DOUGLAS: The 2nd Amendment and What Our Founding Fathers Really Feared

(Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller and other publications.)

Julius Caesar stopped his 13th legion and looked across the ‘forbidden’ river.

What he was about to do was illegal. If he was caught, he and his army (the 13th legion) would be sentenced to death…immediately. Caesar looked back at his army and back at Rome one last time. He knew what he had to do, supposedly screaming “The Die is Cast!” which means there’s no turning back now. He was right.

Julius Caesar had only ONE chance to become the supreme leader of Rome. If he succeeded, he’d have access to power that very few men in history ever possessed — the infinite power of a dictator. Caesar smiled at the potential possibilities and crossed the river, marching onto the innocent plains of Rome. And what came next was surprising:

Caesar succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations, assuming control of the government and establishing himself as Rome’s dictator for life.

This same sequence of events repeated itself COUNTLESS times over the course of history. The result is a loss of freedom for everyone. The cause?

A standing army.

And it’s those same standing armies that our Founding Fathers tried to protect us from when they created the…

The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution

The amendment was simple:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

What did they originally mean? That the best defense we had against standing armies was a state militia run by the PEOPLE. So in the rare case our own standing army ever betrayed the people (just like it did with Caesar), the people would be able to defend their own rights. For some time the idea of the militia worked. But then, as the United States grew, we moved away from militias and moved over to a…

Permanent Standing Army

This is the thing our founding fathers feared most, but it was inevitable.

As the United States grew, so did its adversaries. We needed to combine forces and build a standing army if we wanted to survive the next century. Because of this, we dissolved the local militias in favor of the world’s most powerful standing army today equipped with AR-15s (or M-16s if you want to be technical), rifle scopes, Kevlar armor, and other military goods. Sure, we still have the National Guard, but it doesn’t count any longer. Why?

After the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act, the president now has COMPLETE autonomy over the National Guard WITHOUT the consent of state governors. In other words, the National Guard is a smaller standing army. That said, we are now left with two problems:

First, the people now have nothing to protect themselves against our own military (in the case they went rogue). Second, our personal rights to firearms also went with it. In fact, it wasn’t until the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case that individual guns rights finally got recognized. But it’s not all doom and gloom. It turns out that the demolition of the militia may actually be…

A Good Thing

Here’s why:

The problem with militias is the people.

Imagine this for a moment: you’ve just been recruited to fight for a state militia. And just recently, the government passed a law that you and your buddies absolutely hate. In fact: EVERYONE in the militia hates the new government law. So, what do you guys do? You decide to start a revolution with your buddies.

And it’s easy, too. After all, you and your buddies have the only firepower the state’s got. You rally the troops into action. With your army rallied up, the next part is easy: pay the governor a visit. And there you go, ladies and gentlemen, that’s how you start a revolution using the tax payers’ hard earned dollars.

Jokes aside, this same scenario actually played out a few time in our early American history. Once in Shay’s Rebellion of 1787 and in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791. By now, I think you get the point: the militia has the SAME problem as a standing army. So
if militias aren’t the solution, what is?

The People

Every instance in history that the government stripped away weapons from its citizens — it led to losses of freedom and liberty. Let’s not repeat that mistake. Our founding fathers were smart. They learned from history and set up safeguards for our own protection. In this case, it’s the second amendment protecting militias’ gun rights. Their ultimate goal?

They wanted to ensure the citizens had the means to defend themselves from oppressive tyrants — whether foreign or domestic. Times have changed. We no longer need state militias, but the duty to protect our individual rights remains. And there’s no better way to do than to ensure our individual gun rights are protected.

Yes, it’s true: Bad people misuse guns and kill innocent people.

That happens with ANY weapon. But that doesn’t mean to ban the weapons from law abiding, good people. After all, individual gun rights might be the ONLY defense we have against tyranny. Our Founding Fathers would most likely agree. So what are you waiting for? Take out your firearm and put on a scope; exercise your 2nd amendment rights, and read more about why our founders thought it so vital.

(Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller and other publications.)

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