Our nation’s Independence Day is just a few weeks away. Now more than ever would seem an appropriate time to refresh our memories, or perhaps even educate ourselves of the stance the framers of the constitution and our founding fathers took when it came to an individual’s gun rights.
After all, the signers of the Declaration of Independence had just endured seven years of war with the British over its increasing tyrannical control. One would believe the founding fathers had firsthand knowledge of the right of self defense and individual gun rights.
Today, when horrendous acts are perpetrated on the innocent too many Americans are quick to call for more gun control. All the while forgetting how and why our nation came into existence.
Be careful what you wish for.
Our forefathers spent years overcoming a controlling king that did not even live on American soil.
So just what were the stances and beliefs of these men who fought, who helped build our nation, who framed the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution?
Below are just a few examples of the thoughts and quotations from our founding fathers on the subject of Americans and the right to bear arms:
“The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to to John Cartwright, June 5, 1824
“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787
“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”- Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776
“That no man should scruple, or hesitate a moment, to use arms in defense of so valuable a blessing, on which all the good and evil of life depends, is clearly my opinion.”
–George Washington, letter to George Mason April 5th 1769
“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, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788
“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent on others for essential, particularly for military, supplies.”–John Adams, speech to US Congress January 8, 1790
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”– Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
“I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.”
– George Mason, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 4, 1788
“To disarm the people…is the most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788
“Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped”. –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 29 January 9, 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
It seems apparent that the founders of this nation realized the importance and the inalienable right of every individual’s ability of self-defense and to keep and bear arms. And why not, the freedoms we enjoy today were born on the battle fields of the American Revolution.
These men lived and saw these conflicts first hand.
I dare say we shall regret throwing these rights away one day if we are not careful, or perhaps our children or grandchildren will.
Time will tell.