George Washington, the Father of the United States of America, understood that he had been able to defeat the British army not by the force of his opinions, the rightness of his cause or the overwhelming unity of the people. His defeat of the British was due entirely to the fact that the colonists who comprised the Continental Army. His view, that gun ownership by the people was a crucial part of keeping them free from tyranny, reflects his thoughts in 1790, long after the Declaration of Independence, long after the Constitution had gone into effect, long after the war with Britain had ended, and members of the army – the “well-regulated militia” – had gone home, back to their farms.
Washington‘s contemporaries, like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were of similar mind. The Founders understood that governments tended to degenerate into tyrannies led by despots. While their most fervent hopes were for the success and triumph of the young nation, they held no illusions about the benevolence of government, and instead pinned their hopes on the people. With the freedom to maintain their arms – which were fully intended to be military-grade weaponry carried by every free man, men who had been counted upon to defend their country – the citizens represented a force to be respected and feared, not cowed into submission. The entire purpose of the Second Amendment was to act as a bulwark in defense of all the other rights.
Liberals have gone to great pains to try and convince the American people that the Second Amendment was intended only to ensure military use of weapons, or that the Founders never intended that modern-day weaponry be used by civilians, or that people do not the right to carry weapons of their choosing. However, the Constitution, the writings of the Founders and history makes no mistake: the intended outcome was that the average American citizen have the inalienable right to bear arms sufficient for self-defense, even to the point of opposing a tyrannical government – including the one in Washington, DC.