Skip to main content

This is a repost of a reply I made, that I think would help to understand why the 2nd Amendment was created and why it's phrased as it is. From our viewpoint, it seems disjunct, but, if you rewind back to life in colonial times, it makes sense.

The sum of the 2nd was the founding fathers were assuring themselves that they could have an Army that drew on civilians in time of need, who owned their own firearms.  

Onward ---

To those who use the 2nd amendment as a right to carry arms, I suggest reading up on US history, in the colonial days. Begin with why the 2nd starts with "A well regulated militia", and then move to the next phrase" Being necessary to the --- ". This was written because the US had no real decent size Army, with which to defend the country with, and had to enlist farmers, etc., many who did not own weapons, to defend the country. At the time there were "militia" from towns and states, composed of patriots and a few rich men who were paying the "soldiers" and paying for the supplies to maintain the "militia"",  that came together to be the bulk of the US "Army" at the time of the forming of the country..

I lived in Williamsburg, Va for a while, and had many friends who were Colonial era "Actors" and some who were Colonial era firearms experts, from cannons on down, and real world historians. That is they knew history as a practical matter, and knew the backstories that created our version of history. And I got an eye opener, beginning with the fact the Colonial Williamsburg population was 50% slave.........

I sat with friends as they rolled their own black powder cartridges and talked to me about the practicality of a flintlock musket for hunting and for warfare, and i got a few real demonstrations, like going hunting for a turkey with a musket. A flintlock does not fire when you pull the trigger - there is a delay while the flint creates the spark, which ignites the powder in the pan, which then ignites to powder in the cartridge. And black powder is slow to ignite, compared to modern powder. So the hungry colonist would pull the trigger and have to keep aiming at the turkey while the gun was in the process of firing, and maybe 2 second delay, at most. And don't forget, you have to "lead" a bit, to compensate for the time the ball leaves the barrel until it (hopefully, for dinner's sake, hits the bird) If it had of been me in those days, I would have starved.

Then we get to a the critical point  -you can't simply put another bullet in the gun and fire it. No. You have to stand the thing on it's stock, look down the barrel to make sure it's empty, then use a ram rod to clear it, then you are ready to reload: put your powder cartridge in the barrel, push it in place with the ram rod, then put in the ball, then the cotton wadding to keep the ball from rolling out of the barrel. (I think I have this order right). The holding the gun parallel to the ground, begin by checking your flint to make sure it will still spark and adjust it, if needed, then clean the pan, if you haven't already, then open your powder horn, and dump some black powder into the pan. Now you are ready to shoot.

OK, got it in your head what you just did, and how long it took to do it? Now imagine you, who was a humble farmer just three weeks ago, now handed this long and heavy musket which you got maybe a week's training on, on the fields of Yorktown, facing a bunch of British mercenary troops  - professional well trained soldiers - who are shooting at you, and repeat the process...

This was Colonial era warfare. This is why the fledgling country needed more "soldiers" - it took a lot of time to reload, so the commanders needed more people to simply keep up a decent barrage of bullets. As my friend put it, "in reality, the units had one third shooting, on third reloading and one third pissing in their pants, too scared to do anything."

Now absorb this, take some time to really feel what it must have been like back in the day, and go back and read the 2nd amendment and suddenly it makes sense in the context of the time.

One last thing for historians, if it weren't for the French at Yorktown, we would be British citizens now.

Originally posted to azureblue on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 03:14 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  rate of fire for a Brown Bess was 3 rounds/minute (4+ / 0-)

    significantly less for a long rifle

  •  Those "farmers" (7+ / 0-)

    all had guns. Cripes everybody had guns

    Counting Guns in Early America

    You needed a gun to live. They weren't vegetarians and the woods were full of wildlife, prey and predator alike. All sorts of vermin love chicken as well. Then there are snakes...

    In addition to the musket, they owned swivel guns, long rifles and flintlock fowlers.

    Weapons in Colonial North Carolina

    Heck, they even owned pistols. And shot them AT one another.

    Duels

    Face it, guns were a way of life. The Founding Father's took pride in their armed population, and thank goodness didn't take it for granted.

  •  I remember reading somewhere about all the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, BlackSheep1, oldpunk

    give and take over the 2a. Some states were very adamant on it's inclusion as a curb on the Feds assuming too much power as I remember.

    Some people have studied it's orgins at great length.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:31:26 PM PST

    •  Yes, as a check for the states themselves (2+ / 0-)

      I was re-reading the House debate over the 2A's introduction earlier tonight, and the check on federal power was mostly that a militia allowed the union to avoid having a standing army (these days, that horse is out of the barn), and it allowed states a mechanism for resisting a federal army if one were to be formed, turn tyrannical, and invade them.

      That was the purpose discussed during the debates, at least.

      ...the debate just before that one, though, was about sending militia and troops to combat Creek Indians in Georgia, which goes more to the militia's actual purpose than its prophylactic qualities.

      "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

      by JR on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:47:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Federal Power" is synonymous with Abolition (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite

        of slavery. That debate was not covered by the Federalist Papers or much of the commentary since it was thought that even discussing it would lead to slave revolts. The word "slave" never appeared in the Declaration or Constitution; it was the 900 pound gorilla in the room, after a manner of speaking.

        The delicate balance of State's Rights versus Federal Rights is the balance between slavery and nationhood. The second amendment is all about preserving a state's rights to keep slavery intact after a federal government comes into existence.

        Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

        by OregonOak on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:23:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  the government used militias for their own purpose (6+ / 0-)

    after reading about Shays rebellion, where the Massachusetts government called up a militia, I'm convinced that that's what the framers had in mind. A group of people they could gather to protect the interests of the state.

  •  2nd amendment = tool to keep the slaves (5+ / 0-)

    Oppressed in the south, IMO.

    It should have been repealed after the civil war since the evil men in the south were well armed tools of evil slave owners. It needs to be repealed today, but too many like gun rights & NO responsibilities.

  •  Diary completely wrong on 2nd ammendment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bailey2001, oldpunk
    Begin with why the 2nd starts with "A well regulated militia", and then move to the next phrase" Being necessary to the --- ". This was written because the US had no real decent size Army, with which to defend the country with, and had to enlist farmers, etc., many who did not own weapons, to defend the country. At the time there were "militia" from towns and states, composed of patriots and a few rich men who were paying the "soldiers" and paying for the supplies to maintain the "militia"",  that came together to be the bulk of the US "Army" at the time of the forming of the country..
    No, this was not written due to the absence of a standing army, it was written because the founding fathers considered a standing army to be extremely dangerous.

    Guns were to be owned by the people, individually, and these people were not to be beholden to the government for their income, although under the milita act of 1792 they were entitled to compensation when actively called out to serve in the militia, just as people on a jury are (meagerly) compensated.    

    The founding fathers were very clear on gun ownership being an individual right and not contingent on participation in an organized militia.
    http://www.guncite.com/...
    http://www.guncite.com/...
    http://www.guncite.com/...
    http://www.guncite.com/...

    The presence of the federal armed services and the national guard does not decrease the need for individuals to bear arms; on the contrary, it makes individual gun ownership much more important.

    Democide (genocide, politicide, and other killing executed or sanctioned by governments against their own people) far exceeds the deaths by wars or homicide.     By orders of magnitude.

    The 2nd amendment is one of the checks and balances against government tyranny.

    And the 2nd amendment wasn't intended to be limited to muzzle loaders.    In the time of the founding fathers, the muzzle loader was a fast loading gun which could be fired much faster than the more accurate long rifle.    These guns were basically the same as the guns carried by the most powerful military in the world at the time of the American Revolution.    The people were not only permitted to own these "assault weapons", white males 18-45 were required to own them although the long rifle was permitted as a substitute.

    More people were allowed to bear arms than were allowed to vote.  

    •  Against FEDERAL tyranny.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      which was defined as those people who wanted to get rid of slavery as soon as the Constitution was ratified.

      State tyranny was allowed, via the second amendment.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:24:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The second amendment was written to defend (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight, radarlady, a2nite

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site