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Our Founding Fathers And The 2nd Amendment

Our Founding Fathers And The 2nd Amendment

I have heard over the years that the founding fathers never intended a citizen armed with weapons for anything other than home defense and to go hunting. They say that the founding fathers never expected us to be armed with anything other than muskets, that they knew a citizenry could never stand up to a modern army, so there must have been no intent for anything other than to have a gun for self-defense. They love to say our view of the 2nd Amendment is flawed; but is this true?

There are articles from the likes of NBC News saying that the inventor of the AR-15 never made it with the intent for civilians to own the gun. This is pure nonsense, the person made the weapon to make money off of his invention, if he intended otherwise, why is the family saying this and he never did?

Carl Bogus, a law professor at Roger Williams University, has argued that James Madison wrote the second amendment in part to reassure his home state of Virginia, where slave owners were terrified of revolts and wary of northerners who would undermine the system. It turns out he claims the desire to be armed must have racist intent. 

Mother Jones goes further; they inform us that the 2nd Amendment never was intended for what some think it was. The story first attacks Elliot Rodgers who says he feels terrible for the family that lost their kids in the shooting of Santa Barbara, but went on to state, “As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.” They went into fits, but he was right, tragedy does not give you the right to strip rights away. They go on to cite The Second Amendment: A Biography, by Michael Waldman who states that we must understand what the framers thought, he argues that giving them the last word is impossible—and impractical. He claims the article was only written with the intent of having a militia. This too is false. 

We also hear from others that the 2nd Amendment is dead, it is no longer applicable to the modern age. Slate says the second amendment is not absoluteMinnPost claims that anyone who holds that the 2nd Amendment is for today is Second Amendment extremists. Guess to them supporting the constitution makes you an extremist. Rolling Stone says it is time to repeal the 2nd Amendment, Michael Moore says that it is “ancient and outdated,” that it’s time for Congress to repeal the Second Amendment and replace it with something that establishes a “right of all people to be free from gun violence.”

But what was the founding father’s intent? We hear from the left that figuring out what they intended is somehow making you an extremist, or is it really that they don’t want to give any credence to their intent? Is this just another attack by the left, saying since some of the founding fathers owned slaves. Thus anything they constructed is evil, that the constitution, therefore, is a deeply flawed document and should be done away with? You sure can see this with some of their arguments. 

But what was the founding fathers intent, was it only to have a military armed, back then we did not have a standing army, so was this outdated since we do now? Why was it necessary to them to have a population of freemen armed?

If one wished to know what the intent of the authors is, wouldn’t it make sense to see what they wrote about this? This is how you understand history, for many times what is seen makes no sense, but if you can find what the people were saying, or what was recorded, it suddenly brings the intent into the light, one may ask, “Why is this asked in almost all but with the 2nd Amendment?”

The best way to deal with this is to break down what the founding fathers said, while it is true that they said it was good to be armed:

“A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined…”
– George Washington, First Annual Address, to both House of Congress, January 8, 1790, (If he intended this for all as only a militia, why wasn’t anything said, there were quotes that stated this?)

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
– Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776 (This shows that the intent was not for a militia, but all to be armed, and this states that NO ONE should be denied this right.) 

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787 (While this is accurately quoted, what is not as a rule stated is this is just an English translation of a Latin phrase that dates back to the time of Rome, Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.It is a rough translation; the more accurate one would be “I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.” This was part of a letter he penned to James Madison where he said, ” Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3. Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the 1st. A condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has it’s evils too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” – Jefferson to James Madison, January 30, 1787[1]”

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787 (This is a continuation of the letter sent earlier that is posted above.) 

“On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823 (Here Jefferson specifically states that they need to look at the intent, or the spirit of when the constitution was written to look at the intent, just as many say now. This does away with the claim that one shouldn’t, we have one of the authors specifically saying you need to. .)

“To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.”
– George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788 (This was in reference to the constitution, the 2nd Amendment, this shows the intent had nothing to do with hunting or for the sake of a militia, this had everything to do with protection from the government and the need to be protected from it disarming the people.) 

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people is armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
– Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787 (This goes on to explain. Further, the need for the people to be armed prevents a standing army from having them be subjugated to their rule, this is for a foreign or a domestic standing army.)

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
– Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778 (This shows the need or our liberty to be protected, not from the soldiers, rather from governments that wish to strip us of our civil liberties. )

“This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. The right of self-defense is the first law of nature: in most governments, it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”
– St. George Tucker, Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1803 (I don’t think you can be any more clear than this. He speaks of  a standing army, yet the right of a people to maintain gun ownership, says if this right is taken away so will liberty putting the nation on the “brink of Destruction.”)

We can look with case after case, at no time was the intent of the founding fathers for the 2nd amendment for a militia. Further, claiming that they had muskets then somehow voids out the right to have other more modern weapons is nonsense, for what you are arming yourself with is keeping up with what the government is armed with. This is a silly argument. 

The left wants to ignore what the intent was; they want to subjugate the people, they could then move on stripping other essential liberties away from us, that is why they chose to ignore what is standing in their way of achieving this. They know that a well-armed population would make instituting such a thing would be met with overwhelming force. While the US does have a mighty military, there are 350 million arms, when dealing with a 35 to one odds, this is not a good thing, it would be a bloodbath.

This will continue to be aggressively pursued by the ones that wish to strop us of our right to protect ourselves from criminals and the government; it is our duty to fight to stop this infringement at whatever the cost. Remember, what you give up is not only going to affect you but your children and their children. 

I will not bow down to the tyranny of ones that wish to take our freedoms away; I can only hope that you will not either. 

I would love to share these statistics from 2016; I am sure if you look at the current ones there would not be much of a change. 

According to the CDC:

  • There is 30,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms, and this number is not disputed.
  • U.S. population 324,059,091 as of Wednesday, June 22, 2016.
  • Do the math: 0.000000925% of the population dies from gun-related actions each year.

Statistically speaking, this is insignificant! What is never told, however, is a breakdown of those 30,000 deaths, to put them in perspective as compared to other causes of death:

  • 65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws • 15% are by law enforcement in the line of duty and justified
  • 17% is through criminal activity, gang and drug-related or mentally ill persons – gun violence
  • 3% are accidental discharge deaths.

 So technically, “gun violence” is not 30,000 annually, but drops to 5,100. Still too many? Well, first, how are those deaths spanned across the nation?

  • 480 homicides (9.4%) were in Chicago 
  • 344 homicides (6.7%) were in Baltimore
  • 333 homicides (6.5%) were in Detroit
  • 119 homicides (2.3%) were in Washington D.C. (a 54% increase over prior years)

So basically, 25% of all gun crime happens in just four cities. All 4 of those cities have strict gun laws, so it is not the lack of law that is the cause. This leaves 3,825 for the entire rest of the nation or about 75 deaths per state. That is an average because some States have much higher rates than others.

For example, California had 1,169 and Alabama had 1. Now, who has the strictest gun laws by far? California, of course, but understand, so it is not guns causing this.

It is a crime rate spawned by the number of criminal persons residing in those cities and states. So if all cities and states are not created equal, then there must be something other than the tool causing the gun deaths.

Are 5,100 deaths per year horrific? How about in comparison to other deaths?

All death is sad and especially so when it is in the commission of a crime, but that is the nature of the crime. Robbery, death, rape, assault all is done by criminals and thinking that criminals will obey laws is ludicrous. That’s why they are criminals. But what about other deaths each year? 

  • 40,000+ die from a drug overdose–THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THAT! 
  • 36,000 people die per year from the flu, far exceeding the criminal gun deaths • 34,000 people die per year in traffic fatalities(exceeding gun deaths even if you include suicide).

Now it gets interesting:

  • 200,000+ people die each year (and growing) from preventable medical errors. Statistically, you are safer in Chicago than when you are in a hospital!
  • 710,000 people die per year from heart disease.

It’s time to stop the double cheeseburgers! So what is the point? If the left and the anti-gun movement focused their attention on heart disease, even a 10% decrease in cardiac deaths would save twice the number of lives annually of all gun-related deaths (including suicide, law enforcement, etc.). A 10% reduction in medical errors would be 66% of the total gun deaths or 4 times the number of criminal homicides……Simply put, while gun deaths are horrific, they are minuscule in comparison to all the other causes of deaths, yet this seems to be all the left is fixated on. 



About The Author

Timothy Benton

Student of history, a journalist for the last 2 years. Specialize in Middle East History, more specifically modern history with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Also, a political commentator has been a lifetime fan of politics.

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