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May 05, 2013

Den Beste: Hooray for the Second Amendment!

Steven Den Beste sent the following, which I am pleased to publish here for ya'll.

Let's talk about the Third Amendment for a moment. Remember that one? Probably not; in this day and age it's something of a Constitutional joke. "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

Remember now? The Bill of Rights which passed Congress had twelve clauses, and ten of them were almost immediately ratified by the states. Amendment Three was one of those. Why did they bother?

It's because memory of the Revolution was still current. It was only a few years after the Revolution succeeded, remember, and memory of British tyranny was still fresh. The British had done this, and the citizens of the nascent United States wanted to make sure their new government didn't.

The reason the colonies revolted was because the King of England was viewed as having become a tyrant. Having fought a bloody war to become free of his tyranny, the founders wanted to make sure the new government they created did not in turn become tyranny. Trading one tyrant for another wasn't what they had in mind. So the Constitution contains layers of mechanisms to try to prevent tyranny. And the last and best of these is the Second Amendment.

Remember how the shooting revolution began? The Battles of Lexington and Concord. Rebels in the Boston area had been stockpiling weapons, powder, and ammunition near Concord MA, and the British got wind of it and sent an armed column out from Boston to seize the stockpile. Superb espionage by rebel forces detected this, and word spread through the countryside for the militia (remember that word; it's important) which formed up and fought against the British force. The main battle was fought at Lexington MA, which repelled the British and caused them to retreat again back to Boston.

The "militia" was all able bodied men in the area, who were to show up with their own rifles (or muskets). Weapons of that era varied quite a lot, and of course they were muzzle-loaded using black powder. It took a lot of training to use such a weapon effectively (especially rifles, which were much more difficult to load than muskets) and that's why it was desireable that the men have their own weapons. It was assumed they already knew how to use them.

The earliest battles of the revolution were fought by such militia formations. Another was the Battle of Bunker Hill. It was only later that the Revolutionary Army was formed, and began training at Valley Forge.

Having just won their revolution, in which privately owned firearms played such a critical role, and mindful of the potential for their new government to potentially become tyrannical, the purpose of the Second Amendment was to make sure that the people of the United States would have the means to rise in revolt once again, should it become necessary.

That's what it's really about. It's not about hunting weapons; it's not about the "National Guard" (which isn't a militia). It's about everyday law-abiding citizens having the ability to resist a tyrannical government. And with that deterrent in place, we've managed 230 years without our government descending into tyranny (though it's come close).

And that's why Progressives hate it. Deep down, progressives (i.e. socialists) are not populists. Deep down, progressives despise the majority of their fellow citizens, and don't trust them at all. They love America but hate most of the Americans. Progressives are entranced with the possibilities presented by a benevolent dictatorship. They ignore the peril, that it can mutate into a malevolent dictatorship because they believe in their own virtue. They're sure it won't happen if they're in charge. As to Democracy? It's a burden, a barrier; it gives the vote to all the rednecks and knuckle-draggers who have been mislead by the evil capitalists (remember the Doctrine of False Consciousness? Pernicious claptrap, that one, but it has a lot of currency on the left) and will resist the Progressive program even though it's Obviously the right thing to do.

If only Progressives, as an enlightened elite, had the ability to impose their program on the rest of us, eventually we'd come around to their point of view. But that means they need dictatorial power, and Democracy prevents that.

And the last and strongest barrier against the creation of a benevolent dictatorship by the Progressive enlightened elite is that damned Second Amendment, and all those firearms owned by the rednecks and knuckle-draggers.

So let's be clear: Progressives don't fear guns in the hands of criminals, or not very much. It's not about school shootings, either. It's guns in the hands, and homes, of law abiding citizens that Progressives hate. Those are the guns they wish were gone; those are the guns they will try to eliminate if they can. Because those are the guns which stand in the way of them taking over.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:42 PM

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