When the gun debate gets brought up, the group of people that often make me laugh the most are those who believe our Second Amendment is meant to keep the “government fearful of its citizens.” They’ll cite all these historic dictators and their insistence on very strict gun laws—while ignoring the many current free nations which also have very strict laws on gun ownership.
These people honestly believe we were given the right to “bear arms” so that, if need be, we could rise up and overthrow our government.
Well if that’s true, then what’s with that whole Article Three of our Constitution? You know, the part that reads:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
Wouldn’t preparing for, and advocating the possibility of, war against the United States government constitute “levying war?”
It seems pretty clear cut. That’s why they gave us the form of government they did. Our elected officials are elected officials so that if they become corrupt we can vote them out of office. It’s why each term is given a limited number of years. That’s how we were given the power to “overthrow” our government. If we believe our officials aren’t representing our best interests, vote them out of office. Believe it or not, not a single politician wins an election without getting votes from Americans.
The Second Amendment was written to give citizens the ability to form militias to defend against threats during a time in our country when the first line of defense on our borders was often the citizens who lived in those areas. We didn’t have a well organized military with fortified military bases all over our country. It took days (sometimes even weeks) to get federal troops to certain locations in our country, meaning we relied heavily on a “well regulated militia” to defend outlying areas that weren’t quickly reachable.
There are also the stories that say the Second Amendment was a compromise with states which supported slavery to give slave owners the right to suppress a possible slave revolt.
But even beyond the debate on the specifics of our Second Amendment, Article Three of our Constitution is pretty clear cut.
After all, didn’t we see how this would go once before? Has anyone ever heard of the Civil War? How did armed citizens fare against the federal government in the late-1800’s? You know, back when citizens and the military were much more evenly armed, and our military was much less powerful.
These people really think things would go better against the modern United States military? Also known as the most powerful war machine that’s ever existed.
And the ironic part is most of those who believe in a possible “armed revolt against the United States government” are the same people who support the party which funnels hundreds of billions of dollars into our military defense budget—which is controlled by the federal government.
Nothing quite like properly funding the military which you believe you may one day have to “rise up against.”
But what it really breaks down to is this, according to our Constitution: Anyone who believes they need to compile an arsenal of weapons, with the belief that they’re preparing for an armed revolt against the United States government (aka levying war), is advocating treason against the United States of America, making them a traitor—not a patriot.
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