Saturday, May 14, 2011

How Far Back Does Gun Control Go?

Recently we've had a couple of bizarre attempts to claim that gun control goes all the way back to the days of the American Revolution.

Mike G. said, "Even back in the Revolutionary days, there were some folks who were against having or owning firearms." What is it with these guys and the Revolution, anyway? When pressed Mike, said he'd been referring to the Quakers, a claim that's been totally trashed.

An anonymous commenter said, "Mike G, My family is quaker and I know of absolutely no basis for your claim. There are old artistic renditions of early Quakers with guns for hunting.

Some family members of mine that were farmers owned guns."

I gave Mike G.'s theory the coup de grace with this one about Annie Oakley.

Then comes Fat White Man with this: "In fact, the first shots of the American Revolution were fought because of attempted gun control." And this: "The soldiers did not march on the Massachusetts countryside on April 19, 1775 to collect tea or sell tax stamps."

That made me wonder if we should consider all occupying armies that would disarm their opponents, gun control organizations.  In a sense, I guess that's right, but really it sounds like a stretch, don't you think?

What's your opinion?  I figure the gun-control movement as we know it today is a fairly recent phenomenon. This applies to the gun-rights movement as well.  To think of the American revolutionaries as gun-rights advocates is just silly. The concept didn't exist at that time.
The bastardization of the 2nd Amendment usually requires omitting the first three words (A well-regulated militia) and emphasizing the last four (shall not be infringed).  This has taken place over the last five or six decades, spearheaded by the NRA and gun manufacturers and naturally supported by gun owners everywhere.  The movement (gun-rights movement = bastardization of the 2nd Amendment) received its first stamp of approval only a couple years ago, finally achieving some semblance of legitimacy.  However, even in that historic Supreme Court ruling, Justice Scalia, no friend to gun control, said restrictions are allowed. In other words, he admitted the "shall not be infringed" part is bullshit.

What's your opinion?  Are the gun-control and gun-rights movements modern events?  Or do you consider certain chapters in our history as the beginnings of these movements?

Please leave a comment.


  1. Since gunloons use an ever-changing definition of gun control (IOW, 'gun control' appears to mean anything gunloons don't like), it's imposssible to say when gun control began.

    If we use the standard applicable to the concept that gunloonery is a 'God-given right'--then the first time a gun was sold qualifies as 'gun control.'

  2. Actually, the important part is:

    A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State

    No where mentioned in the Declaration of Independence is the concept of "gun Rights". In fact, that concept is conspicuously absent.

    There were, however, the grievances that:
    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    The Second (and Third) Amendment was to protect against the establishment of a standing army, which there IS evidence of in the Declaration of Independence:

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power

    The problem with the individual right theory is that it doesn't withstand scrutiny. It is based upon half quotations which are taken out of context. It is an intellectually dishonest position.

    Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.–James Madison

    As for this being the "gun grabbers' position", I disagree, Gun Control groups have no objection to Heller-McDonald as they allow for "reasonable regulation".

    This interpretation is the TRUE Second Amendment supporter position.

    Unless you are arguing for the dismantling of the current US Military structure and the re-imposition of a Swiss Style Military, the Second Amendment is a dead letter.

  3. Laci, Laci, Laci, you precious little, dumb, dumb bunnie....

    Laci the Chinese Crested said...

    Actually, the important part is:

    A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State...

    ...the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Keep ingnoring the rest of the amendment... that's why you keep losing....

    so if it is not meant to protect individual right why wasn't it written this way....

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free People, the right of the State to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    ...or why is it included at all?

  4. Anonymous, I am not neglecting "the right of the people to keep and bear arms", but that IS NOT the important part of the Second Amendment.

    Without Arms (which includes artillery), the militia is an effete institution.

    The entire second Amendment must be read as a whole, which means that the right to keep and bear arms is contingent upon that right being exercised as part of the ENROLLED militia.

    Enrolled means that one is an actual serving member of the militia, and not a member of unorganised, reserve, sedentary, or whatever you wish to call the non-enrolled reserve component.

    As I said, saying that you are a member of the unorganised (etc.) militia makes you a member of THE Militia is like saying that having a draft card makes you a member of the Armed forces.

    Thus any claim to having Second Amendment rights must show "some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia." US v Miller, at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, "must be interpreted and applied" with the view of maintaining a "militia."

    As for your comment, Show me the words Self-defence, anonymous. I notice that they are absent from the Second Amendment.

    I'll be even fairer, show me where it mentions any form of personal use.

    You lose, anonymous.

  5. I should add non-miitia related personal use.

    That is something which was original with Justice Scalia and as far from the original understanding as could be.

    "What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}])

    As I said, Anonymous, you lose.

  6. "That made me wonder if we should consider all occupying armies that would disarm their opponents, gun control organizations."

    MikeB. In the case of Massachusetts, 1775, these troops were not an "occupying army" but rather were the authority of the government. In a sense, they were the police at the time.

  7. One thing is for sure- gun control begat the gun rights movement.

  8. Please stop equating gun control with gun ban/confiscation. They are two very different things. But the gun lobby wants you to think they are the same. This is what helps scare away legislators from voting to support any gun control measures such as background checks on all gun sales.
    Gun control does NOT mean gun ban.

  9. When you make laws that make it very hard, if not impossible for the average citizen to buy or own firearms, then the only people with access to guns are either criminals who don't obey the law anyway, or the very well connected. A case in point would be the cities of Chicago, New York City and Washington DC. I'm just sayin'.

    Mike G.

  10. Mike G., No one is suggesting gun control laws that will make it "very hard, if not impossible for the average citizen to buy or own firearms." You're exaggerating. Then based on that exaggeration you say, "then the only people with access to guns are either criminals."

    That's totally ridiculous. There's no place in the country where it's IMPOSSIBLE for good guys to own guns and where ONLY criminals do.

  11. Anonymous is right. Gun control has nothinig to do with gun bans and confiscations. Only the endlessly contentious pro-gun guys say that.