I’ve never really wrapped my head around why the Coalition to Stop Gun
Ownership Violence feels the need to create a warped and ahistorical version of the Founding Fathers, and then try to pass themselves off as the true guardians of the Founders’ vision. The typical reaction from lefties is why we should pay any heed to what 18th century slaveholders had to say about anything, and is perhaps a more defensible position intellectually than making up your own history. I’ve always liked this quote from Thomas Jefferson, in a 1787 letter to James Madison:
Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3. Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the 1st. condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has it’s evils too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.
Note the Latin phrase “Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.” which translates into “I’d rather have a perilous liberty, than a peaceful servitude.” Now, you’d think if CSGV’s vision of the Founders were correct, Madison would have scolded Jefferson’s insurrectionist ideas, but he never did. That’s the real intellectual problem with CSGV’s, quite frankly insane ramblings on history. You have all these founding fathers writing about ideas that were supposedly, in their world, an anathema, yet you never see them arguing with each about it. In CSGV’s world, our Founders overthrew the British crown, and then renounced insurrectionism. Unfortunately for them, the historical record just does not back up their assertions. I will do a series of these quotes, since gun news is slow, laying out the fact that our Founding Fathers were, in fact, most concerned with preserving the right of their people to free themselves from the yoke of tyrannical government.
CSGV often asserts that never in the Constitutional debates did the Founders mention individual self-defense as the core of the right. This is true. The core of the right, from their point of view, was that an armed population would act as a check on the power of the central government. If this version of the Second Amendment were adopted by the Courts, it would have implications that CSGV would no doubt be appalled by, such as protections for machine guns and man-portable weapons like rockets, and anti-tank missiles.