They owned modern “assault” weapons, not just small arms, but warships, and cannons. They also were quite well-aware of weapons that could fire multiple rounds. One most famous, owned by Jefferson, was noted to have kept Lewis and Clark safe on their journey by displaying its firepower to every Indian tribe they encountered, making sure they did not know they had only one of them, the Girandoni Air Rifle.
I like the article, but disagree with the definition of “assault weapon.” I understand the history tied to the German Storm Rifle, but it seems to me that when we try to define an “assault weapon” based on features, we’re painting ourselves into a corner by yielding to the “weapons of war” argument that anti-2A like to use. In other words, once we acknowledge that certain types of weapons are inherently too dangerous for normal citizens (because they’re “assault” weapons, not “defense” weapons), all that’s left for the anti-2A crowd is to slowly modify the definition over time to restrict more and more weapons.
In a literal sense, any object could be used to assault a position. Some are just more effective. But really, I prefer to stay away from the term, because the tactical “assault” gets confused with the legal crime of “assault.” When we cede this point, we lose.
But other than that, I agree. The weapons that citizens carried at the time that the 2nd Amendment was ratified were equal to the weapons of war carried by professional armies. And it’s worth pointing out that many of the people who approved of the 2nd Amendment distrusted standing armies. We not only allowed citizens to have weapons of war, we preferred that the weapons be owned by citizens, rather than amassed by professional Soldiers.
Wholeheartedly agree, and I do not use that term, which is why when I referenced the term I put it in quotes. Our firearms are not “assault” weapons, they are defensive tools. Our federal agencies used that term “defensive” arms when requisitioning the same arms many of us own. I also put the word “allowed” in quotes when discussing our inalienable rights, as the government cannot “allow” anything that they do not have the power to “grant”. The government can try to take our rights, but we have the right and duty to do what we can to prevent that, and that is not a call to arms, but to action.
It also occurs to me that if someone had gone to a market in 1798 and killed several random people before he was subdued by the local constabulary, the founders would probably not have bothered to keep him in prison for several months while the local printing presses debated whether or not he was fit to stand trial.
They never would have entertained the idea, let alone a conversation! They are laughing at us!
Nobody wants to say it, but what’s good for the United States, is good for the United States!
If you take what the military has for weapons and compare it to what we own. There is no comparison. I do not have grenades’, Machineguns, tanks, laws. F-16s, Warthogs, Howitzers, air missiles or anti tank missiles.
Saw assault weapons and quit reading your post.
I would love to see a rule/law passed that the politicians would not be allowed to have security with any weapons that would be banned for the rest of us! It wouldn’t happen, but I sure wish they would understand what danger they are putting the common citizen through.
@Dorcas Here you go:
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.
“Assault weapon?” SMH They want to ban “weapons of war” like the AR 15.
That’s generally where I’ve landed on 2A issues. We’re citizens, we run this country, and we should have access to the same tools the state, with rare exceptions when an individual is afforded due process and has those rights limited by a court of law.
No semi-automatic rifles for citizens? Then no semi-automatic rifles for police. And if taking away semi-automatic rifles from the infantry puts our nation in danger from foreign enemies, then per the verbiage of the 2nd Amendment we should all have semi-automatic rifles, because we’re all responsible for our nation’s defense.
Our elected representatives claim to be “leaders,” so let them lead. If they want us to give up our firearms, they need to give up their armed security first.
I have a slightly different baseline 2A position that goes something like this:
First, disarm every criminal gang, everyone with a conviction for a violent felony, and everyone known to have terrorist org ties in the USA. Second, disarm all armed security for all elected officials. Then we can talk about gun control.
I don’t think we’re so different. As a society, we can debate what arms should and should not be allowed. No mustard gas, for example. Most people agree on that. You and I, and anyone else might disagree on specifics, but we’re supposed to wrestle with ideas in democracies.
My hard line right now is this idea that the state needs more firepower than citizens. That flies in the face of the entire American experiment. I’m willing to talk about firearm bans when all the elected officials lead the way by giving up their armed security. I’m not saying I’d vote for it, but I’d at least be willing to listen to them. I can’t even listen right now because the volume of their hypocrisy drowns out their words.
There is no room for discussion while government officials use National guard or armed police to protect themselves. Also all citizens must be forced to give up armed private security as well and all government leaders must be required to be enrolled in Obamacare and children enrolled in public schools, to include colleges.
The double standard of elitism, a stench in the nostrils of free men everywhere, permeates all aspects of contemporary American culture, @KillJoy You are right about that, sir!
I’ve never seen a constant or clear definition of what an assault weapon is, in my opinion anything used to assault someone is an assault weapon, including a knife or a bat, as long as there is no agreed on definition of assault weapons, I’ll stay away from banning them!
I’m willing to let people spend their money however they wish. If someone wants to use their own money to hire security, that’s fine with me. Neither am I opposed to tax-funded security at government buildings.
My distinction is that I believe neither private security guards nor building security professionals should be permitted to carry arms that are unavailable to common citizens. Or to flip the sentence, no citizen should be barred from owning and using the same defensive tools that are permitted for use by security, law enforcement, or government officials.
I don’t believe in tiered citizenry. All citizens should have the same opportunities.