His wariness and that of today’s gun-buying spree goes beyond burglars and madmen – or hunting, says Kevin D. Williamson, writing in National Review.
“The Second Amendment is not about Bambi and burglars. Whatever a well-regulated militia is, it is not a hunting party or a sport-clays club,” writes Williamson. “It is remarkable to me that any educated person believes that the second item on the Bill of Rights is a constitutional guarantee of enjoying a recreational activity.
“There is no legitimate exception to the Second Amendment for military-style weapons, because military-style weapons are precisely what the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose ‘enemies foreign and domestic,’ a guarantee against disorder and tyranny.
“Consider the words of Supreme Court justice Joseph Story – who was, it bears noting, appointed to the Court by the guy who wrote the Constitution:
“The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections … it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.
“Liberals are forever asking: ‘Why would anybody need a gun like that?’ And the answer is: because we are not serfs. We are a free people living under a republic of our own construction. We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled.”
And perhaps that’s what makes us Americans – ever disrespectful of our own government, wary of restrictions on our personal liberties, vigilant against a wide spectrum of real and perceived threats.
And, yes, armed.