Some conservatives will insist that the Second Amendment is fundamental to the structure of American liberty. They will cite James Madison, who noted in the Federalist Papers that in Europe “the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” America was supposed to be different, and better.
I wonder what Madison would have to say about that today, when more than twice as many Americans perished last year at the hands of their fellows as died in battle during the entire Revolutionary War. My guess: Take the guns—or at least the presumptive right to them—away. The true foundation of American exceptionalism should be our capacity for moral and constitutional renewal, not our instinct for self-destruction.Think about this.
During the Revolutionary Period, most of the "Revolutionists" were prominent politicians, most of the land owners (a rarity ... an Elite!)
It is obvious that the "Founding Fathers" and their progeny endured a long period of warfare, and even more intense conflict.
Again, Americans went to war, to establish and affirm their independence, and to distant themselves from their European progenitors. See John Paul Jones.
So when you ask: I wonder what Madison would have to say about that today, when more than twice as many Americans perished last year at the hands of their fellows as died in battle during the entire Revolutionary War, I would guess that they would say: "Oh, a mere civil disturbance, which should be stamped down most expeditiously!"
But as most Americans have access to firearms, they are able (if only intermittently competent) to enforce the laws of a civil society without recourse to paid assassins.
Fortunately, we have moved past our "Founding Father" method of dealing with civil unrest, and the call to arms .. and stamping out Constitutional Rights ... are not our first response.
The police, and the Militia (National Guard?) are a last resort. Ultimately, one American's duty to his neighbors is to prevent the outrageous exigencies of a rogue member of the community by positive action.
Which is not to suggest a "Block Party with a Noose"; it should be sufficient that everyone knows that his neighbor has his back, when the Wild Bunch comes calling. If enough neighborhoods faced down drug dealers, that might make the local street corner a place to sing "Sweet Adeline" instead of a place where you want your children to pass on the other side of the street.
See below: "The Revolution".
The Revolution:The Founding Fathers were among the most elite groups in the world, in their time. Many of them were slave owners (Jefferson, if not Franklin), and they essentially were the "Ruling Class" in their society.
Firearms? Firearms were rare and expensive, and it was a rare man who could afford one ... and he used it to fight indians and kill the meat they fed their family.
Indians? Savages, then, and more often an enemy than an ally ... and the Founding Fathers turned against their allies as often as they were supported by their allies.
Blacks? Almost the only blacks in America were either slaves, or "Freed Men". (Less of the latter than the former, by far!)
The most downtrodden of the "Founding Fathers" were the Irish, who were no more than Indentured servants. Many of the Englishmen were in the same economic class, as their transportation fees were paid by the landowners. And of course, the "transportees" were more often convicted criminals, or those who had been relegated to the "Poor Houses" (or even to prison, for indebtitude). These people had no better future than to become the minions of the landowners; our "Founding Fathers".
Take The Guns Away?Who had guns? Certainly, nobody who wasn't a landowner (or an employee of a landowner) was likely to own a gun. A few hunters, a few settlers ... who had as often as not been sponsored by the landowners, or were their hirelings ... had guns.
Yes, by the time of the Revolution (less than a century after the "mass immigration" to the New World had begun), there were more independent immigrants; but again, most could not afford the transportation and were dependent on the landowners who hired them as "overseers".
By the 1770's, there were enough "freemen" who had firearms and ambition to begin settling the frontier ... often as far west as Ohio!
This was a dangerous frontier, and between the wild "Beasies" and the "injuns", Americans often found themselves on the Frontier. But the founding fathers were relatively safe in their coastal cities.
But not even those bastions of civilization remained free of conflict.
From Wikipedia: America's Critical Period
The term America's Critical Period refers to the period of United States history in the 1780s after the American Revolution and prior to the ratification of the United States Constitution. In 1781, the United States ratified the Articles of Confederation and prevailed in the Battle of Yorktown, the last major land battle between British and American forces in the American Revolutionary War. American independence was confirmed with the 1783 signing of the Treaty of Paris. The fledgling United States faced several challenges, many of which stemmed from the lack of a strong national government and unified political culture. The period ended in 1789 following the ratification of the United States Constitution, which established a new, more powerful, national government.Just .. don't piss us off. Okay?