“The other day, the New York Times published a story with data that demonstrates that gun permit holders in North Carolina are 20x less likely to commit a felony than the average American [not entirely sure the math is right here, but… “via Coyote Blog – Gun Permit Holders Substantially More Law Abiding.
To which one brilliant commenter (one Mr.I Got Bupkis, Don’t Tread On Me) posted this gem regarding the intent of the 2nd amendment:
“…the mistake you make is in allowing them to place the argument on turf they have the slightest chance of winning on, which is guns-vs-crime. This is a place where emotional appeals can gain traction, however senseless they may be — they can point to the child of some moron who left their gun out and the child killed himself with it, or someone who mishandled a gun and shot a child, and that outweighs a hundred self-defense never-happened assaults that can be used to counter it.
The purpose of citizen gun ownership is now and has always been not to deter crime, which is an incidental benefit, but to help constrain our government from over-reach. This is the EXPRESS PURPOSE for guns which was used to argue for passage of the Consitution by Madison in Federalist #46:
The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.”
(Note, BTW, how it makes a hash of the notion that the National Guard or anything else is what is intended by the “militia” — the militia, by this lone paper, is clearly nothing less than the whole able-bodied adult citizenry of a Free and Sovereign people).
The argument would be, of course, that the modern Federal Army has “tanks and fighters and artillery”… which would render it exceptionally difficult to fight such an army. Indeed, I concur. It would be most difficult. To which argument I respond, “So, to oppose this army without guns would be an improvement… HOW?”
No, the presence of guns in the hands of the citizenry is a clear and blatant check on overreaching government power, as it is and has always been intended to be. It makes certain that there is always a threatening counterforce to any attempt to instill anything less than the will of the people onto the populace as a whole. That the people need only put up with as much Federal overreach as they deem, that it is always in their hands to say, “NO! This, and no farther!” and make that pronouncement stick.
“A monarch should always have their necks in a noose. Keeps ‘em upright.” — R. A. Heinlein –
“Among other things, being disarmed means being despised.” — Machiavelli –