GAMA SOSA: Democrats Know The Real Purpose Of The Second Amendment — That’s Why They’re So Afraid Of It

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The Second Amendment is once again in the Democrats’ crosshairs amid mass shootings, with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s latest “assault weapons” ban, and now Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin claiming that the Founding Fathers would have supported banning certain guns.

Democrats have made a lot of noise about banning “military-style” weapons and “weapons of war,” particularly the AR-15 platform – their favorite punching bag – in the name of stopping shootings mostly committed in the ghettos of Democrat-run cities such as Los Angeles, New Orleans, Detroit and most famously Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago.

Obviously, this is a false proposition. Criminals don’t register guns or obey the law – they’re criminals. Armed civilians deter crime, whether with “military-style” weapons or a Taurus G3C Subcompact. Gun advocates have made this argument repeatedly.

Unfortunately, it falls short and even helps justify bans like the Illinois one. If a subcompact with a five-round magazine is enough for self-defense, then it shouldn’t be a problem if Chicago, for instance, bans anything over 10 rounds, full autos and certain long guns. Because as Democrats argue, you don’t need an M4 to shoot a criminal or hunt.

But history says there’s more to the Second Amendment.

When the Founders wrote the Second Amendment, it was a shock to the world of monarchs and tyrants who kept their populations in line by force and decree. Its protections make America unique. Virtually no country has anything close to it. It gave meaning to the idea of being a citizen of a nation instead of the subject of a despot.

The Militia Act of 1792 clarified that “every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt…” In other words, citizens were required to own their own “weapons of war” for military service and presumably for other purposes as gleaned from the Founders’ own writings.

George Mason explicitly wrote that the “militia” was made up of “We the People” and did not include elected officials. Thus, the government was seen as something separate from the populace. Alexander Hamilton added that the purpose of the militia was to check an unaccountable standing army or any other armed federal force that might intrude on citizens’ liberties (like maybe the IRS/FBI/CIA/NSA/DOJ/ATF?).

So in other words, civilian ownership of  “weapons of war” – the very thing Pritzker and co. are banning – was the entire point. In the face of these federal agencies which are armed to the teeth, an AR-15 or an M4 doesn’t look so overkill anymore.

Thus, it is clear that from a historical perspective, anti-gun legislation has no basis. And this brings us to the Second Amendment in practice. It was legal to own all sorts of military hardware – not just guns. People like John Paul Jones owned ships equipped with heavy artillery that were certainly considered among the deadliest “weapons of war” of the time. As recently as the early 20th century it was possible to purchase submachine guns in the mail. Today, you can still legally own machine guns and tanks – if you’re willing to pay Uncle Sam for the privilege. As usual, the wealthy (especially gun control advocates) are exempt from their own rules.

Federal gun control began in earnest in 1934 with the National Firearms Act (NFA), which thankfully, House Republicans are seeking to repeal. Unsurprisingly, the NFA came at a time when federal overreach was hitting previously unseen levels under FDR’s New Deal and the president was confiscating Americans’ gold in exchange for worthless federal reserve notes. And you wonder why he wanted those “military-style” weapons banned so badly? This might be just the kind of overreach that Alexander Hamilton was talking about. And if that counts as overreach, I can only imagine what he might have said about today.

All in all, Pritzker, Durbin, Schumer, Biden or any of these other gun grabbers are trying to ban “military-style” weapons because they are planning on doing something they are afraid people might want to shoot them for. COVID mandates, vaccine mandates, sexualization of children, destruction of America’s Christian basis, the invasion at the southern border and legalization of every single illegal alien all come to mind.

Our politicians fear the power the Second Amendment gives American citizens. If they didn’t fear the potential of armed Americans standing up for themselves when all peaceful options are exhausted and there’s nothing to lose, they wouldn’t be doing their absolute damndest to take the guns – even emotionally blackmailing Americans with stories of dead children for which law-abiding gun owners bear no responsibility.  

Instead of pussyfooting around the true purpose of the Second Amendment with stale references to hunting and self-defense against criminals (which is still very important), it’s time to bluntly remind politicians in both parties that the Second Amendment is first and foremost a protection against people like them. Not against the vague concept of a tyrannical government, but real, corrupt, power-hungry officials who never saw a limit they wouldn’t overstep.

And before Joe Biden says we need F-15s or Eric Swalwell threatens to nuke me over this, I urge them to look at Iraq, look at Afghanistan, and then let me know how those went.

Michele Gama Sosa is an opinion editor for the Daily Caller and a historian by training.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.