Author Topic: Federalist Papers #46  (Read 171 times)

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Taurian

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Federalist Papers #46
« on: June 22, 2019, 04:45:21 AM »
Since this is a firearm-related forum, and we seem to stray from that fact at times, I thought that I would try to focus on what matters.

I was reading and article on the Federalist Papers #46 (and the right to bear arms), and came across this response from a reader:

"An armed populace is a last refuge against tyranny. However, the notion that large numbers of personal firearms are sufficient to preserve liberty is a fallacy.
As Grimgrin noted above, democracy and liberty are better (more fully and efficiently) preserved by an educated and engaged populace and electorate. The American Revolution became possible in large part because an affluent and educated mercantile class emerged: shipping, shopkeeping, manufacturing, trades and professions, and processed agricultural surpluses, largely independent of the state or nobility. Not to mention Britain needing to forestall French competition elsewhere in the world. Since the revolution, democracy has been sustained in the US through civil processes and the disinclination of the military to seize power.

We also see, from innumerable other examples, that widespread possession of arms among the populace does not inevitably lead to democracy or personal freedoms. Afghans could harry the Soviets sufficiently to impose steep losses and provoke their eventual retreat, particularly after they received Stinger missiles. But thereafter, the Afghans were unable to create a stable, civil government until the success of the Taliban. Even then, warlords continued to act from the margins and the government was far from democratic.

We can also see how India gained its independence, and more recently the countries of eastern Europe, largely without violence, and in the face of immense governmental armories. Here, the populace was able to assume control because the government was no longer willing to exert force to maintain its position. Indeed the Americans won their liberty not because of their defeat of the British in battle, but because the British became unwilling to expend additional resources to continue the contest. Yorktown was a tremendous victory for the Americans, but the British persevered against greater losses elsewhere to gain and keep their dominion.

The French overthrew their monarchy with a populace that was unarmed, armed provisionally, and what arms they had were vastly inferior to the Royal army and local police. They prevailed because the people could take no more and they gained sufficient sympathy from components of the military and other estates to rapidly rise up and seize power.

There is a romantic American fascination with firearms that imbues guns with nearly supernatural powers to correct injustices and secure personal safety. This has obviously been true, but not all outcomes have been positive and there are many other instances where the use of weapons has been a crime or created a tragedy.

While we immediately think of Bunker Hill, the Alamo, or John Wayne on the prairie, when we think of guns and liberty, we tend to downplay or ignore the role of civil society in identifying and settling disputes without violence or firearms over the centuries before and after the Revolution.

Today, our romantic fixation on guns generally leads to people being shot by police during domestic disputes, Ruby Ridge and Waco firefights, shootings of unarmed strangers, slaughters at schools, and failed holdups. You can go out in a blaze of glory, but you won't alter the balance of power in the country or expand personal liberty. Your (and your friends) armories will be overmatched by those of the police and military, who have the personnel, budget and resources. People will remember the fusillade, not the purpose.

Further, violence is what the police and military are specifically trained and tasked to combat. Especially armed violence. Your weaponry will be met by disproportionate force. It is tactically inappropriate to face an enemy on their favored terrain. In the cause of liberty, violence is a losing game until other options have been exhausted, and the uprising is societal.

I have no objections to people owning firearms or other weapons. I don't even understand the NRA's acceptance of registration or training requirements for gun ownership. I'm not sure I agree that broad classes of persons should automatically be denied the right to bear arms. I might also like to have my own howitzer or fully armed F-16 some day.

I do have problems with people (including the government) using weapons to intimidate others, or resorting to violence and weapons first. With gun crime in England essentially non-existent, the English are now worrying about knife violence. Crime, threats and violence will always be with us. It is the unwarranted threat and misuse of violence (by civilians and the government) that needs to be aggressively policed and punished, not ownership. The problem comes when people prove, after the fact and after others have suffered or died, that they cannot be trusted with their weapons
."


The author brings out some very good points.
The fact that the GOVERNMENT would even consider removing the natural right to bear arms is the very reason why the 2nd Amendment was written.

NorCalChuck

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Re: Federalist Papers #46
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2019, 06:08:08 PM »
Intelligent and well stated dissertation.
Was the authors name available?
"We will have a good government as long as those that govern are effected by those laws that they pass. When those that are passing the laws are no longer effected by those laws then they will no longer pass good laws."

Taurian

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Re: Federalist Papers #46
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2019, 06:37:57 AM »
Intelligent and well stated dissertation.
Was the authors name available?
No, just a forum name.
The fact that the GOVERNMENT would even consider removing the natural right to bear arms is the very reason why the 2nd Amendment was written.

flyover

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Re: Federalist Papers #46
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2019, 08:10:57 AM »
That's a good read.