2nd Amendment was for muskets

There’s a common argument (fallacy) that the Second Amendment didn’t project changes in armament / technology, thus it couldn’t have been intended to apply to modern pistols and rifles (most of whose designs actually go back to the 1800’s or early 1900’s).

This argument sort of misses the whole point and intent, which the Founding Fathers wrote and debated about — which is the 2nd was about balancing power between the people and the government. So when the firepower changed, it needed to change equally for both sides (personal weapons). But ignoring the flawed premise, and lack of historical understanding, let’s look at the technology. 

You can visit Maihaugen Folk Museum in Lillehammer, and see a 400 year old German-made 8-shot revolver in perfect condition (circa 1597). 

The Puckle Gun created in 1718 (73 years before the Constitution). Imagine an 11-shot field artillery piece that could fire 1.25 caliber / 32mm bullets or shot, and the founding fathers had no problem with private ownership of that. And imagine the relative firepower and survivability difference (e.g. their healthcare) between this multi-shot bazooka in those days, versus an AR-15 in ours. 

Some earlier repeaters just had multiple barrels, and you rotated the whole barrel (like a revolver). These are the Pepper boxes and the multi-barrel turn-over pistols and rifles (2, 3, 4 shots) going back to the 1400’s, and their canon variants going back to 1100’s in China (including exploding shells).

By the 1600’s and 1700’s we had sophisticated mechanisms that could hold balls on one side, powder on the other, and cocking the lever would add enough of each to be ready to fire in a repeated fashion (basically a lever action). The includes the 30 shot Kalthoff repeater (1600’s), the 7 shot Cookson/Lorenzoni repeater (1680) in rifle and pistol form, and the Ferguson Rifle (used by the British, against America, in the Revolutionary war / 1770), the 9 shot mortimer (1790’s).

One of the most impressive repeaters of the era is the .46 caliber Girandoni air rifle (circa 1779). It had a 22 round magazine (which it could deliver in under 60 seconds). It also has a speed loaders + extra reservoirs so that you could deliver 88 shots in under 5 minutes. Not only did Thomas Jefferson have one, but the rifle was most famously carried by Lewis and Clark. In fact, the reasons credited for why the Natives never attacked them, is because whenever they setup camp in a new area, one of the first things they did is demonstrate that rifle’s capacity to the indigenous tribes. Just the threat of that kind of firepower kept them at bay. 

Then there was the Belton Flintlock, which was demonstrated to Continental Congress during the Revolutionary war (1777), which stacked rounds in the gun (superimposed load), and fired them like a roman candle (either 8, 16 or 20 rounds). They would be expelled sequentially, anywhere from 20 to 5 seconds. This was a "burst mode", but slow enough that you could control it. This lead to innovations like the Isaiah Jenning’s repeating flintlock rifle (let them fire them one at a time). 

Many Founding Fathers lived well into the 19th century, not one ever thought to complain that technical advances were moving further than the 2nd Amendment (or 1st) should allow: that invention came in the second half of the 20th century, by collectivists that wanted to invent excuses take away our liberties. But that delusional construct has no basis in history, just in desire. 

There is another argument that guns have gotten "more lethal over the years". This is true, but it totally ignores that medicine has gained in technology too. You are far less likely to die today from a gunshot wound, even WITH higher technology and higher velocity weapons, than you would in the 18th century. Furthermore, individuals back then were allowed to own artillery and explosives, that could do far more mass damage than our measly so called "assault weapons” could today.  So the lethality argument can only appeal to the ignorant and emotional. 

Remember, “The word is mightier than the sword (or gun)”, goes back to the 7th century. So by the luddites reasoning, the phone, radio, TV, Internet (twitter, Facebook, email and texting) should invalidate the first amendment too, as speech is a bigger threat than swords or guns? The gun-controllers seem to think the Constitution is a “living document” that protects tweets, emails, and texts — but the 2nd only applied to muskets? Puhlease. Of course, our individual rights are NOT dependent on the technology used — because they were declared to be the people’s right, not the right to technology. Thus we don’t only get free speech if you’re using a Franklin Printing Press, and your right to be secure in your home is not dependent on an absence of electricity, indoor plumbing or only using muzzle loaders (centuries after we had semi-automatic repeaters). We have our rights, regardless of the technology used to express them.

The 2nd was about the framers philosophy that the People could and should be trusted to be free (and to be able to secure that freedom with their own hands/guns), and Governments could not be trusted (and would try to take that away) — thus they called out specifically, multiple times, our natural and inalienable right to self defense, both in the Declaration, the Constitution, and in the debates and letters of the time. We can debate whether that’s anachronistic concept, or should we allow gun controllers to take it away, but not its original intent. 


Thus the argument that lethality should change the rules, or that the founder fathers couldn’t foresee firearms other than single-shot musket rifles (or that it would matter, in any way) is based on gun-controllers’ profound lack of knowledge on the topics of Guns, History, Constitutional rights (law), language, technology, and the founders original intent.

Anyone that still insists on using those demonstrably wrong arguments, after they’ve been corrected once, shows that they’re either a liar or a fool. And the fact that they used the arguments before doing their basic research and knowing what they’re talking about, hints strongly at the latter. 

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