Note: This post was inspired by a post I recently made on the discussion forums of Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom in a topic about the second amendment.
The second amendment, as currently enforced, is an absolute joke and is completely contrary to what the founders actually intended. It was included specifically and solely as a check on government power. The founders believed in the absolute right of a population to resist a tyrannical government by the force of arms if necessary.
Consider for a moment the fact that in the late eighteenth century, the level of technology was such that the average citizen possessed a weapon that was, in most respects, a near-equal of the weapons that were possessed by the best equipped professional armies of the world. Many merchants and local militia captains (note that militias were voluntary associations not necessarily organized or supervised by any government entity) owned cannons and basic artillery. Everything the government had, the citizens had also. This is what made an armed revolution possible, which the founders considered to be a good thing.
Flash forward to today. The second amendment today apparently has nothing to do with revolution, but rather, exists only to protect our right to hunt. We are forbidden from possessing the overwhelming majority of weapons that governments and police forces have an abundance of. Those who demand even greater restrictions insist that private citizens have absolutely no business possessing arms that were designed for military use. Argue in favor of fewer restrictions and you will be immediately challenged with something like: “What? You think we should just let anyone buy a nuclear bomb who wants one?”
Nuclear weapons aside (we’ve got a looooooooooooooooooong way to go before we even come close to crossing that bridge) it is abundantly clear that the founders’ intentions are being violated. Imagine a hypothetical scenario that, shortly after the ratification of the bill of rights, George Washington raised a large standing army, armed them with the best military equipment available at the time, and instructed them to go across the nation, confiscating all firearms and cannons. Exactly how well do you think this would have gone over with the citizenry? Do you think they would accept the explanation that we accept today? Would they be content with the fact that the government is allowing them to keep their swords, shields, spears, bows, and arrows? Would they willingly accept the fact that the government’s armies are allowed technology that is vastly superior to what a private citizen is allowed?
Absolutely not. An attempt to disarm the populace in such a brazen manner would have met with armed resistance. Yet today, this is exactly what we must put up with. To suggest that certain classes of weapons should be available exclusively to government agents goes completely and entirely against the spirit of the second amendment. Back in colonial times, the technological playing field was essentially even, and yet, it didn’t result in chaos and constant mass-murder. Despite the fact that virtually everyone held the most advanced weapon on the planet, society still managed to hold together. Today’s gun-grabbers are mere hysterics, using fear-mongering to attempt to further oppress the citizenry, and establish their ultimate goal, true omnipotent government.