Saturday, September 23, 2006

Why the 2nd Amendment? More Good Thoughts

Following on the post below, here are some other thoughts about the 2A's raison d'etre:

If it should be decided to reject a standing army for the military branch of the government of the United States, as possessing too fierce an aspect, and being hostile to the principles of liberty, it will follow that a well constituted militia ought to be established (George Washington)

In that passage, Washington favored a militia rather than a standing army. Why?

President Washington wrote that in 1790, arguing that a standing army was "hostile to the principles of liberty" and the militia was the only safe alternative. Why? Because Whig political philosophy taught that standing armies followed the orders of the government, not necessarily of the people; militias were the people, and were therefore safer than a standing army. The militia's primary function was external defense--but the alternative, a professional standing army, was dangerous, and the purpose of the militia was to keep the government afraid of the people. (Think about Jim Doyle...)

Republicans in 1798 saw the standing army as an instrument of political oppression.

Representative Albert Gallatin observed that proponents of this enlarged standing army "speak not only of the danger of an invasion, but of the danger of a revolution—-of an oversetting of the Government...” Gallatin suggested that the enlarged standing army would be used in response to "fictitious conspiracies, pop-gun plots, and every other party artifice which has been practiced in England." Representative Joseph McDowell argued that the army proposed would "answer the like purposes to which a similar force had been raised in England and Ireland. And what have they been used for there but to suppress political opinion? The military force is there riding over the people, and dragging husbands and fathers from their wives and children to prison, merely because they have taken the liberty to think."

Hmmmmmm.......I rather like this stuff, as you can see from this post, wherein we discussed the P-Mac v From Where I Sit kerfuffle.

(Use the same link as provided below to access the article.)

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