One of the biggest cries you’ll hear from the anti-gun left is that AR-15s and other “assault weapons” are weapons of war that have no business on the streets of America. They try to claim that the Second Amendment only protects the right to hunt, or the right to limited self defense, so that only hunting weapons, some handguns, or even just muzzleloading rifles are protected.
Unfortunately, too many gun owners respond by trying to claim that AR-15s aren’t weapons of war because they’re semiautomatic only. They try to defend the right to bear arms by arguing within the left’s framework that only firearms with a “sporting purpose” are protected by the Second Amendment. But that falls afoul of the Founders’ intentions, not to mention previous Supreme Court rulings.
It’s time for gun owners to stop playing on defense and to stop arguing using the framework and language the left has come up with. If we don’t start going on the offensive, we’ll continue to see our right to keep and bear arms continually whittled away. Instead, it’s high time that we loudly and proudly proclaim the real purpose of the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment has but a single purpose, to allow the people to overthrow their government if they decide it is tyrannical. The framers of the Constitution had recently overthrown a tyrannical government with violence, all-out war. And they couldn’t have done so without keeping and bearing arms.
Many of the early skirmishes between colonials and British forces were over supplies of gunpowder or arms. The colonials knew that they couldn’t allow the British soldiers to monopolize the carriage and use of arms. And by standing up and exercising their right, they overthrew the yoke of British tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson himself stated:
What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And 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. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and 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 and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Is it then not obvious that the purpose of keeping and bearing arms is to keep the government in check?
You probably learned in high school civics about checks and balances. Most people learn about the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch, and how the three are supposed to keep each other in check. But how many learn about the federal government, the state government, and the people, and how those three are supposed to keep each other in check?
Odds are that the role of the people in controlling the actions of government is never discussed. And that’s for a reason. The government doesn’t want the people to know that they have the power, indeed the right and duty, to crack down on a government that oversteps its bounds.
The understanding of the role of the people, the power of the people, and the duty of the people to stand up for its rights is slowly becoming lost over successive generations thanks to the propaganda pushed in public schools. And it’s up to us who actually understand this to keep the flame of liberty alive so that it doesn’t perish from this earth.
The purpose of the AR-15, the AK-47, the FN FAL, and any other “assault weapons” is to provide the people a bulwark against government overreach. They are weapons of war, and as such the people have every right to own them. Our streets should be full of such weapons, to let the government know that the people mean business. To hell with anyone who thinks that the common man shouldn’t be allowed to own such weapons.
The Supreme Court even acknowledged as much in United States v. Miller (1939). In the opinion of the court, ownership of a short-barreled shotgun wasn’t protected by the Second Amendment because it couldn’t be argued that “this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.” Now the court may have been wrong about the utility of an SBS to martial use, but it still inferred that the Second Amendment only protected weapons of a military character.
You might hear leftists claim that there’s no way the people could defeat the government only with small arms. Ironically, many of those leftists styled themselves members of the “Resistance” when Trump was President. And yet, despite claiming that those small arms are ineffective, they’ll then in the next breath state that these weapons are too dangerous and damaging for the people to own.
The cognitive dissonance is real, and it’s astounding. But we can’t play on defense. After the events of the past two years it has become clear that our government doesn’t have our best interests at heart. It does what it wants to do, and crushes anyone who stands in the way.
We can’t rely on police, or courts, or the legislature to protect our rights. We’re on our own, and it’s time that we stood up for our rights. The only way we’ll be able to do that effectively is if we’re well-armed and can stand up to government force.
The legacy of the American Revolution is that we as Americans are citizen-soldiers. We are prepared to fight for our freedoms, even if it means sacrificing everything we hold dear to go to battle against a tyrannical government. And we should embrace that legacy, spread the message of liberty, and acknowledge that we have the right to own weapons of war.