A Jan. 28 letter writer (Mary Chilton) claimed the NRA misrepresents the men who created the Second Amendment. She said, “The Founders never intended the amendment as justification for citizens to make war on their country.” Oh?
One of those “Founders,” Thomas Jefferson said, “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that its people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
Founder George Washington said, “A free people ought to be armed.” On another occasion, “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference.”
Noah Webster: “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops.”
The writer says that at our republic’s founding, we couldn’t afford a standing army. Actually, the Founders feared one. As Rep. Elbridge Gerry said in 1789, “What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.”
Samuel Adams summed up their feelings: “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States from keeping their own arms.”