Gun Control and Original Intent

I’ve written before about the misunderstanding of the Second Amendment: despite the widespread belief to the contrary, it was not written to enable citizens to protect themselves from a tyrannical government, but to preserve the freedom to hunt your slaves*. Well, a recent NY Times op-ed describes some of the history of colonial and post-colonial gun control in the U.S. (boldface mine):

We’ve learned this lesson before, in our own violent past, when strict regulation of concealed gun carrying was the near-universal and successful response to gun violence. As early as 1686, New Jersey enacted a law against wearing weapons because they induced “great Fear and Quarrels.” Massachusetts followed in 1750. In the late 1700s, North Carolina and Virginia passed similar laws. In the 1800s, as interpersonal violence and gun carrying spread, 37 states joined the list. Tennessee’s 1821 law fined “each and every person so degrading himself” by carrying weapons in public. Alabama’s 1839 law was titled “An Act to Suppress the Evil Practice of Carrying Weapons Secretly.”

Why must we relearn a lesson we codified centuries ago? How dumb are we?

We are very dumb because guns make us stupid. And it’s pretty clear that our Blessed Founders thought carrying guns around on a regular basis was a pretty stupid idea**.

*Does anyone really think that a bunch of rich landowners, having witnessed Shays Rebellion, wanted people running around ‘resisting’ the government? Just saying.

*Especially when we realize just how much booze colonial-era Americans drank.

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