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IPFS News Link • Gun Rights

Gun Control Advocates Ignore What the Founding Fathers Really Thought

• https://fee.org, Daniel Kowalski

In all my years of existence, the Second Amendment of our Constitution has always been considered controversial. Opponents claim it is the cause of gun violence. Proponents assert that it helps guarantee freedom and safety.

"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."

These twenty-seven words have been the subject of much debate during the 20th and 21st centuries. Does it mean that citizens only have a right to own guns if the state has a well-regulated militia in place that they are a part of, or does it mean absolutely that the right to bear arms should not be infringed? Perhaps it means that you can only use guns for hunting purposes, or you're not allowed to have anything more complicated than an 18th century musket because that's what the founders had when they wrote this?

The last two questions don't seem to make sense when you look at the wording of the Second Amendment, but somehow opponents have made this a pillar of their arguments because they keep repeating and insisting on it on the grounds that "we don't know what the founding fathers really intended when they wrote this."

But that's not true. We do know what the founding fathers thought, because they wrote a series of seventy-eight essays called The Federalist Papers to sell the Constitution to the American people in the late 1780s. Exploring these writings can shed light on the views of the founding fathers, and thus, on the proper interpretation of the Second Amendment.


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