This was my response to a FB friend's wall post. It is probably the last of my long rants on 2nd Amendment Rights here on ATS, I think
I have covered everything I felt compelled to say on the subject. Feel free to use, pick apart, critique or bash.
Earlier this week you posted, "I am waiting for an intelligent answer (or any answer) to what a law abiding citizen needs more than 10 rounds in a
I wanted to respond to that, but I imagine it will take more space than the comment window allows.
In full disclosure, I am a strong believer in our constitutional rights. I also own (PRIVACY CENSORED).
I have debated this
issue extensively over the last few months on a discussion forum I frequent. While there are 'personal defense' arguments on your question that I
could trace out, I prefer to go to the original intent of the 2nd amendment whenever possible.
As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, 1791:
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Why was this right, to keep and carry weapons included?
Alexander Hamilton's observation, in The Federalist, No. 29, regarding the people's militia's ability to be a match for a standing army: "...but if
circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the
people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their
Many many more historical precedents can be quoted in addition to Hamilton's. Additionally, scholarly legal analysis of word meanings and associations
of the document's era clearly side with private ownership, not "formal militia usage."
In fact, a logical and historically based argument could be made that increased rights to own more powerful weapons is in line with the original
intent of the constitutional framers. I however do not make nor agree with that argument.
My core argument, to finally answer your question, is that of deterrence.
While the informal citizen militia composed of firearm owners such as myself are no match for a war with the military, the large scale presence of
PDW's, ('personal defense weapons,' a definition used by DHS last month for M-16's ) present a substantial deterrent to increased totalitarian
methods within our communities. If it came to blows, the government would have to go all in and risk losing broader support internally and
A very popular response to this reasoning is either an ad hominem attack; "...you're paranoid/crazy/delusional!" or my favorite, personal incredulity;
"...that could NEVER happen in this day and age!"
Here's why I assert that I am not crazy:
A) We are no more evolved intellectually than our grandparents. While the playing field has gotten more complex, their generation dealt with the much
of the same social & political issues as we do today.
B) Germany, 1933. A nation of our grandparent's generation. A nation with rule of law; President, Chancellor, Courts, Parliament, Constitution.
Scientists, Authors, Poets, Lawyers.
C)Post WWI, no firearm possession was allowed, with strict penalties associated. 1928 brought about 'relaxations', whereby a citizen who could prove
need was issued a permit to own a firearm, and would require a separate permit to carry. These records were kept by the government. This persisted
until 1938, when Hitler deregulated long guns (presumably for civil defense reasons; he was about to launch a campaign against the whole of
D) Feb. 1933: In a political climate rife with problems (social, financial, etc) Hitler is appointed Chancellor. Within a month, he orchestrates the
Reichstag fire. The next day the Reichstag Fire Decree was passed, rescinding most of the German people's rights (but not gun ownership).
Within a month, Hitler had legislatively secured a 4 year exemption to pass laws without Parliamentary debate, this was in direct violation of their
From 1933 thru 1935, to secure power, more than 3 million Germans were held in concentration camps, and ~75,000 Germans were tried and executed on
false charges, both military and civilian. Targets were those in any position of influence whose loyalty was not secured.
A year and a half after becoming Chancellor, Hitler ordered the "Night of the Long Knives" operation (30 June to 2 July 1934), in which ~200 of his
last political opponents were assassinated. Hitler's rise to dictatorship was complete.
I outline this not to equate anyone or any administration with Nazis, but to illustrate that in a year and a half, a nation ruled by modern law was
overtaken by a totalitarian regime with a gun control structure in place very close to what Feinstein is proposing today.
This happened to an educated, modern population who were as capable and intelligent as we are today. If men capable of fomenting and completing this
scale of evil existed less than a hundred years ago, we would be fools to think that like-minded men do not exist today as well.
We would be even more foolish to pretend that somehow "this could not happen again." History should have taught us this lesson already. It happens
over and over, typically to populations that grow complacent or have been disarmed.
The increase in 'patriot groups' and individuals that are so vocal today against such creeping loss of rights is evidence that the 2nd Amendment
mechanism is working exactly as the framers intended. Vocal ideological dissent is the first avenue of redress we have against the government.
The voice of millions of peaceful but well-armed citizens carries infinitely more weight than millions of unarmed voices.
In fact, it is my opinion that the recent executive orders were watered down in direct response to the general public's (gun-owning) reaction to
proposals floated by the White House. Had the people's attitude been tepid, PDW's would be banned as we talk now.
My contention is that 30 round magazines collecting dust in an attic hold an immeasurable amount of political power for the citizens of America to
retain our voice and demand redress of the government. These weapons and clips provide a very tangible deterrent to those who are willing to destroy
the rule of law for their own power.
1. Young, David E., The Founders' View of the Right to Bear Arms, p.222.
2. Hamilton, Alexander, 1788,The Federalist Papers #29, Library of Congress
4. Halbrook, Stephen P. (2000) "Nazi Firearms Law and the Disarming of the German Jews." Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol 17.
No. 3. p.494.
5. Harcourt, Bernard E (2004) "On the NRA, Adolph Hitler, Gun Registration, and the Nazi Gun Laws: Exploding the Culture Wars (A Call to
6. David I. Caplan, 1976, Restoring the Balance: The Second Amendment Revisited, Fordham Urban Law Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1
7. Tipton, Frank, A History of Modern Germany, since 1815, Continuum Press New York, 2003
8. Kitchen, Martin (2006). A History of Modern Germany, 1800–2000. Malden, MA: Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-0040-3.
edit on 16-2-2013 by blamethegreys because: changed the title a bit