AR-15s and the Second Amendment

There is a clamor among some today that the so-called “assault rifle” known as the AR-15 should be outlawed from private ownership as it is a “military-style” weapon and is not protected under the second amendment.  Is this argument constitutional?

To begin with, the AR-15 is a single-shot rifle and is not a “military-style” weapon simply because cosmetically it resembles our military’s M-16 or fully automatic AK-47.  But, that’s not the issue, constitutionally speaking.

To answer this question requires an understanding as to why the second amendment was added.  Today’s anti-AR-15 gun-grabbers have absolutely no knowledge of the history of the second amendment or of the reason for which it was added.

Although having the right to be armed for self-protection was a consideration by the founders, a greater reason was for the protection of liberty from the rise of tyranny within the central government.  Consider the words of two of our greatest founding fathers – James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, wrote that “[Tyranny cannot be safe] without a standing army,…and a disarmed populace.”   Jefferson concurred in a letter to Madison:  “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

 The reason then, for the second amendment, is primarily to serve as a deterrent against the rise of tyranny within the federal government.  Clearly, an AR-15 is not on the same level as an M-16 as a deterrent, but it is a sure better one than a bolt-action hunting rifle.  As for the retort that such a position as this would allow for citizens to own bazookas, 50 caliber machine guns, flame throwers, etc., it is simply a reductio ad absurdum  in an attempt to avoid giving a sound argument against the reason intended by our founders, namely, that we, as free citizens, have sufficient means to deter our government from usurping our liberties.

“Those that fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it” – so goes the old adage.  Read the history of just the past century – Nazi Germany, Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin, China under Mao zedung, the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia’s “killing fields”, and many other murderous tyrannies, and you will find they all had one thing in common:  they disarmed the populace as quickly and completely as possible.

After the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, leftist Governor Cuomo of New York proclaimed “No one hunts with an assault rifle; no one needs ten bullets to kill a deer.”  He’s right – no one does; but we do if we wish to deter anyone or group bent on using force to take away our unalienable rights and their attending liberties.

As Ayn Rand opined, “A government is the most dangerous threat to man’s rights:  it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.”  This is right on the mark as such was precisely the thinking of the founders behind the amendment.

-March 16, 2018

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Who – What Is the Militia?

Well, according to Senator Harry Reid, following the recent standoff between militiamen and federal agents in Nevada, they are “domestic terrorists.”  If this was 1776, Harry’s comments would have been “seconded” by King George, as he most certainly felt the same towards our forefathers who had stood up to his soldiers at Lexington Green and the bridge at Concord, Massachusetts.

The Second Amendment reads “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”   Those pushing for stricter gun controls argue that the “militia” is what we today would call our national or state guard.  However, that is not the meaning intended by our founders.  Herewith are a few quotes to substantiate that it is we, the people, who make up the militia:

“That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state;” (16th proposed amendment by the Virginia Convention, June 27, 1788).

“The militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves, … all men capable of bearing arms”  (Richard Henry Lee, aka the Anti-Federalist, The Federal Farmer, “Letters to the Republic”, 1788).

“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”  (George Mason, June 16, 1788).

“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves?”  (Tench Coxe, who was later to become recognized as the foremost expounder of the second amendment’s meaning and intent, 1788).

So the next question is, “What is a terrorist?”   A terrorist, simply put, is one who would impose his will upon others by causing them to fear for their life or property through use of an overpowering presence of force.  In the case of the Nevada standoff, which side fits the picture of a terrorist and which that of the liberty-defending militia?

No Harry, it is you and those like you in our government who are the domestic terrorists.  It is you who seek to impose your agenda on us against our will and limit our freedom, thereby destroying our liberties granted us by our Creator and guaranteed us by our Constitution.  Nevada should serve as a warning to you and those in Washington.  Learn the lesson of history of what happened to King George when he pushed freedom-loving Americans too far, or you will find us teaching it to you in a manner none of us wants to see taught.

-April 25, 2014

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