Our Colonial Militias Did Not Carry AK-47s and AR-15s.

Wish I Could Have Been There

The part of North America known as the United States has long had a gun culture. It’s one of our oddities that makes people from other countries shake their heads and wonder why we’re so gun-crazy. I’ve never liked this aspect of our character, but there you are; it’s enshrined in the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution, which reads (as almost everyone knows):

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.

Is the first part of that amendment about a well-regulated militia the most important, or the second part about the peoples’ right to keep and bear arms? Who knows? Who can say for sure what the adopters of that amendment in 1791 really understood it to mean.

In fact, the who, what, where, when, why, and how of this amendment have…

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2 thoughts on “Our Colonial Militias Did Not Carry AK-47s and AR-15s.

  1. It goes back to British citizens being allowed to bear arms in the late 17th century, after the Glorious Revolution … to shoot any stray Jacobites or invading French people, presumably! And the idea of having militias rather than a standing army goes back to the idea that only dictatorial states, like Louis XIV’s France, or Oliver Cromwell’s hated regime here, had permanent state armies. Ideas about standing armies changed here after the Duke of Wellington & co made the Army popular during the Napoleonic Wars, and there was no real risk of invasion after that, but the course of American history was obviously different. I do find the US gun culture hard to get my head round, although I know that laws about guns in the UK were only changed in the 1920s, but I can see the history behind it.

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  2. Even a casual read of the Federalist Papers shows that the Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment in to protect people’s right to stand up to tyrannical government. THAT is pretty much an illusion today given that the firepower the army can bring to bear makes an AR-15 look like a musket by comparison.

    AR-15s are NOT military weapons anyway. They are NOT fully automatic, and will only fire one round per pull of the trigger for starters. They LOOK like military weapons, but there are plenty of junk brand cars that look like high end performance cars too.

    The BIG difference between now and even 50 years ago is personal responsibility and morals. Media glorifies gun violence and violence in general now. Even in the 1950s and early 60s, there were shooting clubs in public high schools and kids took rifles to school. There was a greater respect for the weapon, the law and our fellow human beings though. People might argue, they might even physically fight but they understood lethal violence was NOT an option. NOW everybody is a victim, entitled to lash out any way they see fit, and the media will make them celebrities if they lash out dramatically enough. THERE is the real problem.

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