Fantasies and guns

December 22, 2012|By John E. McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

One difficulty in talking about the Second Amendment and laws regulating firearms is the degree to which some of the parties have become captivated by fantasies. 

I have seen a citizen interpret the Second Amendment to be a guarantee that when the people find their government oppressive, they are entitled to possess weaponry to rise up against it. (This is not as uncommon a belief as you might think.) 

It is an interesting government that would write into its founding document a provision for armed insurrection against itself. 

If you were curious about what the Founders would have thought of such a view, you might consider the Whiskey Rebellion. In 1791, farmers in western Pennsylvania rose up in resistance to a new tax on whiskey, which they found onerous and oppressive. 

The response: President Washington himself rode into western Pennsylvania at the head of a force of 13,000, the militia(!) provided for in the Second Amendment, to suppress the rebellion. 

Let me suggest that the Red Dawn, black-helicopter interpretation of the Second Amendment will not contribute useful political discourse. 

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.