The Second Amendment deserves a much broader interpretation #MolonLabe

by 1389 on January 11, 2013

in 1389 (blog admin), education, Gun rights / Second Amendment, history, military, Texas

Texas: Come and take it
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ, Texas-style

Small arms are a good start, but when the chips are down, they might not suffice. A more reliable bulwark against government tyranny requires citizen ownership of heavy, crew-served weapons. Crew-served cannon were privately owned in 1776 and played an important role in the War for Independence. But the Second Amendment is no longer interpreted to protect the right of private citizens to own effective military-grade weaponry. That needs to change.

To be sure, this is not the conclusion that Col. Dunlap expected us to draw from his paper. But then, this is a Duke University law school publication, and modern-day academia does not admit of conclusions, or even topics for debate, that fall outside a certain narrow range. On this blog we are under no such constraints.

While it is clear from our Constitution that our Founders sought to discourage armed insurrections, their own words in the Declaration of Independence made it clear that, in sufficiently dire circumstances (which were markedly less dire than those we face now), armed insurrection was right.

What about the claim that the issue of taking up arms to defend one’s independence from the federal government was settled once and for all by the War Between the States? That is the same as saying that might makes right. That’s the devil’s logic and it will not be tolerated on this blog.

See for yourself:

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dadof3 January 13, 2013 at 8:46 am

Didn’t the Govt. write Letters of Marque to basically hire private ships to protect our shores? Doesn’t that mean private citizens actually had weapons equal to a foreign navy?

2 1389 January 13, 2013 at 8:52 am



3 Mark v January 14, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Yes, the Constitution interprets itself here, in that it specifically authorized Congress to deputize existing privately owned warships to deal with pirates, etc. Note that it does not give Congress the power to PERMIT private ownership of warships, it assumes the existence of such.

4 lichau January 14, 2013 at 8:23 pm

@Dadof3. Back in Revolutionary times, the military firearm was the smooth bore musket–which was very inaccurate and of limited range. It was preferred by the military since it could be loaded fairly quickly–two to three rounds per minute–and the objective then, as now, was to get lead going in the general direction of the other side. It was cheap and relatively easy to train soldiers in its use.

Civilian weapon was the long rifle. Lower rate of fire, but much more accurate and better range. It was not cheap. It was the higher tech of the two.

So–at the time that the Constitution was written, civilians were arguably better armed than the military.

5 The Root '83 January 14, 2013 at 11:52 pm

“Civilian weapon was the long rifle. Lower rate of fire, but much more accurate and better range. It was not cheap. It was the higher tech of the two”

The smoothbore Musket is the AK 47…cheap utilitarian effectiveness.
The Pennsylvania Rifle is the .300 win mag bolt action hunting rifle.
Narrow purpose, but REALLY good at it.

Each has its pros and cons depending on situation, but funny how we never “won” our independence until we were able to go toe-to toe with Muskets and Bayonets in conventional “force on force” battles thanks to Von Stuben’s training. The rifle was a “good tool” but not “superior” for war-fighting than the Musket.

Guerrilla TACTICS are just that, tactics. They dont win wars, destroying (or forcing surrender) large armies afield with similar sized and configured “superior forces” does.

Not so sure? Just look at the RUSSIAN TANKS that eventually plowed through the gates of the Presidential Palace on Vietnam. The guerrilla war would have gone on forever. To WIN, it took superior numbers of Conventional Forces, with Tanks and Mobile Artillery (and fully equipped soldiers in helmets and boots, not pajamas and sandals) to beat the lesser equipped (abandoned by the US) ARVNS Forces, in conventional combat.

However much “fun” the road from Concord Bridge was for the shooters behind rocks and trees, its not what won the war. Conventional besiegement, envelopment, artillery and FRENCH NAVAL SHIPS, did.

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