The truth behind the second amendment

In the wake of Sandy Hook and Aurora, this nation has begun to move toward more gun control through various means, and there is a strong push for more restrictive legislation. Unfortunately, we have not had a national discussion on the importance of the second amendment, or its relevance in the founding of this nation.

Early on, before the American Revolution even began, there were people who were nervous about the colonists having access to weaponry and black powder (used for ammunition). King George, as early as 1774, had begun a policy of banning the import of powder in to the colonies and taxed heavily the armaments industry. He was responding to numerous violent acts against his taxation policies, which included the burning and sinking of the HMS Gaspee’, which had attempted to board and inspect an American merchant vessel.

In short, Americans were unhappy about his fiscal policies, and so he sought gun control.

Thomas Purcell is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @LotusTom

Thomas Purcell is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @LotusTom

The armories and powder manufacturers were moved on in the spring of 1775 in an effort to shut down domestic armament production, and the battles of Lexington and Concord were fought.  The colonists refused to surrender their weapons, buried their brass cannon to avoid confiscation and paid for the right to keep and bear arms with their blood.

When the Constitution was drafted, most of the Founders wanted to prevent that from happening again, and so enabled it directly in the new document as one of its founding principles. They believed that man had an inherent right to defend himself from tyranny and so enabled it into our laws. In fact, this inherent nature of human rights was defined, by making this right inalienable (inherent or derived from man’s divine creation) and said so in the document. By doing so, they ensured generations going forward that should an American tyrant ever come to power, they would have the ability to revolt against that tyranny in an effective manner. Indeed, the very threat of such action has prevented most inherently tyrannical actions by government.

In a speech to the Virginia Constitutional ratifying convention, George Mason advised that to ratify the Constitution was not enough, but that a vigilant and armed population was important, and said as much:

[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man [Sir William Keith], who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally misusing and neglecting the militia.

– George Mason, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 14, 1788

Thus it is important that we not only maintain the Constitution but the inherent idea behind it — that our nation is best served by a well-armed citizenry, not one that is heavily regulated or effectively neutered by government regulation. It is only logical then that a government that seeks to regulate a population into a virtual state of ennui about weapons would naturally by tyrannical by definition, and thus injurious to freedom and liberty.

Our government is using the specter of fright from the acts of a madman to further the agenda of tyranny. They put a very reasonable argument (on the surface) forward, that the use and ownership of weapons is inherently dangerous to our children and to a lesser extent our health. They publicize the argument through victims like the mothers of children killed by guns, or by public figures like Gabrielle Giffords, while giving people like Alex Jones a forum to portray gun owners as inherently dangerous and mentally  unbalanced.

Through such means, they hope to regulate weapons into a state of disuse, by either expense or difficulty.

We cannot let that happen; we must not let that happen.

They say that we must think of the children when we make decisions about the use of guns. Armed citizens are thinking about their children when arming themselves — they are thinking of future generations having to live once again under the yoke of feudal tyranny, instead of those freedoms, paid for through the precious blood of our forebears.

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  1. ramanan50 says:

    Good write up.Though my views are different I like the passion and the way the case is presented.
    Especially the last sentence, it can be used for a diametrically opposite view!
    Wish I could have used that sentence.

  2. Now that’s an argument on the 2nd Amendment. They always get us to turn this around. It’s about citizens protecting themselves against other citizens. It’s about FELLOW citizens protecting each other against THEM. The fact that the “Fast & Furious” POTUS has the nerve to push tyrannical gun control is absurd but it is happening. We need to oppose it and for the REAL reason we have the right in the first place. Otherwise, we are an abomination to our descendants who actually had the courage to protect our rights.

  3. Michael Ruffing says:

    Important considerations, indeed. Thank you.

  4. Its not that I think guns are all that great. Its just that I’m not willing to give up rights that my forefather felt important enough to die for.

  5. lauralee21 says:

    Great piece.

  6. donrocci says:

    I agree with the logic and historical facts upon this argument but I do wish to take it further. During the time of segregation and the civil rights movement, allot of states and their police forces were corrupt in the sense that they were trying to take rights away from minorities due to prejudicial laws. The black panthers, who I hardly ever agree with, during the sixties were following police officers while armed. Whenever the police pulled over a minority the black panthers would get out of the car with loaded weapons and watch in an unthreatining manner. While extreme and hardly ever cited. I believe that this is the main purpose for the second ammendment. When a powerful state organization, such as law enforcement, is unilaterally enforcing laws that encroach upon our rights as citizens’and turn to abuse to uphold the tyranny of that system. Should we not have the right to protect our rights with whatever means we have at our disposal. Was not the intention of the colonists in keeping the weapons at lexington and concord due to continued aggression and subsequent seizing of arms by the british who were trying to tqke our rights away by refusing to hear our allow our grievances to proceed through parliment. If we are silenced then what choice do we have but bearing our arms within a militia and fighting for those rights. If this right falls. The others will be soon to follow.


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