Saturday, January 26, 2013
Steve Singleton uses Founding Father Noah Webster’s Oct. 10, 1787, pamphlet to support his case for the Second Amendment. The pamphlet is on the Internet for all to read and is quite interesting.
Webster started his pamphlet talking about tyranny and where nations derive their power to deprive the people of their liberties. Webster wrote, “In some nations, legislators have derived much of their power from the influence of religion, or from that implicit belief which an ignorant and superstitious people entertain of the gods, and their interposition in every transaction of life.”
One could make a good argument that this is true today as well.
Webster continued, “Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command: for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.”
These days no amount of armed citizens could ever be superior to the U.S. military, even if we drastically cut its budget. However, Webster had an answer for this.
He asked, “In what then does real power consist?” Answer: “A general and tolerably equal distribution of landed property is the whole basis of national freedom. The liberty of the press, trial by jury, the Habeas Corpus writ, even Magna Charta itself, although justly deemed the palladia of freedom, are all inferior considerations, when compared with a general distribution of real property among every class of people.”
Yes, Webster could appear a Founding Father socialist.
It is worth reading the pamphlet for one Founding Father’s opinion, keeping in mind Webster changed his opinion throughout his life.
As for guns, there are not many Americans who want gun ownership eliminated, including Obama, anymore than car ownership eliminated. Like car controls that I suspect few are against, why not some reasonable gun restrictions in honor of Webster who would likely have updated his view on guns given the changing times.