[Rushtalk] 2nd Amendment
John A. Quayle
blueoval57 at verizon.net
Sat Jan 19 03:19:22 MST 2013
January 19, 2013
Why the 2nd Amendment
By Walter E. Williams
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings,
said: "The British are not coming....We don't need all these guns to
kill people." Lewis' vision, shared by many, represents a gross
ignorance of why the framers of the Constitution gave us the Second
Amendment. How about a few quotes from the period and you decide
whether our Founding Fathers harbored a fear of foreign tyrants.
Alexander Hamilton: "The best we can hope for concerning the people
at large is that they be properly armed," adding later, "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."
By the way, Hamilton is referring to what institution when he says
"the representatives of the people"?
James Madison: "(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being
armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every
other nation ... (where) the governments are afraid to trust the
people with arms."
Thomas Jefferson: "What country can preserve its liberties if its
rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve
the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."
George Mason, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights, which inspired
our Constitution's Bill of Rights, said, "To disarm the people --
that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
Rep. John Lewis and like-minded people might dismiss these thoughts
by saying the founders were racist anyway. Here's a more recent quote
from a card-carrying liberal, the late Vice President Hubert H.
Humphrey: "Certainly, one of the chief guarantees of freedom under
any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of
the citizen to keep and bear arms....The right of the citizen to bear
arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more
safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but
which historically has proven to be always possible." I have many
other Second Amendment references at
How about a couple of quotations with which Rep. Lewis and others
might agree? "Armas para que?" (translated: "Guns, for what?") by
Fidel Castro. There's a more famous one: "The most foolish mistake we
could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess
arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their
subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so
doing." That was Adolf Hitler.
Here's the gun grabbers' slippery-slope agenda, laid out by Nelson T.
Shields, founder of Handgun Control Inc.: "We're going to have to
take this one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily --
given the political realities -- going to be very modest. ... Right
now, though, we'd be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice.
Our ultimate goal -- total control of handguns in the United States
-- is going to take time. ... The final problem is to make the
possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition -- except for
the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting
clubs and licensed gun collectors -- totally illegal" (The New
Yorker, July 1976).
There have been people who've ridiculed the protections afforded by
the Second Amendment, asking what chance would citizens have against
the military might of the U.S. government. Military might isn't
always the deciding factor. Our 1776 War of Independence was against
the mightiest nation on the face of the earth -- Great Britain. In
Syria, the rebels are making life uncomfortable for the
much-better-equipped Syrian regime. Today's Americans are vastly
better-armed than our founders, Warsaw Ghetto Jews and Syrian rebels.
There are about 300 million privately held firearms owned by
Americans. That's nothing to sneeze at. And notice that the people
who support gun control are the very people who want to control and
dictate our lives.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason
University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read
features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit
the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM
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