Anti-Gun Organizations Trying To Use Loughner Rampage As Excuse

As expected, the anti-gun organizations have been trying to use Jared Loughner's shooting rampage as a rallying cry to cripple the Second Amendment. They've tried re-interpreting the intent of the Framers of the Constitution to make it appear the Second Amendment is a collective rather than individual right (Heller vs DC notwithstanding) or have made efforts to weaken it in other ways, including redefining the original definition of “regulated” as in “a well regulated militia” or even the definition of “militia”.

Not surprisingly, some of those commenting to Rachel Alexander's piece linked above had more insight in the matter, refuting claims of not knowing the intent of the Framers made by the anti-gun groups. One of the best is a series of quotes dating back to the early years of the Republic, making known in no uncertain terms the intent of the Second Amendment.

"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." - George Mason, co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …" - Richard Henry Lee, writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.

"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." - Zachariah Johnson, Elliot's Debates, vol. 3 "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution."

"… the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms" - Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789, Pg. 2, Col. 2 Article on the Bill of Rights

"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; …" - Samuel Adams, Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, "Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State"

"Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington, First President of the United States

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." - Richard Henry Lee, American Statesman, 1788

"The great object is that every man be armed." and "Everyone who is able may have a gun." - Patrick Henry, American Patriot

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" - Patrick Henry, American Patriot

"Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not." - Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; … " - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Justice John Cartwright, June 5, 1824. ME 16:45.

"The best we can help for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks. - Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson

"One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them." - Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson

"We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." - Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824

"No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776

Gun control advocates always point to the word "militia" in the Second Amendment as proof that the Founders would support gun control laws. That contention is not supported by the historical documents. As the Founders continually acknowledged, A MILITIA IS THE WHOLE OF THE PEOPLE. In fact, in the Second MILITIA Act of 1792, ALL able-bodied, white men over the age of 18 were required to possess a gun.

As to the term “well regulated”, too many of the anti-gun organizations have no understanding of the term as understood by the Framers. In the 18th century it had a somewhat different meaning as explained by another commenter.

The term "well regulated" in the Second Amendment had nothing to do with the present-day definition of the term "regulated" (regulation by law).

In the 18th century, the term "well regulated" meant "well disciplined", (being able to hit your target consistently).

What good was a militiaman if he couldn't hit his target? It all boils down to having an armed populace who were also proficient in the use of their firearms.

Can it get any simpler than that?