A diatribe against Second Amendment ‘freedom’
I’m fresh off anger over the disgraceful Senate vote against restricting individuals on the terror watch list from purchasing weapons. My librul friends are posting their disgust, while my tinfoil hat uh, friends, are posting things like this meme above. For the record: We did not get a Second Amendment because the Founders gave a rat’s patootie about the common people defending themselves against tyranny. Remember that the Founders didn’t give the voting franchise to anyone but white males over 21 WHO OWNED PROPERTY. That didn’t change for the entire country until 1850, long after the Constitution’s authors and signers were food for the worms. It didn’t change for women for another 69 years and we needed a Voting Rights act in the 1960’s to make sure people of color could show up to register and not be beaten or worse. The Founders, and the people who took office in the years after them, talked a good game about freedom and liberty, but when you realize that one of the most eloquent of the American voices on human freedom was a slave owner who didn’t free his slaves, you realize that much of it was for appearance sake.
In any case, one wonders about those Founders writing and speaking so eloquently about guarding against ‘tyranny’. Could this have been a subtle reference to the idea that the Brits could come back? Remember that a goodly number of the colonists were Tory sympathizers. And things weren’t going too well for the newly-formed United States after the British withdrew. There was a huge war debt rolled up for the Revolution, and the common people who’d done the fighting and dying were getting hit up to pay for it (the soldiers also weren’t getting promised back pay). That was the root of Shay’s Rebellion in Massachusetts, the settling of which required the Continental Army to step in. The cost of that foray nearly bankrupt the fledgling nation. I’ve written about this here, and you can check out the links to the Federalist papers and the many quotes that Howard Zinn uncovered about the ‘original intent’ of the Second Amendment.
Back to the propagandizing of the Second Amendment: Was ‘tyranny’ a dog-whistle in the 1780’s, the way ‘communism’ was a dog whistle in the 1950’s? Remember when every Martin Luther King, Jr. pronouncement on the failure of the status quo was disparaged because it gave comfort to the communists? (please note that this link is posted to show the sort of paranoia and hatred around MLK and linking him with the commies) Nobody in the post Revolutionary period could honestly answer the question ‘are you for Tyranny?’ So the next question would be ‘why won’t you be part of a people’s militia?’ In other words, join the state militia or else. That’s the whole impetus behind the Second Amendment Passage “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State”. If you are a REAL ‘murican, you’re gonna buy a musket and keep it locked up ready if the enemy comes back. There’s also the nagging fact that the Second Amendment was passed in part to help Southern States deal with slave rebellions.
You could even make the argument that the Second Amendment, by forcing all able-bodied men into state militias, was designed to make it harder for disgruntled people to rebel. After all, the states had all experienced the joys of jury nullification–it was one of the reasons we had a revolution in the first place. The British found that they could not stage jury trials over violation of the tea tax or Stamp Act in the colonies because jurors were increasingly voting against the Crown regardless of the evidence. Post revolution, would the neighbors of a rebel vote not guilty regardless of the evidence because they supported his cause? What does this have to do with the militias? I’m in the beginning stages of this research, but the question must come up–what happens to a militia member (as everyone was) who’s cleared by a jury of his peers? Would he then be subject to a Court martial for violating the rules of his service to the state? Could forced membership in a militia make revolutionaries subject to military laws as well as the pertaining civil penalties?
Running out of space and patience here. Whatever discussions we have going forward on the status of firearms and the ease of getting a weapon in this country, those of us on the left need to forestall the whole ‘constitutional guarantee’ lie. The constitutional guarantee for firearms was never about encouraging our ‘freedom’. It was about preserving the power of the state and guaranteeing that the people in power stayed in power. The gun lobby in this country is supported by people who for the most part don’t believe that evidence matters.