The Second Amendment: The Meaning, Original Intent, and Current Need

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The Second Amendment is an inalienable right and was penned by the Founders in the Bill of Rights. What does this mean?

Sources and other information-

What did the Founding Fathers have to say about an individuals right to bear arms, “the militia”, and the necessity of armed individuals to the security of a free people?:

James Madison (author of the Second Amendment) “”[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 Papers, Number 46

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”

– Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778

“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

” … but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights …”

Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 29-

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 28

“what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. what signify a few lives lost in a century or two? the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Smith, November 13, 1787-

And the list goes on..

And on…

And on..

For the detractors- show me one argument from a Founding Father against an individual’s right to keep and bear arms…just one.


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