Saturday, December 15, 2012


The horrific tragedy of the school shooting that occurred today has again brought up the question of gun control.  It always comes up at these times, but if someone raises the question Where were our armed citizens when this happened, who might have stopped this rampage in its tracks?, you are likely to be accused of callously taking the opportunity to make a political point, as if that isn't what the gun control people are doing. 

As a matter of fact whenever one of these tragedies occurs it breaks my heart and that IS the first question I ask these days:  WHERE IS OUR ARMED CITIZENRY at these times.  Where was an armed teacher or an armed parent or ANYBODY who could have ended this insanity before it killed people?

And you often hear how these murders occur in an area where there is extreme gun control or at least an underarmed population.  But the obvious conclusion is not drawn, that we need MORE, not fewer, armed citizens, especially in these crazy days of murdering individuals.  

I must admit I've been wondering if there is some kind of conspiracy behind these guys, some kind of influence that picks out emotionally unstrung people and influences them in this direction -- they often kill themselves or get killed so you can't interrogate them.  I know it sounds nuts, and maybe it IS just unstable individuals getting "inspired" by similar crazy acts, but I wonder nevertheless.  There's good reason to think that the murder in the Batman movie premier not long ago involved another person who disappeared during the shooting.  It just makes me wonder. 

So as usual you immediately hear that the Second Amendment was about an organized militia, and not citizen possession of firearms.  On the face of it this seems ludicrous because it's exactly an organized militia that can become the sort of threat an armed citizenry is protection against. 

But there is a history to this that is overlooked by these gun control fanatics who want to take the amendment away from us.  The concept of an armed citizenry goes way back in England long before the second amendment was written, and it was built on that history.  The point was for individual citizens to have the means of self defense and they WERE the army that protected the nation. 

The intention of the Second Amendment was to preserve us from foreign enemies and make a standing army unnecessary, which historically easily becomes a threat to the people, but obviously an armed citizenry can coexist with a national army and be a deterrent to its becoming that sort of menace, and it should be effective for these crazy individual enemies as well who kill innocent people in schools and malls and theaters.

Here are some quotes from men of the founding era:

James Madison:
The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country.  
Patrick Henry:
 “The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.”
George Mason,
Forty years ago, when 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.
Who are the militia, if they be not the people of this country...? I ask, who are the militia?  They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. 
Samuel Adams
And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress … to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms…

It is always dangerous to the liberties of the people to have an army stationed among them, over which they have no control ... The Militia is composed of free Citizens. There is therefore no danger of their making use of their Power to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade them.
Alexander Hamilton
The militia is a voluntary force not associated or under the control of the States except when called out; a permanent or long standing force would be entirely different in make-up and call.
Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.  
Richard Henry Lee
A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms...To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms...The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle.
"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."[3] Here's an interesting scholarly article on the concept:

History of the Second Amendment
David E Vandercoy

This study gives the history of the “citizen army” in England, which is the same thing as the “militia” intended by the Second Amendment,  that goes back centuries.  I’m just going to quote from The Conclusion:
English history made two things clear to the American revolutionaries:  force of arms was the only effective check on government, and standing armies threatened liberty. Recognition of these premises meant that the force of arms necessary to check government had to be placed in the hands of citizens. The English theorists Blackstone and Harrington advocated these tenants. [sic] Because the public purpose of the right to keep arms was to check government, the right necessarily belonged to the individual and, as a matter of theory, was thought to be absolute in that it could not be abrogated by the prevailing rulers.

These views were adopted by the framers, both Federalists and Antifederalists. Neither group trusted government. Both believed the greatest danger to the new republic was tyrannical government and that the ultimate check on tyranny was an armed population. It is beyond dispute that the second amendment right was to serve the same public purpose as advocated by the English theorists.
Seems to me I've run across discussions that include protection against criminals as well, but I didn't find them on this run.

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