For various reasons
, I feel the need to revisit my thoughts on what the 2nd Amendment
means, and doesn't mean, even though it's been less than 2 years
since I last did so. Let's do this as a logic exercise; if you disagree with me, please point out the flaw in my logic:
1) Given that people should not be jailed for exercising their Constitutional rights, and;
2) Given that it is highly unlikely that one can violently overthrow the government without shooting Soldiers and Law Enforcement Officers, let alone politicians, and;
3) Given that people who shoot Soldiers, Law Enforcement Officers, and politicians go to jail, therefore:
**The 2nd Amendment does not contain a right to violently overthrow the government.**
I understand that reasonable people (and unreasonable ones
, for that matter) can disagree, and bring up a number of 220 year old quotes. (However, please note that not even the NRA Questionnaire
mentions support of the concept that the 2nd Amendment allows you to violently overthrow the government. And remember how the Father of our Country responded when faced with actual armed rebellion
before claiming to "know" how the Founding Fathers felt about the concept in reality, as opposed to theory.) That being said, if you do believe that one has a Constitutional right to violently overthrow a tyrannical government, I'd ask a couple of questions:
2) If you answer, "Whenever a citizen decides they're tyrannical", do you then support releasing this guy
, who killed a Soldier in front of a Little Rock recruiting station because he opposed what he thinks is a tyrannical government? Or is it just "whenever I decide it's tyrannical".
Here's my answer. I believe the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to prepare to overthrow a tyrannical government, but not to actually do it, for the reasons listed above. Were the government to do something that would inspire me to take up arms against it (cancelling elections would be one example) I would justify my actions based on a Higher Law than human law; I wouldn't expect that I could claim "I was within my rights" if I was on the losing side.
What do you think?