What the Founders would say about mass shootings

How did James Madison react every time the United States was hit by a mass shooting?

Despite the terrible friendliness of the gun slaughter, America today seems to have developed a denial strategy. Many on the right arm everyone except “felony” and “mentally ill”, and the left teaches the same dichotomy version. The issue is often discussed, not the “gun itself”. “Who can access them.. “

The founders didn’t think that way. They did not divide the world into good and bad, darkness and light. “If a man was an angel, he wouldn’t need government,” Madison wrote. But that’s not the case. The founders held what might be called the democratic theory of tyranny: the belief that anyone can use violence. “Remember” I have written Abigail Adams told her husband in 1776, “Preferably all men will be tyrants.”

In the spirit of the Constitution, there was no belief in gun culture for “law-abiding citizens.” Most people have an open belief that they are cool and rational agents. Gun violence cannot progress until the United States relearns its skepticism.

The shootings would not have surprised the founders. Governments that tolerate them will do so.

The American regime was based on the theory of social contracts, claiming that people were good but flawed, intelligent but dangerous. The founder-inspired philosopher John Locke traded the ardent passion of nature for the government’s settled authority, as men tend to be “partial to themselves” and “vengeance.” I write that. Freedom was safe and could not be achieved outside the law. “”[F]Or who can be free? “Rock wondered. “In that case, freedom is not,” he insisted, “freedom that everyone does what he lists, lives as he likes, and is not bound by any law.” Rather, “freedom is freedom from restraint and violence from others.”

Another pointman of Madison, the French philosopher Montesquieu, defined “freedom” as “starting at the end of arbitrariness.” Here, “People do not use violence against people.” “To have this freedom,” he explained, “the government must be such that one citizen is not afraid of another.” Tyranny was not a problem limited to monarchs: it was the result of “weakness of humanity, ignorance, and capriciousness” gravity. The man was “not a wolf born,” Voltaire said. “They became wolves.” “Optimism” was a sin in the 18th century.

“Government is a lost innocent badge, like clothing,” wrote Thomas Paine in the 1776 electrified colonial pamphlet “Common Sense.” No other lawyer is needed. But that is not the case, and he believes that some of his property needs to be abandoned to provide the rest of the protection. That was “the origin and rise of government. That is, the mode required by the inability of moral virtues to govern the world. Here is also the design and demise of government. Freedom and security.”

The British press has dubbed the Flame of Liberty brand Pain “Mad Tom”. However, “common sense” is a strangely conservative document that accuses his country of failing to protect the public in atrocities such as the Boston Massacre. “Security is a true design and the end of government,” he protested. “A government that cannot maintain peace is not a government.”

Such an idea underpinned everything the founder wrote about military and civil power. Sovereignty was in people, not people.

The driving force behind the transition from the “League of Friendship” of the Congress of the Confederation to the “more complete coalition” of the Constitution was civilian violence. The Shays’ Rebellion, a rebellion in western Massachusetts, took months to subdue and moved the needle further from Jeffersonian fantasies with a natural virtue of constitutional stone-like realism.

Jefferson made a pleasing contrast between American purity and the fall of the Old World, but John Adams says Americans are made “in the same clay” as others, and the government does the worst. He argued more convincingly that he had to anticipate.

He still believed in “human reason and human conscience,” he assured Jefferson many years later.But experience Proven They “did not match human passion.”

Knowing his ambitions from the inside, Alexander Hamilton was as eloquent as Madison about the lack of angels. His model was David Hume, a philosopher who built a career that took dreamers to Earth. Humans were creatures who thought one thing, said another, and did the third. They were “ambitious, persuasive, and greedy.” Otherwise, the expectation was “ignoring the uniform course of human events and ignoring years of accumulated experience.” Modeling the Constitution based on the expectations of virtues was “calculating a fountain with a weaker human character.”

In this regard, anti-Federalists agreed. “The virtue will fall asleep,” groaned Patrick Henry. “”[P]”Political relief” was a frank recognition that “self-love that lasts with age in every human breast” is the driving force of history. As harsh as this was heard, it was better than anarchy.

Americans were proud of the revolution that avoided the bloodletting of the Jacobins of France. “We are fighting for a well-regulated democracy,” declared John Marshall.

They were not in a hurry to abolish the ban on armed travel, or the ancient “obligation to withdraw” from personal violence.

A person with a weapon can be guilty of “unhappiness” “even in the absence of actual violence.” The law, John Sullivan, reminded the court in 1806 that even a man under attack was accused of “the true kindness of bleeding his brother.”

When Sullivan was indicting a prominent federalist who shot a Harvard student in Boston, the constitutional right to carry a gun was not mentioned. That wasn’t the case.

The right to possess weapons was limited to militia service. Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment had no fear of gun control. At the beginning of the 19th century, the flow of law was against the custom of traveling with pistols and bowie knives. Only Kentucky broke a law in the blissful case of 1822 that contradicted the “explicit wording of the Constitution.” This decision caused anger in the state House of Representatives, many of which were designed to prevent Congress from disarmament of state militias, and were “applied only to the characteristic weapons of soldiers.” Protested.

The State Constitution defined the right to arm in terms of the Republican’s ideal of holding common defense and security issues in the hands of the people. Some of them explicitly stated that they would require military service as part of a social contract. The Constitution of New York stipulates that “everyone who enjoys the protection of society is willing to prepare and defend it.” Anyone who “dislikes holding a weapon” through a “wrinkle of conscience” had to pay an equivalent amount “instead of personal service.”

New Hampshire paraphrased rock. “Every member of the community has the right to be protected by it in enjoying his life, freedom and property. Therefore, he donates his contribution at the expense of such protection. , Obliged to provide his personal service, or equivalent, as needed. “

Only Pennsylvania added the phrase “for the defense of themselves and the state” to the traditional formulation, but even this is among the well-known concerns about the need for standing army and collective defense. was doing. The problem was serious in Pennsylvania, where the influence of Quaker’s pacifism prevented the formation of colonial militias in the 20 years prior to independence. The wording of the State Constitution reflected the need to form voluntary units.it was Absent An attempt to constitution the personal right of self-defense.

The militia was to defend what the jury trial was against justice: the security of numbers. Courts generally denied those who invoked the Constitution in support of personal attacks.

The North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a man who threatened his neighbor with a shotgun in 1843 and explained the difference. As the judge argued, when a man “uses weapons that should be used for the security and protection of his country to the annoyance, fear and danger of citizens, he is more severely accused of abuse of high privileges. Deserves. He invested. “

“A gun is a’rare weapon’and needs to be armed and dressed,” he added. No one in us carries it as one of his everyday trinkets, as part of his dress. And the day will never come when deadly weapons will be worn or used in our peace-loving laws. Protect the nation as an accessory to manly equipment. “

Until the partial crisis of the 1850s, when pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces fought for the future of the country, the Second Amendment to the Constitution was weaponized as an individual right. When the enemy was a slave catcher and combed Boston in search of lost “property,” it was easy to think of a gun as a tool of freedom.

Anti-slavery activists were unaware that their rushing excuse would fuel the constitutional revolution of the 21st century. Conclusion Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment establishes the rights of individuals to own guns. When Judge Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court painted a (mostly inaccurate) picture of America as an armed society, he was a friend among New England abolitionists and Georgian slave owners. I found. But these were desperate and angry voices that gave up the political process.

The founders gave a more solid explanation of humanity. They were as skeptical of the saints as the sinners and knew that most people contained a little of both. Benjamin Rush, a Declaration of Independence doctor, philosopher, and signator, said, “Murder is most often the effect of sudden passion and can be the only stain of a well-spent or unpleasant life. “.

Such people did not equate freedom with firepower, but with life. At 43,543 Life lost with a gun In a year (24,156 of them committed suicide), is it time to admit that they were right?

What the Founders would say about mass shootings Source link What the Founders would say about mass shootings

Related Articles

Back to top button