The Right’s Second Amendment Lies

From the Archive: In the wake of the latest gun massacre in the United States, we republish an article by Robert Parry debunking some of the right-wing myths about the Second Amendment that have prevented common sense gun laws.

By Robert Parry (first published December 21, 2012)

Right-wing resistance to meaningful gun control is driven, in part, by a false notion that America’s Founders adopted the Second Amendment because they wanted an armed population that could battle the U.S. government. The opposite is the truth, but many Americans seem to have embraced this absurd, anti-historical narrative.

The reality was that the Framers wrote the Constitution and added the Second Amendment with the goal of creating a strong central government with a citizens-based military force capable of putting down insurrections, not to enable or encourage uprisings. The key Framers, after all, were mostly men of means with a huge stake in an orderly society, the likes of George Washington and James Madison.

President George Washington, as Commander-in-Chief, leading a combined force of state militias against the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794.

The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 weren’t precursors to France’s Robespierre or Russia’s Leon Trotsky, believers in perpetual revolutions. In fact, their work on the Constitution was influenced by the experience of Shays’ Rebellion in western Massachusetts in 1786, a populist uprising that the weak federal government, under the Articles of Confederation, lacked an army to defeat.

Daniel Shays, the leader of the revolt, was a former Continental Army captain who joined with other veterans and farmers to take up arms against the government for failing to address their economic grievances.

The rebellion alarmed retired Gen. George Washington who received reports on the developments from old Revolutionary War associates in Massachusetts, such as Gen. Henry Knox and Gen. Benjamin Lincoln. Washington was particularly concerned that the disorder might serve the interests of the British, who had only recently accepted the existence of the United States.

On Oct. 22, 1786, in a letter seeking more information from a friend in Connecticut, Washington wrote: “I am mortified beyond expression that in the moment of our acknowledged independence we should by our conduct verify the predictions of our transatlantic foe, and render ourselves ridiculous and contemptible in the eyes of all Europe.”

In another letter on Nov. 7, 1786, Washington questioned Gen. Lincoln about the spreading unrest. “What is the cause of all these commotions? When and how will they end?” Lincoln responded: “Many of them appear to be absolutely so [mad] if an attempt to annihilate our present constitution and dissolve the present government can be considered as evidence of insanity.”

However, the U.S. government lacked the means to restore order, so wealthy Bostonians financed their own force under Gen. Lincoln to crush the uprising in February 1787. Afterwards, Washington expressed satisfaction at the outcome but remained concerned the rebellion might be a sign that European predictions about American chaos were coming true.

“If three years ago [at the end of the American Revolution] any person had told me that at this day, I should see such a formidable rebellion against the laws & constitutions of our own making as now appears I should have thought him a bedlamite – a fit subject for a mad house,” Washington wrote to Knox on Feb. 3, 1787, adding that if the government “shrinks, or is unable to enforce its laws anarchy & confusion must prevail.”

Washington’s alarm about Shays’ Rebellion was a key factor in his decision to take part in and preside over the Constitutional Convention, which was supposed to offer revisions to the Articles of Confederation but instead threw out the old structure entirely and replaced it with the U.S. Constitution, which shifted national sovereignty from the 13 states to “We the People” and dramatically enhanced the power of the central government.

A central point of the Constitution was to create a peaceful means for the United States to implement policies favored by the people but within a structure of checks and balances to prevent radical changes deemed too disruptive to the established society. For instance, the two-year terms of the House of Representatives were meant to reflect the popular will but the six-year terms of the Senate were designed to temper the passions of the moment.

Within this framework of a democratic Republic, the Framers criminalized taking up arms against the government. Article IV, Section 4 committed the federal government to protect each state from not only invasion but “domestic Violence,” and treason is one of the few crimes defined in the Constitution as “levying war against” the United States as well as giving “Aid and Comfort” to the enemy (Article III, Section 3).

But it was the Constitution’s drastic expansion of federal power that prompted strong opposition from some Revolutionary War figures, such as Virginia’s Patrick Henry who denounced the Constitution and rallied a movement known as the Anti-Federalists. Prospects for the Constitution’s ratification were in such doubt that its principal architect James Madison joined in a sales campaign known as the Federalist Papers in which he tried to play down how radical his changes actually were.

To win over other skeptics, Madison agreed to support a Bill of Rights, which would be proposed as the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Madison’s political maneuvering succeeded as the Constitution narrowly won approval in key states, such as Virginia, New York and Massachusetts. The First Congress then approved the Bill of Rights which were ratified in 1791. [For details, see Robert Parry’s America’s Stolen Narrative.]

Behind the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment dealt with concerns about “security” and the need for trained militias to ensure what the Constitution called “domestic Tranquility.” There was also hesitancy among many Framers about the costs and risks from a large standing army, thus making militias composed of citizens an attractive alternative.

So, the Second Amendment read:  “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.” Contrary to some current right-wing fantasies about the Framers wanting to encourage popular uprisings over grievances, the language of the amendment is clearly aimed at maintaining order within the country.

That point was driven home by the actions of the Second Congress amid another uprising which erupted in 1791 in western Pennsylvania. This anti-tax revolt, known as the Whiskey Rebellion, prompted Congress in 1792 to expand on the idea of “a well-regulated militia” by passing the Militia Acts which required all military-age white males to obtain their own muskets and equipment for service in militias.

In 1794, President Washington, who was determined to demonstrate the young government’s resolve, led a combined force of state militias against the Whiskey rebels. Their revolt soon collapsed and order was restored, demonstrating how the Second Amendment helped serve the government in maintaining “security,” as the Amendment says.

Beyond this clear historical record that the Framers’ intent was to create security for the new Republic, not promote armed rebellions there is also the simple logic that the Framers represented the young nation’s aristocracy. Many, like Washington, owned vast tracts of land. They recognized that a strong central government and domestic tranquility were in their economic interests.

So, it would be counterintuitive as well as anti-historical to believe that Madison and Washington wanted to arm the population so the discontented could resist the constitutionally elected government. In reality, the Framers wanted to arm the people at least the white males so uprisings, whether economic clashes like Shays’ Rebellion, anti-tax protests like the Whiskey Rebellion, attacks by Native Americans or slave revolts, could be repulsed.

However, the Right has invested heavily during the last several decades in fabricating a different national narrative, one that ignores both logic and the historical record. In this right-wing fantasy, the Framers wanted everyone to have a gun so they could violently resist their own government. To that end, a few incendiary quotes are cherry-picked or taken out of context.

This “history” has then been amplified through the Right’s powerful propaganda apparatus Fox News, talk radio, the Internet and ideological publications to persuade millions of Americans that their possession of semi-automatic assault rifles and other powerful firearms is what the Framers intended, that today’s gun-owners are fulfilling some centuries-old American duty.

The mythology about the Framers and the Second Amendment is, of course, only part of the fake history that the Right has created to persuade ill-informed Tea Partiers that they should dress up in Revolutionary War costumes and channel the spirits of men like Washington and Madison.

But this gun fable is particularly insidious because it obstructs efforts by today’s government to enact commonsense gun-control laws and thus the false narrative makes possible the kinds of slaughters that erupt periodically across the United States, most recently in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 schoolchildren and six teachers were murdered in minutes by an unstable young man with a civilian version of the M-16 combat rifle.

While it’s absurd to think that the Founders could have even contemplated such an act in their 18th Century world of single-fire muskets that required time-consuming reloading right-wing gun advocates have evaded that obvious reality by postulating that Washington, Madison and other Framers would have wanted a highly armed population to commit what the Constitution defined as treason against the United States.

Today’s American Right is drunk on some very bad history, which is as dangerous as it is false.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and


88 comments for “The Right’s Second Amendment Lies

  1. Babyl-on
    February 16, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Constitutional government is over and done with. All this business about the Second Amendment are a symptom of a far deeper problem. Founded on the world’s most devastating genocide by far and then slavery the national culture has been violent from its inception. Little has changed.

    Where is a solution when there are 350 million guns in private hands?

    Our culture rewards psychopaths, Obama is a psychopath who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people entirely for the interests of a tiny group of people – and is honored for his achievement.

    The 73 year long slaughter just goes on and on domestically and across the globe – and the elites seem to find this acceptable. Human life, even nature itself just don’t seem to matter.

    The Second Amendment is as much a Santaria totem as chicken bones. The sacred document of the Constitution is moribund and a failure. This is what social decay looks like.

    • mike k
      February 16, 2018 at 9:16 am

      Exactly. Our society is a total failure, rotten at the core. The revolution necessary to save us from extinction now seems so extreme and impossible to the besotted citizens of this nightmare dystopia, that it is very unlikely to happen. And this is not just a problem of the American Empire, it is a global human problem with many crucial dimensions ripening now towards our destruction. The warnings by the wise about the fatal trajectory of the disease of hubris are being fulfilled before our uncomprehending eyes……..

      • mike k
        February 16, 2018 at 9:19 am

        In spite of this probably terminal situation for humanity, those who are committed to serve Love unconditionally, will continue to do everything they can to turn their fellows from their fatal course……….

        • Babyl-on
          February 16, 2018 at 10:25 am

          Try To Praise The Mutilated World

          by Adam Zagajewski

          Try to praise the mutilated world.
          Remember June’s long days,
          and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
          The nettles that methodically overgrow
          the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
          You must praise the mutilated world.
          You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
          one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
          while salty oblivion awaited others.
          You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,
          you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
          You should praise the mutilated world.
          Remember the moments when we were together
          in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
          Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
          You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
          and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
          Praise the mutilated world
          and the grey feather a thrush lost,
          and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
          and returns.

          • mike k
            February 16, 2018 at 10:32 am

            Beautiful. Poets know so much more………….

          • February 16, 2018 at 3:48 pm


          • nonsense factory
            February 16, 2018 at 7:24 pm

            That’s great! It reminded me of this one:

            Carl Sandburg. 1878–

            PILE the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
            Shovel them under and let me work—
            I am the grass; I cover all.

            And pile them high at Gettysburg
            And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
            Shovel them under and let me work.
            Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
            What place is this?
            Where are we now?

            I am the grass.
            Let me work.

            -Carl Sandburg

      • Adam Halverson
        February 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm

        The biggest issue with those claiming to lead or engage in revolutions or cultural renaissances these days, is that in spite of their initial intentions, these movements wind up being led by the same people they’re initially fighting against, or another group of extremists. Some of these movements, however, are rotten from the start – false flag operations. When I look back at what has happened the last 10 years, these massive protests really haven’t accomplished very much. The mainstream media has played an important role in playing up these protests, and exaggerating their importance – oftentimes, even playing a pivotal role in propagating and perpetuating them. If one must look to the source, look towards George Soros, the “Five Eyes,” and the radical Zionists. While certain establishment factions may actually oppose each other, they’re really just competing against each other for the same goal – global domination. Halford Mackinder’s “Geopolitics” and the legacy of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) have been instrumental in getting us to this point, where we now are. Not only was the CIA involved in the CCF… they even dedicate a section to them on their website.

        As we see time and time again, when chaos and confusion reigns, the radical elements rise to power on the waves of populist desperation and discontent, and manipulate the people to do their bidding, while leading those people to their eventual demise (in one way or another)

    • Adam Halverson
      February 16, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      Obama’s many crimes, and the deaths for which he is responsible for, is not a symptom of the U.S. Constitution – he, like many others recently, have ignored and essentially trampled on the Constitution. As some would say, Obama basically “tore up the Constitution.”

      The U.S. Constitution is held in high regard, as many other nation-states around the world have emulated the U.S. Constitution whilst drafting their own. The Bill of Rights is sacred, but it must also be interpreted in its contemporary and historical context. We have seen many violations, whether implicit or explicit, of the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 9th Amendments. Recently, it appears that the government is acting in favor of having private entities act on their behalf, so as not to be implicated in the commission of Constitutional violations themselves – which amounts to conspiracy and treason.

    • February 19, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      I am going to weigh in on this one…I see both sides of the gun issue…i see both sides so radicalized to each other, that failure is the inevitable outcome…

      I am a gunowner from an agriculture state…i was taught and trained to shoot a gun since i was about 5 (bb guns) then trained on a 22 and finally shotguns…i would not surrender my hunting firearms to anyone…they are not limited to hunting and will serve well in a self defense situation..

      One failure i see in this country is an abject lack of gun safety and training,,,more people are shot by their children and toddlers than by any terrorist…this includes the hunting and military fraternities…trust me i have friends in the military and hunting groups that i REFUSE even to hunt with…dangerously careless behavior by people “WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER”

      “guns dont kill people, people kill people” that is a smolescreen meme from the gun industry…it is very difficult to “KILL 63 people with a fucking ORANGE!!”..But it is.instantaneous, with a prepped assault weapon and proper magazines for the job…This is a military weapon…its only purpose is to kill large numbers of humans quickly and at range…if you arnt milspec or security force…you dont need it…

      The appiication process to buy a firearm in this country is a joke…and whats the difference? its much easier to buy a gun on private market anyway…nobody cares who you are and you dont care who they are…its still the wild west when it comes to private purchases…

      Mental illness issues in this country have always been swept aside…too uncomfortable, too awkward, too much trouble…The abandonment of mentally wounded people in this country goes waaaay beyond the gun issue…

      It is time to stop having our schools attacked by AMERICANS…enforce laws we do have for a start…tell the FBI to start doing their job. If they werent so busy spying on the entire US population, MAYBE the could focus on KNOWN problems



  2. mike k
    February 16, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Just goes to show that conniving lawyers and propagandists can twist written documents to say anything they choose for them to say. Thus the spirit and sense of laws can be turned on their heads to say the opposite of what they originally intended. The distorted versions of Jesus’s teachings by many proponents of “Christianity” comes to mind. “Harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle” becomes God wants you to be rich, if you just donate enough to the church, and pray hard enough.

  3. Lucifer
    February 16, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I find it ironic that a memo gets released exposing the deep state, that former high-ups in the US government are spouting how the “government” is going to kill the President (Former Mueller deputy on Trump: ‘Government is going to kill this guy’ –, and that a shooting occurs at a high-school that had recently been visited by the secret service who changed the security and safety protocols during times of crisis.

    So what is this recent shooting really about? Death sacrifices to ensure victory to keep the American public from the means to fight against the globalist agenda that is out to destroy the fabric of the United States and American families and to side-line a President who is try to destroy the globalist agenda.

    The Devil preys on the weak. And where does the Devil reside? In the halls of government and in religion. This shooter who recently lost his parents, who did not receive the help he needed, and who was autistic, was preyed on by the Devil who is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. And why? For power that is fleeting.

    Death comes to all and those who stand against God by trying to deceive and enslave populations with lies and false flags will soon learn they cannot hide from God. The people are waking due to the spirits. God controls life and death – not evil men.

    Those in the light will receive the truth and the darkness of the hearts of men who seek to destroy the innocent for power will not prevail.

    Deep State and religious leaders you have been warned. Continue with your blood sacrifices at the peril of your lives. One involved drops dead in the night and it is plastered on the news. Another dies from an accident. Who can explain this? Not man. Only God. And the psychics are given a window into the truth – only once.

    • Astra Navigo
      February 16, 2018 at 9:43 am

      ^^^^There’s always one of these^^^^

      • BobS
        February 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

        And he’d have no problem buying a gun.

        USA! USA!

        • Kathy Mayes
          February 17, 2018 at 1:32 am

          @ Astra Navigo and BobS: Resorting to name calling and smugness. You make me puke.

    • mike k
      February 16, 2018 at 10:44 am

      The wrath of God? Human delusion. Another attempted loophole out of our human responsibility.

      • Lucifer
        February 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

        No Mike. Humans are responsible. God is watching. I am speaking to the occultists – and believe me they know it. The mirror has 2 faces – one of good and one of evil and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

        • mike k
          February 16, 2018 at 3:35 pm

          Mysticism in unprepared minds becomes nonsense.

          • February 19, 2018 at 6:19 pm

            spirituality in a prepared mind is power

  4. February 16, 2018 at 10:02 am

    There were 33 military deaths in 2017, at least that was the figure I found and 343 murders in 2027 in Baltimore alone. The conclusion a concerned mother in Baltimore should make is get your sons and daughters to join the military, it’s safer.

    It is remarkable that a single “terrorist” attack generates hysteria and outrage while the ongoing, daily slaughter by others is expressed as outrage at the individual events with the media bound to suggest that the reason is the lack of gun control. It is simplistic to utter the phrase, guns don’t kill people, people do but it is equally simplistic to suggest that gun control encompassing everyone is the solution.

    We are a society chocked full of dangerous sociopaths, with the greatest concentration in Washington DC. DC actors do focus their violence on foreigners and domestic terrorists but it is murder still. The glorification of this violence by the media and the myriad of fictional killings/murders on TV and our electronic games that children play must have some effect on the violence here in the good old USA.

    Again the last thing Americans want to see is what they see when they look in the mirror.

    • mike k
      February 16, 2018 at 10:48 am

      And facing the truth in that mirror is the only way out for us – step one, self-honesty.
      Only then, further steps are necessary and productive.

  5. godenich
    February 16, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Yes, our ‘Constitutional’ Republic, with democratic elections, advises our Electoral College how they might cast their votes for the POTUS. The Federalist Papers[1] and Anti-Federalist Papers[2] chronicle the narrative leading up to replacing the Articles of Confederation[3] with our Constitution[4] and Bill of Rights[5]. The Second Amendment[6] is part of the Bill of Rights. A fine compilation can be found in [7]. I believe Shay’s Rebellion[8] was a political talking point for the Constitution and the economic dispute may be illustrated here:

    “Daniel Shays, born in Massachusetts in 1747 to Irish immigrants, was a landless farm laborer when the Revolutionary War broke out. He joined the local militia, fought in the Battles of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and Lexington, and rose to the rank of captain in the Fifth Massachusetts Regiment. He was wounded in battle and never got paid for his military service. When in 1780 he returned home to Brookfield, a rural area west of Boston, he found that he was being taken to court for debts that went unpaid while he was off fighting the war. Since he had not been compensated for his service, he had no way of paying these debts.

    After attending several town meetings, Shays discovered that many other veterans and farmers were in the same situation. They banded together to petition the Massachusetts state legislature for debt relief. The legislature was at that time dominated by Eastern banking and merchant elites who did not understand the plight of rural communities. All proposals for debt relief were rejected”[9].

    It is not surprising that the Whiskey Rebellion[10,11] excise tax (later repealed) provided the backdrop for issuing government bonds to protect bond holders, pay off war debts and fund the new central bank of the United States (Bank of North America, then 1st National Bank) with taxes (tariffs) levied on the States.

    So when you hear about a flat tax, national sales tax or consumption tax replacing the income tax (like Paul Ryan), you’ll notice that same flat tax applied to financial transactions is opposed by Wall Street.

    [1] Federalist Papers | librivox
    [2] Anti-Federalist Papers | Librivox
    [3] Free English Book on Tape: Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union by Continental Congress | Youtube
    [4] The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787 | Librivox
    [5] Bill of Rights | Librivox
    [6] The Second Amendment: A Biography | US Archives | Youtube| 2014
    [7] The United States Constitution Boxed Set | By George H. Smith and Wendy McElroy | Read by Walter Cronkite and a supporting cast | Downpour | 2007
    [8] Shay’s Rebellion | History
    [9] Shay’s Rebellion | Khan Academy
    [10] Hamilton’s Financial Plan and the Whiskey Rebellion | Youtube
    [11] The Whiskey Rebellion (APUSH Period 3) | Youtube

    • godenich
      February 16, 2018 at 10:54 am

      My comment is awaiting moderation so I’m posting without URLs.

      Yes, our ‘Constitutional’ Republic, with democratic elections, advises our Electoral College how they might cast their votes for the POTUS. The Federalist Papers[1] and Anti-Federalist Papers[2] chronicle the narrative leading up to replacing the Articles of Confederation[3] with our Constitution[4] and Bill of Rights[5]. The Second Amendment[6] is part of the Bill of Rights. A fine compilation can be found in [7]. I believe Shay’s Rebellion[8] was a political talking point for the Constitution and the economic dispute may be illustrated here:

      “Daniel Shays, born in Massachusetts in 1747 to Irish immigrants, was a landless farm laborer when the Revolutionary War broke out. He joined the local militia, fought in the Battles of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and Lexington, and rose to the rank of captain in the Fifth Massachusetts Regiment. He was wounded in battle and never got paid for his military service. When in 1780 he returned home to Brookfield, a rural area west of Boston, he found that he was being taken to court for debts that went unpaid while he was off fighting the war. Since he had not been compensated for his service, he had no way of paying these debts.

      After attending several town meetings, Shays discovered that many other veterans and farmers were in the same situation. They banded together to petition the Massachusetts state legislature for debt relief. The legislature was at that time dominated by Eastern banking and merchant elites who did not understand the plight of rural communities. All proposals for debt relief were rejected”[9].

      It is not surprising that the Whiskey Rebellion[10,11] excise tax (later repealed) provided the backdrop for issuing government bonds to protect bond holders, pay off war debts and fund the new central bank of the United States (Bank of North America, then 1st National Bank) with taxes (tariffs) levied on the States.

      So when you hear about a flat tax, national sales tax or consumption tax replacing the income tax (like Paul Ryan), you’ll notice that same flat tax applied to financial transactions is opposed by Wall Street.

      [1] Federalist Papers | librivox
      [2] Anti-Federalist Papers | Librivox
      [3] Free English Book on Tape: Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union by Continental Congress | Youtube
      [4] The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787 | Librivox
      [5] Bill of Rights | Librivox
      [6] The Second Amendment: A Biography | US Archives | Youtube| 2014
      [7] The United States Constitution Boxed Set | By George H. Smith and Wendy McElroy | Read by Walter Cronkite and a supporting cast | Downpour | 2007
      [8] Shay’s Rebellion | History
      [9] Shay’s Rebellion | Khan Academy
      [10] Hamilton’s Financial Plan and the Whiskey Rebellion | Youtube
      [11] The Whiskey Rebellion (APUSH Period 3) | Youtube

      • Ernest
        February 17, 2018 at 5:28 pm

        Enlightenment is bright. Mr. petty Perry left those facts out of his bs article. Interesting.

        US Army

    • evelync
      February 17, 2018 at 10:19 am

      Thanks for assembling the links to these historical docs!

      And the sad story of Daniel Shays….same old unfair treatment of powerless people by the wealthy and powerful….
      it doesn’t seem to have changed much today….

  6. Joe Tedesky
    February 16, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Maybe this prediction made by the Europeans, “a sign that European predictions about American chaos were coming true“, is just 241 years too late to it’s coming true.

    What this is all going to come down to, is not so much going to be about ‘common sense gun control’ as it will be about enforcing ‘tighter security’. Whether by choice, or committee, the investigation to the ‘why’ and ‘causes’ of all of these mass shooters will be slowly answered or will go unanswered due to bias attitudes. So while the debate lingers on the majority of our citizenry will be put further down into a police state. How interesting that the very gun industry who will be hurt by any new common sense gun laws, will be the same industry who profits bigly from an increase in supplying our already armed to the hilt law enforcement agencies to protect us. Hmm protect us?

    There’s no sense in arguing with this tighter security, because you will be shouted down by everyone who out of fear wants to feel comfortable in the fact that they are safely protected. The Right will argue over mental health, and that in my mind is a valid argument. The Left (or in America what calls itself the Left) will make their argument all about the proliferation of guns, and that is no stretch of the truth either, as America is polluted with weapons.

    Of course nothing will be for the better until we get a grip on our nation’s drug problem, and or we come up with a way to establish workable common sense gun laws. Only will we forget to discuss, or at least give some thought to our nation’s warring mindset, which helps to contribute to an unbalanced persons persona a need to settle all scores at the end of an assault rifle? If we as a society even wish to attempt to end this kind of carnage rot by a crazed gunman then we first need to understand ourselves, before we go off analyzing every misfit we see walking.

    My guess is that my grandchildren’s generation, the very young ones who are growing up under this police state cloud, will also be the same adult citizens who may work to undercover all of the lies of my generation, as they reverse the trends my corrupted generation put forward. Maybe, or at least I pray that maybe, that these newly coming of age grand-citizens of America’s will be able to put in place a government and society which will be above the cloud of the police state, as to make this land a free and better place to live upon.

    One more thing, if you want to hear the best you will hear about America’s 2nd Amendment rights, then go on the ‘search box’ on this site and write in ‘Robert Parry on 2nd Amendment’ and read to your hearts content.

    • Guest
      February 16, 2018 at 11:24 am

      One drug problem no one will address is that of prescription psychotropic medications. A sizeable fraction of the population is prescribed these drugs. There is no practical way to make sure those that are prescribed these drugs are taking them and even if they are taking them correctly, that they work and have no dangerous side effects. It is often the case after one of these mass killings that the perpetrator was prescribed these medications and either stopped taking them or they didn’t work.

      • matt
        February 16, 2018 at 11:48 am

        That is absolutely correct. Its only because the drug Prozac was used in the studies linking it violent behavior and suicide in teenagers… that is not prescribed to teenagers. However other analogs to Prozac are prescribed to millions of teenagers, and Prozac is still prescribed to adults.

    • godenich
      February 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      I just want my kids and their kids to have it better than me, and that goes for everyone. It seems that one of the privileges of getting old is that you can speak your mind more freely. Whether anybody is listening or not seems to matter less, but it feels good, ha ha !:)

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      Thanks to all of you for your reply’s, and remember at times like these we need conversation. Joe

  7. Guest
    February 16, 2018 at 11:16 am

    If the purpose of the 2nd amendment was to have an armed militia to suppress insurrections, why not just have the Constitution call for a standing army and be done with it? Why not REQUIRE all able bodied to own firearms in order to make sure a militia was available when needed instead of “non-infringement”?

    • IMRight
      February 16, 2018 at 5:13 pm

      It does. Article 2 Section 2. This article is crap.

      • Pat Penick
        February 18, 2018 at 8:26 pm

        I tend to agree with your bottom line analysis…

  8. Eddie
    February 16, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Good re-post! This history requires repeating again and again, since the NRA and right-wingers and gun-nuts are a well-heeled and vociferous minority whose actions ultimately go-far to enable the real crazies to do HORRIBLE things like these massacres. And I’m tired of hearing stupid responses that ‘oh knives kill people too’ or similar specious arguments — today’s guns are much MUCH more efficient that clubs/knives/etc and can kill/maim with a mere 1″ pull of the trigger-finger from even hundreds of YARDS away…. no fuss, no struggling with the victim(s), all very clean, efficient, quick and deadly.
    Similarly, ultimately who cares what the perpetrator’s motivation or mental state was? There’s a lot of troubled people in this world with a lot of different reasons, and IF we make deadly weaponry easily available to the general population, some of the sickest of these troubled people are going to use it in tragic ways. If grenades or SAM’s or nukes were available, they’d be using those and killing even more people.

    • matt
      February 16, 2018 at 11:33 am

      This logic can be applied to Advil/ibuprofen. Our society utilizes this substance for pain relief by the truckload, and many people are relieved of suffering as a result. But, thousands of people also DIE every year from complications related to Ibuprofen. Should we ban it? Automobile travel, recreational sports, and junk food cause many more deaths per year in the US than firearm related deaths. What do you think, ban them too? And, in all seriousness- do you think that there are ever justifiable cases to defend oneself against personal threats or government tyranny?

    • Adam Halverson
      February 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      It is important to analyze motive and mental state – I, personally, would like to understand the motive behind the high school shooting in Florida, and the mental state of the shooter. The brain/mind is still not very well understood, and ignoring or downplaying the importance of these factors forges an incredibly dangerous path. We only just recently discovered that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) could be diagnosed in living persons, via the presence of some protein or enzyme. And just recently, a study revealed the protein(s)/enzyme(s) common to sufferers of Alzheimers’ Disease. If Big Pharma wasn’t such an impediment, we would’ve been far more effective at not just diagnosing, but also treating neurological conditions. All these things can be traced to very specific factors, if only the funding and resources were provided in the first place!

      For what it’s worth, also consider that teenage suicides are currently at record levels in this country – that is no accident. The term here is “willful infliction of emotional distress, on a massive scale.”

    • TB
      February 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      It is possible for private citizens to own grenades, military aircraft, missiles, and nuclear weapons. Most weaponry is produced by the commercial market, not the government. When is the last time you heard of a Raytheon or Pantex owner or employee using them against the general population, besides never? Kinda a fatal flaw in your argument.

  9. matt
    February 16, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Dead teachers and schoolchildren evoke extreme emotions. Unfortunately, not a “systems theory” approach to lessening the occurrence of violent domestic shootings (in schools or elsewhere). Banning “assault” style guns will have no affect whatsoever- as any firearm educated person knows, unless fully automatic (which is illegal)- all semi-automatic deer rifles, military rifles, shot guns, and hand guns are equally deadly in terms of firing rate. What gun rights advocates fear is a reality- if the government finds reason to ban one type of semi-automatic firearm, there is no distinction between all the others.

    I only partly agree with Robert’s constitutional/historical analysis of the 2nd amendment. A citizen militia was a power balancing force- a defense against a tyrannical military or government- as much as it was a defense against domestic insurrection and foreign threats. Trust in the citizen majority- that individuals were capable of making their own choice on whether to fight- with or against- a government cause is the gamble our new Government made. This was the only solution to “provide for the common defense” without a standing army. I hope nobody would suggest that even the pro-government Federalists considered a permanent centralized military establishment after the Revolution.

    The threat of total central government control is real. The capacity for abuse and over-reach has gone far beyond the imagination of Madison, Jefferson, and Washington. This comment I am writing is being logged by the NSA servers in Utah. Should I ever become a “person of interest” for espousing anti-government views my identity can unmasked and I would be at the mercy of the full force and fury of America’s “national security” agencies. We have forces in congress that want to do away with FISA and have no hearing in front of a judge before the complete annihilation of ones rights of US citizenship. Our government has the technological capability to listen to conversations, intercept communications- its built right into our digital infrastructure! And, should the rule of law fail… the government can reign down punishment with impunity.

    Banning the means to protect and defend oneself against personal threats or tyranny is not the answer to preventing school shootings. The facts are sobering- 99% of legally purchased guns are responsibly maintained and used by their owners. The broader solution to solving the acting out of “disgruntled” teenagers (and adults) is to improve our social welfare and mental health systems. The shooter in FL showed many, many signs of needing help. But, America shoves the mental health, poverty, and drug addiction crises under the rug. At all levels of government, needed services are de-funded. Instead of being shocked by 17 dead in FL we should be shocked by the hundreds of thousands dying (or living miserable lives and costing our judicial system billions) as a result of a declining social infrastructure.

  10. Annie
    February 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    “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.” I don’t disagree with Mr. Parry’s assessment of the second amendment, and the intentions of the framers, but it’s too bad the framers didn’t frame the second amendment better, since it leaves room for a lot of interpretation.

    On the website Common Dreams an article, “Emotional Student Victims Lash Out at ‘Piece of Shit’ Trump in Wake of Latest School Massacre.” The article’s title is based on one student’s tweet, “I don’t want your condolences you fucking price of shit, my friends and teachers were shot. Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But Gun control will prevent it from happenMarjory Stoneman Douglas High School studenting again.”

    She certainly has the right to tweet whatever she wants, and her rage is understandable, but for Common Dreams to use her tweet as the basis for an article is one reason I no longer use Common Dreams as a source of information. They have a strong anti-Trump bias, but their bias is often sensational when addressing this administration’s agenda, and for me undermines their credibility. On the issue of gun control it only adds fuel to the fire creating a further divide on this issue.

    • Annie
      February 16, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      I would also like to add that tweeting has made the world a lot less civilized.

      • Adam Halverson
        February 16, 2018 at 1:22 pm

        Absolutely… and it’s made worse by Twitter bots and algorithms that manipulate to produce desired responses, while inflicting little or no damage to themselves. I found out a while ago that attempting to reason with others on Twitter is a Fool’s Errand. I’d have better luck counting the grains of sand at a beach resort.

    • Paul G.
      February 17, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      Latest disapproval rating for Trump is around 58%; that makes the majority of the US having an “anti-trump bias”. It appears to be based on a logical evaluation of his record, his inflammatory rhetoric, impulsivity and should I mention threatening nuclear war.

      • Pat Penick
        February 18, 2018 at 8:29 pm


  11. Nunya
    February 16, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    We defend our President with guns….
    We defend our Congress with guns….
    We defend our Athletes with guns….
    We defend our Governors with guns….
    We defend our Celebrities with guns….
    We defend our Banks with guns….
    We defend our Courts with guns….
    We defend our Nation with guns….
    We defend our Children with a sign….

  12. elmerfudzie
    February 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    As I’ve stated several times before and previous to this article; taking guns out of the hands of psychotics is as likely as taking them out of the hands of criminals. Even if the government could make some headway into this problem with stricter gun control laws, what’s to stop some crazy person mowing down people at busy street corners with a rented truck? using an axe, knife, bow-and-arrow, torching an occupied building or discharging a propane container in a confined area. In a real sense, President Trump’s reaction to this latest massacre is correct. The problem began with Ronald Reagan’s policy to close public mental health facilities and those same mentally ill are still roaming the streets today, grey beards, worn out shoes and all. Our alleys and parks are increasingly filled with the mistreated sick, over-medicated post traumatic disorder Vets as well as certified sickos who shouldn’t be wandering about our streets-period. We as Americans share a cultural disposition, built on bloodied soil. We are, in effect, ankle deep in American Indian blood, knee deep in our own (the Civil War) and waist deep in the blood of foreign peoples. We are more a collection of the sons of Cain as opposed to Abel’s lot. The powers that be know this and it causes them many a nightmare, as well as it should. I’m suggesting that the mentally ill and persons predisposed to violent behavior aren’t the only reasons for mass shootings. As of late, endemic poverty and racism also foments mass violence such as L.A./Watts riots and more recently, Ferguson, MO. One generation ago, it was FDR who told the plutocrats: I’ve convinced the unions, moralists, socialists and communists of America, ASIDE: yes indeed they were well organized and popular here…. that I (FDR) will do great things for them IF they don’t question the financial system we’re subject to. If you my brothers, he was very much part of the sliver spoon crowd, reject my New Deal proposals, the people will extract an alternate one and much less palatable to you. So, most of our eastern establishment blue bloods agreed with him and this spawned the civilian conservation corps (CCC), unemployment insurance, social security benefits, all in the midst of the worst economic downturn and bankruptcy in our nations history. Now, the elite plutocrats have pulled the rug out from under the middle and lower economic strata and classes, reneging on the New Deal, claiming there’s no money, refusing to be taxed by conniving, wherever possible, political arm-twisting methods and legalistic evasions. Instead of increasing these FDR social benefits in the midst of a global downturn, the plutocrats are ARMING, with guns and ammo, the Social Security Administration as well as revoking the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the Army can now show up on our streets? ! There’s a false illusion circulating out there, that high tech gadgetry is strong enough to implement and preserve a new feudal and oligarchical order. Sad mistake gentlemen, sad, sad mistake! The gun symbolizes our very last defense against the MIC who raided the Social Security Fund so as to finance wars without taxes, armed our local police with military weaponry, broke their social contract with their fellow American’s by taking wing to foreign lands thus closing factories here and exiting with the means of production and intellectual property in their greedy pockets (to China no less!). I close this commentary with a quote from one of the plutocrats very own, Margret Thatcher. It reflects and shows the mindset of the less than One per cent; The “Iron Lady” said: “They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there’s no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbors” …These are the new corporate and political leaders who represent the Western Occident nations! My dear CONSORTIUMNEWS readers even the Iron Lady knew that the masses, we the proles, are ON OUR OWN. We are nothing but dog poop under their shoe. The one and only thing that keeps them from slaughtering us wholesale is the threat that we can do the same to them. Keep your guns and keep powder dry!

    • Oakland Pete
      February 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Well stated, and thank you.

  13. Steve Ruis
    February 16, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    I do not think the NRA is motivated by history and, hence, their bizarre take on the “right to bear arms” is not core ideology but a smokescreen. They are motivated by the money they attract from their sponsoring organizations (gun and ammo manufacturers and sellers) which they get by opposing any obstacle to ever greater sales of their wares. They will, because they lack a moral backbone, make up any narrative that their audience of “believers” will accept as valid. Truth is irrelevant. These are akin to the religious apologists who peddle religious arguments discredited centuries ago, to “believing” audiences. Confirmation bias is the only force in play here, not history.

    • Annie
      February 16, 2018 at 1:20 pm

      The gun lobby actually publishes the names of those who vote against their agenda which keeps politicians in line. I don’t excuse these politicians, since they align themselves with the NRA in order to hold on to their jobs rather then vote their conscience.

    • Pat Penick
      February 18, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      What makes you an expert? My take is they have quite a bit more moral backbone.

  14. Zachary Smith
    February 16, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    The comments in the first publication of this essay were fairly amazing. The gun nuts really do live in a dream world of their own making.

  15. Robert Severance
    February 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Everyone with common sense knows that, no matter what the Second Amendment states, the words are just window-dressing. Its true purpose is to authorize gun owners to remove one of Them from the Presidency, if he manages to slip past the voters.

  16. Annie
    February 16, 2018 at 1:12 pm


    Right now those guns are used to kill fellow Americans, or used by Americans to kill themselves, intentionally, or accidently. Firearms are killing us rather then protecting us.

    • elmerfudzie
      February 16, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      Annie, a loaded gun does not go off by itself, there’s always a PERSON at the trigger, a person with a free will (no matter what mental condition, politics or government one happens to live by or under). Guns don’t kill, the gun USER kills, be it justified, indiscriminate, terrorist, or legal. A gun is not necessary for mass executions, the human mind is far too inventive, and the varieties and ways to kill many people, almost in exhaustible. Those manipulative, unrepresentative, so called democratic “authorities”, their shills and philosophers are not going to take my guns away-ever, no chance! The criminals out there are saying the same thing with 3-d printed gun technology. They’ll be the first to harness this kind of new tech and to their own advantage! Annie, “get your gun!”

  17. Adam Halverson
    February 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Anybody who claims that the 2nd Amendment was primarily intended as a means of overthrowing the government is delusional; however, there are absolutely extraordinary circumstances whence such actions could be justified – it was suggested in the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, which was only drafted 13 years prior to the U.S. Constitution. Obviously, the Declaration of Independence was still fresh in the minds of the attendees of the Constitutional Convention. I implore everyone to look at things from a contemporary, historical context.

    Here is the applicable text, from the Declaration of Independence:

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    Unfortunately, much of our population is lacking in the aforementioned prudence, and fail to engage in sensible and unbiased sanity checks.

  18. Zachary Smith
    February 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren has been taken to task by students at the Parkland, Florida high school where 17 people were killed.

    Ms Lahren tweeted in the wake of the mass shooting: “Can the Left let the families grieve for even 24 hours before they push their anti-gun and anti-gunowner agenda? My goodness. This isn’t about a gun it’s about another lunatic.”

    The 25-year-old Fox News blond has a solution.

    Ya know, thoughts and prayers might seem laughable to some of you. But maybe, just maybe, more Jesus, more God, more prayer and more compassion is what we are missing.

    That’s the ticket!

  19. Oakland Pete
    February 16, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    It’s revealing to read how so many decry the killing of “fellow Americans”. So many countries are free-fire zones, where mass shootings take place regularly, and somehow this is less shocking to us than when it happens here. Those who cry out for gun control often are the most enthusiastic about these crimes, like the democrat politicians who laugh at death by bayonet sodomy. I want gun control, but not when those who have the most guns and the biggest ones keep theirs and take away mine. The best way to curb violence is to work for a society based on cooperation, beginning with eliminating the military. No capitalist politician or their apologist will acknowledge or support that.

  20. Begemot
    February 16, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Governments are the greatest killers of humans, so it only makes sense that governments to be the only ones to have weapons.

    • Adam Halverson
      February 16, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Those who yield the most power and have the most leverage, simultaneously possess the potential to do the greatest good and the greatest harm – influence.

      While it’s often true of governments, this need not necessarily be exclusive to governments, per se.

  21. Paul Stewart
    February 16, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    “…being necessary to the security of a free State” does not mean being necessary to the security of the (any) government contrary to some current Left-wing fantasies.

    Our Constitution has nothing to do with the protection and preservation of a government!

    Our Constitution is a set of chains intended to limit the power of and bind the new central government from trampling on the freedoms of people, human beings, citizens.

    Our founders took up arms against the legal government of the day, England, for ever increasing infringements on God given or the natural rights of all human beings, not governments!

    Can anyone, liberal or conservative minded, honestly deny the glaring, IN OUR FACE, trampling on our rights by the federal government today?

    The 4th Amendment is on life-support in the wake of an out-of-control federal government that has illegally granted itself the authority to spy on any American citizen it pleases without warrant? Execute any American citizen without trial. Detain any American citizen without trial for as long as it pleases. A few examples of many on a growing list.


    • WG
      February 19, 2018 at 10:57 am

      Finally a commentor with sanity. Say brother….

  22. TB
    February 16, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Criminals do not follow gun laws. You might note the highest levels of criminal use of guns occurs where it is difficult to legally own guns. Gun control is about control, not guns. Ask the French how well their extensive gun laws prevented the Bataclan incident.

    You might find THIS of interest.

    • WG
      February 19, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Well stated. Or how about Chicago, where more people are killed in a month than the last few years of soldiers deployed overseas.

  23. Woodie Held
    February 16, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Our society enacts laws to protect its’ citizens. Does setting the speed limit on an interstate highway take away an indivual’s right to drive? No … it just establishes some common sense parameters within which to exercise that right.

    No one is proposing that citizens cannot exercise the right to bear arms. But someone needs to explain why a private citizen needs to own a military grade automatic weapon. If you adhere to the Right’s position that citizens need access to the same weapons that our government has in order to protect themselves against tyranny then what’s next … a fighter jet or tank in everyone’s driveway?

    The Second Admendment can be respected and upheld even while enacting common sense gun control legislation which outlaws the purchase and ownership of military style automatic weapons. I cannot think of a single valid reason why a private citizen needs to own an automatic weapon.

    • TB
      February 17, 2018 at 3:52 am

      Private citizens that legally own military weaponry are the most law abiding on the planet. Cops look like recidivist criminals in comparison to lawful owners of title 2 weaponry.

      • Woodie Held
        February 17, 2018 at 10:37 am

        So let me understand your response … you consider the shooter who killed 17 students in Parkland, FL or the deranged individual who killed more than 50 individuals at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas “Law Abiding Citizens”? Didn’t each of those shooters legally purchase the automatic weapons they used to commit mass murder?

        I believe murder is still a capital offense in this country. It’s disappointing that our citizens prefer maintaining their right to own military grade automatic weapons over the lives of children and adults who are just going about their daily routine.

        Why does a private citizen need to have an automatic rapid fire large clip weapon? Do they use it as a sportsman to hunt? Will they defend their home and family with it? I’m still at a loss … please explain how common sense gun ownership reforms would infringe an individual’s right to bear arms by making purchase of an automatic weapon illegal.

        The country places greater value on gun ownership than the lives and safety of its citizens. Very sad.

        • Jo Blo
          February 18, 2018 at 1:21 am

          You reflect the polarized positions of the gun debate. Part of this polarization is partly due to Identity Politics, and part is illustrated by the lack of proportionality you just displayed: ‘Private citizens who are the most law abiding’ does not mean that they are ALL law abiding. You pick events perpetrated by the very few, and extrapolate that to 15 million owners of AR-15’s who you consider to be a threat to the public good. Statistically, the overwhelming homicides by shootings in the US are with handguns at the hands of habitual criminals, including juvenile gang members. But nobody sees the need to take into account such facts.

          This debate is polarized and this explains the perceived stance of the NRA. For those who want ‘gun control’ (there is already gun control BTW), it mean the elimination of private firearms ownership. They will reassuredly say that it’s only the most dangerous weapons (i.e. AR-15’s) they want to eliminate. In reality, all firearms are potentially lethal, and there will always be a ‘most dangerous’ weapon to want to eliminate. Ultimately, that will result in total elimination, and it is a never ending tool for political advancement, exploiting the fear and ignorance of a large segment of the population.

          The reaction then for the NRA is to resist any attempt at regulation or limitations in the types of weapons people are allowed to own; because every concession made is likely to be followed with more demands based on the same arguments: ‘why should anyone justify having such powerful weapons’, and the general population having short memories.

          There are many gun owners who agree to a training, qualification and licensing system, that would better vet people. But there have been attempts to use such systems in order to score cheap political points, such as an undertaking to publish in a public record all of the handgun licensees in New York State. Gun proponents just do not trust those advocating ‘Gun Control’, as ‘Gun Control’ has more to do with political dogma, than reason.

          I agree with just about all of Consortium News philosophy and direction, except this issue.

        • TB
          February 18, 2018 at 1:49 pm

          Nikolas Cruz did not have an AAUTOMATIC WEAPON.

          Semi-auto is not auto.

          People that legally own military caliber battlefield weapons as a hobby are THE MOST LAW ABIDING OF GUN OWNERS.

          Misdefining things to create a strawman makes you a disingeneous mendacious asshole.


  24. y
    February 16, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Speaking of the constitution, has anyone read or heard anything about yesterdays landmark ruling on a U.S.Constitution Lawsuit? They won their case. However, I haven’t been able to find news of it. I saw an interview with one of the plaintiffs on a YouTube channel. The plaintiff’s name is Alllen J.Cameron.

  25. Lucius Patrick
    February 17, 2018 at 1:40 am

    This issue will be argued until the cows come home. I’m sorry to see that Robert Parry does not appear to be a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. The way I see it, 90% to 99% of the wealth is concentrated in 1% of the population’s hands. Also, although I don’t believe we live in a totalitarian, Big-Brother-like Surveillance state, the apparatus for that is there (Thanks Snowden!), and there is a whole lot of room for corruption and for the majority of the population to get screwed. What is our country going to look like in 50 years? Will the wealthy own all the land and live behind secure fences? Will there be robotic police forces? Look how fast things have changed in 20 years, in terms of surveillance tools–gps, phones, internet, drones. All of these offer the opportunity for tremendous misuse. Why would the population want to give up further freedoms and 2nd Amendment rights? Every time something is outlawed (pot, alcohol, heroin, cocaine), a criminal enterprise rises up to provide the goods–strengthening organized crime.
    Read the founders’ writings! I recall their laments that not enough people had guns in their homes. Never would they have considered taking all the guns! Now, there are people who are asking for just that, and Hillary’s “the Heller decision was wrong” is very closely in line with an outright ban on guns. If the founders wanted us to have a Federalized military, they would have created it–instead, the placed the power in the people and in the people’s militias.

  26. Kathy Mayes
    February 17, 2018 at 2:09 am

    Perhaps if Mr. Perry had gone to law school and studied case law and the Constitution, he would have known different
    “historical facts”. Such as there was to be no standing army, and private citizens should be afforded the same strength of
    armaments as the federal government’s army. In addition, the second amendment’s wording speaks directly to the security
    of the State, not the federal government. The Framers surely would have wanted the populace to be armed in the event the federal government became corrupt and abusive as our English overlords had done. If Washington’s army had been previously stripped of their weapons, there would have been no revolution. Also, most deaths are caused by handguns. Are you saying they too should be banned? Maybe I’d go along with that if the army was dissolved and the police gave up theirs. But I really don’t trust authoritarians
    In this collectivist world.

    • Adam Halverson
      February 17, 2018 at 6:28 am

      The Framers surely would have wanted the populace to be armed in the event the federal government became corrupt and abusive as our English overlords had done.

      I addressed this same exact point at least 11 comments above, as it is practically explicitly stated in the Declaration of Independence itself. You’re absolutely right about this.

    • Adam Halverson
      February 17, 2018 at 6:46 am

      Also, it appears that Robert Parry made a clear distinction between a “standing army” and a “militia”

      There was also hesitancy among many Framers about the costs and risks from a large standing army, thus making militias composed of citizens an attractive alternative.

      Today, we do have our modern-day version of a militia, in the spirit of that intended by our founding fathers – the National Guard, who are employed within the civilian workforce outside of any military duties; they are a reserve force. A military draft would also satisfy the conditions stated herein, but is an incredibly unpopular idea, outside of an absolutely catastrophic imminent threat (esp. from within our borders), that threatens the existence of our nation-state (e.g. the American Civil War)

  27. Westerveld
    February 17, 2018 at 6:43 am

    Well that may be true, but I do like the current used definition better. As you start your argument, the people who wrote it were heavily interested in keeping the status quo, keeping power. The whole damn thing started about abuse of power, so that would mean they just have overthrown the powers of that time to take their place. Now that all may be true, but the current definition is a warning to those in power, because power always corrupts. When that does happen, and it happens constantly but all other checks and balances still work reasonably, people have the right to overthrow government and it is not only their right it is their duty.

    For that they needed guns. One now can argue that guns are useless in the current age, privacy and such are far more important, but as a last resort maybe still some kind of use/threat.

    That said, those guns should be locked up till that time comes, so the right to bear arms always is a bit too much. People carrying AK-47 and such while shopping, hunting, camping, going to work etc is ridiculous.

    Some will argue that when you forbid to carry arms in public, you can not overthrow the government, because they will use that law to prevent you coming at them. However a current administration will never allow itself to be overthrown, so anything you do is illegal in their eyes/opinion, so no matter what, if you pick up your guns to overthrow them, the only legally valid outcome is to win.

    You should have the right to own guns and exactly for what in this article is called a myth. However carrying them should be illegal with the intention of the right you own them, treason. That’s what those guns are for, and it may be a just cause at a particular time, but the rest of the time they should be locked up.

  28. Rob
    February 17, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Ironically the 2nd amendment never actually states “firearms” it just says armed. An assumption is made they were referring to only guns.

  29. Robertsgt40
    February 17, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    I suggest the author of this bilge read what the founding fathers actually said. The #1 reason for the 2nd amendment was to protect the citizenry from the tyranny that has enveloped the nation.

  30. Jerry Nelson
    February 17, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Mr. Parry…..while I have great respect of much of your work, I fear you are badly misinformed and wrongly opinionated on the 2nd Amendment and the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms. I suggest you read the follow link to better inform yourself:


    with special attention to the part labelled “History”.

  31. Paul G.
    February 17, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    This is the Swiss approach which required able bodied adults-males I think- to be trained and keep a weapon at home in case of a call up. This is more economical and less elitist than having a large standing army. Of course the Swiss don’t go around invading other countries; like our “exceptional” one.

    • Jo Blo
      February 19, 2018 at 3:11 am

      After you leave complete your service in the Swiss army, you are allowed to keep your fully automatic assault rifle, that you always kept at home as a reservist. It is then converted to semi-auto and you still keep it at home.

  32. Chad
    February 18, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I never realized it until reading this just now, but whichever interpretation of the amendment one chooses, the result is precisely the same. The AR-15 is the weapon a militaman should procure for potential duty.

  33. Andrew Traynor
    February 19, 2018 at 1:43 am

    It seems Mr Parry has not reviewed the works of the anti-federalists including those of Thomas Jefferson, Noah Webster, and Patrick Henry.

  34. Tannenhouser
    February 20, 2018 at 11:05 am

    I’m always amazed at my fellow citizens strong desire to infringe upon other’s rights in the name of safety. An armed populace is the only reason we aren’t like some of the UAE countries. Not to mention there is no (historical, that I am aware of) precedent for good things happening to citizens when guns are removed from the general population. America and Americans would be better served spending energy holding those so called representatives to account for their actions/or inactions as it may be in ALL area’s. I can guarantee if the people were taken care of there would be way less desperate people and way less desperate actions taking place.

  35. JaimeInTexas
    February 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    So, pretend that it is 1788 and the Constitution has been ratified by 9 of the former colonies, and they effectively seceded from the Articles of Confederation. There is no Bill Of Rights, no amendments at all.

    Did the FedGov have the authority then to:
    1) prohibit speech?
    2) ban the press?
    3) establish a religion?
    4) quarter soldiers in homes?
    5) ban or confiscate weapons/firearms?

    The Bill Of Rights did not grant new rights nor empowered the FedGov with new authorities/powers.

    Quoting Lincoln is rich. The POTUS that suspended Habeas Corpus, which is an Article 1 power, redefined insurrection to justified another Article 1 power, threatened military action against States in order to collect taxes and supported the Corwin Amendment (see Lincoln’s 1st inaugural).

  36. JaimeInTexas
    February 21, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    “to justified” should be “to usurp”

  37. February 26, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    It’s not about the 2nd amendment. It’s not about protecting your rights. it’s not about defending your home. It’s about having more “toys”.
    Selfish people don’t care how many people die, just as long as they can keep their guns. The slaughter of innocents is too high a price to pay for them to buy more toys. If they are such 2nd amendment purist, turn in your assault rifle and we will give you a musket. As far as you “cold dead hand people”, that would be your choice.

    • JaimeInTexas
      February 26, 2018 at 10:48 pm

      As soon as you turn in your computer and limit yourself to an actual printing press.

      BTW, are you aware that many Colonialists had more advanced weaponry than the government”s soldiers?

    • JaimeInTexas
      February 26, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      Which of your own rights did you say you are willing to give up to achieve whatever it is you think you can achieve?

  38. February 26, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    So by your logic the Founders would have supported everyone being armed to take down mass shooters, i.e. enemies of the state? At least you got that part correct.

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