- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
If the author of the letter, “History lesson on Second Amendment” [Maryland Independent, Feb. 1], is correct and the Second Amendment is about militias, not individual rights, then I ask, why are there so many quotes of the time by many of the Founding Fathers who drafted the Bill of Rights, and others stating the contrary? Why would the Second Amendment be the only amendment of the Bill of Rights where “the people” is used to mean a right for the militia, and the rest of the rights where “the people” is used actually means the people?
Thomas Jefferson said, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” He also quoted 18th-century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in “On Crimes and Punishment: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms,” Samuel Adams said, and “Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life, secondly to liberty, thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.”
Noah Webster said, “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. 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 that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”
“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed,” Alexander Hamilton said.
From the above, it is obvious that our nation’s forefathers believed on the individual right of the people to keep and bear arms, not only for hunting, not only for home defense, but for the people to be able to defend themselves from tyrannical governments.
Thanks to the author for suggesting I do some research of my own. I did, and I suggest she do the same.
Henry L. Font III, Waldorf