There’s a longstanding myth worshiped by those who seem to hold their gun rights above all else. That myth? That they should be able to own as much of any and all firearms and ammunition that they see fit. Why? Because they need to “protect themselves,” and also “make sure the government doesn’t come after them.” And they feel they have this right because of the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
For reference, let’s take a look at the Second Amendment:
“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.”
Which was written to arm the standing state militias at the time to fight for the new budding nation who didn’t yet have a solid standing national military.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a gander at Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution that says:
“To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”
As well as:
“To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”
So it makes sense that later an amendment was added (amendment meaning a “minor change to a document” that can also be amended later, unless of course, we’re still not allowed to drink alcohol) that armed the militias aforementioned.
Also take note of the “suppress Insurrections” part. If you’re unaware, an insurrection is “a violent uprising against an authority or government.” So, for all those out there with their guns thinking the Constitution grants them to right to fight the government, guess what? The exact opposite is true. Besides, why in the world would the Founding Fathers write in a self-destruct clause? That’s just insane.
Now, if you need a real-life example that this was the true intention of the Constitution and it’s right to bear arms, let’s recall the Whiskey Rebellion. Which, according to the official website for George Washington’s estate, Mount Vernon, explains:
“In January 1791, President George Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton proposed a seemingly innocuous excise tax “upon spirits distilled within the United States, and for appropriating the same.” What Congress failed to predict was the vehement rejection of this tax by Americans living on the frontier of Western Pennsylvania. By 1794, the Whiskey Rebellion threatened the stability of the nascent United States and forced President Washington to personally lead the United States militia westward to stop the rebels.”
“The rebels” — or as some may call those who are against the government taxing them and would like to take up arms. Remind you of anyone? Hmm…
George Washington’s official proclamation of the Whiskey Rebellion from August 9, 1794, read:
“And whereas, it is in my judgment necessary under the circumstances of the case to take measures for calling forth the militia in order to suppress the combinations aforesaid, and to cause the laws to be duly executed; and I have accordingly determined so to do, feeling the deepest regret for the occasion, but withal the most solemn conviction that the essential interests of the Union demand it, that the very existence of government and the fundamental principles of social order are materially involved in the issue, and that the patriotism and firmness of all good citizens are seriously called upon, as occasions may require, to aid in the effectual suppression of so fatal a spirit;
Therefore, and in pursuance of the proviso above recited, I. George Washington, President of the United States, do hereby command all persons, being insurgents, as aforesaid, and all others whom it may concern, on or before the 1st day of September next to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes. And I do moreover warn all persons whomsoever against aiding, abetting, or comforting the perpetrators of the aforesaid treasonable acts; and do require all officers and other citizens, according to their respective duties and the laws of the land, to exert their utmost endeavors to prevent and suppress such dangerous proceedings.”
He didn’t want to have to use force, but he knew it had to happen, and he ordered the military to suppress all rebellions. However, with Washington making such a proclamation it ended the rebellion before it could really start.
So, to all you right-wingers out there clinging to your guns to prevent the government from “taking them.” Guess what? The government is actually within its right to do so — but don’t worry, it won’t.
There’s also another word for wanting to have an uprising against the government — treason. Which is exactly what those who were apprehended by Washington’s militias were tried with for rebelling. Remember that.
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