When the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was written, the state of the art firearm was the flintlock musket. In the hands of an average operator, this weapon was capable of getting off no more than one shot per minute. Mass slaughter of the kind we just witnessed in Newtown, Conn would have been totally impossible. It is time we used our heads and start to consider what the Founding Fathers had in mind at the time (including their interest in a “well-regulated Militia”) when the constitution was written. I am certain that if they could be aware of the coming advancements in firearm technology, the amendment would not exist as written.
It is time we used our heads and start to consider what the Founding Fathers had in mind at the time (including their interest in a “well-regulated Militia”) when the constitution was written..
All you need to do to find that out is go read about what they said when they debated it.
Here is some for you, please, read them all.
"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
Co-author of the Second Amendment
during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …"
Richard Henry Lee
writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.
"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full posession of them."
Elliot's Debates, vol. 3 "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution."
"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; …"
quoted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, "Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State"
"Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
First President of the United States
"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside … Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them."
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
Richard Henry Lee
American Statesman, 1788
"The great object is that every man be armed." and "Everyone who is able may have a gun."
"Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."
Third President of the United States
"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; … "
letter to Justice John Cartwright, June 5, 1824. ME 16:45.
"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."
to James Madison
"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
What good was one flintlock against a band of 30 indians? Your right to bare arms is not about protecting your right to go duck hunting or shoot clay pigeons, it about defending yourself. Back then it was British soldiers, bandits and savage indians. Today its Mexican gangs, drug lords, psychopaths that are making the new on a regular basis and even our own corrupt government. You can bet they will all have semi-auto or better. So what good will a bolt action hunting rifle be against these guys when they come to your house? My guess is not much, about as good as the old flintlock.
So you see yourself shooting it out in your house with "Mexican gangs, drug lords, psychopaths that are making the new on a regular basis and even our own corrupt government" all armed with semi-auto weapons or better? If you live in a place where that is realistic it's time to move.
Otherwise you are likely a danger to yourself, your neighbors, and your community. Time to turn in any heavier weapons you may have and perhaps yourself also. An ordinary shrink, on hearing your story, is likely required to turn you in anyway.