Sec­ond Amend­ment doesn’t pro­vide for over­throw

The Maui News - - OPINION -

The author of “Read the founders on Sec­ond Amend­ment” (Let­ters, May 10) pro­vides no ev­i­dence that our Found­ing Fathers, or any of them, in­tended for the Sec­ond Amend­ment to pro­vide for the vi­o­lent over­throw of our newly formed na­tion.

At their for­ma­tion, the Fed­er­al­ist Pa­pers com­prised 592 pages of text and 84 sep­a­rate ar­ti­cles — when pub­lished in book form one of the ar­ti­cles was di­vided to make an 85th ar­ti­cle. They were first pub­lished in 1787 and 1788 to per­suade New York vot­ers to rat­ify the orig­i­nal Con­sti­tu­tion. The Fed­er­al­ist Pa­pers did not ad­dress any later pro­posed amend­ments to the Con­sti­tu­tion.

The Con­sti­tu­tion was for­mally rat­i­fied in 1789 not­with­stand­ing the op­po­si­tion, which in­cluded the anti-fed­er­al­ists. The Bill of Rights — com­pris­ing the first 10 amend­ments — was rat­i­fied in De­cem­ber of 1791.

As to the cited quote from Ge­orge Washington, no one says that he or any other founder fa­vored ban­ning “all weapons from civil­ians.” Washington fa­vored “a well reg­u­lated (cit­i­zen) mili­tia” pre­pared to de­fend against for­eign in­va­sions and do­mes­tic in­sur­rec­tions.

Again, to those claim­ing that the Sec­ond Amend­ment was in­tended to give cit­i­zens the means of vi­o­lently over­throw­ing our newly formed demo­cratic govern­ment, set forth your ev­i­dence. And be spe­cific!

Joe Clark­son

Wailuku

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