It is not coincidence that Individual Liberty and the wide spread ownership of firearms were born at the same time and in the same place… America.
The key to liberty is that the citizens be on an equal footing with government. This could not have occurred in the the period before guns, because it takes a minimum of two years of consistent training to make a semi-competent swordsman. I know because I train in swordmanship. Farmers and working people do not have to time to devote to this. The American Revolution for freedom and independence began and succeed as a result of the American Colonists being individually armed on an equal level as the tyrants who oppressed them.
Anybody who has decent vision and a steady hand, can become a competent marksmen with just a few hours of training and practice. The primary difference between American Farmers and European Serfs is that American Farmers had guns and could not be subdued.
It is my opinion that the widespread use of tanks and fighter jets poses a longterm threat to individual liberty because it has created a huge gap between the defense capabilities of individuals and that of government. Even if it was legal for individual to buy tanks and fighter jets, it is simply too expensive and the training takes to long for the average working person. I know it is impossible to turn back the clock, but we should certainly not limit the firearms that people can afford.
At the time of the writing of the Constitution of the United States of America, every individual had the right to own every weapon that was available to government. The Founding Fathers were very comfortable with this balance of power. Any attempts to increase the gap between the defensive capabilities of individuals and that of government is contrary to what the Founding Fathers desired. Allowing individuals to own large capacity magazines and even machine guns is following the prescription given to us by the Framers of our Constitution of keeping government fearful of the people. The Second Amendment extends to any weapon that an “individual” can carry and operate. This includes historical weapons, current weapons and future weapons. The Founding Fathers of this country had the foresight to look ahead many generations beyond their immediate difficulties, we should do the same.
Freedom comes with a price. It is a price of blood that must be continually paid. The Founding Fathers foresaw this and accepted it as a condition of being free. This is not only a price that must be paid on foreign land as we attempt to keep foreign threats at bay… it is also a price that must be paid at home. Freedom requires that we be willing to face the day to day threats in our own neighborhoods that arise out of our own rights. The framers of our constitution had a similar dilemma as they witnessed firearms being sold to Indians by rogue merchants. In those days Indians were regarded a threat similar to drug cartels today. Given a choice between armed Indians or future tyrants, they choose the lesser of evils… which was the wide spread availability of firearms to oppose tyrants.
When the threat of a future tyranny on a national level is weighted against the the occasional localized act of violence, the localized threat is by far the lesser of evils. We must have the courage to accept this and reject all attempts of restricting the Second Amendment. There are two possible motivations for any attempts of gun control on the the American people… either cowardice or a malicious plot to strip away freedom from the American people a little at a time.
Rome was a Republic for 500 years before it fell to tyranny. We can not assume that because our republic is stable at the moment that it will always be safe from dictators. It is a much safer assumption to say that their are always dictators waiting in the shadows for an opportunity to take power.
We should also be fearful of laws that seem to have the good intention of disarming “only” criminals. Joseph Stalin in particular was very fond of labeling all his political adversaries as criminals… disarming them… and later arresting and executing them. Adolph Hitler preferred to label his political opponents as insane. Laws that seek to disarm real criminals today will be used in the future to disarm political rivals and patriots. In order to enslave an individual or a society… they must first be disarmed. No one would ever submit to slavery as long as they have the means to defend themselves. The Right to Bear Arms is the only grantee of individual liberty.
The term “Well Regulated” in the Second Amendment meant “Well Manned and Equipped” in 1791 as was determined in the 1939 United States v. Miller case after referencing the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The concept of Government Regulation, as we understand it today, did not exist at the time. United States v. Miller also determined that the term “Arms” refers to “Ordinary Military Weapons”. American Citizens have the right to Keep and Bear, which means Own and Carry, any weapons that a soldier carries into battle. That includes past, present and future weapons. A Militia consisted of armed volunteers willing to fight with their personal arms and not under government control. The American people still have some work to do with regard to taking back all of their rights.
“When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” -Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
“Those that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)
(Note: Permission to reprint, link and otherwise use with credit to Bill Tsafa is hereby granted)