ROBERT PARRY: More Second Amendment Madness

Robert Parry, founder of this site, exposed in this Jan. 2013 article the dangerous & false idea that the Constitution Framers wrote the 2nd Amendment so an armed population could fight the government the Framers had just created.

By Robert Parry
Special to Consortium News
Jan. 14, 21013
The Right’s powerful propaganda apparatus has sold millions of Americans on the dangerous and false notion that the Framers of the U.S. Constitution incorporated the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights so an armed population could fight the government that the Framers had just created.

As a result of that historical lie, many right-wingers today appear to be heeding a call to arms by buying up assault weapons at a frenetic pace. A “Gun Appreciation Day” is scheduled for the Saturday before Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural, which coincidentally falls on Martin Luther King Day. Thousands of gun owners are expected to turn out waving flags and brandishing rifles.

General Benjamin Lincoln who led a force in 1787 to put down Shays’ Rebellion in western Massachusetts. (Painting by Charles Willson Peale, Wikimedia Commons)

The organizer of that effort, right-wing activist Larry Ward, wrote that “the Obama administration has shown that it is more than willing to trample the Constitution to impose its dictates upon the American people.”

In recent weeks, this bogus narrative of the Framers seeking to encourage violence to subvert the peaceful and orderly process that they had painstakingly created in Philadelphia in 1787 also has been pushed by prominent right-wingers, such as radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News personality Andrew Napolitano

Napolitano declared: “The historical reality of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, with the same instruments they would use upon us.”

The suggestion is that armed Americans must confront the “tyrannical” Barack Obama the twice-elected President of the United States (and the first African-American to hold that office) if he presses ahead seeking commonsense gun restrictions in the face of the massacre of 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, and hundreds of other horrendous incidents of gun violence.

These “revolutionary” Americans have been persuaded that they are channeling the intent of the Framers who supposedly saw armed uprisings against the legally constituted U.S. government as an important element of “liberty.”

But that belief is not the historical reality. Indeed, the reality is almost the opposite. The Second Amendment was enacted so each state would have the specific right to form “a well-regulated militia” to maintain “security,” i.e. to put down armed rebellions.

The Framers also made clear what they thought should happen to people who took up arms against the Republic. Article IV, Section 4 committed the federal government to protect each state from not only invasion but “domestic Violence,” and treason is 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).

Second Amendment’s History

Marker at final battle of Shay’s Rebellion in South Egremont, Mass. (Wikipedia)

The historical context of the Second Amendment also belies today’s right-wing mythology. At the time of the Constitutional Convention, the young nation was experiencing violent unrest, such as the Shays’ Rebellion in western Massachusetts. That armed uprising was testing the ability of the newly independent nation to establish order within the framework of a democratic Republic, a fairly untested idea at the time. European monarchies were predicting chaos and collapse for the United States.

Among the most concerned about that possibility was General George Washington, who had sacrificed greatly for the birth of the new nation. After the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781 and their acceptance of American independence in 1783, Washington fretted over the inability of the states-rights-oriented Articles of Confederation, then governing the country, to deal with its economic and security challenges.

Washington grew disgusted with the Articles’ recognition of 13 “independent” and “sovereign” states and the correspondingly weak central government, called not even a government, but a “league of friendship.”

As Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, Washington had watched his soldiers suffer when various states reneged on their commitment to supply money and arms. After the war, Washington retired but stayed active in seeking reforms that would strengthen the central government’s ability to organize national commerce and to maintain order.

His fears deepened in 1786 when Daniel Shays, a former Continental Army captain, led an uprising of other veterans and farmers in western Massachusetts, taking up arms against the government for failing to address their economic grievances.

Washington received reports on the crisis from old Revolutionary War associates in Massachusetts, such as his longtime logistical chief, Gen. Henry Knox, and Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, who accepted the British surrender at Yorktown as Washington’s second in command. They kept Washington apprised of the disorder, which he feared might encourage renewed interference in American affairs by the British or other European powers.

On Oct. 22, 1786, in a letter seeking more information about the rebellion 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 unrest: “What is the cause of all these commotions? When and how will they end?” Washington was especially concerned about the possibility of a hidden British hand.

Lincoln responded: “Many of them [the rebels] 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 under the Articles of Confederation 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 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.”

Just weeks later, 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. The Constitution shifted national sovereignty from the 13 states to “We the People” and dramatically enhanced the power of the central government.

The key 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 order. 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 (and senators were initially chosen by state legislatures, not the people).

Within this framework of a democratic Republic where peaceful change was possible though intentionally gradual the Framers criminalized taking up arms against the government. 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 spearheaded the Anti-Federalist movement.

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. The Bill of Rights was a mix of concessions, some substantive and some rhetorical, to both individual citizens and the states.

The Second Amendment was primarily a right granted to the states. It 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.”

Madison’s political maneuvering narrowly secured approval of the Constitution in key states, such as Virginia, New York and Massachusetts. The First Congress then approved the Bill of Rights, which was ratified in 1791. [For more details on the Constitution, see Robert Parry’s America’s Stolen Narrative.]

Behind the Second Amendment

As the preface to the Second Amendment makes clear, the concern was about enabling states to organize militias that could maintain “security,” which fit with the Constitution’s goal of “domestic Tranquility” within the framework of a Republic.

This concept was amplified 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.

At the time, Madison was in the U.S. Congress and Washington was in the presidency with both supporting the new laws so the “original intent” of the Framers could not be easily misunderstood.

The right “to keep and bear arms” was always within the context of participating in militias or today the National Guard not as the right of individuals to possess devastating weapons that could be used to violently overthrow the U.S. government or to kill its officials. (The recognition of a collective rather than individual right was only reversed in 2008 when right-wing ideologues had gained control of the U.S. Supreme Court and then overturned longstanding legal precedents.)

But if there was any doubt about how the actual Framers saw the Second Amendment, it was answered in 1794 when President Washington led a combined force of state militias against the Whiskey rebels in Pennsylvania. The revolt soon collapsed; many leaders fled; and two participants were convicted of high treason and sentenced to hanging, though Washington later pardoned them.

Beyond this clear historical record that the Framers’ intent with the Second Amendment 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 and favored domestic tranquility to promote economic development and growth.

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 to repulse uprisings, whether economic clashes like Shays’ Rebellion, anti-tax protests like the Whiskey Rebellion, attacks by Native Americans or slave revolts.

Fabricated History

However, the Right has invested heavily over 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 build that narrative, a few incendiary quotes are cherry-picked, taken out of context or invented. [See, for instance, Steven Krulik’s compilation of such apocryphal references.]

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.

It should be noted, too, that Thomas Jefferson, one of the most radical-sounding (though hypocritical) leaders of the Revolutionary War, was not a Framer of the Constitution. In 1787, when the document was written, he was the U.S. representative in France.

There is also the obvious point that the Framers’ idea of a weapon was a single-shot musket that required time-consuming reloading, not a powerful semi-automatic assault rifle that could fire up to 100 bullets in a matter of seconds without the necessity to reload.

However, people like Andrew Napolitano on the Right as well as some dreamy revolutionaries on the Left still suggest that the Framers enacted the Second Amendment so the firepower of people trying to overthrow the U.S. government and kill its agents would be equal to whatever weapons the government possessed.

This crazy notion would be laughable if its consequences were not so horrible. The human price for this phony concept of “liberty” and this bogus history is the horrendous death toll that gun violence inflicts on American society, including the recent slaughter of those children in Newtown.

Yet, instead of recognizing the actual history and accepting that the Constitution was an attempt by the Framers to create a democratic process for peaceful change, today’s advocates of a violent revolution whether from the Right or the Left feed the paranoia and the ignorance of their followers.

The late investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He founded Consortium News in 1995, considered the first online, independent news site.

161 comments for “ROBERT PARRY: More Second Amendment Madness

  1. Concerned citizen
    August 20, 2019 at 02:26

    Notwithstanding unconcerned commenters who have zero appreciation for the usurpation of rights lately by the federal government, which is primarily what this website and its writers are looked upon for news, the second amendment is not about granting any rights to the government. This line of argument fails from the start. The bill of rights is actually a bill of restrictions on the government. The right to bear arms shall NOT be infringed. There is no asterick or buts connected to this statement. The rights given by your creator are Life, Liberty, and Property. You have a moral obligation to help defend these natural rights. You are wrong to think the second amendment was put there for any other reason.

    • Abe
      August 21, 2019 at 01:13

      Consortium News writers, readers and commenters concerned about the usurpation of rights by the federal government.

      They are no less concerned about the endless stream of ahistorical craptrap about the Second Amendment emitted by the gun lobby.

      The Second Amendment to the Constitution 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.”

      Gun lobby enthusiasts have no respect for the actual Bill of Rights.

  2. Concerned citizen
    August 15, 2019 at 20:22

    The “militia” is NOT the Army National Guard. If it were, there would be absolutely no reason to put this in the bill of rights. The militia is not some government institution, it consists of us, the citizens. Follow the logic. It’s that simple people.

    • Abe
      August 16, 2019 at 15:12

      Notwithstanding the ahistorical fictions propagated by gun lobby demagogues and other “simple people”, the militia has always been a government institution.

      The history of militia in the United States began in the British colonial era. Militias were first raised by British governors in Jamestown, Virginia and other early colonial settlements, where little support could be provided by British regular forces.

      In December 1636, the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s General Court passed an act calling for the creation of three regiments by organizing existing separate militia companies in the towns around Boston. The creation of the militia regiments was caused by the perceived need to defend the Bay Colony against American Indians, as well as colonists and military members from other European countries who were operating in North America, including: the French in what is now Canada; the Spanish in what is now Florida, The Carolinas, and Georgia; and the Dutch in what was then New Netherland, which comprised what is now parts of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

      The General Court required that all able-bodied men between ages 16 and 60, except judges and clergy members, be considered members of the colony’s militia, which was organized as the North, South, and East Regiments. Militia members were required to equip themselves, take part in regular training, and report to their units when called.

      During the French and Indian War, militias from several British colonies took part in various actions, including the dispatch of Virginia militia (most notably George Washington) to French outposts in the Ohio Country.

      Prior to the War of Independence the officers of militia units were commissioned by the royal governors. During the war they were commissioned either by the legislature or the chief executive of the state. After the war, commissions were typically granted by the state’s chief executive. Militias did not operate independently of the state governments, but were under the command of the civil government just like the regular military forces.

      When tensions escalated between the British government and the American colonists in the 1760s and 1770s, many citizens began organizing, equipping and training private militia units, in order to have bodies of troops that were outside the control of the royal governors.

      Militia units served in combat throughout the Revolution, as well as carrying out guard duty for prisoners, garrisoning of forts, and local patrols. On some occasions, militia members performed ineffectively, as at the Battle of Camden in North Carolina. On other occasions they performed capably, including the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Battle of Bunker Hill, Battle of Bennington, Battles of Saratoga, and Battle of Cowpens.

      Perhaps the most important role played by the militia was off the battlefield, by affecting the course of the political debate. Militia with Patriot sympathies were well established, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic and New England colonies, causing the British Army to concentrate their forces into larger, more defensible garrisons. With the countryside in the hands of the Patriot militia, neutrals or Loyalists gradually either fled to British garrisons (and from there, often to Canada) or became more accepting of the Patriot goal of independence from Great Britain.

      During the period of the Articles of Confederation, the weak federal government reduced the Continental Army to a handful of officers and soldiers. The Articles of Confederation required each state to maintain a militia, and allowed the Confederation Congress to form a standing army only with the consent of nine of the thirteen states. Such consent was not forthcoming in an era when the population still harbored a distrust of a standing army, so Congress largely left the defense of the new nation to the state militias.

      During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Federalist delegates argued for a powerful federal government, including federal control of the militia. Federalists anticipated using the military to defend the country if it were attacked, and to enforce federal laws when required.

      Anti-Federalists advocated limited federal government, and wanted continued state control over the militias. Anti-Federalists based their arguments on three points. First, the militia could be available to the federal government to resist foreign invasions. Second, the militia served as a police force in each state, enabling it to maintain order and respect for the law. Third, once the new federal government replaced the one under the Articles of Confederation, the militia would be the last defense of the states in the event that a standing army raised by the federal government was employed against the states.

      The compromise agreed to by both sides satisfied Anti-Federalists because there was no standing Army, and the militias remained the responsibility of the states, especially the appointment of officers. It satisfied the Federalists because it provided that the militia could be federalized when circumstances required it.

      The compromise between Federalists and Anti-federalists proved short-lived. In 1791 Arthur St. Clair suffered a major defeat in the Battle of the Wabash while fighting American Indians in the Northwest Territory. In response, Congress authorized the expansion of the army, and allowed for the president to call up the state militias on his own authority if circumstances required it when Congress was not in session.

      The First Militia Act of 1792 allowed the president to call up the militias in the event of a foreign invasion, in response to attacks by American Indians, and when required for the enforcement of federal law.

      The Second Militia Act of 1792 formalized the organization and training requirements of the state militias. It mandated that the militia consisted of every “free able-bodied white male citizen” between ages 18 and 45, organized as members of a local unit. (A later change expanded eligibility to all men between 18 and 54, regardless of race.) Some occupations were exempt, including stagecoach drivers and ferry operators, who would be expected to support the militia by facilitating the transport of soldiers, supplies and equipment in the event of a mobilization. There were also religious exemptions for Quakers and other denominations that advocated nonviolence.

      Militia units were required to report for training twice a year, usually in early summer (after spring planting) and late fall (after the autumn harvest but before snow fell). Militia members were required to outfit themselves and report for training or mobilization with a musket or rifle, bayonet, flints, cartridge box, bullets or musket balls, haversack or knapsack, and powder horn and gunpowder.

      State legislatures were authorized to organize local units into divisions, regiments and subordinate commands, and federalized militia members were made subject to court martial proceedings for disobeying orders and other offenses.

      Part of this reorganization included removing state governors as commanders with military rank (Captain General), and the creation of the state Adjutant General. The Adjutant General reported directly to the governor and served as commander of the state militia. States were slow to respond, and some did not begin appointing Adjutants General until after the War of 1812.

      President George Washington used the authority of the Second Act in 1794 to call up the militia in response to the Whiskey Rebellion. He did so shortly before that provision of the Second Act was about to expire. Recognizing that the authority might be needed again in the future, Congress responded by passing the Militia Act of 1795, which made permanent the President’s ability to call up the militia on his own authority if Congress was not in session.

      The use of the militia in the Whiskey Rebellion made clear that at that point, militias were not well organized, effectively trained, or capably led. Washington and other Federalists advocated the creation of a national military academy to standardize training and increase the number of citizens with military experience, and in 1802, the Army established the United States Military Academy at West Point.

      During the nineteenth century, each of the states maintained its militia differently, some more than others. American militia saw action in the various Indian Wars, the War of 1812, the American Civil War, and the Spanish–American War. Sometimes militia units were found to be unprepared, ill-supplied, and unwilling.

      Prior to the Civil War, militia units were sometimes used by southern states for slave control. Formed in 1860, Republican Party-affiliated Wide Awakes clubs were quick to take action to defend persons against southern slave-hunters. In California, the militia carried out campaigns against bandits and against the Indians at the direction of its Governor between 1850 and 1866. During Reconstruction after the Civil War, Republican state governments had militias composed almost entirely of freed slaves and populist whites. Their deployment to maintain order in the former Confederate states caused increased resentment among many Southern whites.

      After the American Civil War, secret groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Knights of the White Camellia arose quickly across the South, reaching a peak in the late 1860s. Even more significant in terms of effect were private militias: paramilitary organizations that formed starting in 1874, including the White League in Louisiana, which quickly formed chapters in other states; the Red Shirts in Mississippi in 1875, and with force in South Carolina and North Carolina; and other “white line” militias.

      In contrast to the clandestine activities of the KKK, these paramilitary organizations were open; members were often well known in their communities. Nevertheless, they used force, intimidation, and violence, including murder, to push out Republican officeholders, break up organizing, and suppress freedmen’s voting and civil rights. The paramilitary groups were described as “the military arm of the Democratic Party” and were instrumental in helping secure Democratic victories in the South in the elections of 1876.

      The official founding of the modern Army National Guard is often credited to passage of the Militia Act of 1903, which established a pattern that would continue throughout the 20th century of providing increasing federal resources and wartime relevance for the militia in return for increasing federal control over their arming, organization and training. Also called the Dick Act, for sponsor Charles W. F. Dick, The 1903 law updated the Militia Act of 1792, though it left unresolved the key question of how to compel service of the militia outside the borders of the United States, which did not fall under the Constitutionally permitted uses of the militia “to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrection and repel invasions.”

      This fundamental restriction on the use of the militia had been an unresolved dilemma for military planners since the War of 1812. This uncertainty led the federal government to bypass the state militias in favor of creating volunteer armies, as was done for the Mexican–American War, the Union Army of the American Civil War, and the U.S. forces raised for the Spanish–American War – though in each of these cases, the volunteer forces raised came largely from already existing militia companies. While the Dick Act did not compel the militia to serve overseas, the expectation was that the increase in federal funding and training would spur increased volunteerism by militia members in the event of a war.

      The Dick Act provided that states which wished to receive federal funding for their militia units had to organize their units according to standards dictated by the regular Army, and that National Guard members would have to meet the same training, education and readiness standards as their regular Army counterparts. In exchange, the federal government provided states with funding and equipment to enable militia reorganization and modernization, as well as training by regular Army officers should a governor request it.

      To repeat, the militia in the United States has always been a government institution. The modern Army National Guard traces its origins to the colonial era.

      Educated concerned citizens are not swayed by the ahistorical fictions of gun lobby enthusiasts.

      • Concerned citizen
        August 20, 2019 at 02:14

        Notwithstanding unconcerned commenters who have zero appreciation for the usurpation of rights lately by the federal government, which is primarily what this website and its writers are looked upon for news, the second amendment is not about granting any rights to the government. This line of argument fails from the start. The bill of rights is actually a bill of restrictions on the government. The right to bear arms shall NOT be infringed. There is no asterick or buts connected to this statement. The rights given by your creator are Life, Liberty, and Property. You have a moral obligation to help defend these natural rights. You are wrong to think the second amendment was put there for any other reason.

    • Boothe
      August 22, 2019 at 01:23

      Quite right. The Army National Guard is a “select militia” or a branch of the standing army. The whole idea behind militias versus “professional soldiers” was to prevent the kind of global military intervention We the People (i.e. taxpayers) are now burdened with. The idea behind the statement that “The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.” (Patrick Henry) was not that the populace could overthrow the de jure Constitutional Republic. It was to hold usurpers in awe who would pervert the federal government to their own selfish ends. It was a concept of an armed populace that no standing army would able to oppress. It goes back to the idea that if you want peace be prepared for war or “Peace through superior firepower.” In the true Spirit and language of the Second Amendment we, as law abiding Americans, have the right to own any weapons the infantryman can carry (at the very least). By the way, “assault rifles” are not semi-automatic. They are select fire, meaning full auto. I respect and admire a lot of Bob Parry’s work. But in this case he is not only dead wrong, his deep state bureaucrat is flagrantly showing.

      • Abe
        August 22, 2019 at 14:15

        Comrade “Boothe” is flagrantly dead wrong.

        Clearly expressed in the text of the Second Amendment is the whole idea of guaranteeing a “well regulated Militia” was to meet the military “security” needs of the “free State”.

        Almost immediately after the conclusion the Revolutionary War, “We the People” used both the “Militia” and the standing Army to launch a rapid succession of military interventions against the native populace, grabbing land and resources as they moved across the continent.

        There were plenty of perversions of the federal government to selfish ends along the way.

        Not content with being “burdened” merely with continental land grabs and genocide, American military interventions went global in a big way with perversions galore.

        But that’s not the only thing comrade “Boothe” is dead wrong about.

        The true Spirit and language of the Second Amendment, so clearly expressed in the phrase “well regulated Militia” is that “Militia” necessarily must be regulated by government.

        Law abiding Americans have “the right” to “keep and bear Arms” in “Militia” service that is “well regulated”

        Since the Bill of Rights were ratified in 1791, regulations concerning militia service and military arms requirements were significantly amended by subsequent federal and state laws. To say the least, the “well regulated Militia” are no longer required to supply their own arms.

        In any case, the Second Amendment does not confer “the right to own any weapons the infantryman can carry”, as comrade “Boothe” idiotically asserted.

        There’s one more thing comrade “Boothe” is dead wrong about.

        Bob Parry’s description of “semi-automatic assault rifles” is correct because selective-fire weapons, by definition, have a semi-automatic mode.

        Bob Parry is quite right in this case.

        And the gun lobby propaganda bullshit of comrade “Boothe” is flagrantly showing.

  3. Ed
    August 14, 2019 at 00:35

    “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. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”

    • Abe
      August 14, 2019 at 12:38

      The Declaration of Independence clearly uses the phrase “throw off such Government” NOT “own government”.

      The phrase “provide new Guards for their future security” has the obvious military meaning of replacing the British Army with American military forces.

      The American military system developed from a combination of the professional, national Continental Army, the state militias and volunteer regiments of the American Revolutionary War, and the similar post-Revolutionary War American military units under the Militia Act of 1792.

      After their decisive victory at Yorktown and with the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. Congress disbanded the Continental Army after the Treaty of Paris, the peace treaty with Great Britain, became effective. Congress retained 80 caretaker soldiers to protect arms and equipment at West Point, New York and Fort Pitt and called on the States to furnish 700 men from their militias for one year of service on the frontier.

      The delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 recognized the need for a more permanent military establishment and provided for a national regular army and navy and a militia under state control, subject to civilian control through congressional control of appropriations and presidential leadership as commander in chief of the regular forces and of the militia when called into federal service

      However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army. The Regular Army was at first very small and after General St. Clair’s defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, where more than 800 Americans were killed, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, which was established in 1791. and renamed the United States Army in 1796.

      Please keep posting, Ed. Your comments are very helpful in disproving the many ahistorical assertions (aka “More Second Amendment Madness”) of certain gun enthusiasts.

  4. Ed
    August 13, 2019 at 08:37

    Excerpt from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — 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. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

    Clearly, the Founders were arguing that they had the right, even the duty, to overthrow their own government (the British monarchy) by force of arms because it had devolved into a tyranny. It would be nice if bad governments could be ejected through elections or non-violent protests, and these methods should certainly be attempted before launching a horrific revolutionary war, but unfortunately tyrannical governments often need to be ‘thrown off’ through the use of armed force because the less destructive methods of political change are no longer available. If the 2nd Amendment is describing a method of raising government-controlled militias to carry out government approved missions, then why would it be included in the Bill of Rights? All governments clearly have the power to raise armed forces, and there is another section of the Constitution describing this procedure (Article I, Section 8, Clause 12). In contrast, the Bill of Rights is a list of the rights of citizens, which are not to be violated by the government.

    • Abe
      August 13, 2019 at 17:36

      Contrary to the demented ideology of gun lobby militants, the Founders never argued that they had the right or duty “to overthrow their own government” through armed force.

      The views of the Founders are clearly articulated in the Declaration of Independence

      The “history of repeated injuries and usurpations” outlined by the Founders in the Declaration specifically accused “the present King of Great Britain” of having “abdicated Government here” and “excited domestic insurrections amongst us”.

      The Founders also censured the British Crown for forcing captive “Citizens” to “bear Arms against their Country”.

      Thus the unequivocal military meaning of the phrase “bear arms” as it appears in both Declaration of Independence and the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

      Contrary to the ahistorical assertions of certain gun enthusiasts, examination of the actual documents makes it clear that the Founders regarded attempts to “overthrow their own government” by force of arms as a grave offense.

      The Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights clearly addresses the right to “bear Arms” for the “security” of the “State”, not its violent “overthrow”.

  5. The Blue Fairy
    August 12, 2019 at 23:50

    If Washington had given up at Valley Forge, we’d all be speaking English today.

  6. Abe
    August 12, 2019 at 20:53

    Schulman’s 1991 article in Gun Week spins Ray Copperud’s analysis of the text of the Second Amendment to promote a conclusion that actually contradicts Copperud’s analysis.

    Copperud’s analysis of the text – “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.” – is summarized by Copperud in a simple and accurate conclusion:

    “The right to keep and bear arms is asserted as essential for maintaining a militia.”

    Schulman’s “numbered questions” usher Copperud away from this conclusion.

    Schulman’s questions also attempt to sidestep the key issue that the Framers of the US Constitution sought to address with the inclusion of the Second Amendment: the fact, recently demonstrated by the Revolutionary War, border conflicts, insurrections, and the eminent threat of attack by European powers, that maintaining a “well-regulated Militia”was then “necessary to the security of a free State”.

    Nevertheless, Copperud makes it entirely clear that the phrase “well-regulated Militia” means “subject to regulations of a superior authority”.

    Copperud directly asserts that “this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military”.

    In fact, Copperud’s analysis of the text makes it very clear that the Second Amendment primarily addresses the military “security” needs of the newly “free State” that required appropriate regulation and civilian control.

    Expanding Copperud’s tectual analysis to include the historical context, it is obvious that an Amendment to the Constitution ensuring that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” guaranteed at least a minimal supply of small firearms to equip a “well-regulated militia” deemed “necessary” for “security” of the “free State”.

    In other words, the “right of the people to keep and bear Arms” was necessary to equip a “well-regulated” citizen “militia” in the absence of sufficient professional military force “necessary” to maintain national “security” for the new and expanding “free State”.

    Thus the Second Amendment is completely unconcerned about individual “liberty” to “keep and bear arms” in order to indulge in a personal pastime or take unlawful action, nor does it guarantee an unconditional “right” of “people” to “keep and bear” specific types of firearms or ammunition.

    Given that the primary concern of the Second Amendment is military, “arms” matters are to be “well-regulated” and under civilian control in accordance with legal mechanisms provided by the Constitution.

    Ignoring the text of the Second Amendment, Schulman selectively uses Copperud’s textual analysis in a feeble attempt to make the Second Amendment say what the gun lobby wants it to say.

    Antonin Scalia did something similar in the majority opinion of District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).

    • Abe
      August 12, 2019 at 23:50

      America’s dark history of armed “Militia” violence is detailed in “Necessary to the Security of a Free State” by Angelo Guisado, an Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights:

      “Historically, we didn’t just fete militia rights, we enshrined them in our federal Constitution. As the Second Amendment provides, ‘[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.’ In his notorious 2008 opinion in the Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller, Justice Scalia struck down a District of Columbia handgun ban as violative of the Second Amendment. In the process, Justice Scalia famously divided the Amendment in two:

      – the ‘prefatory” clause: ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,’ and
      – the ‘operative’ clause: ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’

      “Panned for his ahistorical analysis and cheap division, Scalia focused on appeasing the neo-conservative desire for an individual right to own firearms—elides over an important, almost unmissable point in the prefatory clause. In passing the Second Amendment, the federal government explicitly conceded that White America needed militias, and that militias were ‘necessary to the security of a free State.’ Scalia was simply using the judicial branch to reassert a rationale adopted by the legislative. After all, the American government has long authorized vigilantism, border-based and elsewhere.

      “Federal and state laws have, at times very explicitly, encouraged white men to defend this country’s nationalist visions because the government needed them to. From explicit federal laws such as the Militia Acts of 1792 (and 1795), to direct state sanction such as what occurred during Tennessee’s Creek War of 1813-1814, American institutions have used militias to forcibly depopulate land. Militias were essential to effectuate the country’s goal of seizing the American continent and establishing a white-led, capitalist state. The government couldn’t violently expropriate that territory all on its own, so it authorized its citizens do it for them. As scholar Roxane Dunbar Ortiz perfectly hammers home in her book, Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, the government appointed white nationalist militias as an essential part of the existing political-economic order and protected them however it could. It paved the way for genocide. Meanwhile, seeing little conflict with other constitutional guarantees, the Supreme Court then upheld these laws under the guise that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to “’assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of militia forces.’

      “America’s obsession with militias dates back to colonial times. As early as 1705, slave patrols tasked with capturing and returning escaped slaves were mandatory in colonies like Virginia. These militias were necessarily armed. White men were required by law to carry guns to school, work, and church. Virginia and Massachusetts even once required every household to possess a firearm and a certain amount of ammunition. As the institution of slavery proliferated and the number of slaves expanded, so too did armed white vigilantism. This antebellum institution culminated in the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which forcibly compelled citizens to assist, by force if necessary, in capturing runaway slaves.

      “At the close of the Civil War, in 1867, Congress suddenly outlawed Southern militias. But by then, militia culture, and its violent, hetero-patriarchal brand of viperine hatred formed an integral part of white Southern culture. In fact, the federal law proved so controversial that Congress revoked it barely a year later. Militia culture lived on, mounting on full display in the anti-reconstructionist movements and the rise of white vigilante groups like the infamous Ku Klux Klan and the lesser-known White League, which terrorized black communities and executed black militiamen who sought to exercise the same rights. In his vigorous dissent to Scalia’s opinion in Heller, Justice Stevens recounted the macabre tale of Jim Williams. Williams, a Freedman and captain of a Black-led South Carolina “’militia company,’ met a grisly fate in March of 1871 when six KKK members lynched and shot him for exercising his Second Amendment rights. The right to a militia has always meant the right to a white militia.

      “Not satisfied with subjugating merely Blacks in its quest for total racial dominance, the United States actively encouraged militias to forcibly remove and, if necessary, exterminate entire Native American tribes. The chief architects of this plan included Andrew Jackson. Before his ascent to the Presidency in 1829, Jackson had led a militia comprised of more than 2,500 West Tennesseans. During the Creek War, the Tennessee legislature charged him and his militia to ‘exterminate the Creek Nation,’ a task for which Jackson was handsomely rewarded. Over his two terms as President, Jackson ordered federal troops to systematically steal upwards of 20 million acres of land from Native Americans, killing thousands in the process. Meanwhile, Congress legalized these genocidal and expropriatory missions by ratifying the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and supporting massacres like the Trail of Tears, which remains perhaps this nation’s most crystalline depiction of ethnic cleansing. Once again, the government found allies in settler militias, armed vigilantes, and bellicose opportunists who seized the chance to enrich themselves at the expense of the destruction and control of Native communities.

      “No signs of abatement showed as the country marched westward. As historian Greg Grandin brilliantly articulates in his new book The End of the Myth, the United States needed willing violent zealots and foot soldiers to wage successful frontier warfare. Settlers pursued ethnic cleansing with the explicit goal of depopulating land that they could then claim for themselves and off of which they could profit. Forcible seizure of land was, and always will be, a fully capitalist undertaking.”

  7. Bob Stewart
    August 12, 2019 at 17:08

    Let us remove guns from the 2nd amendment and insert something more innocuous say books. This is not original with me but worth sharing. Consider the following:
    “A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.’
    Amendment II
    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.
    [Copperud:] “(1) your ‘scientific control’ sentence precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure.
    “(2) There is nothing in your sentence that either indicates or implies the possibility of a restricted interpretation.”
    The Copperud in the above statement is a professor of journalism at USC. The complete exchange can be found here”
    The article above simply ignores the basic English of the amendment as can be seen in this example. As far as the use of the firearms there are not restriction on them. But one of the many reasons would be a militia. A militia is made up not of professional soldiers but citizens. So until we can walk into a store and purchase a cannon, machine gun, rifle, or pistol with the same ease as we can buy any other product then our 2nd amendment rights have been infringed. There were privately owned cannons as well as a proto-type machine gun (Puckle gun) long before the constitution convention.

    • Abe
      August 13, 2019 at 03:32

      Schulman’s 1991 propaganda exercise, “The Unabridged Second Amendment”, simply ignores the fact that the “right of the people to keep and bear Arms” is specifically and exclusively addressed by the Second Amendment insofar as is “necessary to the security of a free State”.

      Copperud must depart from grammatical analysis to acknowledge “the desire of the writers” and admit the historical reality that the Second Amendment right “assumed to exist and to be unconditional” is “invoked here specifically for the sake of the militia”.

      Encouraged by Schulman, Copperud employs some “usage” acrobatics to paper over the obvious contradiction between a purported “unconditional” right and its very conditional deployment by the “State” for “security” purposes.

      Pure grammatical analysis commonly leads to logical fallacy.

      Logical fallacy is clearly demonstrated by Schulman’s purported “scientific control” sentence:

      “A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.”

      Copperud claims the sentence “precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure”.

      Unfortunately, Schulman’s “scientific control” sentence, indeed his entire screed, makes very little sense in terms of the 2nd Amendment’s obvious military focus on what is “necessary to the security of a free State”.

      Perhaps Schulman imagines dramatic Revolutionary War battles with British troops defeated by a withering barrage of books thrown by his well-schooled colonial electorate.

      Given Schulman’s obvious penchant for absurdities (one cannot even credit him with intellectual dishonesty), one can only imagine the carnage that might ensue should one of Schulman’s admirers decide to stop “obeying judges” and walk into a store and purchase a cannon.

  8. Greg Cantin
    August 12, 2019 at 16:29

    You and Joe Luria can both go jump in the same lake. Both of you are ignorant twats with an agenda that leads to complete tyranny. Why should I continue to follow anything CN writes if your 2 big a-holes have this perspective? Lost tons of respect for this outfit in the last few days… Time for me to say… Fuck OFF!! Cyas when your kids are slaves to the man and must ask permission to walk outside after 7 pm.

  9. Jerry C Nelson
    August 12, 2019 at 16:27

    I’m surprised that Mr. Parry got this so wrong. The US Constitution doesn’t grant any rights to the states: they had all right themselves originally and only agree to allow the new federal government to act in a limited fashion as shown in Article 1 Section 8. And, as the 9th and 10th Amendments show, all else was left to the states themselves, or the people. Besides, the notion that the 2nd Amendment permitted keeping and bearing arms only for militia duty is clearly demolished by the many statements of the Founders expressing their desire that the entire people be armed. Why should they be dismissed? Finally, The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to enunciate the limitations of the federal government, not to ‘grant’ rights to the states. The rights already existed and the purpose was to protect the people FROM federal government violation of them.

  10. jsinton
    August 12, 2019 at 15:10

    Don’t you think Mr. Parry might have changed his mind somewhat? That in light of elements of the government engaging in felonious seditious conspiracy to frame a sitting President of the United States, that Mr. Parry might feel differently about the Second Amendment if he were alive today?

    • rgl
      August 13, 2019 at 12:42

      “Feelings” do not have any bearing on legal writ. It is obvious that people have different ‘feelings’ about amendment 2, however that changes not a thing. The right to bear arms is an incorporated militia under civilian control. Whatever your feelings may be.

  11. Henry Molander
    August 12, 2019 at 10:59
  12. certainquirk
    August 12, 2019 at 10:13

    No reasonable argument exists to take away my freedom and liberty to possess a gun. When the debate ends, those who believe it is in society’s best interest will come to take my gun. But how will they do it?

    At the point of a gun.

    Therefore, any argument you presented is irrational; you are now a socialist thug holding a gun to my libertarian head. That’s how the story ends. You’ve become the monster you claim I am.

    No, don’t even move your mouth to rebut, it’s a short post, just re-read it and let it sink in. You’re a monster.

    • Jim Meeks
      August 12, 2019 at 10:47

      If you honestly think your weapon, no matter the type, will make a difference in facing even the militarized police, never mind the armed forces, you are living in la la land where life is beautiful all the time. And yet you think I am the one being irrational.

      • certainquirk
        August 12, 2019 at 14:30

        When every citizen is highly encouraged to be armed, open-carrying, there will be no worries about militarized police. The good cops will have a much easier job of things. The bad cops are going to be living in the real world, unrespected, watched like hawks, and dead on the spot when they begin shooting or beating another innocent victim to death.

        In other words, just re-read the original post and try not to spread red herrings, they stink, like the argument to pretend to be.

      • August 12, 2019 at 15:58


      • August 12, 2019 at 17:06

        @ “If you honestly think your weapon, no matter the type, will make a difference in facing even the militarized police, never mind the armed forces, you are living in la la land where life is beautiful all the time.”

        That’s roughly what the English said about American colonists. And that viewpoint blinks past the reality of the U.S. government’s failure to win a single counter-insurgency war in the modern era.

        We are not yet to the point when the American peasants grab their pitchforks to march on the rich, but events are definitely moving in that direction. When it happens, I would not want to be one of the rich.

    • TimN
      August 12, 2019 at 15:58

      No, its nonsense, and I didn’t need to reread it. Thanks for keeping it short.

  13. R.Oro
    August 12, 2019 at 04:57

    Let’s face it, the Second Amendment is a poorly structured sentence. As it is, however, it breaks down into two parts, which are in tension with each other…

    Part one: A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,

    Part two: the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    Parry focuses only on part one, while neglecting part two, which in fact qualifies part one. What do we the people want? To secure a free State. What makes a State free? The absence of infringement upon the natural rights of its people. What is necessary to insure this happy state of affairs? A well-regulated Militia. How is a Militia well-regulated? By the right of the people to keep (privately possess) and bear (in public) arms.

    The two parts go hand in hand – when the people neglect to exercise their right, the Militia is no longer well-regulated; consequently, the Militia becomes an instrument of tyranny, and the people are prevented from exercising their right… And a cycle towards civil war ensues. I’m afraid this is the state of affairs in which we find ourselves.

    • CitizenOne
      August 12, 2019 at 23:56

      I believe that the Second Amendment is such a poorly worded sentence because it was trying to find a weasel worded compromise between the two points or parts you stated which are:

      Part one: A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,

      Part two: the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

      I agree that Parry only focuses on one part.

      The argument Parry presents wherein George Washington was aghast at the Shay’s rebellion in Massachusetts and thought that such a foolish rebellion would be seen by the wider world as a failure of the new nation and who believed and earnestly advocated for a military action to crush it is undeniable. That was George Washington’s view of the matter. No doubt that George Washington took that passionate argument to the Constitutional Convention based on Shay’s Rebellion and argued for a strong militia that would be authorized to put down threats by the force of arms if those threats were irreconcilable through peaceful means. In other words Washington argued that those opposed to the laws of the Constitution should be thwarted with military action if necessary in order to preserve the new nation and its laws and also as a show of strength that the new nation could defend itself if required. This all make sense and I’m sure nobody disagreed that the sovereignty of the new nation should be authorized to put down rebellions that threatened the basis of the law.

      However there is the second part of the sentence which I believe represented the view of James Madison and also the many writings of Thomas Jefferson which held that the right to bear arms should be extended to the people as an essential part of the amendment. There are numerous writings from James Madison and Thomas Jefferson that argued that if citizens were not allowed to defend their personal property including use of arms then their right to protect and preserve their private property was not protected and could become confiscated by a government action. There was also historical precedent in English law predating the Constitution in The English Bill of Rights from 1689 that the framers could draw upon for guidance in what a Bill of Rights should contain. Among the many rights and protections for the citizens of England listed were:

      Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law

      It also listed twelve prohibitions of King James’s policies by which King James II had designed to “endeavor to subvert and extirpate the protestant religion, and the laws and liberties of this kingdom” Among the arguments for a bill of rights was cited:

      “By causing Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law”

      There can be no doubt that the Bill of Rights enacted in England in 1689 was a basis for consideration for incorporation into the Bill of Rights for the Framers especially James Madison and George Mason.

      So when a Bill of Rights was incorporated into the Constitution the Second Amendment was necessarily weasel worded to satisfy the two camps. On one side was the Washington view that well regulate militias were required and on the other side was the precedence of the English Bill of Rights and its protections for citizens to bear arms for personal defense lest a King could come along and enact laws to disarm them.

      So the final poorly worded sentence covered the needs and wants of both camps with this.

      Part one: A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,

      Part two: the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

      I am sure that even Robert Parry would agree that one of the biggest obstacles to accurate understanding of World events is the one sided approach to most news articles which presents one side of an argument but not the other in order to advance its agenda.

      With the view that the Second Amendment was attempting to protect states rights and individual rights to arm themselves against unwarranted and illegal actions by a federal government in the same vein as The English Bill of Rights was a measure to prevent disarming Protestants by the unlawful actions of a King we can see that there really are two parts to this amendment.

      Part one: A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,

      Part two: the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

      The current debate over the meaning of this amendment too often supports one part to the exclusion of the other. The current argument over the interpretation of the Second Amendment is that the entire amendment is all about the rights of states to form a militia while ignoring and often arguing against any notion that the amendment addressees the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms.

      This view is wrong. If we could only see that the Second amendment provides for and authorizes both state militias and individual rights to keep and bear arms then the meaning of this poorly worded amendment can be fully understood and much of the arguments claiming it has nothing to do with gun owners and everything to do with government militias would be nullified.

      Not only that but the amendment would make a whole lot more sense to everyone.

  14. Jaque
    August 12, 2019 at 01:46

    You expect me to believe this communist propaganda from an unknown author with unknown credentials versus the words of a former Federal judge. This propaganda piece is full of errors, that perhaps fellow communists would believe.

  15. August 11, 2019 at 22:47

    Look at “Nunn v. State – 1837”.

    Nor is the right involved in this discussion less comprehensive or valuable: “The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is, that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right, originally belonging to our forefathers, trampled under foot by Charles I. and his two wicked sons and successors, reestablished by the revolution of 1688, conveyed to this land of liberty by the colonists, and finally incorporated conspicuously in our own Magna Charta!

  16. John Wright
    August 11, 2019 at 21:20

    If Mr. Parry had been with me in the Denver International Airport in 2008 he might think differently.

    I was simply passing through the security checkpoint on my way home when the TSA massively over-reacted and tried to arrest me.

    Surrounded by 12 armed men, half of them Denver police, and with my hands cuffed behind my back, I calmly asserted that I had done nothing illegal and had rights.

    The black uniformed DHS officer, smiled, and replied “No sir, you’re in a Federal Protection Area and have no rights here.”

    The lead Denver police officer, realizing that I had not broken any law, then encouraged the others to jerk me around by the handcuffs in a vain effort to get me to “resist” their attempt to arrest me for no valid reason. It failed spectacularly.

    They then proceeded to prevent me from catching my flight while pointlessly interrogating me about anything and everything they could think of, frustrated in the growing realization that they had nothing on me and were being exposed for the thugs they were. My refusal to be bullied eventually led their lead interrogator to threaten me with a “no trespass order” which would prevent me from using that airport to fly home, unless I kept my mouth shut.

    (As they had accused me of being a “terrorist” I simply asked that if they considered me a terrorist, why did they let my suitcase be loaded on the plane and flown, as was that not a potential threat to the plane? They responded with some nonsense about the difference between domestic and international flights and September 11th and didn’t appreciate the fact that I reminded them that those were all domestic flights, as well.)

    They then brought the customer service representative of the airline I was booked on down and, in front of me, strongly recommended that I be banned for life from that airline. I was not allowed to respond to their spurious and mendacious claims at that time.

    Eventually, I was released with no explanation or apology and escorted out of their security area. Only four of the Denver police officers provided the identification I requested.

    With the kind assistance of the above mentioned customer service representative, I found another airline to fly home on about six hours later. At his suggestion I used an alternate security screening gate and had no problems.

    After a bit of research I discovered that the Feds can declare a “Federal Protection Area” anywhere they want without notice, thus giving themselves the power to rendition any U.S. citizen whenever they want. This power was created during the Bush years, but Obama only increased the power of the unitary executive, giving himself the power to order the extra-judicial execution of any U.S. citizen designated by the executive as a “terrorist”. He availed himself of that power before passing it along to the present occupant of the White House, a truly unstable and capricious individual.

    This is the tyranny of pre-Magna Carta kings, so 800 years of law have been wiped away with a simple stroke of a pen.

    The electoral system is clearly corrupt and no real remedy is being actively pursued. Thus, we are not able to vote our way to a solution to this and countless other infringements on our basic rights, which only seem to increase every year.

    One only needs to read the Declaration of Independence to understand why the founders felt the need to protect the individual right to bear arms.

    This is the tyranny we face today and, if left unchecked and uncorrected through non-violent means, will continue to fester until our only recourse is armed revolt.

    Unfortunately, as long as the increasingly militarized police and the over-sized military have “military style” arms, U.S. citizens need access to them.

    So, yes, we do need well regulated local militias comprised of individuals who are well armed. They could also assist with fires, floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters, without the guns, of course, unless they were needed to prevent looting and other lawlessness (much better than the private military contractors now used in such circumstances).

    FTR, I’m about as “left” as you can get and a life-long pacifist, but I’m not stupid and understand history.

    Fight for transparent verifiable elections with paper ballots and then vote for people who will roll back the ever-increasing lethal capacity of the government, both local and national.

    Only after our potential domestic oppressors have disarmed, can we be reasonably expected to voluntarily disarm to an equivalent level.

    While I own no guns at this time, I have plenty of friends who do, just regular family folks who understand the reality we face today.

    • Sam F
      August 12, 2019 at 06:28

      Very true, unfortunately. “This is the tyranny of pre-Magna Carta kings, so 800 years of law have been wiped away with a simple stroke of a pen.”

      I am directly challenging the abject and nationwide corruption of our fake federal judiciary, who have explicitly wiped out the constitutional rights of all citizens. They simply lie that the government can no longer be sued because they say so, making outright perjuries as to the the laws, denying that any court has jurisdiction, making up facts, faking up misquotes of laws.

      The situation is much, much worse than citizens know. We must abandon the childish dream that the courts will protect us from extremes: the courts are the extremes. Of the 40-50 federal judges I have tested with actual ironclad cases, all of them are outright perjurers, operatives of the political faction of money power, and extortionists of bribes for the Rethuglicans. There is no longer even a pretense of fairness to citizens who are not of the money party or their own ethnicity, etc. They lie outright and simply suppress public awareness by letting nothing into the mass media. That is our judiciary.

      People bury their fears in the myth of the judge as Santa Claus who will protect them from wrongs, because
      1. their bought-out mass media says so;
      2. they cannot get the facts, only copies of corrupt judgments;
      3. they know that the rest of the government is corrupt;
      4. they wish to believe that they still have courts to restore democracy, and
      5. they don’t know what to do about judicial corruption.

      Judicial corruption is the last phase of the corruption of democracy, and it is now complete.
      Don’t be fooled by platitudes and conformism.

  17. Arthur
    August 11, 2019 at 18:03

    There is something profoundly amusing about progressives making arguments based on the “original intent” of the framers of the Constitution.

    Please, progressives have been teaching us for decades that original intent doesn’t matter, that the US Constitution is a living, breathing document that evolves with the times.

    The modern understanding of the Second Amendment which Mr. Parry excoriates merely represents the evolving understanding of a basic human right under modern conditions in the face of a growing police state…. And Mr. Parry pleads against it on the basis of “original intent?”

    • CitizenOne
      August 11, 2019 at 22:57

      There is also something profoundly amusing about conservatives arguing that the modern interpretations of the Second Amendment should hold sway based on “the modern understanding of the Second Amendment”. Conservatives have been arguing for decades that only the original intent matters and also argue that only orthodox adherence to the wording of the Constitution and strict interpretation of the original intent of the framers is legitimate. All other more progressive views are decried by conservatives as revisionist liberal interpretations. That is also the view of the Federalist Society which views government laws enacted since the Constitution was ratified as “extra constitutional” laws and a illegal interpretation.

      For conservatives to be true to their decades of mandating a strict interpretation of the Constitution there can be no honest “modern understanding of the Constitution”. There can be no “evolving understanding of a basic human right under modern conditions in the face of a growing police state”.

      Conservatives have launched a decades long war against activist judges and have been successful at confirming Supreme Court Justices such as Samuel Alito based on their arguments that only strict adherents to the original intent of the US Constitution can combat the revisionist liberal leaning SCOTUS justices that were appointed in former administrations.

      “The modern understanding of the Second Amendment which Mr. Parry excoriates merely represents the evolving understanding of a basic human right under modern conditions” is counter to the strict interpretation mandate that conservatives have been demanding for decades. Conservatives have decried any form of modern interpretation of the Constitution as evidenced by the decades long plan to nominate strict constructionists to the courts and conservative organizations like the Federalist Society which demand a return to the original text of the Constitution and seek to abolish all laws that came after that.

      So yes, there is something profoundly hypocritical about conservatives making arguments based on “The modern understanding of the Second Amendment” that merely represents “the evolving understanding of a basic human right under modern conditions”

      Conservatives who believe that they can defend their revisionist views of the Second Amendment because it “merely represents the evolving understanding of a basic human right under modern conditions in the face of a growing police state.” should look in the mirror since their history has shown conservatives demanding strict constructionists appointed to every level of government.

      • Arthur
        August 12, 2019 at 11:09

        Ah, very true. Plenty of inconsistency to go around.

        But it was, after all, Mr. Parry who wrote this article. It is Mr. Parry who in his argument is not being true to his general principles. So it is Mr. Parry’s inconsistency and hypocrisy that are under discussion, not what conservatives might or might not argue.

        If Mr. Parry had followed his principles, he would not have advanced the argument that he did, and the weight of judicial precedent would have led him to a different conclusion. It is both strange and amusing to behold. Let’s have some amusement out of it!

  18. robert e williamson jr
    August 11, 2019 at 16:59

    I reviewed what I know about the “Free Fire Zones” in Vietnam. I also wikied the NRA.

    An observation: The wiki claims that the NRA was bipartisan until 1970. What changed. In large part I believe the move into politics was driven by the termoil produced from Vietnam.

    In March of 1968 the My Lia massacre happened and first Lt. William Calley was made a scapegoat. He took the fall for something he had been encouraged to do. An encouragement that came from his commanders who needed body counts and the dearths of his men who were sent into harms way completely unnecessarily. By design.

    The natives were restless, war protesters and such, and the opposition to fire arms ownership at the time promoted the passage of , in the case of Illinois that all owners of firearms must apply and obtain and FOID card with photo id. This happened in 1968. I got home on May 3rd and May 4rth the Kent Sate shooting occurred.

    The war in Vietnam ended and the arming of America began in earnest. American eats it’s own young and forever wars prove it.

    Now U.S. law enforcement kills with the same impunity as those generals who needed “body counts” to get promoted. High body counts were needed to pump up military fitness reports for officers. .

    Go ahead and wiki wiki Maj. General Samuel K Koster, or simply go to Things in this have only gotten worse.

    Those deadly weapons of Vietnam haunt us today. Just as the deadly actions by law enforcement haunt us. Far too many in law enforcement come from the military community and are not vetted adequately.

    We have a very significant gun problem because of bullshit wars and both parties are responsible for this situation. One thing Trump has done is to flush the crazies out of hiding with his talk of total annihilation of others. He is very sick and so are those who commit serial murders.

    If you don’t know anything about free fire zones you need to learn. Our country at it’s absolute worst, before Iraq that is.

    You cannot make this stuff up!

  19. L. Vincent Anderson
    August 11, 2019 at 13:01

    While Mr. Parry’s fine article does not directly address DC v. Heller, in which the S. Ct. upheld an individual’s right to bear arms in the way Parry denigrated, he mentions ‘Judge’ Napolitano and FOX. My onetime paralegal, Jeanne M. Haskin, has extended this analysis to corporate control of the terms of the debate, in her book, When All Roads Lead to the Standoff: How Corporate Governance Fuels White Supremacy (Algora Press, 2016)

  20. jacob rothstein
    August 11, 2019 at 08:12

    I have no argument with this rendering of historical fact. But given that this was an era when the US had no standing military, what would Washington and Madison have recommended as a remedy against tyranny at a time when local police are using military hardware against unarmed civilians who protest for grievances? What would the founders suggest we do when faced with a global effort to enslave the general population, keep us all in debt, impoverished, uneducated, poisoned by chemicals and unable to provide for our own health? What tools remain to us to fight what has clearly devolved into a tyrannical government? The FBI pronouncement that they will imprison anyone who exposes government propaganda as propaganda – i.e. end freedom of speech and freedom of the press – is clearly unconstitutional. But now we have courts packed with judges who crave enslaving the populace and are ready to ignore the constitution in total.
    What would the founders suggest as a remedy to this. We cannot peacefully overthrow a despotic government, where elections are hopelessly rigged against us. That is not possible. What is the remedy? I am asking.

  21. Johan
    August 11, 2019 at 06:27

    Why would any American 2 born with a brain” shop at Walmarts.
    That is the Question American Citizens seem unable to answer, and why is that?
    Maybe they know they are contributing to the Gun Crime and 10,00o’s of deaths every year in America.
    How can Illinois have such strict Gun Laws, but you can drive into Indiana in 55 minutes from Chicago and purchase any Gun.

    If Americans keep feeding the profits of Walmarts , they contribute to the killing of there own citizens and other nationalities , I would dare to go as far as to say, Americans lack the intelligence to realize by stopping using Walmarts, they can make an impact.

    Now other countries Embassy’s need to warn there own citizens against visiting the USA.
    Americans need to Boycott Walmarts and start to make change happen

  22. CitizenOne
    August 10, 2019 at 22:55

    The creation of the Constitution had aims to provide inalienable rights for property owners. It was largely that the British government had unfair business practices no different than how third world nations are treated today and why they rebel for the same reasons. India suffered under British rule and waged a war for independence from it. Colonial powers all over were leeches sucking the wealth out of nations lining their pockets with riches. They still are. We wanted to keep the riches here so a bunch of rich folk got together and decided how to keep the rich folk across the pond from stealing their hard stolen money. Back then such “persons” as women, slaves, servants, were not the people the framers were concerned about. They were concerned about their wallets.

    However they also knew that in every case where despotism rose up there would be another revolution, another King George who just lost his piggy bank and these guys sure did not want that to happen again. What to do what to do…..

    First build a nation of sovereign states. Less chance for revolution or tyrany.
    Second build a national constitution that has a ton of checks and balances. Less chance for dictators and tyrants.
    Third, put in the stuff we forgot.
    Stuff we forgot about:
    1. What about religion? Oh heck yeah! That is always involved with tyrannical rule. Just look at the history of Europe. Yeah, we absolutely do not want to repeat that crap. Break that stuff up right now. Way too much power than any government should ever have. Read that as we don’t mess with your gang and our gang won’t mess with yours. That’s that.

    2. What about fighting a tyrannical ruler or a rebellion if it should arise? Do you actually think we should just leave that out of the Constitution? Uhhh. How about we say something like “Give States the right to defend themselves” and put that in writing if we don’t want a tyrant to come a knockin. But, uh what if the State is the tyrant here? Put it in that the people have the right to fight that with arms. What it comes right down to and we know it because we lived it. Once that mess gets going there really is no way to get rid of it at some point. You have to fight it. Let’s face it. We lived under the thumbs of those brits for one hundred and fifty years and in the end the only way we were ever going to get a fair deal was to overthrow them by force.

    So let’s see, people have the right to defend themselves with arms, states have the right to form militias to fight attackers from above or below and the federal government can’t take these checks and balances away from either the states or the people (property owners).

    It is very true that the framers were very scared their creation would not last just as the article states. However they weren’t just worrying about keeping it through the use of force from a rebellion. George Washington was certainly of the mindset that any band of rebels opposed to the new government should be crushed by force of arms and he got his way with the Whiskey Rebellion using state militias. Others such as Jefferson felt that everything was fine with a little rebellion once in a while and there were bound to be uprisings.

    So although there were certainly views on both sides fearing that rebels might ruin the democracy or the ruination would come at the hands of a tyrant. So they created the second amendment. If anything, the relationship between Shay’s Rebellion and the Second Ammendmet would have had two arguments. One by Washington who wanted to use it as an example of the threat to the Constitution and wanted powers to suppress rebellions and secondly the completely different frames of mind for Jefferson and Madison who can be arguably labeled the authors of the Constitution. Both of these men were more concerned with the formation of a tyrannical government the likes of which they suffered greatly under British rule.

    So the very same arguments we are having today over the meaning of the Second Amendment to the Constitution were going on back when they crafted the language. The language is crafted to reconcile what the framers were arguing over. On one side was Washington concerned with the federal governments ability to put down unlawful rebellions lest the nation become a laughing stock and the joke of every European prediction of failure for the upstart nation. On the other side the equally troubling problems held by Jefferson and Madison that if people and states could not effectively defend themselves from an emerging tyranny then the republic would be lost. This fear from Jefferson especially is the core of his doctrine. Jefferson believed and Madison too that without the ability to defend their property it would be stolen from then just as the colonists were looted while also being prohibited from defending their property.

    The enduring legacy of the framers and the enduring nature of our nation is because they went beyond the typical capture the flag exercises of most revolutions replacing the old ruler with a new one. This was a chance to write the rules so that all of the bad stuff that had just happened could not happen while keeping all the good stuff. That for the most part was concerned about property rights and taxes but there was also the humanitarian stuff too since they had personally experienced the oppression themselves.

    So essentially, the Second Amendment is really worded both ways. It allows states to form well regulated militias AND it states that the people’s right to bear arms (for their personal defense) shall not be infringed. Washington, Jefferson and Madison were happy campers in the end.

    All of this does not address what to do about the currently completely crazy situation that is going on. My opinion is that if you want to ban guns as a remedy you need to amend the Constitution to do so.

  23. Abe
    August 10, 2019 at 22:41

    Robert Parry is absolutely correct about the basic historical facts concerning the 2nd Amendment and the Framers of the Constitution.

    Framer James Madison had a pivotal role in drafting and promoting the Constitution of the United States and the United States Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment.

    Madison was the main force behind the ratification of the Bill of Rights. The basic historical facts are as follows:

    The armed forces that won the American Revolution consisted of the standing Continental Army created by the Continental Congress, together with regular French army and naval forces and various state and regional militia units. In opposition, the British forces consisted of a mixture of the standing British Army, Loyalist militia and Hessian mercenaries.

    Following the Revolution, the United States was governed by the Articles of Confederation. Federalists argued that this government had an unworkable division of power between Congress and the states, which caused military weakness, as the standing army was reduced to as few as 80 men. They considered it to be bad that there was no effective federal military response to Shays’ Rebellion, an armed tax rebellion in western Massachusetts. Anti-federalists on the other hand took the side of limited government and sympathized with the rebels, many of whom were former Revolutionary War soldiers.

    Before a quorum was reached at the Philadelphia Convention on May 25, 1787, Madison worked with other members of the Virginia delegation, especially Edmund Randolph and George Mason, to create and present the Virginia Plan. The Virginia Plan was an outline for a new federal constitution; it called for three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial), a bicameral Congress (consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives) apportioned by population, and a federal Council of Revision that would have the right to veto laws passed by Congress. Reflecting the centralization of power envisioned by Madison, the Virginia Plan granted the U.S. Senate the power to overturn any law passed by state governments.

    Subsequently, the Constitutional Convention proposed in 1787 to grant Congress exclusive power to raise and support a standing army and navy of unlimited size. Anti-federalists objected to the shift of power from the states to the federal government, but as adoption of the Constitution became more and more likely, they shifted their strategy to establishing a bill of rights that would put some limits on federal power.

    Though the Virginia Plan was an outline rather than a draft of a possible constitution, and though it was extensively changed during the debate, its use at the convention has led many to call Madison the “Father of the Constitution.” During the course of the convention, Madison spoke over two hundred times, and his fellow delegates rated him highly. Delegate William Pierce wrote that “in the management of every great question he evidently took the lead in the Convention … he always comes forward as the best informed man of any point in debate.” Madison believed that the constitution produced by the convention “would decide for ever the fate of republican government” throughout the world, and he kept copious notes to serve as an historical record of the convention.

    After the Philadelphia Convention ended in September 1787, Madison convinced his fellow Congressmen to remain neutral in the ratification debate and allow each state to vote upon the Constitution. Throughout the United States, opponents of the Constitution, known as Anti-Federalists, began a public campaign against ratification. In response, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay began publishing a series of pro-ratification newspaper articles in New York. After Jay dropped out from the project, Hamilton approached Madison, who was in New York on congressional business, to write some of the essays.

    Altogether, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay wrote the 85 essays of what became known as The Federalist Papers in the span of six months, with Madison writing 29 of the essays. The articles were also published in book form and became a virtual debater’s handbook for the supporters of the Constitution in the ratifying conventions. Historian Clinton Rossiter called The Federalist Papers “the most important work in political science that ever has been written, or is likely ever to be written, in the United States.”

    During the 1st Congress, Madison took the lead in pressing for the passage of several constitutional amendments that would form the United States Bill of Rights. His primary goals were to fulfill his 1789 campaign pledge and to prevent the calling of a second constitutional convention, but he also hoped to protect individual liberties against the actions of the federal government and state legislatures. He believed that the enumeration of specific rights would fix those rights in the public mind and encourage judges to protect them. After studying over two hundred amendments that had been proposed at the state ratifying conventions, Madison introduced the Bill of Rights on June 8, 1789.

    Madison’s Bill of Rights faced little opposition, as he managed to integrate the Anti-Federalist position calling for amendments without alienating supporters of the Constitution. Of the twelve amendments formally proposed by Congress to the states, ten amendments were ratified as additions to the Constitution on December 15, 1791, becoming known as the Bill of Rights.

    The re-publication of Robert Parry’s 2013 article on the historical context of the 2nd Amendment has spurred on a legion of sputtering all manner of ahistorical and illogical bull hockey, none of which stands up to scrutiny.

    • anon4d2
      August 11, 2019 at 04:44

      A good historical note, but the Federalist Papers in no way support the notion that the Bill of Rights was designed to promote slavery, or to prevent distribution of military power among the people.

    • Mark Stanley
      August 11, 2019 at 12:39

      Excellent as always Abe, but lets not leave out John Adams. Even though he was serving in France at the time that document was drafted, his ideas are all over it (the constitution).
      Also, a minor historical point, and correct me if I am wrong… In the 1780-1800 period there were two main parties: Federalists and Republicans, but the federalist-leaning newspapers deemed the Republicans ‘anti-Federalists’.

  24. Fug
    August 10, 2019 at 21:34

    Robert Parry is absolutely correct on his analysis. A fantastic critique of the American Constitution. I am annoyed with myself i missed this gem when it was originally published in 2013.

    Has was obviously going to get Hanged, drawn and quartered by the fully conditioned imbeciles who are protecting their Freedom with an Arsenal of Military grade weapons from The King of England or some other made up bogeyman.

    Americans in general are total slaves to the Elites and corporations, but with good propaganda they believe they are FREE, and their Guns keep them even more FREE. A modern day Orwellian nation with the Slaves far to conditioned to even realise it. Friends of mine that lived under the Soviet Dictatorship in the 1980s also had the same high level propaganda thrown at them but not a single one of them believed it. Really speaks volumes about the average IQ of the American Masses.

    The only thing that could possibly change The United States for the better is not more elections, but a six mile wide asteroid and the world can be finally free of American malevolence.

  25. art guerrilla
    August 10, 2019 at 21:25

    @ ML
    1. sorry for your reading comprehension problems: i was specifically addressing CONSORTIUM NEWS and THEIR predilections; i said NOTHING about the commenters in that regard…
    2. AS IF your content-free scolding was a vital contribution to the debate at hand ? ? ? or simply more virtue signalling, which is almost always all signal, no virtue…
    3. i realize consortium news, yourself, most websites, and even most people in general apparently do NOT believe in or countenance free speech… i find such people odious, cowardly, and -at least- ignorant of the basic requirements for a functioning society and gummint… free speech is THE bedrock right upon which all other rights (such as they are) are predicated… without free speech, you can not declare, demand, and defend all your other rights… true free speech is INFINITELY more important than anyone and EVERYONE’s pwecious, pwecious feelz…
    but the sheeple are cowards, the time for overthrowing Empire is growing short, and the three ring circus distracts the masses… welcome to the dystopia you have allowed the 1% psychopaths to create in their own image…

  26. Stephen A. Verchinski
    August 10, 2019 at 18:44

    The :Old Meeting House(s)” in the mid 1700’s were places where muskets were stacked. These were where the local guard or “militia” had also their arsenal for powder, flint and ball.

  27. August 10, 2019 at 16:23

    What an absurdly disingenuous piece of…crap (to be polite).

    The ‘framers’ of the Constitution were very well aware that though they instituted a government with the best intentions, that government – just as well as any – could become corrupt and tyranny could still arise.

    No amount of ‘historical’ spin will change the original intent:

    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.

    Clearly: for ‘the security of a FREE state’ it is the ‘right of the PEOPLE’ to keep and bear arms. NOT the government, police, or other ‘official’ representatives.

    Robert Parry’s screed is so utterly disingenuous it’s simply reprehensible.

    • JR
      August 10, 2019 at 19:38

      So conveniently leaving off the “well regulated Militia” (first clause) suits your ignorance? That’s not how legal documents work.

      • Govisorganizedcrime
        August 11, 2019 at 19:43

        The idea that the Constitution itself is of legal validity is begging the question.

      • Zwingli
        August 14, 2019 at 17:04

        In the 18th century, “militia” referred to able-minded/bodied men, 15 years and older. “Well-regulated” implied law abiding, not lawless. The prefatory clause lends itself to Parry’s highly subjective interpretation, the operative clause leaves nothing to the imagination.

  28. Snapturtle
    August 10, 2019 at 15:39

    What an idiot

    • TimN
      August 12, 2019 at 16:20

      Name some of the errors.

  29. dean 1000
    August 10, 2019 at 14:53

    I have nothing but respect for the journalistic skills and honest reporting of Robert Parry. I certainly agree the the Right has a powerful propaganda apparatus.

    But Mr. Parry is badly mistaken about the 2nd amendment. The framers did not incorporate the 2nd amendment or any amendment into the Bill of Rights. The constitution the framers sent to the states for ratification or disapproval did not have a Bill or Rights because a majority of the framers did not want a Bill of Rights. Article 7 of the constitution the framers sent to the states for approval reads that the approval of 9 states will establish the constitution among those 9 states. Six of the states demanded a Bill of Rights as a condition for ratification. Leaving the framers 2 votes short. Like politicians today, the framers had to compromise and accept a Bill of Rights. They knew that a functioning national government was necessary to replace the Articles of Confederation that were failing on the shoals of unanimous consent.
    The first congress, not the framers, put the Bill of rights, including the 2nd amendment, together. The States ratified the Bill of Rights in 1791. I’m not a states righter. Just reciting a few facts.

    “ To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repeal invasions.” (Article 1, section 8, clause 15, US Constitution)

    The people who read the above in 1787-89 had recently engaged in an insurrection against the British Crown and Parliament. They thought they had a right to rebel and pointed to unalienable rights and the Declaration of Independence for support. Clause 15 is what galvanized support for the 2nd amendment and the Bill of Rights. The state militias played an important part in gaining independence from the Brits. The people of the states as represented by the ratification conventions did not give up their right to engage in insurrection if it “shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” They strengthened that right with the 2nd amendment. I seriously doubt it will come to armed rebellion. We have learned from more recent revolutions. I think we can effect our safety and happiness w/o becoming sweaty revolutionaries.

  30. certainquirk
    August 10, 2019 at 14:25

    Larken Rose’s seminal “When is it ok to shoot a cop?”

    If you’d rather not watch that, just search invidio (google interface alternative) for that phrase:

    Do it, and be prepared to be sick. And when you’re done watching about 999 of those videos and you realize you’re just getting started, tell me again how you’re ready to trust the government. Do it.

  31. certainquirk
    August 10, 2019 at 14:17

    The framers had just fought a bloody civil war, but they weren’t too worried about taking away everyone’s guns after it. They said to themselves, “well, we’ve solved the brutal repression problem once and for, so let’s neuter ourselves.


    We can all trust the people who administer justice now. Just ask Julian Assange. Chelsea Manning.

    Jeffrey Epstein, anybody?

  32. bob winstanley
    August 10, 2019 at 12:52

    all i can say is – f**k amereeka

  33. Walter
    August 10, 2019 at 12:31

    Jus’ so y’know, a muzzle loading black-powder revolver fires just as fast as an M-16 or AK. The chatter about firing rates is absurd. Suppose we go watch a musket squad fire a volley of bullets all at once? Suppose we fire (gasp!) a shot gun…in that case 30 caber lead balls fly away all at once…faster rate of fire than M-16.

    Number Pellet Diameter
    (Inches) Average Pellet
    Weight (Grains) Approximate # of
    Pellets per Ounce
    12 .05 .18 2385
    11 .06 .25 1750
    9 .08 .75 585
    8 1/2 .085 .88 485
    8 .09 1.07 410
    7 1/2 .095 1.25 350
    6 .11 1.95 225
    5 .12 2.58 170
    4 .13 3.24 135
    2 .15 4.86 90
    BB .18 8.75 50

    And that was true in colonial times too, more or less.

    And some shotguns have 2 tubes, 2 triggers. In some y’kin fire both tubes at once…. (don’t).

    Forget about rate of fire, it’s distraction and appeal to emotion….ever see the cowboy movies where they fire guns to spook the cattle and stampede ’em? Right

    What matters is that the State has no obligation to defend you as an individual. It;s up to you to defend yourself. If you are defenseless, then you must obey and do as they say….this is always the goal of tyranny.

    That said, I am all for gun control and general disarmament…starting with the State’s guns. When those go, then there will be peace, eh? I mean, how could war take place, let alone cops shooting people…

    • Abe
      August 10, 2019 at 15:10

      “a muzzle loading black-powder revolver fires just as fast as an M-16 or AK”

      Riiight… and THAT’S why police and soldiers around the world today are equipped with muzzle loading black-powder revolvers,
      not to mention their Revolutionary War aircraft and

      Absurd troll confuses a weapons firing rate with the type of firearm ammunition that is expelled from the gun barrel during shooting.

      For manually operated weapons such as bolt-action rifles, the rate of fire is governed primarily by the training of the operator, within some mechanical limitations. Rate of fire may also be affected by ergonomic factors. For rifles, ease-of-use features such as the design of the bolt or magazine release can affect the rate of fire.

      For semi-automatic firearms, a hybrid class of weapons, common in handguns and rifles, the rate of fire is primarily governed by the ability of the operator to actively pull the trigger. No other factors significantly contribute to the rate of fire. Generally, a semi-automatic firearm automatically chambers a round using blowback energy, but does not fire the new round until the trigger is released to a reset point and actively pulled again.

      Semi-automatics’ rate of fire is significantly different from and should not be confused with full-automatics’ rate of fire. Many full-automatic small arms have a selective fire feature that ‘downgrades’ them to semi-automatic mode by changing a switch.

      For automatic weapons such as machine guns, the rate of fire is primarily a mechanical property. A high cyclic firing rate is advantageous for use against targets that are exposed to a machine gun for a limited time span, like aircraft or targets that minimize their exposure time by quickly moving from cover to cover. For targets that can be fired on by a machine gun for longer periods than just a few seconds the cyclic firing rate becomes less important.

      Over time, weapons have attained higher rates of fire. A small infantry unit armed with modern assault rifles and machine guns can generate more firepower than much larger units equipped with older weapons. Over the 20th century, this increased firepower was due almost entirely to the higher rate of fire of modern weapons.

      A good example of growth in rate of fire is the Maxim machine gun that was developed in 1884 and used until World War I ended in 1918. Its performance was improved during that time mainly by advances in the field of cooling.

      Jus’ so y’know.

      • Walter
        August 10, 2019 at 16:23

        This claim is untrue> “Absurd troll confuses a weapons firing rate with the type of firearm ammunition that is expelled from the gun barrel during shooting. ”

        Read more carefully. I made no such claim. I conflated nothing. I confused nothing. I suspect that I was already qualified with M14 when you were not yet born. The discussion of rate of fire is obviously absurd and therefore an appeal to emotion – that was clearly one point I made.

        Kindly avoid ad homenim attack, Friend. it cheapens your already flawed argument and make people suspect a hidden agenda…

      • Abe
        August 11, 2019 at 02:38

        Comrade “Walter” repeatedly declares that consideration of a firearm’s rate of fire “absurd” and “appeal to emotion” when, in fact, it is a highly significant (though not the only) concern in the regulation of firearms.

        “Walter” is not making any sort of “point” because no logical argument is advanced.

        In fact, “Walter”resorts to patent illogic, exemplified by the claim that “a muzzle loading black-powder revolver fires just as fast as an M-16 or AK”.

        The rate of fire of a weapon is defined as the number of times the weapon can be fired per minute (regardless of whether bullet or shot is expelled from the barrel) by a typical operator.

        The M-16 and AK assault weapons fired in semi-automatic or full automatic mode using multiple loaded magazines, are obviously capable of higher rates of fire than a muzzle loading black-powder revolver using multiple loaded cylinders.

        Thus the claim by “Walter” is absurd on its face.

        There is no disputing the fact that shot pellets expelled from a shotgun are highly lethal, particularly at close range. The decline in military use of shotguns reversed in World War I when American forces under General Pershing employed 12-gauge pump action shotguns in trench warfare on the Western front in 1917.

        The shotgun has remained a specialty weapon for modern armies since the end of World War II, and it has become a standard in law enforcement use. Shotguns used by military, police, and other government agencies are regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

        US federal law prohibits shotguns from being capable of holding more than three shells including the round in the chamber. Certain states have restrictions on magazine capacity or design features under hunting or assault weapon laws. These regulations are precisely aimed at limiting the effective rate of fire of the weapons.

        So our absurd troll clearly has a not so hidden agenda.

        Comrade “Walter” will probably sputter more bull hockey, boast about his “M14” qualification, insist that it’s all a big “distraction”, and froth on about “tyranny” whilst continuing to make no rational “point” or logical “argument” whatsoever.

      • michael
        August 11, 2019 at 13:30

        “US federal law prohibits shotguns from being capable of holding more than three shells including the round in the chamber. ” Plugged shotguns must be used when hunting migratory birds– doves, ducks, some geese.
        Most hunters use shotguns that are plugged anyway for all their hunting, but most states allow unplugged shotguns for deer and also for varmints, and at home for self protection. For self protection you can use extended magazines, although an old unplugged pump shotgun is usually more than adequate.

  34. Walter
    August 10, 2019 at 12:14

    Jus’ so y’know, a muzzle loading black-powder revolver fires just as fast as an M-16 or AK. The chatter about firing rates is absurd. Suppose we go watch a musket squad fire a volley of bullets all at once? Suppose we fire (gasp!) a shot gun…in that case 30 caber lead balls fly away all at once…faster rate of fire than M-16.

    Number Pellet Diameter
    (Inches) Average Pellet
    Weight (Grains) Approximate # of
    Pellets per Ounce
    12 .05 .18 2385
    11 .06 .25 1750
    9 .08 .75 585
    8 1/2 .085 .88 485
    8 .09 1.07 410
    7 1/2 .095 1.25 350
    6 .11 1.95 225
    5 .12 2.58 170
    4 .13 3.24 135
    2 .15 4.86 90
    BB .18 8.75 50

    And that was true in colonial times too, more or less.

    And some shotguns have 2 tubes, 2 triggers. In some y’kin fire both tubes at once…. (don’t).

    Forget about rate of fire, it’s distraction and appeal to emotion….ever see the cowboy movies where they fire guns to spook the cattle and stampede ’em? Right

    What matters is that the State has no obligation to defend you as an individual. It;s up to you to defend yourself. If you are defenseless, then you must obey and do as they say….this is always the goal of tyranny.

  35. Robert Severance
    August 10, 2019 at 10:50

    Most Americans have never heard of the Stolen Amendment, authorizing citizens to use their weapons freely in certain situations. Especially if (1) A Black sneaks into the Presidency (2) High taxes are used to benefit lazy non-property owners (3) Citizens question the institution of slavery or the Bible’s story of The Creation (4) Too many people vote wrong. (5) The Government interferes in the sacred Doctor/Patient relationship (6) The Government plans to consider discussing ways to interfere with Citizens’ Right to military weapons.
    The Stolen Amendment was adopted unanimously and is valid forever. General Washington advocated for it. But a devilish conspiracy managed to burn all copies and every reference to it The Federalist Papers. Happily, there are still Guardians who Know.

  36. Eric32
    August 10, 2019 at 10:02

    >The Right’s powerful propaganda apparatus has sold millions of Americans on the dangerous and false notion that the Framers of the U.S. Constitution incorporated the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights so an armed population could fight the government that the Framers had just created.<

    Some actual founder quotes:

    Noah Webster, of Pennsylvania:
    “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power.” — An Examination of The Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia, 1787

    “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.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

    “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

    “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined…” – George Washington, First Annual Address, to both House of Congress, January 8, 1790

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

    “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” – Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776

    George Mason, of Virginia:
    “[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually.”. . . I ask, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.” — Virginia`s U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788

    James Madison, of Virginia:
    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.” — The Federalist, No. 46

    There's more, but that's enough for intelligent readers.

  37. Sam F
    August 10, 2019 at 09:56

    Most of Robert Parry’s points are true, but they do not argue that the 2nd Amendment was not intended to vest military power in the people.

    The inherent opposition of views is due to the fact that the nation was founded by revolution against tyranny, and the framers of the Constitution sought in all of their acts to prevent the new government becoming a tyranny. So they had to provide both the means of rebellion against tyranny, and the means of suppressing insurrections. and hope that the wisdom of the people would use their power properly, and elect leaders who would use their power properly.

    Inevitably they saw local rebellions to be suppressed.
    Inevitably politicians wanted to let states organize village militias.
    Finally the federal government wanted to nationalize the militias as the National Guard.
    Everyone wants to believe that central government is good, and should prevent local abuses of power.
    That is the naive belief of people in good times, reinforced by the over-reaching of federal politicians.

    But in fact the framers saw the importance of distributing power among the people to prevent tyranny.
    They saw that there was no way of organizing that power without providing turn-key tyranny.
    Jefferson noted that the Tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants, or it would die.
    It was not so watered, and it has died. We have lost democracy, and have insufficient tools to restore it.
    The People now control none of the tools of democracy (executive, legislature, judiciary, mass media).

    Tyranny is restrained only by the fear of the rich in being outnumbered by the People.
    They have no such fear until there are riots in the streets. They seize evermore power until then.
    That is the only reason that we got the Civil Rights Act, the only reason that we got out of Vietnam.
    It is the only way that democracy will be restored. The cost of such rebellion does not argue for tyranny.

    There appears to be no historical argument that tyranny can removed by peaceful means.
    Those who wish otherwise must make that argument, and I hope that they do.
    Until then, an argument to take away citizen military power is an argument for tyranny.
    And that argument is made with full knowledge that we already have tyranny.

    • Martin
      August 10, 2019 at 11:53

      Were those armed protests that stopped vietnam or supported the civil rights movement?

      • Walter
        August 10, 2019 at 14:45

        Alas, Friend, if only you knew more about it… Here’s how it happened… ‘Nam bankrupted USA and the French, who were getting a lot of dollars began to demand the gold went, US went bankrupt… Meantime the antiwar and civil rights affair was indeed armed, until in some degree the gun control act of 1968 (as I recall) forbid guns on campus. My high school, a public school, had a rifle team, real guns, real bullets. And an ROTC unit that trained with .30 caliber M1 rifles on the athletic field… All that was ended by law, thus of course eliminating any adult supervision – great idea! But the deal goes on…Kissinger had to make the deal to create the petrobuck ’cause US was outta gold, more or less broke. That took some time, and he was literally under the gun in ‘Nam…because the Real AntiWar movements was in ‘Nam, where, yes indeed, the fellas had guns and grenades, and began to kill their officers and mutiny generally. That was why the US left ‘Nam…the real antiwar movement.

        The civil rights movement in ‘Nam was violent – riots and murders among soldiers according to race and perception, and to errors there-in. Again, plenty of arms all handy and ready…

        Look up Fred Hampton, Murder of (Chicago cops in a job with FBI. Or the Panthers on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento with their guns… (at the time Cali had essentially no gun laws, a misdemeanor to carry a concealed pistol… There were guns all over the place.

      • Sam F
        August 10, 2019 at 18:43

        Although the large protests were necessarily peaceful, there was public knowledge and prosecution of armed groups forming in both cases. The rich were especially afraid of significant African-American armed groups. They were aware of some armed anti-war groups.

        The numbers at protests are significant, and some anti-war rioting occurred causing some business losses, but the movement toward arms seems to sound the alarm among the rich. When large numbers of young people protest over a long period, against a policy that has no real value to anyone (e.g. the Vietnam war), it becomes gradually unpopular among the associates and offspring of the rich and thereby among their corrupt politicians, which can shift the balance against such a policy. When the policy is essential to their graft and anti-regulation business, they will not budge without violence.

      • Walter
        August 10, 2019 at 19:24

        The Army mutinied and began to shoot their officer…is that armed enough?

        There were violent racial actions also in ‘Nam

        Ever see the pictures of the Panthers at California Capitol?

        If you knew more…. But there were guns everywhere….

        And that was normal

      • John S
        August 11, 2019 at 11:56

        Martin – exactly right. When you review many of the big movements in US history — labor unionization, prohibition/temperance, women’s suffrage, civil rights, anti-draft/anti-war, environmental regulation, to name a few, none of them used armed militia to accomplish their goals. That’s not to say that some of these movements didn’t experience some violence, but you never had an armed band of women suffragetes or environmentalists surrounding a legislature and forcing them to write a law at gun point. The only possible exception was the abolition of slavery, which was brought about by the US Civil War, though there the ‘armed militia’ (the Confederates) were defeated by the US government forces (the Union). Of-course the Confederates were pro-slavery, so even that example is not particularly supportive of the idea that armed militias bring about government policy change (though I grant that it’s arguable to call the Confederates an armed militia, which I do in the sense that they weren’t a legitimately recognized army by the US government).
        I would generalize and say that the use of armed militias and armed violence to try to enact positive social/economic change in this country is a non-starter. First of all, it will almost always be met with overwhelming force by the US government, and they’ve got a hell of a lot more weaponry and logistical organization than any militia could ever muster. (ie; they’ve been spending 100’s of billions of $ per YEAR on it for the last 30 years, and not all of that is getting wasted on $100 hammers and ~700 military bases). And there’s nothing that the conservative ‘law & order’ types love more than putting down movements against the status-quo, especially when they can (rightly or wrongly) portray it as “VIOLENCE/ANARCHY”.
        Secondly, we in this country are not used to military violence on our soil — that stuff happens in ‘those other countries’ (and of course all of OUR violence on foreign soil is righteous). The last time we were ‘meaningfully’ invaded was 200+ years ago back in the War of 1812, and virtually no foreign bombs or missiles have ever fallen on US soil*, so the US populace is by and large very reactive against military level violence, if for no reason other than it’s rarity. The vast majority of people in this country – including myself- don’t want to see armed mobs wandering around our streets or countryside (unless we’re invaded by a foreign power, and that ain’t gonna happen, ‘Red Dawn’ & similar notwithstanding) no matter what their stated motives are…

        * yes, during WWII the Japanese did successfully float a few bombs on balloons into the US, but – other than psychologically— there was no serious damage done.

      • Sam F
        August 11, 2019 at 21:44

        John S,
        I hope that you can think of a realistic way to depose oligarchy without even the threat of force. But we would need examples of policies Essential to Oligarchy that were reversed without even the threat of violence; the examples listed so far are really not of that kind:

        1. The women’s rights movement was an exception in needing no militant faction, because women here had plenty of coercive power over men, as they gradually discovered. So not an example for the peaceful/violent change question.
        2. The labor movement had armed factions, but most importantly it could directly deny the essential resource of labor to industry: now it can rarely do so, and so the labor movement is almost gone. Not a victory for non-violence.
        3. As noted already, the Civil Rights movement was a classic case of non-violent mass demonstrations that got nowhere until an armed faction and destructive riots raised fears of the rich. Both were needed, neither may be absent.
        4. The Vietnam war ending was due largely to fears of violence, but also was a mad exploit of no value to anyone but the MIC, and therefore the rich could give it up when it became unpopular. Not a policy essential to oligarchy, so not an example of effective peaceful change.
        5. The Civil War was not a rebellion against tyranny, although the South thought so. It was a contention of regional factions, both with armed central governments. The issues do not really overlap much, so not a good example.

        The fact that no one wants violence makes no argument: no one wants tyranny either.
        The fact that small uprisings can be suppressed makes no point about alternative tools to restore democracy.
        No one advocates “armed mobs” wandering around, so that is not an argument either way.

        I hope that you can think of a realistic way to depose oligarchy without even the threat of force.

    • Derrick
      August 10, 2019 at 13:29

      You are basically right. My thinking these days, and it has not always been such, is that BOTH a well EDUCATED and well armed populace are needed. If you look at the best and least corrupt governments on the planet – they all have both. Also it can be said that they dont see the kind of violence that we see (that being the result of far greater equality than we have). If you want to see what a poorly educated populace that is also unarmed must endure, look at the poor fuckers who must suffer under the Saudi regime. Christ. Lets not argue for that. I can provide a much better argument if you want – just dont have time now.

      • Sam F
        August 10, 2019 at 22:00

        Oh I agree: education is essential to the success of democracy. The US has oligarchy mass media instead of social or political education, which campaign for foreign genocides for the rich to “prove” patriotism and masculinity, so it is no wonder that the People are divided and misled to prevent restoration of democracy.

  38. Walter
    August 10, 2019 at 09:27

    Most gunshot people get that way because of cops shooting them. See> “Police Use of Fatal Force Identified as a Leading Cause of Death in Young Men” @

    The celebrated mass shootings are obviously Gladio operations. As to the amendments…read the history of how they became necessary… First reports from El Paso said 4 shooters, both the cops and eye witness say either “four” or “multiple”

    Gladio ops play on Emotions to herd the sheep…

    Me? I know Gladio works and also that they’ll keep shooting people until they get the laws they want.

    August 10, 2019 at 09:06

    Just out of curiosity, where are you patriots, anyway? In 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court openly stole an election, you did nothing. Today, our government has shredded the Bill of Rights, legalized warrantless spying, imprisonment without charge, torture, rendition, assassination, and wars fought by the CIA with flying robots. You’ve watched this being done to us. You’ve watched our wealth being handed over to the war makers and the financiers. You’ve bought more guns, and you’ve done nothing. And the guns have done nothing but facilitate criminals and kill innocents. Just when are you going to liberate us, already? How bad, exactly, does it have to get?

    • Abby
      August 13, 2019 at 00:42

      Ha! Great question. I too wonder just what it will take for the patriots to stand up for their rights because as you mentioned the only one still in effect is the second amendment. 1,3,4,5 and 6 have been nullified by the patriot and military commission acts and Obama’s NDAA. The third started getting decimated during the drug war when swat was created. No knock warrants get people killed because it nullifies the castle defense of the third amendment.

      What ever is left of the 4th amendment is going to be nullified if the FBI and justice department gets their way and congress passes a domestic terrorist law.

      But yeah..why did those great patriots sit back and do nothing as their rights were taken away from them?

    August 10, 2019 at 09:05

    Does the Second Amendment protect the country from —-The insidious Corporate Takeover of America ?

  41. michael
    August 10, 2019 at 07:37

    When it comes to gun control, like most Laws, you can be sure criminals and our government officials will not follow such rules.
    ‘It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.’– Mark Twain

    • John S
      August 10, 2019 at 12:57

      So you apparently believe we should do away with the ‘pretense’ that laws work because SOME people break them? What do you advocate in their place — the biggest gun (literally) gets his/her way in all situations? (BTW – under that policy, the US military would obviously quickly become the authority on everything since they have the most firepower, and we’d be a military dictatorship). What standards would you use to prosecute/defend in whatever kind of court that would remain? Please enlighten us…

      • michael
        August 11, 2019 at 14:06

        It is illegal for Federal felons or domestic abusers to possess weapons (possession is a felony). Yet a great many of the ‘mass shooters’ (defined either the old way “four dead” or the new way “four shot at”) have been convicted of a felony (70-75%; a third of murders are also unsolved, so probably higher). Only the youngest ones have clean records.
        In theory, these felons with guns can be arrested at any time (recommended federal felon-possession sentence is three years), but police don’t want to get shot! In practice it is impossible to disarm felons; felons need guns to survive, even if just for ‘signaling’. Sixty cities (population 50 million, 15% of the US’s population) account for over 50 % of our murders. An obvious place to start. That is where most of America’s 15,000 to 17,000 murders occur each year and should be the focus of gun control.
        Most gun owners follow laws. Shotguns are capable of holding more than three shells, but it is illegal to hunt migratory birds with more than three shells, so almost all hunters keep their shotguns plugged for all hunting (considered more sporting). For home defense, an unplugged shotgun– some use extended magazines, is the best defense. There should be no restrictions whatsoever on a gun owner within his home.
        The ARMED off-hours fireman who recently stopped a likely copycat shooter with two guns, body armor and 100 rounds of ammo in the Missouri Walmart seems a much better model than the El Paso Walmart shooting, but media and even this site disagree (and that incidence received hardly any coverage); they glorify in blood and body counts. Concealed carry, since those gun owners go through onerous regulations to get the right to carry a gun in public places, have lower crime rates than the public, and are judicious in their gun use. “”When seconds count, the police are still minutes away”.

      • nottheonly1
        August 11, 2019 at 19:17

        “…the US military would obviously quickly become the authority on everything since they have the most firepower, and we’d be a military dictatorship).”

        It has much less to do with the firepower, than with the percentage of the GDP used for the military budget. All military dictatorships spend proportionally more of their GDP on the military, than they do on all civilian needs.

      • John S
        August 11, 2019 at 19:38

        michael- thank you for the response, but I was interested in a more general response regarding your statement that:
        “When it comes to gun control, like most Laws, you can be sure criminals and our government officials will not follow such rules.
        ‘It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.’– Mark Twain”
        That statement indicates that you don’t believe that IN GENERAL laws aren’t worth having since “…like most Laws, you can be sure criminals and our government officials will not follow such rules.”
        Also, can you cite the source(s) for your above statistics?

      • Govisorganizedcrime
        August 11, 2019 at 20:13

        ” So you apparently believe we should do away with the ‘pretense’ that laws work because SOME people break them?”
        Socalled laws involving anything but the direct protection of individual liberty (in the form of life liberty and property) are not valid, which includes the Constitution itself.

        When the state passes “gun control” what they are codifying is criminal trespass and theft of the property of freemen. This is shown by the self evident fact that merely possessing or bearing arms is not a violation of others person or property and any who claim the “right” to forcibly disarm such individuals declare themselves trespassers thieves and murderers according to the nature of their acts.

  42. August 10, 2019 at 07:28

    “More Second Amendment Madness”

    “… false notion that the Framers of the U.S. Constitution incorporated the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights so an armed population could fight the government that the Framers had just created.”

    The historical truth in a nutshell.

    However, when you are dealing with fanatics and ideologues – literally, adherents of a secular religious cult such as American Patriotism – truth has about the same impact as pointing out the absurdity of Lot’s wife or Noah’s Ark or Jonah and the whale or the loaves and the fishes.

    There is a fundamental divide in human beings when it come to matters of belief, and especially intensely-held and fear-forged beliefs. Rational argument, evidence, and logic all get tossed, rejected vehemently because they conflict with what the adherent wants to believe, the adherent perhaps not even fully conscious about why it is he or she so desperately wants to believe.

    It is just a fact that an awful lot of Americans want guns. They have paranoid fears, and guns make them feel more secure. They are conditioned by a national history and mythology literally built around the importance of guns, in everything from the frontier and cowboys and cavalry and Rough Riders to Prohibition and threats of communism and terror. And today’s vast American military and empire only provide a constant reinforcing sense of how important guns are in the affairs of state.

    This issue is one of those that marks the limits of human rationality.

    Considering that we are descendants of animals related to chimpanzees, it perhaps really should not surprise anyone.

    Just think of how charming and appealing a chimpanzee can be with its big eyes and smile and stunts and remarkably human child-like intelligence.

    And yet we now know from long and careful studies in the wild that part of the chimps’ basic behavior includes clans marching out for surprise attacks on neighboring chimp clans, fracturing skulls and driving the living from their homes and food supply. Sound familiar?

    The problem around guns and violence in America is the country’s existing form of government. What the early government, so admirable in high school civics textbooks, began morphing into not many years after its creation.

    You have an aristocratic, imperial form of government, itself hostile and belligerent to so many things in the world. It governs an empire built on violence, both inside the continental United States and outside in its possessions abroad.

    It is truly incapable of dealing with many domestic matters. It is not really interested or concerned, except for a brief show of mollifying speeches to constituents and meetings after some terrible mass killing. Then it’s back to business as usual.

    America’s government responds to money and power, and not to ideas or ideals or human appeals. It pretty much lets “the people” continue in whatever unpleasant social situations they find themselves – violence, injustice, lack of medical care, poor public schools, immense poverty – while it wheels and deals in the lives of still other people living abroad.

    Just think about it. What could you actually expect at home from the kind of politicians who created Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and dozens of coups and blockades and interventions, killing and maiming millions? Hurling millions from their homes as desperate refugees? Refugees then often despised and ridiculed by the very same politicians? That, sadly, characterizes the very fabric of American government.

    The kind of politicians who tolerate, and even praise as “restrained,” the behavior of Israel at Gaza where it literally ambushes unarmed crowds, week after week after week, demonstrating for rights? And the kind of politicians who continue arming Israel, heavily, even in violation of their own “showcase” laws concerning the use of exported American weapons?

    No, you cannot expect much at home from a government displaying that kind of behavior abroad.

    And, no, you cannot possibly have rational gun laws in the domestic chaos of jurisdictions that is American society. Where any one local jurisdiction even tries – as in some cities responding to their desperate residents – it is surrounded by a sea of gun-running and legal sales from neighboring jurisdictions. It can achieve nothing, except providing the true Patriot fanatics with yet another example of how gun control fails, something for them to smirk at.

    Gun control must be national, but what are the chances of that in America?

  43. Rick Patel
    August 10, 2019 at 07:06

    Very interesting and informative article. Thanks for posting.

  44. August 10, 2019 at 06:58

    “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is a false dichotomy. This issue is intentionally framed in such a way as to make everyone who picks it up stoopider by engaging with it. Robert Parry is one of the few honest men.

  45. geeyp
    August 10, 2019 at 06:29

    Excellently presented and well thought out history lesson from the late, great Mr. Parry.

  46. art guerrilla
    August 10, 2019 at 05:38

    1. consortium news is getting more snowflakey and dem’rat-like with every passing day… jumping on the ‘take all the guns’ bandwagon is simply another piece of evidence of that sad decline…
    2. i think one major issue is the divide between city mice and country mice, with ignorant city mice living in a bubble divorced from harsh reality… um, in the country, we have these things (still, even though we are trying to rid the world of everything but nekkid apes) called ‘animals’, and while they are real great and all, sometimes they get out of their niche and eat pets, or gardens, or occasionally people, and a tool which pokes holes in meat bags from afar can be handy in eliminating those problems…
    3. further, there are these other animals called nekkid apes, and a certain small percentage of them are not right in the head… instead of doing their own work to survive and thrive, they like to hit other nekkid apes over the head and take their stuff they have worked for… when you live in the country with donut eaters an hour away, an effective way of discouraging that is to have a tool which will remotely punch holes in meat bags… (’cause if i have to wait for the donut eaters to NOT come and NOT defend me, all they will be doing is scraping up my body, IF i depended on them for ‘protection’…)
    4. there is a HUGE gap of ignorance in what our ‘rights’ are… as kampers surely know from our most excellent education system, there was a big debate when the constitution was being written over whether rights should be specifically enumerated… the crux was, IF we enumerate only certain rights, then those will become codified as our ONLY rights… BUT, the point was WE HAVE ALL RIGHTS for everything NOT enumerated, but that will be discounted if not formally put in the bill of rights… as it turns out, both sides were right: we HAVE made it as if the bill of rights is the extent of the rights we have, AND all our other non-enumerated rights are forgotten…
    5. it should ALWAYS be that the gummint is ‘afraid’ of its citizens, NOT that the citizens are afraid of ‘their’ (sic) gummint… classic case of the tail wagging the dog…

    • August 10, 2019 at 07:38

      Truly, for those aware of the realities of history, few expressions are more devoid of meaning than “rights.”

      It remains a favorite American refrain, but it is about as meaningful as “privacy” is today with the NSA and intrusive corporate internet monopolies.

      Such words resemble those of a child about Santa Claus.

      Talk about “snowflake.”

    • ML
      August 10, 2019 at 14:26

      Actually guerilla, most regular readers of Consortium News are anything but “snowflakey”- most are reasonable, highly intelligent, thoughtful, often independent sorts who know how to think critically- a skill that has been lost among the highly partisan folks like yourself. The Republican Party is not one iota better than the Democratic Party- both are deeply flawed, corporate-owned entities that poison the political atmosphere of nearly all they touch. Don’t come here if you don’t like to engage respectfully with people with whom you disagree. You won’t be missed.

  47. Rampant
    January 26, 2013 at 02:45

    Just like the bible people will and do interpet it differently to suit their views. The peoples right to bear arms will not be infringed seems straight forward to me. In a time where are constitutional rights are being stripped away under the guise of national security. I find it incredible that US citizens are just giving their rights up freely. Now the 2nd amendment seems more important than ever. By the time the american people realize how much that has been stolen from us the 2nd Amendment might be our last resort. Lets start taking our constitution seriously again and quit trying to minamize the words that most take for granted.

    • JR
      August 10, 2019 at 11:35

      So you’re just going to ignore all the other clauses in the 2nd Amendment? That’s typical – you can’t read. Explain “where are constitutional rights are being stripped away” gives you the right to destroy the liberty of someone else (by killing them). Your notion of “rights” is highly distorted and warped. And you’re actually advocating armed insurrection as the “last resort”. Seriously? Because of NSA surveillance? Because of the Patriot Act? Because of what? You’re an idiot – a keyboard komando that brags about “what you will do” – one “day”, when all those days came and went – and you did NOTHING. You apparently didn’t even comprehend the article and what it signifies – you’ve been GROSSLY LIED TO, but stupidly parrot the same “actions” as everyone else in the gun crowd, and yet you people STILL DO NOTHING about all the violence. THAT’S YOUR LIBERTY AT WORK, being attacked daily you fkn nitwit. It’s killing people and you stand by and do nothing but bitch. Typical right-wing stupidity.

      • Govisorganizedcrime
        August 11, 2019 at 19:42

        The US government has murdered over 1million people over the last 20years.

        That inof itself is worthy of the American people taking up arms and putting a bullet in the head of every stooge of the empire over just that time frame.

        The fact this hasn’t happened is testament of how effective these mass murderer’s propaganda campaigns are

  48. Killer
    January 26, 2013 at 00:33

    “so an armed population could fight the government that the Framers had just created”

    Your creditability goes out the window when you blatantly lie two lines into the article.

    Just another liberal rag.

    • ion_theory
      August 10, 2019 at 09:58

      Can you further go into what about that sentence is a lie? Seems straight forward that a new aristocratic government would not make into law a legal way for the populace to violently revolt?

    • JR
      August 10, 2019 at 11:38

      Hey “Killer” – grow up. You’re just another ignorant punk behind a keyboard. You post your own rabid lies and can’t back them up.

  49. Stryker1952
    January 20, 2013 at 19:21

    You make me sick. My Pledge is to the rule of law, The Constitution, no mater how you twist its interpretation. Your allegence is to protect the United States from “all enemies foreign and domestic”. Your are insulting people using words such as “fantasy”, hone your people skills brother, they just inflame the issue. May the United States be that “Shining City on the Hill” for a 1000 years and an example of Republic Freedom that the world envies. If someone breaks down my door with a club, to invade my home to steal everything I got, my wife, my child, my life, I hope my stick is as big as his, preferablely bigger.

    • Stryker1952
      January 20, 2013 at 19:23

      I didn’t mean to reply to you, sorry, but to Mr Robert Parry.

      • Martin
        August 10, 2019 at 11:46

        he’s dead.

        Caroline Burnham: That was exactly what I needed .. the royal treatment, so to speak .. Ugh! I was so stressed out! Ahhh .. ah … ah! (laughs)
        Buddy Kane: You know what I do when I feel like that?
        Caroline Burnham: What?
        Buddy Kane: I fire a gun .. oh yeah, I go to this little firing range downtown and I .. just pop of a few rounds.
        Caroline Burnham: I’ve never fired a gun before.
        Buddy Kane: Well you’ve got to try it .. nothing makes you feel more powerful .. well, almost nothing.

  50. Zeog
    January 20, 2013 at 05:10

    It’s common sense to limit the number of rds in a handgun? Today in the news a womans home was invaded by five men! Five!! She managed to wound two and they fled but what would have happened if she was limited to 7 or 10 rds, that means she can only miss twice and all the other shots must do severe enough damage. This is insane. All it does is give bad guys the upperhand and we shouldnt stand for this BS.

  51. jg
    January 19, 2013 at 23:33

    In the Revolutionary period they fought with primitive muskets that took minutes, not milliseconds, to reload and fire. The had no concept of an AK-47 or an Uzi. They had no concept of people evil enough or stoned enough to invade a schoolyard or a theater and spray deadly bullets into dozens of innocent casual citizens, massacring them for no reason at all but to induce generalized fear. They had no concept of an MK-Ultra program to produce zombie assassins that would kill and not remember anything, or kill themselves and destroy the evidence when it was over.

    • michael
      August 10, 2019 at 07:37

      When it comes to gun control, like most Laws, you can be sure criminals and our government officials will not follow such rules.
      ‘It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.’– Mark Twain

  52. Paul
    January 19, 2013 at 21:32

    I disagree with the premise of this article. Shay’s Rebellion was not some violent outburst of some “mad-men.” This article skirts the real cause of Shay’s rebellion. Daniel Shay was a soldier in the American army. After years of being away, he came home and found that his home and farm were being repossessed because of back-taxes. This was an insult to him and the many other veterans who faced the same reality after their sacrifice. When no one would give them any consideration, they decided to defend their homes against the repossessors. An army was sent by the central government to crush the fighters. The whhiskey rebellion was fought because the new American government decided to tax the whiskey produced at home and sold to others. Even the British did not tax this, but the new government decided to do so. The taxes were unreasonable so the people fought back.
    Without guns, these people would be unkown and just crushed. I don’t think that banning guns is the answer. Im for laws and regulations which require gun owners to take more responsibility for their weapons and be held accountable for what happens with those guns while registered to them. A reasonable yearly tax or requirement for insurance coverage for gun owners would be acceptable. A car is a more dangerous weapon, but that can’t be take away. But since its a hazard, we pay insurance on it. That makes most of us more conscious of our driving habits. Same can apply to guns. More responsibility and accountability for gun owners YES, bans NO.

    • klavith
      August 10, 2019 at 09:57

      While i agree with you about the tenor of those early grievances and the justice of Shay or the Whiskey rebels, it is undeniable that the framers intent was to suppress such rebels, as Parry wrote.

      It is a curious fact that in the intervening years we have reversed the meaning of “right” and “left”, which came traditionally from the habit of seating in the French national assembly and corresponded to support for the aristocracy and clergy (right) and the people (left). The framers, clearly aristocrats as Parry says, greatly feared the advance of democracy and constituted a new government to constrain popular power, as Madison and Hamilton argued explicitly in the Federalist papers. The dramatic expansion of the franchise led to their exact fear, the possibility that popular government could be used to erode private power, with the result that the “right” now generally favors limited government – though still for the same purpose, the protection of private wealth. The confusion wrought by this do-si-do between the left/right orientation of the state is one of the main hornswaggles in American politics.

      P.S. i am still opposed to gun control.

    • JR
      August 10, 2019 at 11:42

      You have actually made the point brought by Perry regarding the so-called Framer’s intent. Strange that you can’t see that.

    • Not that Walt
      August 11, 2019 at 09:17

      Paul. You were doing very well with your explanation and reasoning behind the Whiskey and Shay rebellion right up to the point where you turn 180 degrees and declaim that a tax on gun ownership would be “acceptable “.
      That, sir, is the same reasoning that got the aforementioned rebellions started.

  53. Old Papa
    January 19, 2013 at 00:32

    All of the attempts by Obama,Pelosi and Cuomo do little or nothing to curb or prevent gun violence. They simply restrict the rights of law abiding,tax paying citizens. We must imprison all people who would commit a crime such as robbery, rape, murder or virtually any other violent crime with any gun and have “minimum” sentencing of at least 10 years, preferably 20 years. The states of New York and Illinois have the highest crime rates in the nation. They also have the most restrictive gun laws. Criminals don’t care what the laws are. That’s why they are called criminals.

    • Southerner
      August 10, 2019 at 11:51

      All straw arguments, none relevant to the topic or the article, therefore ignored by all. Nobody has the “right” as you allege, to kill other people. Your “rights” to own a gun do not triumph over the rights to “life” by everyone else. The miserable failure of the gun crowd to maintain control over firearms, pass legislation (which you’re advocating) is their fault, ie, “your fault”. The irrational reactionary fears regarding gun ownership and perceived (wrongly) “rights” has led to slaughter in our streets. It’s that simple. You’ve also conveniently forgotten that it was the gun lobby and the Republicans that prevented legislation to curb gun violence. If you want to point fingers, point them at yourself.

  54. Old Papa
    January 19, 2013 at 00:15

    The function of the government is not to control it’s citizens, but to serve it’s citizens. A government of the people, by the people and for the people. The governments of Russia and China of the previous century were governments who controlled their citizens. Ask Russian-Americans how they liked living under Communism. The government of the United States must be limited in it’s power over it’s citizens. Ronald Reagan once said “A government big enough to give you everything you want, Is also big enough to take it away”. Be careful what you wish for, You may get it.

    • Tessla
      August 10, 2019 at 11:45

      This is the typical knee-jerk fears of the connedservatives (who are not all conservatives). Implicit in these claims is the use of guns and how they might “restore” the power to the people. Where has THAT actually happened? Insurrections, rebellions and civil war has never restored the power to the people (but it did kill and maim many). Power is restored when stability is returned – not when it has been suspended or taken away.

    January 18, 2013 at 11:27

    The Second Amendment was never intended to be a mechanism by which the government would allow itself to be overthrown – its leaders would have to be insane to approve their own suicide this way. The function of government, all government, is to control its citizens. The men who fought England and framed the Constitution were wealthy landowners and slaveholders, who disenfranchised
    through suffrage qualifications at the state level almost 90% of the American people. They met in Philadelphia with the announced intent to revise the Articles of Confederation and then to submit the changes to the state legislatures for approval but instead, in secret session, they threw out America’s first constitution altogether and replaced it with a strong central government with all the power in their hands. They then sent it to select ratifying conventions of hand-picked delegates where only a tiny fraction of Americans were allowed to vote to accept or reject this virtual coup d’etat.

    It is impossible after such a breathtaking power grab that they would deliberately install a mechanism by which the people could remove them from that power. “Well-regulated” means by them, on their behalf, period.

    • anon4d2
      August 10, 2019 at 06:42

      No, the Founders did intend to keep military power distributed among the people.
      The major problem was how to prevent recurrence of the same abuses of power they had overthrown.
      Jefferson said (approx) “The tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.” The expected this to occur in every generation. Franklin noted that that we created a democracy “If you can keep it.”

      • Being Honest
        August 10, 2019 at 11:54

        Sure they did, that’s why is say’s “well-regulated Militia” you nitwit. That’s the “military power”. And for the quotes of Jefferson and Franklin – they’re not Amendments, nor in the Bill of Rights, Constitution or even the Declaration of Independence. They’re not law, just opinions. Since you’re a paper worshipper, read the Constitution of No Authority, you might actually learn something.

      • anon4d2
        August 11, 2019 at 09:51

        You are certainly not “being honest” but instead relying upon bullying.
        That failure to reason makes your link unworthy of review.

  56. gregorylkruse
    January 17, 2013 at 16:36

    I hope I can be forgiven for being afraid that I might be shot down in the street by some jerk who doesn’t like the looks of me or doesn’t want to hear what I have to say. I’m not going to buy a Bushmaster to defend myself against such a person; I am entirely at his mercy. From what I hear from those kinds of gun owners, there isn’t much mercy in them.

  57. viraavi
    January 17, 2013 at 16:35


    I would not make a blanket statement about NRA as a Terrorist organization. But, certainly, some of the brass of the NRA almost, aid and abet domestic terrorists. The purpose and the import of the Second Amendment has been well documented, most recently, in the Heller case by the Supreme court. Ignoramuses on the far-right want us to believe that any law about gun control is an infringement of one’s right. Rights do come with responsibility and if sanity prevails with the almost dysfunctional Congress we could get some semblance of a control soon. AM I dreaming? May be!

    • anon
      August 10, 2019 at 06:48

      You admit the problem of a dysfunctional Congress, as well as the executive, judiciary, and mass media. The founders sought to keep corruption of the federal government in check by keeping military power distributed among the people. There is a cost in occasional abuses by individuals. The alternative is the loss of democracy.

  58. JymAllyn
    January 17, 2013 at 12:39

    The Fifth Estate –

    Political historians describe the Free Press of the US as the Fourth Estate helping to keep the action of the Executive, Congress, and Supreme Court open and free of corruption.

    And the oversight of the Fourth Estate works, except for the Vietnam War, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the financial screwing of the global economy by the US financial industry.

    However, we now are establishing a Fifth Estate, with the NRA as its primary spokesperson.

    When the Second Amendment was created, it had two primary functions: to provide the state and local GOVERNMENTS with the military resources to provide law and order within its governing area, and to insure that those state and local GOVERNMENTS maintained control over those militia rather than have them become at the disposal of the Federal Government.

    Despite the interpretation of the NRA and anti-Obama fanatics, the Second Amendment says nothing about letting anyone, whether sane or a Birther, have access to unregistered guns.

    The desire to have an unregistered gun implies that you don’t trust your own government, and also implies that you want the ability to overthrow it.

    Regardless of the also implied penis inferiority that is implied by obsessively wanting to have your own gun, the desire to have an unlicensed, unregulated gun, where a hand gun or assault weapon, also is indicative of your desire to be a terrorist, which is defined as someone who wants to overthrown their own government.

    Ergo, the NRA is a Terrorist organization, and its supporters likely need to have a psychological examination as well as have their guns registered.

    • anon
      August 10, 2019 at 07:00

      Poor argument.
      1. You admit that the Fourth estate (press) has failed to prevent abuses by the federal government in every major case in recent history “the Vietnam War, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the financial screwing of the global economy by the US financial industry.”
      2. You offer no means to reform our corrupted federal government.
      3. The 2nd Amendment “says nothing about …unregistered guns” because there was no such concept then, and registration is an infringement that it prohibits.
      4. Your psycho-denunciation of all who disagree is not only unacceptable in debate, it is totalitarian.
      5. Your claim that “a terrorist, …is …someone who wants to overthrown their own government” shows that you have not even considered the problems of preventing government corruption, and have never read the works of the founders, for whom that was the principal problem.

      Perhaps I should not have bothered to reply to such a careless and naive comment.
      Perhaps you will think and read before taking abusive stands on matters that you do not care to read about.

      • John S
        August 11, 2019 at 13:55

        So, ‘anon’, how is the INCREASING proliferation of firearms in this country helping to SOLVE all these problems that you seem to claim/imply can’t be solved by legislation? Are the politicians ‘scared straight’ yet? Please be specific…

  59. viraavi
    January 16, 2013 at 15:31

    With all the rhetoric in favor of owning a gun ( any kind that’s availalble to any nut who goes to a gun show!), would someone “educate” me in the history of the Second Amendment, as it exclusively pertains to the Southern Whites who wanted to perpetrate Slavery forever?

    And why was there a hue and cry to curtail the Second Amendment right to bear arms when the Black Panthers obtained guns galore?

    Oh! We have the right to bear arms but not they? Is it?

    The present day NRA leadership should be taught history. Can’t they hire a former history professor who could not get tenure at a small southern college even after seven years of “teaching?”

    • anon
      August 10, 2019 at 06:52

      Nonsense. You have no evidence that only slave owners demanded to be armed.
      Your argument is that we should all be enslaved to the scoundrels who control our former democracy.

    • anon
      August 10, 2019 at 07:02

      Educate yourself. That had nothing to do with the argument for the 2nd amendment; it is an excuse.

  60. cộng đồng
    January 16, 2013 at 13:54

    I’ll sum it all up with a poem I wrote. It’s below.

    Revelation – updated for our time into seven verses

    There once was a dream of humane freedom,
    but they declared a Dire Emergency;
    all that’s left is buying, selling, carrying guns.

    There once was a dream of peace,
    but they made it beg for mercy,
    then butchered it anyway.

    There once was a dream of self-government,
    but they auctioned it off piecemeal to the highest bidders;
    now the laws are written and construed in corporate boardrooms.

    There once was a dream of justice,
    but they shrank it and shrank it further,
    then drowned it in a bathtub.

    There once was a dream of equality
    but the fat cats wanted it all,
    so they dashed the dream’s brains out on the pavement.

    The brazen sun looked down on all the mayhem;
    it grew hotter and hotter still, until
    the doers and shakers turned into prunes.

    Now they’ve taken their rightful place
    at the ass-end of the queue while angels
    hand out polished stones to the masses.

    * * *

  61. Glen Pierce
    January 15, 2013 at 17:03

    I must be super smart. I didn’t need to completely read this fine article. I used common sense. Assault guns/mags for home owners is bad. Next, they will want hand grenades and howitzers? Sadly Hee-haw Hee-haw (with Dominick donkey song gusto). If they are so hell bend on weapons, let’s allow them undercover bow and arrows. Or better yet, sling shots. Oh, I write so silly. Then again, I am writing to silly assault gun owners. Hee-Haw.

  62. John
    January 14, 2013 at 23:33

    Sorry, Robert, but I must strongly disagree with your very first sentence, and thus the basis of this entire post:

    …and false – notion that the Framers of the U.S. Constitution incorporated the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights so an armed population could fight the government that the Framers had just created.

    You seem not to consider that the bloody seven-year war, triggered by the British attempt to seize citizen arms and ammunition stored near Concord, was fought against the existing, legitimate government that had become increasingly tyrannical. So why wouldn’t the founders have been concerned that such could happen again (as, in fact, is happening: PATRIOT Acts, unlimited data-gathering, NDAA, TSA goons metastasizing not just to train and bus stations, but to sporting events and even high school proms,…). In fact, there is much in the writings of the founders to support this concern.

    A few excerpts:

    George Washington:
    A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

    Thomas Jefferson:
    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    John Adams:
    Arms in the hands of the citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private self-defense.”

    • leftover
      January 15, 2013 at 11:51

      Please verify your quotes with a source.

      The Jefferson quote, for instance, is listed at as a Spurious Quotation. (“This quotation has not been found in any of the writings of Thomas Jefferson.”)

      The other quotes from Washington and Adams appear to be jumbled, rewritten for effect.

      August 10, 2019 at 12:06

      Spurious Quotations · George Washington’s Mount Vernon…/spurious-quotations/

      This list will continue to grow as research staff at Mount Vernon become aware of … but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include … “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform …

      Meme misrepresents George Washington quote about arms, ammunition…/meme-misrepresents-george-washington-quote-about-a/
      Claim: Says George Washington said, “A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined. But they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a…
      Claimed by: Bloggers
      Fact check by PolitiFact: Mostly False

      Did George Washington Want Citizens Armed Against the Government? › Fact Check › Politics
      Jan 7, 2016 – George Washington didn’t say that a free people need “sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence” from their own government. … Among the many interesting objects, which will engage your attention, that … A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end a …

      No, George Washington Doesn’t Want You Armed Against the ……/no-george-washington-doesnt-want-you-armed-agai…

  63. Jym Allyn
    January 14, 2013 at 21:41

    As a former Army Reserve Officer, PTA President, and Scoutmaster, I am a firm believer in the need for weaponry and the need for a “well regulated militia.”

    I have an older son that has had three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, numerous commendations, but only one Bronze Star. My younger son is an Eagle Scout and an eighth grade science teacher.

    The rampant availability of weapons outside of a “well regulated militia” leads to terrorism and crime, and is something that is always advocated by insurgents.

    Question: Are you part of the Militia or part of the Insurgency?

    • Alfred Charles
      January 14, 2013 at 23:31

      Sir, thank you for your service.

      “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”
      — George Mason

    • Jym Allyn
      January 17, 2013 at 11:55

      PS. The NRA has become a Terrorist organization.

  64. Evan Stevens
    January 14, 2013 at 21:20

    “There is also the obvious point that the Framers’ idea of a weapon was a single-shot musket that required time-consuming reloading, not a powerful semi-automatic assault rifle that could fire up to 100 bullets in a matter of seconds without the necessity to reload.”

    Fulminates- compounds that ignite gunpowper without flame or spark- what we use in bullets today
    The earliest research into these substances was made by a Frenchman named Peter Bolduc, prior to 1700. There were several reports published between 1712 and 1714 by the Royal Academy of Sciences, of experiments by Nicholas Lemery. Bayen, the chief physician of King Louis XV discovered mercury fulminate in 1774, Fourcroy studied them in 1785, Vauquelin in 1787, and Berthollet discovered silver fulminate in 1788. Until then, no one thought of using fulminates to firearms.

    Puckle Gun – 1718
    In 1718, James Puckle of London, England, demonstrated his new invention, the “Puckle Gun,” a tripod-mounted, single-barreled flintlock gun fitted with a multishot revolving cylinder.

    By 1532, the Nuremberg city council complained that although law-abiding citizens were not allowed to own wheel-lock handguns, highwaymen and robbers all carried them, so that the law was unenforceable.

    Since you go all the way to 1792 referencing technology of “the time” I thought you could stand to see what the landed gentry who wrote the constitution surely knew – that guns existed that were essentially semi-automatic, and that technological advancements were always occurring.

    I have voted for only one republican candidate and have voted in every election since 1970.

    I favor gun BUYER screenings, but the states are very poor at enforcing the federal regs we already have now. Like outlawing pot, when you have 200 million gun owners, be accurate and careful about what you say about what you want outlawed and your legal/historical reference.

  65. lastcamp2
    January 14, 2013 at 21:19

    I would have been worth mentioning that the slave Southern states, Virginia in particular, demanded the Second Amendment’s provisions because of their fear of insurrections by the enslaved. They kept militias on hand for the very purpose of putting down slave revolts, hence the “well regulated militia” provision in particular.

    You can find this documented in several places. Here is one:

    ” Virginia was nearly half black, and the white population lived in constant fear of slave insurrection. The main instrument of control was the militia. So critical was the militia for slave control that, in the main, the southern states refused to commit their militia to the war against the British. The Constitution, however, would transfer the lion’s share of the power over the militia to Congress. Slavery was becoming increasingly obnoxious to the North, and southern delegates to the Philadelphia convention demanded and got an agreement, somewhat cryptically written into the Constitution, that deprived the federal government of authority to abolish slavery. Mason and Henry raised the specter of Congress using its authority over the militia to do indirectly what it could not do directly. They suggested that Congress might refuse to call forth the militia to suppress an insurrection, send southern militia to New Hampshire….”

    Times haven’t changed so much, after all. There is palpable racism among those clamoring about gun “rights.”

    • anon
      August 10, 2019 at 06:51

      The wrongful uses of power are not an argument to take power from the people and give it to a corrupted government that they no longer control. There is no argument that the federal government would not make worse abuses of power: it does so every day.

  66. Evan Stevens
    January 14, 2013 at 21:01

    Amendment I
    Freedom of speech- “…right of the people…”

    Amendment II
    “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.”
    “…right of the people…”

    Amendment IV
    Unreasonable search and seizure
    “…right of the people…”

    In only one of theses three instances do you consider “right of the people” to mean a right of the collective rather than of the individuals?

  67. Hillary
    January 14, 2013 at 21:01

    The West has always been obsessed with stealing the holy land from the Arabs, and so history continues to repeat itself.
    The new Western “crusaders”both Western Christian and Jewish Zionists continue to make their dubious claim on Palestine this time using far more sophisticated deadly weapons than the old Crusaders used against innocent Palestinians and other Arabs, both Muslim and Christian.
    Since the violent creation of the Western Zionist state of Israel in 1948 and the PNAC neocon attacks on Iraq , Libya , Syria and other Muslim countries American brutal imperialism continues to enable the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the Jewish invaders to continue.

    • Jim Henderson
      January 20, 2013 at 15:40

      Don’t use reason or accepted principles and canons of constitutional interpretation. Just because the same phrase appears in multiple places doesn’t mean it means the same thing each time. Learn to play fair.


  68. cộng đồng
    January 14, 2013 at 21:00

    Deborah –
    1. I am in support of rational restrictions on the type of weapons that can be used, but according to the recent Supreme Court decision, weapons to be used for lawful purposes cannot be totally banned. That does, however, leave room for restrictions and licensing, etc. If one looks at Madison’s draft for the amendment, it becomes apparent that his view (and that of many other American “leaders” in the 18th century and others later in the 19th century) was that possessing and using weapons WERE viewed as a fundamental right. In view of the murderous progress in the technology of firearms, however, if a majority of Americans disagree with the Founders and the Supreme Court’s District of Columbia v. Heller decision, they can band together to organize and elect representatives and senators who will pass a constitutional amendment to that effect. That is one of the glories of our Constitution.
    2. Those who think that having weapons, even automatic weapons, will somehow ensure that tyranny will be overthrown can only be living in a dreamworld. The National Guard and regular military services have overwhelming firepower, including not only automatic weapons, but artillery, armed aircraft, tanks, missiles, drones, and other weapon systems we don’t even know about. The way to avoid tyranny it is to actively participate in the political process at all levels to ensure that tyranny doesn’t come about.
    3. I use an alias because, although the great majority of people – including gun owners – are decent, peaceful, and relatively reasonable people, there are enough wing-nuts out there in the good ol’ US of A to make using one’s real name worrisome to me.
    4. My question to Bob Parry, Deborah, mentioned absolutely nothing about my position vis-a-vis the 2nd Amendment, so I don’t see why you addressed your inaccurate “call to arms” observation to me at all.

    • Captain Shays
      January 16, 2013 at 12:12

      The Germans had overwhelming force to the French but the French still fought back. The Brits had overwhelming force to the Patriots but the patriots still fought back. In fact, our founders fought our Revolution against their own government which was the most powerful military in the world at the time.
      Every military leader in the world knows that they would need at least 100 regular troops to equal 1 guerilla because of the effectiveness of people who are defending their own families. Regular troops are under command by their leaders and are usually invaders. Militia are under no command but of their local leader who is also defending his home and family. This can never be underestimated or discounted.
      French women armed with only a single shot weapon would ask a German soldier to light her cigarette. When he wwas distracted by her attractiveness and reaching for a light, she would shoot him and take his military weapon and that is how the French armed themselves against an overwhelming force.
      Our founders wanted the militia (ALL men able to carry arms) to be an equal force to the regular military. I will not be shaken from this understanding.

      • Bob Loblaw
        January 18, 2013 at 13:18

        The Afghans too showed how puny popguns(and IEDs) in the hands of fighters defeated the “strongest” military ion the world, twice.

        But it is still folly to believe Americans (who are taught to surrender in a real fight, but kick serious butt in video games) ever could mount an armed resistance of any consequence. Make no mistake, one special forces man could take out a village of Bubbas without much trouble.

    • KB
      August 10, 2019 at 02:50

      Yet that can’t detect forces in Afghanistan Iraq the Democratic Republic of Congo you can have all the tick you want but guerrilla warfare has seemed to put an end to all that why do you think they call them Special Forces that’s what the militia was doing the time they grabbed their muskets and do what they have to do it would be the same way now you people would grab their AR-15 and it would be a guerrilla warfare

  69. Independent Voter
    January 14, 2013 at 20:16

    The only thing that separates the Constitution from any other piece of paper is the 2nd Amendment. Without it, politicians would abuse their power even more than they have already. Our politicians are systematically destroying the Constitution and it is up to the citizens to step up and protect our freedoms.

  70. xsnake
    January 14, 2013 at 18:41

    “The right to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed.” Get over it pinkos.

    • Deborah Geary
      January 14, 2013 at 19:28

      Leave your real names. The second ammendment, (sorry xsnake, dong, and Rehmat or whatever your names are) specifically deals with a “call to arms” as in, i.e., the American Revolution. It was written by people who knew nothing about clips and assault weapons. Why is it that assault weapon proponents are so good at loosely interpretting the Constitution’s Second Ammendment, yet deny marraige to people who love one another – or, the right for a woman to decide the outcome of her own body. White men (not all, thankfully) are always blasting everything except for the Second Ammendment idea that they worry their handguns and rifles are being sold down the river???? Assault weapons about riddling children and human beings like swiss cheese.

      • Alfred Charles
        January 14, 2013 at 20:15

        There is zero power afforded to the Federal Government by the Constitution pertaining to firearms. The states can create laws to limit access to guns. The Second was written to only further empower the states and to limit the Federal Government’s rule.

        • Kim Wilson
          January 20, 2013 at 14:41

          You guys always like to leave out the “well regulated” part of the amendment don’t you?

      • Paul
        January 14, 2013 at 20:43

        Deborah, the “call to arms” does not appear in the second amendment, however “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” does, its not complicated. “The right of the people” refers to American citizens, “keep and bear arms” refers to owning and using weapons like rifles, and “shall not be infringed” means that government is not able to impose any such law that would interfere with our right, as Americans, to keep and own arms.

        Your technology argument, is totally bogus, since the internet didn’t exist then yet your ability to express yourself on it, is still protected by the 1st Amendment.

        Anyone that tell you that the second amendment is not about restricting the governments ability to regulate our ability to keep and bear arms is lying to you.

        • Thomas Aquinus
          January 16, 2013 at 12:03

          oh you right wingers always quoting the 2nd amendment out of context. It appears as if you conveniently forgot the part about “a well regulated militia”. That’s okay, you apparently haven’t taken your meds today, so I will give you this one. LOL

        • ExpatZ
          January 17, 2013 at 09:20

          You selectively (as all gun nuitters do) leave out the quslifier: A well regulated militia.

          Unless you are National Guard that “right” to bear arms doesn’t apply to you.

      • Captain Shays
        January 16, 2013 at 11:56

        Deborah. It doesn’t matter whether they knew about modern weapons. They wanted us to be an equal force to our regular army so that our government would always be respectful of that force.

        : “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American… The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” – Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.


        “Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?, 3 Elliot Debates 168-169.

        The author makes reference to Shays Rebellion here;

        “The historical context of the Second Amendment also belies today’s right-wing mythology. At the time of the Constitutional Convention, the young nation was experiencing violent unrest, such as the Shays’ Rebellion in western Massachusetts. That armed uprising was testing the ability of the newly independent nation to establish order within the framework of a democratic Republic, a fairly untested idea at the time. European monarchies were predicting chaos and collapse for the United States.”

        Well, whnile in France, Thomas Jefferson recieved news of Shays Rebellion in a letter from his friend. He wrote back in a letter that included one of his most famous quotes;

        “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms… The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”, letter to William S. Smith, 1787, in S. Padover (Ed.), Jefferson, On Democracy (1939), p. 20.

        Also, not the descrepency between an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, and that of the well regulated militia. We need to keep in mind what the founders intended. They were for the most part dubious about standing armies and saw them as one of the greatest threats to liberty. During the Constitutional Convention, they wrote letters to Switzerland in admiration of their long history of peace and called them “our sister nation”. As we know, Switzerland has a foreign policy that is based on armed neutrality and non interventionism. At the time of our Convention, they were entering their 400th year of peace. Besides their foerign policy of armed neutrality, the founders also admired their style of defense, which was a militia style of defense. Militia in the eyes of our founders was comprised of every man able to carry and use a weapon to defend their country.

        Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: “What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.” Rep. of Massachusetts, I Annals of Congress at 750 (August 17, 1789).

        : “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…” (LIGHT HORSE HARRY) LEE, writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic (1787-1788)
        Richard Henry Lee: “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.” (Additional letters from the Federal Farmer, at 169, 1788)

        The Swiss based their foreign policy and their style of defense on the Christian Just War Principles which came about during the First century.
        The early Church was torn between being a good Christian, turning the other cheek and so forth and a desire to defend their families from foreign invaders. So the clergy at the time sent out a commission to search the scriptures to see if or when a person could kill another human being and not be in violation of the Commandment that is correctly translated “thou shall not murder” (not “kill”).
        They found four instances where that might be the case;
        1: capital punishment
        2: by accident
        3: in self defense
        4: in defense of your loved ones (we actually have an obligation) or the innocent.

        They surmised that if there was an invading army on the border of your country that if they penetrated the border they would certainly do harm to you, your family and the innocent so in that case it was justified to take up arms and to kill the inhvaders.

        But they also made other provisions
        The response must always be in proportion to the threat. In other words, after fending off the invasion, you would not be justified in then, going into the other country and start killing them and their families.
        Your government must do all that they can to avert war by peacefull means. If that failed, they must put the other country on notice by declaring war as a warning that we will defend ourselves to the point of death.
        We are not justified in taking pleasure in the killing or to increase their suffering. Torture is out of the question.

        Our founders much like the Swiss were also concerned about empires. The last thing our founders wanted for us was to become an empire because all empires in history failed. First, empires required more and more resources, human and logistic so therefore to acquire those resources, they needed to continuelly self-expand which our founders understood to be inherently unsistainable. In every case, once the empire reached a critical mass to pay for their unsustainable self expansion, they started to debauch their currency which in turn created an environment of political and social unrest. In response to that unrest, they always turned their military in on their own people.

        We must understand the respect for the Swiss and our founders admiration and relationship to Switzerland if we’re really to understand the nature of the Second Amendment. Yes, they wanted a militia style of defense where every able bodied person is to be armed. They understood that you wouldn’t need to force people to defend their own family or their country from an invasion. The govenrment wouldn’t need to use propaganda like they did with Iraq, or Vietnam. They wouldn’t need to create the conditions for war like Wilson did in WWI or FDR did in WWII. They were loathe to meddle in the affairs of other countries like we do now and as was started during the progressive era and by progressives.
        So our foreign policy is directly related to our right as individuals to keep and bear arms. It’s based in a philosophy of peace, and justice and a God given right to defend your person and your family.

        There are many differences between what the founders designed yet many similarities to the Swiss.
        For one thing, the Swiss had and still have a mandatory conscription (the draft). The founders didn’t agree with that as they felt it was a form of ownership by the govenrment able to take free men and force them into service. Hamilton addressed this in Federalist Paper #29. Again it is based on the understanding that if this country was under a serious threat you wouldn’t need to force people to defend their own family or their country which is one and the same.
        But knowing all this, there is a common knowledge that we have a right to defend our own life and our family so it should go without saying that owning a weapon is an individual right just like every other right mentioned in the Constitution where “the people” have rights. They are ALL individual rights and it’s not only absurd, but a dangerous lie to attribute ANY right to collective rights.

        • amjp
          January 18, 2013 at 01:08

          Trench Coxe’s comment was made before the Constitution took effect in March 1789, although it had been written previously. What he refers to, then, were the Articles of Confederation.

    • leftover
      January 15, 2013 at 11:36

      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.”
      The 2nd Amendment must be considered in its entirety.

      Even though the Supreme Court in Heller appeared to extend the scope of the 2nd Amendment to individuals, in certain circumstances, and played with the notion of “common usage” trying to rationalize what, if any, types of weapons might be protected within the law, it also said:

      “Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

      So, it would appear, that Heller does not restrain Congressional authority and power to act in the public interest, (i.e. protect the public from an exacerbated threat regarding a particular crime), by creating definitions, imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of semiautomatic firearms, (i.e. those firearms capable of firing as fast as the trigger can be pulled). Second Amendment rights, as extended to individuals, would be preserved, and the public safety would be enhanced.

      Executive action might present some problems. But really…it’s Obama…does anyone, looking at his record thus far, think that he’s going to do anything that inhibits profits of the firearms industry in this country? We supply the world with the tools for death and destruction. And he’s already refused to sign an international gun control initiative from the United Nations.
      And considering the rhetoric thus far, Congress seems entirely willing to repeat the same mistakes, enact more of the same ineffective legislation that does nothing to protect the public from the kind of threat to the public safety that so brutally compounded the tragedy at Newtown, (and numerous other mass killings).

      So relax…it doesn’t look like anybody is going to take away your toys.

      • August 12, 2019 at 22:05

        Your quote from Heller was followed two paragraphs later by:

        “It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.”

    • Mike Martin
      January 21, 2013 at 10:25

      xsnake, since you are a clearly devout Constitutional originalist then you should be permitted, without restriction, to own as many guns of the type as were available at the time the 2nd Ammendment was drafted. I’d hate to infringe on your right to your muzzleloaders and flintlocks.

      • Arthur
        August 11, 2019 at 18:10

        And you, Mr. Martin, should likewise be permitted, without restriction, freedom to write all you want with pen and paper or, if you prefer, on an 18th-century printing press–but not on a computer. (Google and Facebook will see to it that that freedom is denied.)

  71. rosemerry
    January 14, 2013 at 16:54

    Obama has many faults, especially he has poor judgment in choosing advisers, but his tendency to use coercion, violence, drones, invasions, surges at every opportunity certainly does not give the impression of someone against the “normal American” use of guns. he does what he thinks will suit his backers, as Rehmat mentions.

  72. cộng đồng
    January 14, 2013 at 15:58

    Just who are “these dreamy revolutionaries on the left”, Bob. You name a number of people on the “right”. But never seem to pin down exactly who on the “left” are those supportive of unrestricted possession of weapons to fight the government if necessary. Please mention someone.

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