvania rifles. Most, if not all, were in the hands of citizens and militia. So, I propose that the second amendment guaranteed the natural right of citizens to possess arms superior to the arms issued to the standing armies of the time.

      1. avatar Arc says:

        Guess I’ll be taking my personal rifle to the next war then.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I went to two wars without carrying my personal Python with me, and especially the second time I find it difficult to forgive myself. What we were told was that it was forbidden to take personal weapons, but both times I discovered while there that what was meant was that you probably can’t bring them back. A precaution to prevent everybody from bringing back issued firearms, but since nobody ever issued any Pythons I likely wouldn’t have had a problem. For Desert Storm, I at least carried a 9″ Cold Steel Tanto with me. Thought I was hot shit until my jet was marshaled out by a Sgt with a Bowie on his hip had to be 14″ anyway. But I *SHOULD* have been carrying my Python.

        2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Arc, didn’t say that. The point was that arms in the hands of citizens were often superior to military arms of the time. You may have a point though. My personally owned modern sporting rifles are superior to what’s being issued to our troops today.

    3. avatar EWTHeckman says:

      I don’t think the problem is an “inability” to understand the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. The problem is that it’s an active effort to justify their efforts to violate it.

      There are many people to whom the thought of war is intolerable. That includes even a fully justified war of self-defense where war is the less bad option. These are people to who cannot or actively refuse to understand the legitimate use of gun. I’ve successfully addressed this with a number of people recently.

      But there are others—oh Lord, are there others—who are actively working to subjugate their enemies: you and me.

  5. avatar Joe says:

    When Americans sit back and let crooked government officials define what weapons they are “allowed” to use, your Second Amendment rights are on their way to being eviscerated. As far as I am concerned having just such “weapons of war” that so many of them detest is exactly what Americans need. The fact that they want to ban them so much should speak volumes to anyone who is bothering to truly listen.

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      case and point. Government is out of control and does not represent the people. Has not for a very long time. It’s basically a britain with guns now. If it got bad enough, our govt would just drop bombs on us.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Our govt has no idea how to drop bombs, they will direct patriots to drop bombs on us. If our cause is just, and the govt is tyrannical, they will do that *once*. Then they will be busy trying to find a new place to assemble, and replacements for the missing tyrants.

  6. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Nice article, well laid-out, but….

    Misses the point: countering the anti-gunners. They shifted the discussion long ago: 2A applied to conditions back then (just off a war of independence); we have grown and developed since. No need for citizens to own combat arms because the threat envisioned in 1789 no longer exists.

    The government is not, nor going to be, tyrannical. Freedom and liberty will not be threatened for people who have common sense understanding of how the country must evolve to deal with modern problems; government control of the populace, and martial law, are just not a happening thing for people who understand society today is too complicated to allow anachronisms of the past to exist and disrupt general welfare. The need to violently overthrow the federal government ended way back when.

    1. avatar Dani in WA says:

      Ah, so our individual liberties are not important anymore be cause you, the elitist controlling caste have evolved to a point so superior to us know what is better and we, the unwashed peons should relinquish any protections we have against tyranny on any scale. Unwarranted search and seizure is actually good for us now. Civil forfeiture is actually good for us now. Censorship of our unqualified opinions is good for us now. Quartering government agents against our will is good for us now. Cruel and unusual punishment with or without due process is good for us now.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Ah, so our individual liberties are not important anymore be cause you, the elitist controlling caste have evolved to a point so superior to us know what is better and we, the unwashed peons should relinquish any protections we have against tyranny on any scale. ”

        The use of “you” in your reply seems to be a direct response to me, personally, as an elitist. If so, you missed entirely the lead into the explanation of how anti-gunners shifted the narrative, while we continue to pound on the idea of private weapons being used to stop a tyrannical government.

        On the other hand, your use of “you” in your response could easily be a shout-out to the actual elitists, gun-grabbers.

        Dealer’s choice.

        1. avatar Dani in WA says:

          To clarify my ambiguity: “You” directed at the elitist, gun-grabbing “they” who shifted the argument, not you personally.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “To clarify my ambiguity: “You” directed at the elitist, gun-grabbing “they” who shifted the argument, not you personally.”

          Aaaahhhh. Thanks for the update.

        3. avatar Arc says:

          I hate semantics and word play. Layman ftw.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I hate semantics and word play. Layman ftw.”

          Ok.

          But it is the war we fight with anti-gunners.

        5. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “But it is the war we fight with anti-gunners.”

          It’s not the one we should be fighting. Tyrants usually win the war of words over the long term.

        6. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “It’s not the one we should be fighting. Tyrants usually win the war of words over the long term.”

          It is written, evil will always triumph, until one day it doesn’t. It is interesting how many peaceful countries have prospered without all the freedoms innate to humans. Prospered without being brutally subjugated. Not having every freedom we imagine we should have is not the same as enslavement. And why, of all the modern nations, do so many of us demand we not have the rough edges sanded smooth?

          I understand our history, but why was there only one such nation? Is there a singular set of changes the put us where we are today? Why must freedom and liberty be accompanied by more hooliganism that we see in non-tyrannical societies elsewhere in the world?

          ‘Tis a puzzlement.

        7. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          I find myself unable to determine whether Dani slipped the hook, or you landed ’em.
          Tis, indeed, a puzzlement…
          😉

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I find myself unable to determine whether Dani slipped the hook, or you landed ’em.”

          Just a simple interchange of ideas and thoughts; no scorekeeping.

        9. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Sam I Am, I believe that the founding of the United States of America was a huge influence on other nations. In other words, I do believe that their prosperity was strongly linked to the founding of this nation.

          Brute force is ultimately the only way to deal with tyrants. The people must openly and steadfastly refuse to comply. All the while, they must also be prepared to physically defend their ground to the last man. If the people posses the foresight and guts remains to be seen.

        10. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Sam I Am, I believe that the founding of the United States of America was a huge influence on other nations. In other words, I do believe that their prosperity was strongly linked to the founding of this nation.”

          Now, that’s interesting. How do you see that playing out? Revolution period, Civil War, great wars of the 20th century?

        11. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “Now, that’s interesting. How do you see that playing out? Revolution period, Civil War, great wars of the 20th century?”

          I’m not sure that I understand the question.

          IMHO, if the USA goes down the tyranny shit-hole, the rest of the world will follow. If the free people of this nation rise to the occasion and appear to be succeeding, much of the world will eventually follow. Centuries of enlightened liberty or perhaps a thousand years of tyranny await the world. I would rather have a world of tumultuous revolutions than one whimpering into tyranny.

        12. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Ok, my question was not quite precise enough; my bad.

          You noted that this country had much influence on other nations. Given the heavy government involvement in nations of western/northern Europe, and the stark differences between the ideas of relationship between government and people, where do you see US influencing the development of those countries in Europe?

          We have a debilitating fixation on “tyranny”, a term without real meaning (or at least slippery meaning). The nations of western/northern Europe have heavy government involvement is certain social aspects, but are largely entrepreneurial (for a long time ABBA was the most valuable company in Sweden) and have full voting rights (not controlled by government). Many of those countries are more business-friendly than the US. Can we declare that such societies are ruled/dominated/controlled by socialism?

          If the US should follow the “Euro” model more closely, is that tyranny?

          Would like to think that the US can determine the fate of nations, but even when we were center-right, Europe was not looking to adopt our systems and principles. So, can we predict that falling completely leftist will drive all of those European nations to the hard left? Toward Soviet style government?

          NOTE: I do not want to adopt very many of the Euro government methods (easing regulations on business formations would be attractive), I want our nation turned hard right (you cannot correct course by paralleling a bad course) from where it is, back to moral centralism.

    2. avatar B.D. says:

      I knew you were nuts, but seriously, wtf are you doing here? Grab your redcoat and go fight for your king and queen. Pathetic waste of a human being.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “I knew you were nuts, but seriously, wtf are you doing here?”

        Please read the opening sentences slowly.

  7. avatar Huntmaster says:

    According to the Dept of the Interior there were almost 800 privately owned ships armed and equipped to attack enemy ships during the revolutionary war. They were armed with cannons. Most certainly a weapon of war and they were authorized by the Congress. Privately owned cannons. Now there is serious keeping and bearing arms.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Pretty kickass militia, too! I’d have to call them “well regulated”!

  8. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

    “If anything, the papers call for parity in arms between the militia and the state military.”

    I’m willing to be reasonable.

    A simple test – The citizens may own and carry the same weapons law enforcement commonly carry while carrying out their duties.

    Revolvers or handguns, pump or semi-auto shotguns, and AR-platform weapons and their magazines…

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Since the cops regularly get FA supplied to them by fedgov, even post-86 FA…

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        I like the way you think… 🙂

      2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        Some SWAT teams have MP7s. I want one too!

  9. avatar Brewski says:

    When the 2nd amendment was written, the technology of the day w as muskets. Citizens pretty much had what the average solider had access to if it was within their financial means.

    I’m curious to know if cannons and larger weapons were restricted back in that era.

    The amendment was written to imply the people should be able to resist government forces with arms, so it would stand to reason the force disparity would have to be more or less equal…

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Privately owned cannon and ships were absolutely in play at that time.

    2. avatar B.D. says:

      Everything they had, we fought back with. It’s how this nation was formed. You should watch the show “John Adams”. It’s a great show and of course, a show… but still gives some insight on reality of the beginning of our nation.

    3. avatar Dave Lewis says:

      Lots of merchant ships were armed with cannon to fight off pirates (still a threat during the late 18th century). Merchant captains took up privateering because there was lots more money to be made by capturing British shipping. On land, private trading posts such as Bent’s Fort in Colorado were armed with small cannon well into the 19th century. Private exploration and mapping expeditions often brought a couple of 2 or 4 pounder guns along. You didn’t intend to fight pitched battles or conduct sieges, but a quick blast of grapeshot or a few well aimed solid shot worked wonders against those who objected to your presence or wanted your “stuff”. I understand that many of the lighter cannons owned by the revolutionary era militias were privately purchased by subscription or donations by wealthy individuals. I’ve read many novels of the Napoleanic era sea battles and according to those works – which may or may not be true – some British and American captains “owned” certain pieces of their ship’s ordinance. I seemed to remember that Horatio Hornblower owned a pair of long 9 pounder bow chasers that he had either takes as a prize or received as a gift. Sure that’s a fictional account, but such things must have been common enough to be used in the stories.

    4. avatar CarlosT says:

      You don’t even have to get into the Amendments to see that the Founders expected American citizens to be armed with “weapons of war.” From Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 11:

      To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

      A Letter of Marque and Reprisal is a grant of authority to a private citizen to attack and capture vessels on behalf of the government. In order to do that, you must be armed. Private citizens had warships fully armed with state of the art naval firepower.

      Right there in Article I.

    5. avatar Arc says:

      Most cannon was privately owned and its pretty much where the US got its cannons from… donations.

  10. avatar barnbwt says:

    It’s not that liberals are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t true (and that went for Reagan as well)

    Ergo, there is no educating these people. The only option is to educate them before they have a chance to erect an antigun world view from garbage they see on TV and in the classroom. It’s paramount we work to get guns back into the school curriculum; their history, their political significance, their mechanical function, safe handling, and lastly their responsible use for sport & defense.

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      They don’t want to be educated. They want what they want and if the constitution is in their way, (it most definitely is) then they will ignore it and overturn it when they can.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “…if the constitution is in their way, (it most definitely is) then they will ignore it and overturn it when they can.”

        More like, “….overrun it when they can.” ?

    2. avatar Knute(ken) says:

      “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” -Mark Twain

  11. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    These clowns should read the Militia Act of 1792 which stipulates that each member of the militia supply their own weapon, powder, ball, and accouterments AND in 5 years all weapons be of the same caliber. Those would be military weapons the members would be required to supply themselves and to maintain at their residence. And they need to check Wednesday, September 9, 1789, when the Senate voted NOT to insert the words “for the common defense” after the words “to bear arms” eliminating ANY notion that the amendment was a collective rather than individual right! Then they should be asked to supply a philosophical reason why a law-abiding populace should be disarmed. I’ve never seen one.

  12. avatar Sam I Am says:

    “The Federalist Papers” featured prominently in this thread. The language is archaic, but worth the struggle. On the other hand, radio personality Glenn Beck produced a volume that features the Papers in the original, plus a more modern rendition of the same Papers. Recommend the reading.

  13. avatar possum, destroyer of arachnids says:

    Bare arms, hell I’ don’t even wear a shirt.

  14. avatar Mad says:

    If Trump continues to flake on 2a issues like bumpstocks and now muzzle suppression what else is going to do let’s keep our powder dry and pay attention

    1. avatar possum, destroyer of arachnids says:

      I think those fully semi automatic rifles are next.

  15. avatar WI Patriot says:

    And I’m quite sure the dems/leftists/liberals can sun it up in one sentence…because you know, they’re just so good at interpreting and knowing what the founding fathers “meant” when the Constitution was drafted…/sar

  16. avatar Joseph Malone says:

    It provides for the right to bear all arms. As such it is up to individuals to decide for themselves what weapons they prefer to use in battle. As far as small firearms go it is easy to acknowledge that all are permitted and should be.

    The issue gets trickier we it comes to wmd and weaponized vehicles. Prudence is required only on the behalf of the person owning and deploying such ordinance. There are really three issues. First the cost of some weapons is prohibitive and restricts the ability for mass ownership. Second is the desire for a certain weapon for practical use instead of simply theoretical debate. Some people would not care or even think to go out of their way for a nuclear armed submarine. Third is the issue of what the founders meant. Taken liberally it means to own whatever the state owns. This actually raises a fourth issue.

    The fourth issue is the meaning of freedom. As a society trusts its citizens more it grants them more liberties. The only way to get more freedoms outside political process is in service during war. The constitution granted these rights as spoils of war. To take these rights away or infringe them would be paramount to treason.

    The meaning of freedom is that you are free to own the same weapons large and small as the government but it is your job to self police and train yourself with the correct knowledge and culture so that you do not harm or destroy yourself. Government is no longer responsible for your well being so you are left to your own devices.

    You could try to but a nuke or dirty bomb but without the right safeguards you will probably die of radiation poisoning and needlessly expose others to toxic elements. If the radiation does not kill you how does one how you accountable for contaminating the environment of others? Since it is not a criminal act for you to own fissionable materials (under correct interpretation of the constitution) the only way to call it a crime would be to charge the person with assault, but this is difficult because it is hard to quantifiably measure any physical damage caused to bystanders exposed to your homemade radiation. Since damage can not be measured using current methods it can not really be labelled assault even though we know that harm has or could have occurred.

    Logically the punishment that would be fair would have to be decided in civil court rather than criminal. People who are uncomfortable being unknowing exposed to radiation would have to sue for damages and or put injunctions against individuals who were making sloppy nuclear devices or using them in unsafe ways. That is the only fair option, a jury of their peers and the community affected to weigh in and decide what course of action should be taken to prevent further mishaps.

    Tanks and armed aircraft are are obviously fair game. It is not clear what the intent of owning any weapons outside military small arms is. A political bargaining chip to make government accountable to the people? A tactic to keep them honest? Or a sincere desire to overthrow them or secede? So whatever the case it is covered by by constitution but that does not necessarily mean that zealotry should dictate gun culture. If you harm innocent people that is immoral and a crime for which punishment is inevitable. If you declare war against a sovergn state they will kill you or imprison you for a very long time (unless you can agree to a surrender with impunity).

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      The US Constitution grants no rights.

      To anyone.

      1. avatar Mad says:

        The RIGHT to keep and if needed use arms against people who try and take this Right away.go back to cuba

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “The RIGHT to keep and if needed use arms against people who try and take this Right away.go back to cuba”

          Really? I know that the constitution protects rights pre-existing the constitution. That document created no rights, granted no rights.

          If you have trouble distinguishing between “granting” and “protecting”, a review of the creation and operation of the constitution may be in order:
          https://online.hillsdale.edu/course/con101/schedule

          I eagerly await your report of course completion, and a copy of your certificate.

        2. avatar Mad says:

          Can’t read either huh another brainless communist who wants to destroy America I pity the likes of you when the gunfire erupts

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Can’t read either huh another brainless communist who wants to destroy America I pity the likes of you when the gunfire erupts”

          Ok, hotshot. I was trying to be nice, to further your education in the constitution. Your surly, ignorant proclamations exhausted my civility toward you. Now, I will make it a goal to goad you into stupid statements at every opportunity. Nothing more entertaining than that.

        4. avatar Mad says:

          What do think I’m doing to you stupid the difference is I use the truth of the document as it is written and has stood the test of time for over 200 years

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “What do think I’m doing to you stupid the difference is I use the truth of the document”

          I’ll wait right here while you scramble to find a single “right” created and granted as a result of ratification of the constitution. BTW, stating a preexisting “right” neither creates, nor grants. And that is the truth of the document.

          The ninth and tenth amendments had meaning. How can the constitution “grant” an unlisted right retained by the States? The ninth and tenth make clear that the powers (rights) of the people are not limited solely to the words of the constitution. Thus, such unlisted rights exist prior to the constitution.

          Just for fun, read the first amendment, and point out where “the right of free speech” is granted/created/given/delegated to the people. Ok, unfair; too many syllables involved.

          How about reading the second amendment (it uses fewer words), and identify the words that grant (vs. protect) the already existing right of the people to be armed. Actually, there are no words in the constitution equivalent to, “Hereby, this document creates, and grants the right of the people to….”

        6. avatar Mad says:

          I already have but you who try and show everyone on this site how ? intelligent? you are really shows an imbecil attempting to be ? intelligent?our Bill of Rights have been the driving force in our nation for a long time to keep men free.the Right of the people to keep and bear arms hey keep this going it really is fun to show others your stupidity can run deep

        7. avatar Sam I Am says:

          When people dodge the question, I know I have them in a corner.

          But you can play for the consolation prize: two weeks in Gary, Indiana….

          Where in the constitution are any “rights” of the people created?

        8. avatar Mad says:

          Yawn It’s not called the Bill of Rights for nothing I can say you are another educated idiot

        9. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Yawn It’s not called the Bill of Rights for nothing…”

          That is the short name. It is a declaration of preexisting rights that were restricted from government interference. The BOR created zero rights. As I asked, where in the second amendment do the words establish the new rights, new right of firearm ownership was created solely due to words in the amendment?

          The constitution is not an establishment of rights, but a declaration of what the federal government may regulate. If you understood the BOR, you would know the ninth and tenth amendments declare that there are innumerable rights of the people that exist whether or not detailed in the constitution or BOR. That means those rights are not surrendered to the central government. If those rights depended upon government (or the constitution being ratified) creation/grant of those rights, the ninth and tenth amendments make no sense.

          There is a huge difference between created/granted rights and protected, existing rights. This is something that is fundamental to understanding the constitution, the founding, and the anchors of unalienable rights (which are wholly different from inalienable rights).

          The gun grabbers want you to believe that a human-created government/constitution creates rights for the humans who created the government/constitution is the essence of government control over the population. The constitution states those “rights” the people were willing to delegate (delegation can only be effected by a superior entity – the people – granting permissions to the subordinate), and declares the limits to what government may do with those rights/powers delegated. The constitution does not birth new rights, but lays out the restrictions to government interference with rights of the people that exist whether or not a constitution exists.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      “Taken liberally it means to own whatever the state owns.”

      AFAIK, it doesn’t limit the individual to just whatever the State owns. (BTW, the State isn’t a living individual and can’t actually “own” anything; it has no right to keep and bear arms.) The individual RETAINS the right to keep and bear whatever arm that individual chooses and can afford. That means the individual can own arms greater than the State has access to.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I would think this would be obvious, but apparently not. If any American ever triggers a nuclear weapon inside America, his fate will not be decided in a courtroom.

  17. avatar D Y says:

    Trying to figure out what this Country is waiting on, as the framers intent was so clearly spelled out as to use the rights enshrined in the 2A to fight a government that takes away rights…

    1. avatar possum, destroyer of arachnids says:

      This country is waiting to get there shit paid so they can buy more shit to make payments on,

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Yup!

  18. avatar GunnyGene says:

    The 2A, and indeed the entire Constitution itself, cannot be interpreted in isolation from the Declaration of Independence although many mistakenly do so – including the Judicial Branch. The only difference is that the Constitution is a “legal” document describing our Form of Government, while the Declaration lays out the Founders philosophy regarding all forms of Government. The two are one.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “The 2A, and indeed the entire Constitution itself, cannot be interpreted in isolation from the Declaration of Independence… The two are one.”

      A mission/value statement has no standing in courts of law.

      And apparently, not even in classrooms or halls of Congress.

      1. avatar GunnyGene says:

        I’m not arguing the Legal standing of the Declaration. I know full well it does not, and could not, because we had no formal laws at the time other than British ones. But it DOES have Social Standing, and considerable influence on subsequent formation of formal laws and rules.

        Violate a public or private company’s mission and values statements and you will be out the door in a heartbeat. It’s no different for a Nation.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “But it DOES have Social Standing, and considerable influence on subsequent formation of formal laws and rules.”

          As noted, the social standing of the DOI has negligible (if that) influence in classrooms and Congress…both of which are the major drivers of our society.

  19. avatar Pete says:

    Hey Rocket Surgeons, Great Grandpa’s Muzzleloader hanging on the wall?
    Was a Weapon of War in it’s day.

  20. avatar GunnyGene says:

    @ Sam I Am

    “As noted, the social standing of the DOI has negligible (if that) influence in classrooms and Congress…both of which are the major drivers of our society.”

    And both have become so corrupted over the past 100+ years that they are nearly irredeemable. We The People have grossly ignored our responsibilities, and instead have become comfortable with that corruption and loss of liberty. Welcome to the cesspool.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “And both have become so corrupted over the past 100+ years that they are nearly irredeemable.”

      Indeed. Permitted by those responsible for seeing to it that we actually keep the republic. I think there is a reason the Marine Corps enlisted rank system is not “Gunnery Sergeant”. Leadership and responsibility take pride and effort.

      1. avatar GunnyGene says:

        Before I go off on a rant, I’ll give you the opportunity to explain what you meant by this:

        “I think there is a reason the Marine Corps enlisted rank system is not “Gunnery Sergeant”. Leadership and responsibility take pride and effort.”

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Before I go off on a rant, I’ll give you the opportunity to explain what you meant by this:”

          – “Leadership and responsibility take pride and effort.” If that were not the case, all enlisted Marines could simply be titled “Gunnery Sergeant”. Not every enlisted Marine achieves the Gunnery Sergeant designation (because it takes leadership and responsibility, proven by concerted and extended effort). The masses of Marine enlisted are not leadership potential, just as the masses of the nation are not capable of preserving the republic.

          The attempt at illustrating the lack of effort in protecting the republic by reference to the lack of all Marines to reach Gunnery Sergeant” did not work out as I thought it would. Bottom line: we agree.

  21. avatar ozzallos says:

    A well regulated Militia intrinsically requires being prepared to carry out combat operations and therefor must be allowed access to “weapons of war”. Militias are also coincidentally made up of People who cannot be denied access to this weaponry as they may- at any point -be called to arms.

    It’s hard to make rocket science out of this.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “It’s hard to make rocket science out of this.”

      Getting the ignorant and evil to stay on point is like nailing jello to the wall. These people operate from the basis that nothing is certain, all things are dependent on circumstance and the comfort of the individual.

  22. Wasn’t this settled with the supreme court case regarding Massachusetts stun gun laws. The court say that electric weapons couldn’t possible be have thought of by our founding fathers. So the citizenry shouldn’t have them. But the judge ruled that “anything that was bearable for anti-personnel usage. By shoulder or by hand, was perfectly in line with the 2nd Amendment. (P.S.: stun guns and faders still outlawed for the citizens. Thanks to the DemoCommies/Police agency-who received carves out for themselves. Since the original ban was aimed at them for torturing drug dealers in Boston!/ and, Our Authoritarian AG. So still no over the counter less lethal self defense. Other than self defense sprays, if you can find them.) I keep my Cold Steel Spartan/Voyager Vaquero XL handy for in home usage…

  23. avatar StLPro2A says:

    “Where will the Libtard/Progressive/Socialists stand on gun control when the Second American Revolution breaks out?
    Down range as sight in confirmations.
    Fortunately, reticle black contrasts well with UN blue.
    Every Terrible Instrument of the Solider
    “Who are the militia?” asked Tench Coxe, friend of Madison and prominent Federalist, in the Pennsylvania Gazette of Feb. 20, 1788. “Are they not ourselves. . . . Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible instrument of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American. . . . The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”
    Read it again: “every other terrible instrument of the soldier.”
    If the armed forces — or the armed, black-clad police SWAT teams, who are more likely to break down our doors these days — have any legitimate power to wield all their terrible weapons, where did they get it? In America, the government has no powers except those delegated to it by the people, and the people can delegate no power they do not have. Thus, if federal forces have any legitimate power to wield “every terrible instrument of the soldier,” it must follow that we the voters had and retain that same power — the power to arm ourselves as the effective MODERN militia, which is “necessary to the security of a FREE state.”

  24. avatar GunnyGene says:

    @Sam I Am

    Thank you. I’d hoped that’s what you meant, but had to ask. 🙂 The same applies to the officer corps – Not every graduate of Officers Basic is automatically a General. 😉 I’d also add that despite my screen name, I did attend Officers Basic and Officers Amphibious Assault School, and was a acting Battalion CO for a little while. All of that was a long time ago, of course. 🙂

    1. avatar GunnyGene says:

      PS: Are you acquainted with Kiplings “Tommy”? I think he explained the individual serviceman and civilian relationship quite well. 🙂

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Are you acquainted with Kiplings “Tommy”?”

        Oh yes. Quoted the last stanza here on a different thread.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      In college I got schmoozed by Marie recruiters for the aviation program. Was already working toward commission through AFROTC, but Marines were paying more as a student stipend. I was on the literal edge of the table, about to sign the papers when the Gunny noted that he could get me whatever date I wanted for entry into PLC. Whaaaat?

      Up to that point, no one had mentioned platoon, platoon leader, platoon pogie, nothing. Given the unexpected turn of the conversation I asked why Marine aviators needed to qualify as platoon leaders. Gunny said, “All Marines are mud Marines, first”. To me, “mud Marines” meant infantry. Being lazy, I knew I would rather fly than walk, and the fights on Iwo and Oki were still commonly familiar. So….

      Thanked Gunny, and waited to be accepted into the lower-paying AF program. The sound of Gunny shooing me out the door with disparagement of “the Chair Force”, still rings in my ear.

  25. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    Most Constitutional Scholars admit that 2A was deliberately written in the most ambiguous and vaguest of terms to give the Founding Father Greed Rats a way out and the legality to ban weapons if the common man threatened their absolute dictatorial power over the proletariat. Remember it was these Greedy Merchants that started the Revolution and forever destroyed any chance for the American People to live under a true Democracy. They established a Representative Government for the filthy rich and by the filthy rich. It was no accident this Filth even deprived most White Men from the right to vote at the beginning of this farce we mistakenly have been brainwashed into believing is a Democracy.

    Anthony Scalia in his much misunderstood court case actually declared the Power Mad Supreme Court had the right to regulate (ban) guns at will 2A or no 2A. Just like the Disingenuous Founding Father Swamp Rats Scalai gave the Government “a way out” in dealing with the much hated 2A by the power mad scum that always claw their way to absolute power over the people especially in a Representative Government masquerading and prancing around as a Democracy which is nothing more than smoke and mirrors and pure fakery and chicanery. Gerrymandering and The Electoral College are the absolute hypocrisy of any Democratic Institution.

    1. avatar Mad says:

      Not very bright are you

    2. avatar Unrepentant Libertarian says:

      Did you forget to take your meds this morning or are you trying to emulate your Marxist professors) The Second Amendment is not “ambiguous”. It is plainly written if you would bother reading it. It’s not my fault that you have no understanding of what “arms” means.
      The Revolutionary War was started by “greedy merchants”? Destroyed the chance to “live under a true Democracy”? You are calling American citizens “proletariat.”? Hate to break it to you sunshine, but your Marxist professors lied to you. We were founded as a Republic right off the bat. We never were a “Democracy” as such.
      “Most Constitutional Scholars admit that 2A was deliberately written in the most ambiguous and vaguest of terms ” Are you referring to our last president in this fabrication? If this is their belief than they did NOT study the Constitution and they are NOT scholars in any sense of the word!

    3. avatar GunnyGene says:

      This is a joke, right? If it isn’t, I recommend you get the hell out of this country before something bad happens to you.

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        to gunny
        “This is a joke, right? If it isn’t, I recommend you get the hell out of this country before something bad happens to you.”

        No it is not a joke and we Socialists plan on making you leave not us. We look forward to 2020 and Socialism for all. Its called “being civilized” and its about time we moved into the 21st Century that all of Europe entered in the 20th Century but hey it takes uneducated Hillbillies in the U.S.of Hay a lot longer to catch on. Ever wondered where Social Security came from, it came from the American Communist Party and now is as American as apple pie. My Economics teacher in High School over 50 years ago called it “creeping socialism”. We all had a good laugh then and still are laughing today because our Social Programs are still with us and growing larger every day and in 2020 we are going to see them grow a lot larger. We feel “The Bern” coming and conquering in 2020. Since you do not believe in a two party system (only a Right Wing Dictatorship stiff armed saluting Herr Drumpf) please leave you are Un-American not us.

        1. avatar Mad says:

          Bring it on punk oh bring your own body bags what a brain dead moron.we will be out of breath just chasing you cowards down as you run away screaming

        2. avatar GunnyGene says:

          ROFLMAO !!

    4. avatar Mad says:

      When we started out we were a Republic,democracy is like two wolves and a lamb discussing what to have for lunch we the people are supposed to be in charge.i can tell you don’t even know why the electoral college is in constitution.its there so the fags on both coasts can’t dominate the elections you really should do your homework

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        to Mad
        “When we started out we were a Republic,democracy is like two wolves and a lamb discussing what to have for lunch we the people are supposed to be in charge.i can tell you don’t even know why the electoral college is in constitution.its there so the fags on both coasts can’t dominate the elections you really should do your homework”

        The Electoral College was started by the Slave States who knew that in a true Democracy the Majority Rule and they knew that the majority of the decent civilized people would end slavery so they needed a way to make Democracy a farce and a joke that is why they invented it. If you do no believe in Democracy then what are you doing living in the U.S. we were not founded to be ruled by a minority of back woods uneducated right wing Nazi’s but rather by the will of the majority of the people and such things as Gerrymandering and the Electoral College are an insult to Democracy and a free people.

        1. avatar Mad says:

          Where do you idiots come from crawl back in to the sewer where you came from commie

    5. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Vlad!!! You’re a moron!!!

  26. avatar John in Ohio says:

    Good article but I think your conclusion left out something majorly important…

    “So it’s not enough to merely have the Constitution and to know what it means. We must also do the continual work of holding our politicians accountable to it.”

    Merely having the Constitution and knowing what it means is not enough.
    Doing the continual work of holding our politicians accountable to it is not enough.

    The People must know why in the hell the RKBA exists and be willing to exercise that force in the face of tyrants and tyranny. No, no, no… The first two things are certainly not enough! The third is crucial to liberty. Too many tout the first two but are completely silent on the third; the thing that gives teeth to the Second Amendment. Without force and willingness to use it, having a constitution, knowing what it means, and holding politicians accountable mean nothing really. Tyrants will continue to bend you over if they believe you will not physically fight back.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Tyrants will continue to bend you over if they believe you will not physically fight back.”

      Ruby Ridge, Waco…so far the tyrants are winning the bet.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Yes, Sam I Am, yes they are.

        BTW, I wholeheartedly agree with your earlier statements about the masses in these comments. Apparently, that was an issue back then. I suspect it has been an issue since the earliest days of human society and isn’t going away. In my earlier, more naive days, my jimmies were rustled over the revolutionaries’ use of propaganda on the masses. However, I still have no patience for the faux conversation on gun control. I firmly believe that dawdling will kill liberty.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I firmly believe that dawdling will kill liberty.”

          Which presents the Hobbs choice…slow death of the republic, or quick? Both major parties have the same goal, different vision of timing. Yet, opting out of voting accomplishes nothing.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I generally opt out of voting these days. I’m firmly in the camp of quick death (or life). If there is a bad enough tyrant to vote for, then I will probably line up with the cattle and pull that lever and hope for the worst.

          AOC in 2020.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Understand your sentiments, but AOC will not be old enough to run in 2020 (but maybe she can claim that since OFWGs wrote the constitution, the age provision is void now).

        4. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Yep. I’m counting on them wiping their arses with the Constitution right out of the gate. 😉

  27. avatar Robert Nobile says:

    The “Oath of Office” is the best way to keep our elected representatives in line. Their oath is their word of honor. If their word of honor means nothing to them, they will show it in how they vote on issues that infringe on our rights.
    How can someone that takes an oath to protect, preserve and uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, vote for laws that infringe on our rights?
    If their word means something to them, they wont support laws that violate their oath of office.
    If their word means nothing to them, they will support laws that violate their oath of office.
    If their word means nothing to them, neither do the American people, and that makes them a major threat to our National Security and every American citizen.
    They should be removed from office immediately.
    We, the People, that elect them to represent us, should NOT have to wait until election day to remove untrustworthy elected representatives from office.
    They prove they are untrustworthy when they violate their oath of office.

  28. avatar mark s says:

    I’m not sure if anyone else has mentioned this , if so , I’m sorry for the duplication . I simply did’t have the time to read all the comments before I wrote mine , I will later .
    EVERY weapon in the American military’s arsenal is covered by the American constitution and every citizen of this nation that lives under the guarantees of the US Constitution and related articles and amendments , has part ownership of them.
    If there was ever a time when the citizenry found it necessary to insurrect the elected government by force of arms , the first and primary targets would be our military bases and installations , whether by coup by those who are within their boundaries or by force brought against them by citizen action , the acquisition of the personal , arms and munitions belong to we the people and these procurements would be necessary if insurrection was to be successful .
    It is imperative that we keep the men and women who are designated as protectors of these installations in line with the constitution and the originalist interpretation of it .
    As the commander in chief of all Americas armed forces , it is the #1 duty of every president to see to it that these men and women are on the same page and willing to lay their lives down to protect the US Constitution and the duty’s and liberties it’s penning enumerated .
    Yes , the citizens of America own every battleship , aircraft carrier , fighter jet , nuclear weapon etc. and for the period they signed up for , the men and women who are serving us .
    We are America .

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