Link here. Anyone who wishes to avoid being willfully ignorant about the reasons and background to the second amendment and presently feels lacking in knowledge will find this essay immensely clarifying. Bottom line:
Again, both sides [in the debate over the ratification of the Constitution] not only agreed that the people had a right to be armed, both sides assumed the existence of an armed population as an essential element to preserving liberty. The framers quite clearly had adopted James Harrington’s political theory that the measure of liberty attained and retained was a direct function of an armed citizenry’s ability to claim and hold those rights from domestic and foreign enemies.
And from the conclusion:
English history made two things clear to the American revolutionaries: force of arms was the only effective check on government, and standing armies threatened liberty. Recognition of these premises meant that the force of arms necessary to check government had to be placed in the hands of citizens. The English theorists Blackstone and Harrington advocated these tenants. Because the public purpose of the right to keep arms was to check government, the right necessarily belonged to the individual and, as a matter of theory, was thought to be absolute in that it could not be abrogated by the prevailing rulers.
These views were adopted by the framers, both Federalists and Antifederalists. Neither group trusted government. Both believed the greatest danger to the new republic was tyrannical government and that the ultimate check on tyranny was an armed population. It is beyond dispute that the second amendment right was to serve the same public purpose as advocated by the English theorists. The check on all government, not simply the federal government, was the armed population, the militia. Government would not be accorded the power to create a select militia since such a body would become the government’s instrument. The whole of the population would comprise the militia. As the constitutional debates prove, the framers recognized that the common public purpose of preserving freedom would be served by protecting each individual’s right to arms, thus empowering the people to resist tyranny and preserve the republic. The intent was not to create a right for other governments, the individual states; it was to preserve the people’s right to a free state, just as it says. [emphasis in original]
Read it all. It puts this issue of gun rights into historical and accurate context. That there are Americans today that do not know these facts, and refuse to learn them, speaks very poorly of them. It also suggests their goal is not the prevention of violence but the oppression of others. Such a goal is directly threatened by these historical facts — describing the British and American search for liberty and freedom — which is why they do not wish them known, and often do whatever they can to suppress them.
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