Original Purpose and Meaning
When the Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787, federalists claimed the new government would only have limited powers expressly delegated to it. Anti-federalists, like George Mason, wanted explicit guarantees in order to prevent the federal government from encroaching on citizens’ rights. The Bill of Rights was born.
The Founding Fathers, having just broken away from Great Britain, understood the new federal government they were ratifying might one day become just as tyrannical. If it had the authority to control citizen access to firearms, then it could disarm them, just as the British attempted to do. This would make any attempts to restore liberties impossible.
The Second Amendment was specifically included in the Bill of Rights to prevent this.
Two centuries later, we are in an ideological struggle with gun control advocates who are attempting to alter the meaning of the Second Amendment in order to allow for federal restrictions on our right to bear arms. Not surprisingly, they completely ignore what the ratifiers of the Constitution and the Second Amendment had to say, because all pertinent historical documents contradict them.
Another concern was expressed by Thomas Jefferson.
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” Thomas Jefferson
It seems that Thomas Jefferson even had an insight to the reality of today. He showed that the Second Amendment was also designed for the “protection’ of the individual from any criminal with intent to harm life, limb, or property.
George Washington also had concerns for the weakness of men.
“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796
Washington knew that one day the very government, he fought to establish would become a monster that would seek to eliminate the Constitution and our freedom. This seems to be starting today with high officials ignoring the Constitution and doing all they can by going from place to place and agitating the people to do their will. George Washington also said:
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” GEORGE WASHINGTON, attributed, Upton Sinclair’s The Cry for Justice
Our First President knew that if the government took over certain areas they had no business in that the people would become servants to the government. The government’s fear of the Second Amendment is the only barrier to preventing it from becoming a tyrannical master.