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The Second Amendment and Tyranny

Tyranny is defined generally as oppressive, absolute power vested in a single ruler. The United States cannot, by definition, be tyrannical because it is a representative democracy where you have the right to overthrow any person or party every two, four, or six years – depending on the office. Your recourse is political action and being enfranchised to vote, organize, and petition. 

When the 2nd Amendment was drafted, the United States did not have a standing army – because of our experience with our British oppressors, America was decidedly hostile to the idea of a standing army.  As a result, our new nation depended on amateur on-call militias; Switzerland still uses this model wherein only 5% of its military is made up of professionals, while the militia and reserves are made up of able-bodied men aged 19 up to their 30s and 40s.  Because these people are members of a reserve militia, they keep and own their own military equipment. 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. 

But we long ago reconfigured our domestic military structure to switch from state-based reserve militias into a professional national military. To the extent the old state militias exist, they’re made up of the various National Guards. We don’t call upon average citizens to keep arms to fight off the Indians or the British; we have the Pentagon. 

If you look at the two recent Supreme Court cases which held that the “well-regulated militia” language, which was so carefully inserted into the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, doesn’t really mean anything. Astonishing, that, but little can be done about it. In DC v. Heller , the Court affirmed an individual right to possess a firearm without respect to whether the bearer is a militia member, and that these arms can only be possessed for lawful purposes, such as self-defense. 

Heller also confirmed that your 2nd Amendment rights are not absolute or unlimited. Concealed weapons can be banned by states, you can limit their possession by felons and the mentally ill, and you can ban carrying a weapon in certain areas and regulate the sale of weapons. Particularly dangerous and unusual weapons can also be regulated or banned.  Although Heller applied only to federal districts, a subsequent case – McDonald v. Chicago – held that the 14th Amendment ensures that the 2nd Amendment and its jurisprudence also apply to state action. 

Because handguns aren’t unusual, and the petitioner in Heller intended to keep a handgun in his home for personal protection, his use was lawful and DC was ordered to issue him a permit, and could not require him to keep the gun essentially unusable while being kept. 

Nothing that happened yesterday in Albany is violative of the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment is silent on the number of rounds a clip can hold, and bans on certain types of weapons have been consistently upheld. If you have to re-register to drive a car every few years, you can re-register to own a gun. How do we monitor felonies or mental illness with lifetime permitting? 

But I want to pivot back to something – tyranny. How many people have you heard in the past month since the Sandy Hook massacre explain that assault weapons and other militaria must be legal because we have some sort of right to fight tyranny. How many people have suggested to you, with an astonishing ignorance of history of propriety, that, e.g., German Jews could have halted the Holocaust if only they had been armed. 

Make no mistake, notwithstanding Jefferson’s tree of liberty, there is no law, statute, or Constitutional provision that exists in this country to allow someone to fight domestic “tyranny”. What these people are saying is that they detest the government – especially Obama’s government, because he is Kenyan or an usurper or a Nazi or a communist or a “king” or maybe just because he’s brown-skinned. At which point do we determine as a society when we have made the flip to “tyranny”? Who is the arbiter of “tyranny”? At which point do we determine that all of our anti-treason statutes and the constitutional provision found in Article III, section 3 of the Constitution can be set aside because of “tyranny”? 

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

You have no right to possess militaria to fend off “tyranny”. If you think you do, show me the statute or law that says so. Show me the statute or law that repeals our anti-treason legislation. It doesn’t exist. 

If New York wants to ban assault weapons or clips holding more than 10 bullets, it can. If you don’t like it, get your tea party buddies together and elect a legislature in Albany that will repeal it.  But there’s not a thing in the world that suggests that you can, if you don’t like it, take up arms against Albany or Washington. That would be a crime. If you try it and you’re armed, law enforcement won’t like that. Not at all. 


  • Lawrence Congdon

    The founders meant for “a well regulated militia” to be a volunteer defense force who would put themselves under the direction of the federal government. Check out Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper #29. 

    • jarhead1982

      So explain again how the politcians are calling up the unorganized militia to properly regulate and train them?

      Naw, that would just point out another failure in the avalanche of failures by our politicians to actually do their job.

  • Jeremy

    What of the new NYS provision that makes improper stowing of guns a misdemeanor?  
    and while I may not posses a legal mandate to “fend off tyranny”, I do have the responsibility. 

    • Alan Bedenko

      No, you have no such “responsibility”, and improper stowing of guns is sort of how Adam Lanza got a hold of his mom’s arsenal. 

      • Jeremy

      • Jeremy

         and if the founders had your mentality we’d still be British subjects, you’re advocating abject slavery.

      • Alan Bedenko

        The founders didn’t want a standing army, yet we have one now. 

  • Jeremy

    “Tyranny is defined generally as oppressive, absolute power vested in a single ruler. The United States cannot, by definition, be tyrannical because it is a
    representative democracy where you have the right to overthrow any
    person or party every two, four, or six years – depending on the office.”

    Now you’re engaging in purely a semantics game? You know full well (I hope)  that when people talk of keeping tyranny in check it has nothing to do with the number of people who are doing the oppression, nice try.

    • Alan Bedenko

      So, you didn’t read past the first paragraph? Nice try. 

      • FrozenPatriot

        Correction: we’re a representative republic, not a democracy. There’s a meaningful difference.  In a democracy, the poor majority can elect leaders to plunder the wealthy minority. (“fair share,” anyone?) Majority rules.  In a republic, all citizens (and the government) must follow certain laws (do not steal, do not murder, etc.) regardless of the will of the majority.  Basing your argument on a false premise was indicative of the fallacy that followed.

        Resisting tyranny is easily identified as a natural law, and *is* covered by the constitution.  9th amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain
        rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by
        the people.
        ”  Your argument is also invalid because the bill of rights is a list of things the federal government can’t do to you, not a limitation on what individual citizens can or can’t do.

        Let’s turn the tables.  The founding fathers couldn’t have possibly envisioned the internet or intended the first amendment to protect the rights of individual bloggers, now that an established press is formed.  You have no right to disseminate your opinion to the masses.  Now let’s say that George W Bush interpreted the constitution this way and sent a SWAT team of 20 heavily armed, body-armored, steroid-pumping gestapos are about to break down your door and take your computer and put you in jail, thereby muzzling you.  Does that sound like tyranny?  Would you roll over and cave to this tyranny?  Didn’t think so.

        Are you truly arguing that men do not have the right to be free, and if
        subjected to tyranny, do not have the right to resist, forcefully if
        necessary? These are the lies of Satan, whose greatest accomplishment was to convince “enlightened” people that he doesn’t exist and has no influence over you.  Unfortunately, you’re so entrenched in your thinking that no amount of logic or reason could help you see the light, and I fully expect any reaction to reflect that truth.

      • John (not McCain)

        Anti-American trash like you is why I own a gun.

      • Carl Gorney

         Why? So you can kill someone if you don’t like their opinion?

      • John (not McCain)

        No, in order to protect myself from the sort of drooling moron FrozenPatriot epitomizes.

  • Colin Eager

  • Jesse Griffis

    Wow, we can’t have tyranny in the USA? I’m sure anyone living on an Indian reservation would disagree pretty strongly. So might a bunch of folks in places like New London, CT.

    As a lawyer, of course you’re going to say “just change the laws” but that’s pretty self-serving, at best.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Lawyers don’t make laws. 

      • Jesse Griffis

        Right, regular folks and “our representatives” make laws… *snort*

  • Colin Eager

    The idea that electoral democracy makes tyranny impossible is a bit too neat.  It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where power becomes so concentrated in elite hands, the electoral mechanism gets so corrupted, and the choices on offer become so interchangeable that we have what amounts to a tyrannical democracy.  It’s even easier to imagine a democratically elected government serving as the friendly face of those massive private tyrannies that seek to own and control our lives.

    And of course it’s true that trying to overthrow the government or whatever is illegal, but that seems beside the point.  Those “water the tree of liberty” types aren’t making a legal argument, are they?  The really interesting question to me is why these folks are so attached to an idea (the possibility of violently defeating the government) that could never, ever happen.  Guns have little practical value (and plenty of potential danger) for these folks, but they’re deeply attached to them because they’re the tangible representation of some powerful American myth.  

  • Jesse Griffis

    Alan, your whole understanding of the rights described by the Constitution is messed up. They’re not giving us “permission” to do shit. The word “enumeration” means something. We have the right to fight against an oppressive government regardless of what that government’s laws say. To suggest otherwise is dissembling at best.

    In other words, we don’t need a statute that says we’re “allowed” to fight tyranny. That’s a pretty stupid argument to make.

    We don’t expect that fighting tyranny will be met with a shrug and a pat on the back by the oppressive government – that would be just plain stupid.

    We don’t expect any fight to be equal or fair – look up asymmetrical warfare – it’s obvious we don’t expect to be armed with tanks and drones. But it’s certainly possible for a small, underpowered force to create such havoc for an oppressive force as to give the oppressors pause, maybe even make them go home (see: Afghanistan).

    • Alan Bedenko

      We have the right to fight against an oppressive government regardless of what that government’s laws say

      Who decides when you tip from “fighting oppressive government” to treason? How is that measured? This is all nonsense. 

      • Colin Eager

         Why do these questions matter?  It isn’t as if people who take up arms against their government ask for permission first, or submit their plans to some outside body for permission.  They just do it, damn the consequences. 

      • Jeremy

        The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates fuck patriotism though, humanism is what the goal should be, and a traitor of humanity can be seen in the erosion of civil liberty

      • jarhead1982

        When the winners write the history books, as it always is done!

      • Andrew Callahan

        If it is so confusing for you, then may we remind you that the victors write the history.The founding generation revolted and won so history states they were oppressed. Bacon’s Rebellion failed and so little is said. But interestingly, the rebellion’s effects rippled out none the less. Perhaps if the government were reminded of this spirit of resistance, it would not think it has a blank check from our banks to spend itself into a hole and then call a few billion dollars cut as a “deal”.”The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas JeffersonSacrifice for liberty is the only way to retain it.

        Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. — George Bernard Shaw

    • Alan Bedenko

      Also – just to further confirm something – when certain people assert that we have “God-given rights” that somehow magically rise above what our puny earthbound government can or should do, that is merely a mythological extension of simple legal precepts. 

      Under common law and the English system, something is allowed unless it is expressly prohibited. By contrast, in Napoleonic states and especially in Germanic systems, the opposite is true; something is prohibited unless expressly permitted. 

      I’m pretty sure that violent overthrow of the United States government is expressly prohibited. 

      • Guest

        I’m pretty sure the violent overthrow of the British empire by the colonists was expressly prohibited.

      • Alan Bedenko

        And subsequently codified via Treaty of Paris 1783. 

      • Jesse Griffis

        So basically you’re suggesting here that natural law does not exist? Hobbes and others might suggest that some things just ‘are’ whether a man-made law exists to define it.

      • Alan Bedenko

        They might. 

      • Andrew Callahan

        “I’m pretty sure that violent overthrow of the United States government is expressly prohibited. ”

        And yet, the power remains with the people. Every tyranny in history has forbade resistance. Your implication is that they should not have resisted?

        Furthermore, you confuse the government with the Constitution. When the government ceases to  abide by the governing document, it is no longer the legal government and its prohibitions are null and void.

  • Mike_Chmiel

    No one, aside from police and military, needs guns.  If your personal choices, whether they be the place where you live or the people you surround yourself with, absolutely require you to carry firearms, it is time for you to spend a little more time analyzing your life and a little less time trying to understand the US Constitution.

    • Jeremy

       he said assuming everyone in the country was just like him and lived his same existence

      • Mike_Chmiel

         I have no idea what you are saying.

      • Jeremy

        in order for what you said to be true, everyone would have to live an existence very similar to yours.

      • Mike_Chmiel

        Then you are illustrating my point. Because pretty much everyone does live my existence.

        Feel like you need a gun because you live in a rough neighborhood?  Maybe you should be concentrating on getting out of that neighborhood.

        You feel like someone is coming to get you?  Perhaps you should be wondering why that is.

        The vast majority of gun owners have none of these problems.  They are generally rural/suburban white people who live in safe neighborhoods, but who hoard guns to protect themselves from imaginary bogeymen – maybe non-existent burglars or “tyrannical” presidents. 

        I am tired of seeing public policy driven by paranoid people who are afraid of everything.

      • jarhead1982

        You mean like the sociopath anti gun extremists are so afraid of the law abiding gun owner, their mythical boogeyman that they must in their primal sadomasochistic needs tell everyone what they can or can not do based on unsusbstantiated fears?

        Especially when we see that by the facts, your policy beliefs are driven by nothing other than emotional drivel.

        Hence you are at best, a hypocrite!

      • Mike_Chmiel

        The fact that you sprinkle your diatribes with big, misused words like “sadomasochistic” and “sociopath” does little to improve your arguments.

        But yeah, my fear of guns is unsubstantiated.  We don’t have a problem with gun violence in America at all.  I guess we can move on.  Oh wait – the guns used in Newtown were legally owned!

        This country doesn’t deserve a Second Amendment anymore.  This right has been thoroughly abused by Americans and no longer deserves to exist. I support an amendment eliminating it. And then a total ban.

      • jarhead1982

        Oh I’m sorry, your actions beg decsription so us sane people can understand what drives you to persecute those not responsible for committing that violence.

        Oh wait, Lanza broke 48 laws and you insanely believe a 49th that by law will only affect the law abiding would stop him how?

        All while refusing to acknowledge all those failures by govt, pshyciatirsts, those responsible, BATF, politicians, and of course the causality of more killings in gun free victim disarmament zones where progressives prefer children to be killed at the whack-a-loons will.

        AMazing how noted anti gun criminologist James Alann Fox states clearly and concisely that there isnt an increase in mass shootings, but you and the media claims there is. Wonder who sane people believe, an academic who I disagree with, yet bases this analysis on facts you cant refute, or a few media whores?

        Funny how you also fail to prove a firearm is a sentient being or the root cause of violence. Hence any claim of it being separate root cause is a pathetic and desperate bid at diversionary tact to strengthen the pathological lie that gun control of the law abiding reduces violence by the crazies & felons when it never has, nor ever will.

        Your fear of the law abiding gun owner is indeed unsubstantiated as you refuse to acknowledge the massive majority of killings, over 92% as recognized by our govt, are committed by career criminals, gang members, suiciders, and crazies. Not to mention nearly 50% of the remainder occur during domestic violence incidents.

        So unless you are a career criminal, gang member, suicidal, crazy, or a perpetrator of demostic violence, you have a higher % chance of catching cancer by smoking when you dont even smoke, than being harmed by a law abiding gun owner!

      • Samantha Jo

        For the millionth time, because apparently you people can’t get this IMPORTANT fact through your skulls, the guns used in the Newtown shooting were legally owned by Lanza’s mother. Adam Lanza STOLE THE WEAPONS, making them ILLEGAL. I’m not sure why that is such a hard concept to grasp.

      • David Tatosian

         How do you know, precisely, what problems the vast majority of gun owners may or may not have?

        How is it that you know, with such certainty, that those hoarders are protecting themselves from, as you derisively state, imaginary bogeymen like, well, non existent burglars for instance?

        Here’s a couple links that might help you see the world as it really is — 

        and yes I know you’re convinced only the military and law enforcement should have guns. But like they say, when seconds count the cops are minutes away.

        Would it have been a far better thing for you if those individuals (at those links) had put their fate in the hands of  very real criminals? Would that have sent a chill up your leg?

        As to moving out of rough areas and such, again, some of the individuals at those (and other) sites have done just that. Are folks supposed to just keep moving whenever  the, um, criminal element moves into their areas?

        Criminals go where the money is.

        Just like tyrannical presidents.

        I too am tired of public policy being hijacked by pampered, self indulgent fops who swallow whole whatever their screeching harridans vomit up.

    • Josh Givler

       If that’s true, then the military and the police don’t need guns, either.

      Or what purpose do they need guns for, Mike?

  • tonyintonawanda

    Does any of this matter?  300 million guns are already out there.  You can hardly point to an instance when a law-abiding gun owner who legally  purchased his firearm committed a crime.  Yet, it is way too easy to obtain a gun illegally.  Why?

    This debate is an ideological touchpoint for both sides and the resolutions are pointless…more b.s. thrown to suburban mom swing voters who don’t like guns.  Yet, we have a major problem and no real solutions. 

    Other ideological arguments had impact.  Gay marriage?  When passed, gay people could marry.  Tangible.  Obamacare.  When implemented, fundamentally changes health care system in this country.

    Cuomo’s bill yesterday or what’s being discussed in D.C.?  Tell me what changes.  Nothing.  Just a chance for both sides to raise money from their core supporters.  Hooray.

  • Jeremy

    the 2nd amendment was written back with an expiration date?

  • The Embryo Parson

    Unmitigated rubbish.

  • Matt

    Its called the Declaration of Independence. Maybe you need to read it someday. 

    Clearly, the Founders and all people at that time understood that arms were used for defense of self and the state. 

    • Alan Bedenko

      The Declaration of Independence had no legal effect as of the day Britain recognized the independence of the United States. 

      The 1783 Treaty of Paris supersedes the Declaration of Independence. 

      • Andrew Callahan

        Incorrect. The Declaration of Independence sets out the reasons for revolution and the powers inherit to the people to do so. Its recognition of powers the people possess cannot ever be taken away (otherwise, the very powers claimed would be an exercise in hypocrisy).Further more, consult the following, as it seems even after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the power of the people to keep and bear arms (a natural right and thus above the power of any government to seize) remained the same.
        As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms. — Tench Coxe in `Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution’ under the Pseudonym “A Pennsylvanian” in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1.
        And that said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress…to prevent the people of the Unites States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms… – Sam Adams, 1789.Last Monday a string of amendments were presented to the lower house; these altogether respect personal liberty… – Sen. William Grayson of Virginia in a letter to Patrick Henry.
        The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.’ A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.” [Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394, at 401-402 (1859)]
        Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction. — St. George Tucker, in his edition of ‘Blackstone’s Commentaries,’ 1:300 (1803).
        No free man [or woman] shall ever be debarred the use of arms.-Thomas Jefferson
        The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since 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. — Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; With a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States before the Adoption of the Constitution [Boston, 1833].
        The right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against tyranny, which though now appears remote in America, history has proven to be always possible. — Senator Hubert H. Humphrey
        It seems even Kennedy understood this less than 60 years ago.
        Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. — John F. Kennedy
        By calling attention to a well-regulated militia for the security of the Nation, and the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms, our Founding Fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny, which gave rise to the second amendment, will ever be a major danger to our Nation, the amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic military-civilian relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of the country. For that reason I believe the second amendment will always be important. –JOHN F. KENNEDY

      • Alan Bedenko

        You like to use a lot of quotations about things, but you seem to avoid actually addressing the issue at hand. 

      • Andrew Callahan

        First, the Declaration of Independence was not superceded. Our declaration was recognized by the 1783 Treaty. In fact, the Treaty makes not statement of the kind. Not sure where you attended law school but you may want to ask for your money back as your ascertation that a Treaty recognising a people as free of their former bonds some how negates their Declaration of a right to revolt against any tyranny (not just the current one).

        Second, You did not answer a single point made. Both the Constitution (via the 2nd Amendment) and the Declaration of Independence (via the introduction and preable) recognise a Natural Law that men have the right to live free of despotism.

        So, since I have to be more blunt because my first paragraph didn’t seem to convey the matter, I’ll spell it out. The Founders declared there was a right for a human not to live under despotism. Having thrown off their despot, it would be hypocritical to then turn around and forbid future generations from overthrowing tyranny. Ergo, the spelled out safeguard of the 2nd Amendment… to ensure future generations had access to the weapons needed to secure their freedoms. But here.. let me spell it out for you in smaller words, since you can’t seem to wrap your head around the facts surrounding the origins and meaning of the 2nd Amendment and the forces that brought it into existance and instead chose to dodge the issue.Come for our guns and we’ll resist… violently. No peace-nik crap. No sit-ins. No chaining ourselves to gates and singing kumbaya.
        Naked violence. Get it now?

      • Alan Bedenko

        Wow, so much hostility!

        The Declaration of Independence has no contemporary legal effect. It is not a law, not a statute, not incorporated into the Constitution by reference – it is nothing but a beautiful relic of a particular time.

        As for the Founders, we also have more than 13 states and a standing army. A lot can change in 200+ years.

        Of course you’ll resist with violence. That’s why your crowd is so petrified of background checks.

      • JHall138

         First,what part of the Second Amendment requires government to conduct background checks on those who excersize it?

        Maybe we should also do background checks on people who vote,because based on YOUR argument of the superiority of democratic process in determining the fate of nations,we should be ensuring the integrity of the vote?

        Why is it ok to impose such regulation on one right but not the other,and don’t dare tell me because guns are dangerous and votes are not.

        As has already been established,the Nazi party was,in fact,democratically elected to power.

      • JHall138

         Stop deflecting.

        When someone uses quotations,they do so to enlighten you to the error of your thoughts and arguments with the words of much greater people then any taking part in this argument.

        But I suppose,to a liberal,their talking points trump historical quotes.

  • Stephen Ramsey

    It’s not a ‘representative democracy’.  It’s a constitutional republic. When elected officials go outside the framework of the constitution, the citizenry has every right to oppose them with force, not just ballots.

    The replacement of the militia with a standing army and the national guard is not a restructuring of the military posture of the nation, since it operates at the behest of the President, and not the people. It is also a post civil war usurpation of the power of the citizenry and of the several states.

    The second amendment isn’t about personal protection or hunting. It’s about hunting a government gone rogue.

    Gun control proponents seem solely interested in testing the resolve of the people by pushing for a second civil war.  New York ups the ante, and the President fans the flames and continues to rip the country in two to match, and incinerates the constitution to keep his feet warm.

    He may well get his wish, as the citizenry is waking up to the Idea of a government of the people, not of Albany, Chicago, San Francisco, and the District of Columbia.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Explain to me, please, your semantic differentiation between representative democracy (which the US is) and “constitutional republic”, which it also is. The United States of America is a representative democratic constitutional republic. 

      The law prohibits you taking up arms against the government – it’s called treason, regardless of which capital city you detest. 

      • Andrew Callahan

        A republic cannot, by its function, suppress or remove the power of the individual or a minority and legislate it to a corner. In a republic, it is not the majority which is supreme. It is the individual. Democracy is mob rule, whether it be “representative” or not.

        The merit of our Constitution is not that it promotes democracy, but checks it. —HORATIO SEYMOUR

      • Alan Bedenko

        A republic merely means “res publica”, or thing of the people; it means that you don’t have a king, and offices are obtained through elections, not inheritance. There are many different types of republics, and we happen to have a democratic one.  

      • Andrew Callahan

        What have you wrought?A Republic, if you can keep it.

        And we intend to.

      • JHall138

         Again,liberal arguments FAIL,yet liberals making them refuse to accept fact and reason.

        I suppose they must now think that it was ok to marginalize the rights of black people because of their minority status?

  • Mike_Chmiel

    Wow, this debate is bringing out the wackos.  I hope the FBI is monitoring every one of you making barely-veiled threats against the president or the government.

    I find it ironic that gun nuts have managed to kill (with guns) 5 out of our 44 US presidents, but  then openly mock his need for armed protection.

    • JHall138

       We mock his need while he mocks ours.

      Further,it was not who you call “gun nuts” who killed these presidents- the murderers you are attempting -poorly- to equate with gun owners,were politically motivated,but only a liberal idiot would argue that they were motivated by inanimate objects.

  • JohnathanStein

    Mr. Bedenko doesn’t understand that the entire Bill of Rights is a set of limitations on government; his essay is ENTIRELY academic.  As a matter of practice, see

    • Alan Bedenko

      Oh, I understand precisely what the Bill of Rights is. I also know what the SCOTUS, which has the power of judicial review, has to say about it. 

      • JHall138

         Where in the Constitution is judicial review a granted power of the judicial branch,mister know it all?


        In FACT,it is a contentious power the court granted itself in Marbury vs. Madison,and resulted in James Madison and Thomas Jefferson BOTH speaking out against it.

        “Refusing or not refusing to execute a law to stamp it with its final character… makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended and can never be proper.”
        — James Madison,  letter to John Brown, October 1788

        “You seem … to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps…. Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”
        -Thomas Jefferson,1820

      • JohnathanStein

        1.  Your sidestepping a historical example of armed resistance to tyranny doesn’t make it go away.

        2.  Perhaps you should consider the real issue,

  • jackrey

    If a representative democracy cannot become tyranical, how did Germany do so in the 1930s?  Remember that Hitler was legally elected and legally made chancellor.  The Second Amendment was not added to the Constitution to protect the militia, but to protect all of the people.  The militia clause, as the Supreme Court said, is merely one reason for protecting all of the people’s right to keep and bear arms, because the militia was the people.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Hitler actually had to form a coalition government with two other parties in 1933 – had the non-Nazi opposition decided to unite in its own coalition, Hitler would have easily been thwarted without a single shot being fired. You’ll also recall that the NSDAP helped itself rise to prominence when it torched the Reichstag and blamed the communists. Soon thereafter, Hitler passed the enabling act, which allowed his cabinet to act as the de facto legislature for 4 years. During that time he banned all other political parties and consolidated his dictatorship. 

      That’s how Weimar Germany’s 14 year experiment with democracy ended. If you’re comparing our 200+ years or reasonable stability with 14 years’ worth of dysfunction and political chaos, then I think you have a mistaken view of history. 

      • jackrey

        So you admit that it is possible in a representative democracy. It is just that because we are the United States and not Germany that you do not think it could happen here. That naiveté is an open invitation for such a thing to happen here. And that is the reason that the Founding Fathers insisted on passing the Second Amendment. They knew that a representative democracy, such as England at the time, could become tyrannical. Without the right to keep and bear arms, we would all still be British subjects.
        Jack Reynolds | Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP —————————————————————————————
        Tel: 713.276.7681 | Fax:
        Two Houston Center
        909 Fannin, Suite 2000 | Houston, TX 77010-1018

        Email: Bio:

      • JHall138

         Something the liberals just can’t understand-

        Democracy,in its pure,original form,is nothing less then mob rule,and our Founders knew this.
        they knew this because among many other things,they understood how Athenian Democracy was responsible for the condemnation of Socrates to death by virtue of a mob.

        In 1930’s Germany,the mob decided to accept the evil of Nazism,and the FACT IS that without widespread popular support,Nazi Germany would have never happened.

        Of course,had every Jew in Germany owned a K98 battle rifle,20 rounds of ammunition,and the will to use it; the Nazi’s would have been a little known anecdote to the Wiemar Republic.

        And THAT,is what the Second Amendment IS ALL ABOUT.

      • SamAdams1776

        Attacks on the constitution and liberty have been around a while. Socialism, though it can never succeed is attractive to the losers and moochers. The Slaughterhouse cases in the 1870s was one of the earliest attacks on proerty rights and there were other assaults on liberty between that and the case Wickard v. Filburn, another major attack, adn since then even more with David Souter siding with a Florida city government who confiscated private property under eminent domain  to give to another private (commercial company) owner to get more tax revenue.

        Eminent domain was intended for government use like roads, bridges, etc… not to hand to another provate owner for increaed city revenue–until the expansion of government power at the expense of provate propertyt rights. The 200 + years have been a struggle to keep freedom and apparently a losing struggle. I don;t give a crap about Nazi Germany. The Nazis were socialists (and a not too distant a relative of communism. Their pretended verbal attacks on communism served the same scapegoat purpose as their attacks on the Jewish people) and fascists (Fascism is a totalitarian view where the individual is subordinated to the state-necessarily something one does under socialism).

        Nevertheless, it has been a struggle to keep liberty in this country. The attacks against it began almost immediately. Unfortunately people are increasingly attracted to a statist view–this the result of government/NEA “education”

        You are a statist for example. You won’t likely admit it, even assuming you realize that you are one. I will tell you though what would be refreshing: for someone who is a statist to admit it. I have met only one in a Costco who (a middle-aged female) was a proud socialist and believed government should control everything.

  • Vinny Papagiorgio

    “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did
    in Germany was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did
    in Hungary was ‘illegal.'” –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

    • Alan Bedenko

      So, gun owners are like the civil rights movement? That’s somewhat far-fetched, but I commend you for trying. 

      • JHall138

         I find your attempt to slander a civil right -the Second Amendment- as not actually being a civil right as highly obtuse and morally repugnant.

        As a Jew,I also find your sidelining of the issue being presented here despicable.

        After “the night of broken glass” a.k.a
        The nazi’s amended previously enacted “gun control” “laws” by the former Wiemar Republic to make it illegal for jews to have even clubs or knives,let alone firearms.

        So,IN FACT,by “law”,it was ok to exterminate MY PEOPLE,but it was not ok for us to have arms to fight back with.

        Think about THAT,gun grabber.

      • SamAdams1776

        Yes. It is a civil rights issue. What right to your ow life and property do you have if you cannot enforce it with force? Government’s tend to become oppressive over time and for government to have the monopoly on force is dangerous to liberty.

        “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” –Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

        And this is where we are. They mean to be masters. And why not? The people have become dependent moochers with the help of government looters against the fewer productive.

        They don’t want freedom. How prophetic of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s in The Brothers Karamazov with these words: In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, “Make us your slaves, but feed us.”

        My freedom and my rights are not subject to a majority vote and I refuse to lay down my freedom voluntarily before the government.  I insist they serve ME and not the other way around!

        I demand the weapons of war to overthrow not the government, but the usurpers of government who operating under the color of law attack my liberty! Yes, a civil right!

        SamAdams1776 III

  • SamAdams1776

    SCOTUS does not always get it right: “Separate but equal,” and Dred Scot comes to mind. Heller was also wrong in one respect. The Second Amandment makes it clear that the prohibition against government is TOTAL in “shall not be infringed.” This means that ANY weapon a soldier could bear on his person is for the people. Remember what Tenche Coxe, one of the founders wrote:

    “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. ” —Tenche Coxe,
    The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

    Every terrible impliment of the soldier…the UNLIMITED power of the sword (a metaphor for arms generally for you leftists) is to remain in the hands of the people–not local, state or federal governments–GET it??????

    And as for the vote and having a “democratic government”–how many democratic socialist governments have the vote and it is meaningless?

    Two things to remember with regard to that:

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government” — Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334


    “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”– (Goethe’s Opinions on the World, Mankind, Literature, Science and Art, translated by Otto Wenckstern. London 1853. p. 3 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Goethe’s Opinions on the World, Mankind, Literature, Science and Art, translated by Otto Wenckstern. London 1853. p. 3 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Our government no longer serves us. We are not free people anymore! We live under a tyranny of a committe[–it doesn’t have to be a single person for it to be a tyranny. King George was not an absolute Monarch]  to include the so-called “president” and our legislative branch and even some members of the judiciary.

    Our founders warned us on that issue as well:”Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” –Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

    This is where we are now. The time is nearing!

    SamAdams1776 III

    • Alan Bedenko

      Not really. 

      • JHall138



        Before I hit you some more wisdom from those who actually created this government,are you familiar with the Dredd Scott case?

        SCOTUS really got it right then,huh?

        “Refusing or not refusing to execute a law to stamp it with its final character… makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended and can never be proper.”
        — James Madison,  letter to John Brown, October 1788

        “You seem … to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps…. Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”
        -Thomas Jefferson,1820

        “At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account.”
        -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Monsieur A. Coray, Oct 31, 1823

  • Josh Givler

    Mr. Bedenko, I’d like to thank you so much for defining my definition of tyranny for me, and also my motives.  I never realized that I opposed Obama because he was a Kenyan, or a Nazi, or Brown-skinned, or whatever else. Seriously? Where on Earth do you get the audacity to make such a statement?

    • Alan Bedenko

      You’re welcome!

    • JHall138

       He get his audacity where all other liberals get theirs – from over the moonbat utopian rainbow……

  • Josh Givler

    It’s all very simple. If you want to oppose the second amendment, then you get your buddies together and propose another Amendment to the Constitution.  The onus is on you. And no, New York may not ban assault rifles in direct conflict with the 2nd Amendment, any more than they could ban free speech protected under the 1st.

    • Alan Bedenko

      I don’t oppose the 2nd Amendment. I’ve merely explained to you here what it does, and doesn’t mean and what recent SCOTUS decisions have to say about it.  

      You’re welcome. 

  • MadMagyar

    First, this is NOT, as most liberals keep repeating, obviously hoping that repetition will make it become true, a “representative democracy”. It’s a republic, or at least was intended to be. What one would call it now is a good question, because of the next point.

    Second, if you think we still have elections and that the peoples’ “vote” actually has any effect on the political process, you and everyone else who believe such a fantasy are pitifully naive and need to read what is so widely available on the internet regarding the subject. Suggested starting point:

    Third, you need only look to the Declaration of Independence for the legally argued authorization (and duty) to change a government – a document you conveniently left off your list. That was a legal document, by the way, not just some arbitrary statement, served upon the Court,  as the colonists had already tried all the legal remedies available to them, without relief that should have been granted.

    The Founding Fathers would have taken action against this collection of rogue agencies (pretending to be a government) a long time ago. You obviously don’t recognize tyranny when you see it. But then, as evident by your viewpoint and misunderstanding of the facts involved in the subject matter, you were probably schooled some time within the last twenty years or at some Eastern liberal school.

    • Alan Bedenko

      The Declaration of Independence ceased to have any legal effect after the 1783 Treaty of Paris wherein Great Britain recognized the USA’s independence. It’s a gorgeous historical artifact, though. Thanks. 

      • JHall138

        The Declaration establishes certain founding principles that are at the very heart of our law.

        “There are certain vital principles in our free Republican governments, which will determine and over-rule an apparent and flagrant abuse of legislative power. . . . An ACT of the Legislature (for I cannot call it a law) contrary to the great first principles of the social compact, cannot be considered a rightful exercise of legislative authority.”
        -Justice Samuel Chase,1798

      • BlackRockLifer

        Stop using facts, you are muddying the waters.

  • Rossfor

    Just goes to show that progressives/liberals/collectivists who feel somehow preordained to rule over us unwashed masses and build a Utopian society on earth — which is preordained to utter failure — are still adept at making up their own facts, innovative interpretations of existing factual documents and revising history to fit their non-existent logic in their ongoing failed efforts to justify their belief in themselves and especially, their leaders. This author, probably realizing that his intellectual quiver was devoid of logic or sustainable argument finally managed to play the race card in desperation to defend his indefensible position (which began in the first paragraph and grew exponentially deeper in bovine excrement as it progressed).

    As a grade, Mr. Bedenko, you earned an “A” for spelling and grammar,  a “D” for content (by giving you the benefit of the doubt and appreciating good fiction), and an “F” for effort since it’s quite obvious you either did not research the subject adequately, or failed to understand what you read.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Sorry the most recent cases in the Supreme Court didn’t cut it for you. Better luck next time!

      • SamAdams1776

        So the Supreme Court gets it right all the time eh,?

        Killing babies under “privacy”
        Dred Scot
        Separate but equal

        Keep in mind, Marbury v. Madison was itself a usuration of powers not found in the Constitution

        The STATES should be evauluating the Constitutionality of the laws –and remember also the States created the Federal Government and the states CAN if they chose to, get rid of it (yes they can) and if they want reform a new one (ART 5)

  • saltecks

    Have read that the NRA has hired paid posters to push their talking points.

    • JHall138

       Liberal posts an absolutely revisionist and erroneous page,gets the attention of people who criticize it with logic and finesse,other liberal argues conspiracy theories while the first liberal responds to said critical responses with typical liberal childishness:

      “Nu huh”,”no it isnt” and “i know better then you”.

      Stupid gun grabbing liberals are stupid.

      • Carl Gorney

         And so are stupid TROLLS.

        Which you are, without a shadow of a doubt.

      • saltecks

         Ever hear of Public Opinion Strategies?

  • John DeMarco

    More than 650,000 killing of children each and every year, ban abortion.
    The flu has killed more children this year than died at Sandy Hook.
    Force everyone to get a flu shot. Cancer is still a huge killer in this
    country Ban smoking. Require all vehicles manufactures to make cars that
    only go 65 mph. And have the ability to detect the presence of alcohol
    in the drivers breath. Investigate the deaths of 100,000 people a year
    due to medical mishaps. Try and balance the budget. When you get a
    handle on that then we’ll talk about firearms.

  • Colin Eager

    Why does it matter what the law (or the Supreme Court) says about any of this?  If you think that any of this is some neat little legal question, you’re nuts.  Guns are deeply engrained in American life, and their place there is supported by all sorts of powerful myths as well as a well entrenched pro-gun lobby.  If you want to change that, it’s going to take brute force and/or huge amounts of political capital.  Arguments over what the 2nd amendment means are beside the point.

  • JHall138

    So,who’s definition of  “tyranny” should we accept,when relating it to the Second Amendment?

    This obvious liberal hack who is just doing what liberals always do,attempting to make definitions fit their agendas- or would we be better off with the definition of the term being explained by the man who actually wrote the Second Amendment?
    “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
    — James Madison,  Federalist No. 48, February 1, 1788

    If the “elected government” no longer has any limitations because it can define them for itself,going so far as to even believe it can define the scope and definition of our inalienable human rights,how is this NOT tyranny?

    Just because a mob majority says something is right,doesn’t make it so.

    In fact,when the mob abuses a government that believes it is vested with practically limitless power,to strip a minority of rights,it is the very essence of tyranny,and should be fought tooth and nail.

    • Colin Eager

       Whenever I have a hard time opening a jar, I just think of the founding fathers and they give me the strength to get at those tasty pickles.

      • JHall138

         Stupid liberal is stupid.

      • Colin Eager

         I’m not a liberal, you fucking plank.  And if you’d like to compare standardized test scores, I’ve got Jack Johnson and Tom O’Leary right here.

      • JHall138

        Your resort to insults truly shows your superior intellect…….

        I am truly,verily in awe sir,both of your deep and profound understanding and respect for our Founders,and your breathtakingly superior discourse……

        Now…..clamp your cock locker and go fuck yourself.

      • Colin Eager

         You realize that you called me stupid before I called you a “fucking plank,” right?  Which is to say, it was you who first resorted to insults.

        Also, an ellipsis only has three dots . . .

  • JHall138

    Here’s an idea:

    We can compromise. :)

    If you want “universal background checks” to regulate the Second Amendment,then we get the same for voting rights.We want universal background checks on all registered voters to ensure eligibility to vote and voter ID requirements at the polls.

    That sound good?

    • JHall138

      Another member on one of the forums I frequent added this:

      “And mental heath clearance. Anybody crazy enough to vote to take away their freedoms is automatically disqualified.

      And a 10 vote limit. If your ballot contains more than 10 issues you have to queue back up for another vote.

      And approval from your AG, to make sure that you aren’t part of a category of individuals prohibited from having a vote.

      If any of these checking systems are backlogged than you just have to suck it up and wait.”

      Whats good for the goose is good for the gander,right?

      I often wonder how things would be if the First Amendment were “reasonably
      regulated” with 20,000 laws,complete with a brutal federal policing
      agency to enforce them?

      What would America look like then?

      After all,words can be very dangerous- shouldn’t we have background checks to excersize free speech?

      Its all very “reasonable”,and because it “reasonably applies” to one right,why not all the others?

    • Josh Givler

       I’ ve asked the same question. It seems that background checks in order to vote would be “oppressive”, according to our delirious friends on the left…

      • BlackRockLifer

        Voters don’t kill innocent people.

      • JHall138

        How about my proposition?

        If 20,000 “laws” coupled with a federal Gestapo police force to enforce them are “reasonable” to restrict the Second Amendment,then why not the First Amendment?

        After all,if guns are so dangerous,then how much more so is unregulated speech that DARES to defy the will of government and DARES to be seditious and suggest revolt?

        We also have all that “evil hate speech” that just cannot go unregulated.

        We can have lists of prohibited speech,prohibited speakers who have misused their right,er,government regulated privilege to “free” speech,and felony charges with “hard prison time” for those that defy them.

        We can have prohibited religious practices and a federal police force to ensure that no dangerous religions are being practiced.

        We can do a Waco every week!

        No one will ever be able to endanger a crowd in a theater again,because those our dear government believes are to dangerous to have freedom of speech will not be able to yell “fire” in them,ever again- because the law says they can’t.

        Wouldn’t that be great lefties?

        No more having to hear speech that offends you,no more having to accept those archaic,backwards religions,and no more having to fear being trampled by panicked throngs in crowded movie theaters!

        You know,leftist agendas look less and less like American veiwpoints and more and more like the goals of dictators like Stalin and Hitler,when held up to the light of scrutiny.

        You leftist assholes want to live in a nation devoid of freedom so badly,why bother trying to sell your warped,erroneous views and manipulate history with revisionism thats so blatantly  transparent in its attempts at pulling fiction from fact.
        Why bother trying so hard to repeal the Constitution and the Republic,when there’s a ready made “utopia” in the form of NORTH KOREA where you can live under the whims of tyranny all you like?

        I hear they just discovered hidden death camps there…..I think you guys’ll just LOVE it!

    • Alan Bedenko

      As soon as there’s a mass school voting, with 20-odd dead 1st graders, we can talk about that, for sure. 

      • Jeremy

         well an illegitimate president started us in the war on terror and that’s killed more than 20-odd first graders. (Oh that’s right,no one here cares when brown people in another country are killed) So I think we need to keep America safe from those who would seek to do us harm by doing background checks on votes. Oh that would be unconstitutional? weird.

  • joedoakes202

    “Nothing that happened yesterday in Albany is violative of the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment is silent on the number of rounds a clip can hold, and bans on certain types of weapons have been consistently upheld. If you have to re-register to drive a car every few years, you can re-register to own a gun. How do we monitor felonies or mental illness with lifetime permitting?”
    Look I’m a NY’er and I’ve read the bill.  The mental health aspects I like.  I can live with the 10 round limit (you can have a mag that holds 10 but only load 7, +1 = 8)  Because it will make putting away gangs and drug dealers easy.  They carry the biggest stuff they can get.

    The law is completely unconstitutional though.  In time it will be overturned.  But in the meantime the cops can’t put some bad guys away.  The essence of the Second Amendment is to fight the government State or Federal, but that ought not to be done for light or transient cause.

    We must possess those arms suited for it.

    An M1A with a 10 round box can change the governments mind in the space of one heartbeat.  If the government starts loading people into freight cars to concentration camps; I promise to load only seven rounds of a thousand round belt at a time.

    Scouts honor.


    Never.  Again.


    • Colin Eager

       “An M1A with a 10 round box can change the governments mind in the space of one heartbeat.”

      No, it can’t. 

      “We must possess those arms suited for it.”

      The “arms suited” for fighting the government  go far beyond anything that might be regulated by Cuomo or Obama.  Fighting the government would require heavy weapons, anti-aircraft missles, grenade launchers and all manner of shit that only the looniest of loons would suggest is protected by the 2nd amendment.

      All of which is to say that any link between your little gun and “fighting the government” is a complete myth.

      • joedoakes202

        I’m bored let’s take a trip to nutville.

        For the sake of this hypothetical lets consider that we are the orange people. A proud lot. Ruled by the purple people under our Constitution. The purple people begin confiscating property, killing orange people, and to put it lightly crossing the line.

        What’s an orange person to do?

        Well they make a list and then they hand out assignments and then they cross of names on the list. This isn’t rocket science. Politicians know this and they work hard not to piss us off too much. In the main most of us have a place to go if we are truly upset and we have the means to go. I know of one family near me that did this today. God Bless America!

        Now lets get back from nutville . . .

        This Obama depression will end. This half white muslim pretending to be a christian has whacked more muslims than “W” ever could have hoped too and soon we will be whacking a bunch more. We might even get to let our submarines sink a ship or two. They could use a bit of practice. Our guns are safe in 40+ states and the 10 or so that have issues they will be dealt with in a calmer future.

      • Alan Bedenko

        This is sheer insanity. 

      • joedoakes202

        Which part of nutville don’t you understand?

      • Jeremy

         yeah it’s not me and my little gun, it’s me and the rest of america with our little guns that are a check against tyranny. one person with a gun is nothing, but my well armed neighborhood is a horse of a different color.

  • SamAdams1776

    Alen Bedenko:

    The founders in their writings say so–in their Declaration tell us that it the DUTY to overthrow a tyrannical government, not merely a right even, but a duty!

    They tell us that tyranny breaks the contract and releases us from any duty we have to the government. The anti-treason/rebellion statutes only apply when the government is lawful. When one is overthrowing tyranny, one is not overthrowing the government; it is RESTORING it!

    Remember they actually OVERTHREW the British Crown! From the point of view of the Crown, they were committing treason by LEVYING war against the crown. They justified this by the fact that the “intolerable acts” of tyranny showed that the Crown was not fit to rule over a free people.

    That is the whole point. So are you seriously arguing that the government has the RIGHT to be as tyrannical as it wants. That is preciselt the view of Thomas Hobbes in his book Leviathan and is in contradiction to the principles of John Locke, who was the philosophical foundation of our Constitutional Republic

    And remember, government has no rights–only powers and we have the right to alter and abolish it, by force if necessary if it becomes tyrannical. Your quoted statutes only apply to a government that is legitimate. Even if 99% of the people VOLUNTARILY elect tyranny, the 1% has a RGHT and a DUTY to overthrow the usurpation–because in a constitutional republic my rights are not up for a vote. The rest of you don’t get to vote my liberty away simply because you don’t want yours anymore.

    You do so at your own peril!

    SamAdams1776 III
    Molon Labe

    Tell you what: don’t try to take away our “weapons of war,” and we won’t kill you.

    • Alan Bedenko

      You should read what I wrote. Not what you think I may have written. As for the “kill you” threat, thanks for underscoring why background checks are so desperately important.

      • JHall138


        Cause background checks worked real well to stop Jared Loughner and James Holmes,who bought their guns in full compliance with the Brady act and the nazi plagiarized GCA68.

        Oh,and licensing and regulation of everything from alcohol to automobiles has done soooo much to stop automobile accident death rates and alcoholism.

        The answer isn’t more government,unlike the default position of collectivists like YOU want us to believe.

  • Joseph Riggie


    I agree with the sentiments of this piece.  Firearms can and should be highly regulated.  

    Unfortunately, I have not heard any proposals at the state or federal level that I think will make a serious difference to gun violence in the US.  That’s not to say we shouldn’t enact them, just that I think we can do better.

    If you want to stop gun violence, you need to address handguns which are used in the overwhelming majority of gun homicides and suicides.

    I encourage everyone to refer to the Harvard School of Public Health which compiles data on gun usage.  They dispel many myths on gun safety and gun use.  Here is the link:

    You will need to dig a bit to get at the referenced articles, ask at your local library if you want to read more.

    • JHall138

       You seem to not understand the difference between “regulated” and “prohibited”.

      Firearms are already highly regulated in America,they are regulated under over 75 years of federal “gun control” “laws”,starting with the NFA34,then the GCA68 and then the Brady act.

      And previous to each successive act of illegitimate federal “gun control”,we got to hear about how it would make us safe,and save the children and yadda yadda.
      Well,got a reality check for ya.
      America has seen the most violent periods of its history under the tenure of such “laws”,such as the GCA68 having almost 3 whole decades to “take effect” before the outrageous violence of the crack epidemic hit the streets.
      Each and every time your side makes promises and demands that innocent people surrender their rights for a little safety,our rights are compromised but your agendas do nothing besides provide government more power to ignore its lawful limitations.

      We have had almost an entire century of your “solutions”,and the only thing you can come up with now is total prohibition disguised as more “regulation”.

      Which hasn’t done anything to reduce violent crime.

      I encourage you to stop narrowly focusing on what you call “gun crime” and look at the overall problem of violent crime.

      You people seem to have this issue of missing the forest for the trees,when you go after one of your precious agendas.

      Crime,especially violent crime,is a fact of life.

      Especially when you consider the GREATEST SOURCE of incentive to commit violence is the profit to be gained by criminals in servicing people who have a taste for “prohibited items”.

      The NFA34 was the knee-jerk reaction to the crime wave perpetrated by the prohibition era gangsters,who abused arms to defend their stake in providing prohibited contraband to those who wanted it.
      The GCA68 was a knee jerk reaction to the assassinations of political figures, and has had no effect on stopping its goal (just ask Gabby Giffords).
      It has also had absolutely no effect whatsoever on stemming violent crime committed by those who participate in the drug trade.
      I can remember a time during the mid 90’s when gangsters involved in the drug trade had fully automatic weapons,which have been heavily regulated since the 1930’s,yet stories of gangsters with things like MAC10’s,Uzi’s and even AK’s -the REAL deal,fully auto,not those weapons that fall under the rather goofy term “assault weapons” you think that semiauto versions of the same are-  still managed to show up in newspaper stories all over the nation.

      “Gun control” doesn’t work.

      And if it did,then why is Chicago the murder capital of the nation?

      How is it that Vermont,who has had almost no regulation on arms since this nation’s birth,has such a low crime rate,but cities like Chicago,with some of the strictest “gun control” in the nation,has skyrocketing violent crime?

      And do you people REALLY BELIEVE that criminals with illicit market pipelines created by the “war on drugs” will have any problems getting whatever they want in the way of arms,even if all lawful owners were disarmed tomorrow?
      If you do,perhaps whats happening in Mexico with the drug cartels might be instructive….and I defy you to tell me that the RPG’s,hand grenades,selective fire weapons etc,that they are using,come from our market.

      But I’ll tell you one thing- the ending of prohibition reduced violent crime quite appreciably.
      I fully expect the change in laws regarding marijuana in Colorado and Washington state to have an appreciable effect on their violent crime rate.

      It wasn’t until the “war on drugs” got heated up that violence skyrocketed in this nation.

      See a co-relation there?

      If there’s insane profits to be made,do you really think criminals who risk their lives in that trade will obey your “gun control” “laws”?

      The FACT that I’m getting at here,is that government has sold us a stale bill of snake oil.

      With each attempt to criminalize what people are going to do irregardless,violence goes up.Defiance of the “law” provokes MORE “laws”.
      Until we become,inarguably as attested by our nation having the highest rate of incarceration IN THE WORLD,a police state with government embedded and involved with every aspect of our lives,from what we eat to how much water we can use in our toilets to flush with.

      Perhaps,just maybe….and I know this will be hard for some of you collectivists to understand,you know- those of you who argue that a nation founded on the armed revolt of people against their government in the first place,and who’s First Principles are grounded in the right of the people to resist tyranny BY FORCE if necessary,but maybe-

      More government is NOT the answer,but less government -which has worked in America quite well before- just might be?

      Were all being duped.

      Were being sold more government at the cost of our liberty,and while each of us may not agree with the others’ rights- such as the right of free people to put whatever they want in their own bodies,and the right of the people to the tools of self defense- one thing is for sure:

      If we don’t recognize how we are growing government in the disregard of each other’s rights,we are going to wake up in a police state the likes that Mao,Stalin and Hitler couldn’t have wished for in their wildest,wettest dreams,and it will,IN FACT,result in human suffering beyond that of any of these regimes combined.

      And REVOLUTION,whether you accept that this is a nation BORN by it,with its FIRST PRINCIPLES espousing that the people have a lawful right to be armed to perpetuate revolution against tyranny,will become a MUST,whether you agree with its legality or not.

  • EricbP

    Guns are for punks and pansies.  What are you so scared of that you need a gun?  

    The people who get worked-up and hostile about having limitations on military-style assault weapons should be the very first on the list of mental defectives who shouldn’t have access or ownership of any kind of gun.

    In fifty-plus years, I have never experienced or even heard of any situation that would have worked-out better if there had been more guns.

    Stop being such chicken-shit, gutless weaklings and learn to live without guns. 

    • Josh Givler

       Then don’t ever call the police. That will ensure more guns at the scene…

    • JHall138

      I usually don’t bother responding with personal details about myself,but I am 34 years old,5’10” 220lbs with a DRUG FREE 435lb squat,325lb bench,I’ve been studying martial arts since i was 19,have a brown in American Kickboxing,am a level 3 in Krav Maga,and STILL I know that if  a group of armed, deranged drug addicts broke into my home my BEST DEFENSE is my “evil military grade assault weapon” aka my semiautomatic carbine.
      With its high capacity and decisive stopping power,I would have an advantage that knowing several ways to kill a man with my bare hands  AND HAVING THE STRENGTH TO DO SO,cannot give me.
      And you people would deny this ability to the most vulnerable,to women,the elderly,and the handicapped,who simply do not have the ability to defend themselves empty handed on the same level as someone like myself?

      Your a bunch of little Hitlers,is what you are.

      You don’t care about the consequences of your propositions,you don’t care that while you abuse the victims of a massacre to pimp your agenda to disarm peaceful,innocent people- that you and your agendas will result in the victimization of THOUSANDS by those who will not obey the law.

      I’ll tell you what Eric.

      I’d love to meet you face to face,so you can test your theory about how gun owners and Second Amendment advocates are punks………

      • EricbP

        Inferiority complex much?

        Little Hitler

  • BlackRockLifer

    This second amendment nonsense is tiring, the second amendment has nothing to do with overthrowing our government, that is called treason and those that advocate for such should be treated as traitors.  We use the term “gun nuts” for a reason, many gun advocates display paranoid delusions  and buy into bizarre conspiracy theories that any sane person would recognize as folly. These gun nuts also have macho fantasies and an unhealthy fascination with weapons.  Finally, there is a simple test for mental illness, any person that desires an assault weapon designed only for murder should be deemed incompetent and a threat to the safety of the rest of us.

    • JHall138

       Hey,guess what?
      King George III said Washington,Jefferson,and Madison had no legal standing to revolt either……see how well it worked out for him?

      But you know,the FACT that this nation was founded on insurrection and that our insurrectionist Founders reserved the right of the people to bear arms as a last resort against tyranny,making ARMED INSURRECTION AMONG OUR FOUNDING PRINCIPLES,means nothing.


      “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they
      should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of
      independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would
      include their own government.”

      – George Washington

      “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been
      considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since 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.”

      – Joseph Story

  • BlackRockLifer

    We have a cultural problem with guns, too many Americans are enamored by guns and firepower.  There is a passion and lust for guns that is not logical or healthy.  This recent debate has brought these people out in droves. My cousin, my wifes cousin, my nephew, and a co-worker post bat shit crazy stuff on Facebook that goes even beyond the crazy talk on this thread. I knew some of them were a little eccentric but until now I hadn’t realized just how far of the deep end they had gone. 
    We haved allowed a minority of extremists to set public policy for far too long, now that we know how far outside the mainstream these radicals are it is time for the majority to assert our rights.

  • Edward Solomon

    You do have the right to overthrow tyranny, as the courts decided in 1946 after the Battle of Athens.

    Also, when talking about our Founding Fathers intentions when they wrote the 2nd Amendment, you should try looking at their actual thoughts which were recorded.

    In case you don’t click the above link, here’s is George Mason’s quote when they ratified the 2nd Amendment.

    “”I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the
    people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
    George Mason

    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788″

    For the record, I am liberal Democrat, who supports National Healthcare, The New Deal, no vouchers to Medicare, etc.  However, as an educated liberal, I also do not deny facts, and I fear liberals are starting to drop the to levels of Republicans these days, just denying facts, or declaring what are “valid” facts.

    Also. if they want our weapons, skip to 0:25 of this video:

  • Cynthia Van Ness

    Given the Citizens United case, which essentially enables and endorses corporate domination of our elections, your definition of tyranny may need updating.

    Anyway, what most white guy commentators cannot bring themselves to articulate is that in America, our mass slaughter shootings seem to be a white guy problem.  Here Bruce Jacobs (who grew up in Rochester, BTW) does the heavy lifting for you.

  • frankpgi

    You say there was no standing army in 1791 when the 2nd amend was passed . You are wrong for there was a standing army in 1791 to fend off the indians. Also you say legal gun permit owners should have to reregister like a drivers license. Drivers license registering is a joke. Do you really think reregistering your auto license stops incompetent drivers or felons from renewing their licenses.Your logic is flawed, Legal gun owners have done nothing wrong. Our problem in this country is lack of mental health care, period.

  • Edward Solomon

    You do have the right to overthrow tyranny, as the courts decided in 1946 after the Battle of Athens.

    Also, when talking about our Founding Fathers intentions when they
    wrote the 2nd Amendment, you should try looking at their actual thoughts
    which were recorded.

    In case you don’t click the above link, here’s is George Mason’s quote when they ratified the 2nd Amendment.

    “”I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”George Mason

    Co-author of the Second Amendmentduring Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788”

    For the record, I am liberal Democrat, who supports National
    Healthcare, The New Deal, no vouchers to Medicare, etc.  However, as an
    educated liberal, I also do not deny facts, and I fear liberals are
    starting to drop the to levels of Republicans these days, just denying
    facts, or declaring what are “valid” facts.

    Also. if they want our weapons, skip to 0:25 of this video:


  • Edward Solomon

    What’s wrong, you haven’t found a way to spin my response yet? The author challenged me to provide an example, and I did, where are you now?

  • Edward Solomon

    “You have no right to possess militaria to fend off “tyranny”. If you
    think you do, show me the statute or law that says so. Show me the
    statute or law that repeals our anti-treason legislation. It doesn’t
    exist. ” I gave you the response, now answer me.

  • Edward Solomon

    Still waiting, you got cold feet Alan?

  • Lawrence Congdon

    Hear, hear! Great article

  • Lawrence Congdon

    As well, as Alexander Hamilton explains the idea of the “well regulated militia” in the Federalist Papers #29, the militia were explicitly to be be called up by and under the command of the Federal government itself, and could be marched against other American citizens.

    Which means Second Amendment practitioners are themselves the centralized government’s jackbooted thugs…