On our Second Amendment Patriots Facebook page, a contributor wrote the follow, which I need to address:
[Contributor] “Thomas Jefferson had no idea what kind of guns were to evolve in the future – so I’m not impressed. I”m for background checks and limiting the sale of high powered assault rifles and 30 shell cartridges. I don’t care what the Second Amendment says. And why are you “Patriots” so afraid of the government???”
Actually, Thomas Jefferson did have an idea on how firearms would evolve. He was a very astute man and accomplished engineer, seeing the progress of technology as a good thing. He could have made reference to specific kinds of weapons in the second amendment. For example, he could have stated that the “peoples right to bear 2-shot pistols, 1-shot rifles, and a double barrel shot gun” shall not be infringed. So why didn’t he?
The answer can be found by addressing your last question about “why are we so afraid of the government?” This kind of question was actually never asked during our revolutionary days. People back then (1770’s) were afraid of the government because they were Tyrannical (cruel and oppressive). By some estimates, 26,000 Americans died so that we could be free of tyranny. This was so important, that our founding fathers wanted to ensure “we the people” would never be put into a position of subjugation again. Hence, the Second Amendment.
So, when the founders recognized our natural right to self protection, they did so by enabling us to have the kinds of arms that would prevent a government from having superiority over us. This means that if the government has a knife (a kind of arm), then the people shall have the right to a knife. If the government has access to pistols, so shall the people. If the government has rifles, the people shall also have them. So on and so forth. This parity prevents a government for taking power from the people and becoming the tyrants we shed so much blood to remove.
Now, before you go off and say, well, “we the people should have nuclear weapons – since the government has them. Right?” Many would think this kind of reductio ad adsurbum argument is a “good one,” but it really isn’t. IF the government intends on using their nuclear weapons against their own people, then the people should have them. But do we believe that would happen? Hopefully not.
With all this said, there is one part of the statement that really saddens me – “I don’t care what the second amendment says.” That hurts. It truly does. People have given their lives for the constitution over the couple hundred years of our republic. They died so they could say that (first amendment). They died so they could defend themselves, their children, and other loved ones against somebody using deadly force (second amendment). They continue to die, in some capacity, every day so that they can live under the protection of the constitution. With blood these patriots a part of this contributors, they should care. They should really care.