Does The Second Amendment Give Individuals The Right To Fight The Government?

The strong anti-government feelings help to explain why people are fighting so ferociously against more restrictions on “the right to bear arms.” But some constitutional experts say the right to bear arms does not necessarily include the right to armed revolt against the government.
Lucas A. Powe, Jr., who is a constitutional law professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, said the Second Amendment was never designed to give an individual the right to fight the government.
Powe said the absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment comes from the belief that the framers of the Constitution believed the federal government could become tyrannical and a well-regulated militia would be needed to fight back against it. But the “well-regulated” militia part of the Second Amendment is often overlooked.
“It’s not an individual right to have a gun in your home to kill soldiers,” Powe said. “To the extent that one is relying on history, it’s the right to be a part of a militia with a militia protecting us from a tyrannical government.”
Powe said that the Second Amendment intended for the militia to be under state control, similar to how the National Guard is structured. It was not intended to be independent militias, which he compared to terrorist groups.
“Those militias are most analogous to warlords in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said. “They have their own ‘militias’ which are essentially a private army to do the person’s bidding.”
Powe compared the Second Amendment to the First Amendment, saying both were never intended to be absolute.
“If you did hold that there can be no infringement on any right to have guns, it would be a constitutional anomaly,” he said. “There’s nothing comparable in the Constitution to that type of interpretation. It would be much like saying perjury is freedom of speech.
Powe speculated that absolutist interpretations of the Second Amendment which argue people have the right to own high-powered weapons for private use may be fueled by gun manufacturers in an attempt to loosen gun laws and boost sales – a job it pays the National Rifle Association to do.

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14 Responses to “Does The Second Amendment Give Individuals The Right To Fight The Government?”

  1. It Wasn't Fake says:

    Nice copy and paste.

  2. Colenel Kurtz says:

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.’”
    ― Thomas Jefferson

  3. Epsdude says:

    And here ladies and gentlemen is how communism is started. Observe carefully, ya’ll apparently didn’t observe close enough LAST time when Hitler and Stalin disarmed their populations.

  4. Peter says:

    “…What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify is a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure….”
    -Thomas Jefferson: Letter to Colonel Smith, Nov. 13, 1787.

  5. ? says:

    And your interpretation of the 2nd amendment is that it should be repealed? I’m pretty sure the writers of the constitution never meant for that either.

  6. sunny12 says:

    Thats what is was created for. Learn you history

  7. GEORGE B says:

    The guy who wrote your cut-and-paste article is a dunce…. at best.
    He just compared a Constitution right with a purpose mentioned nowhere in that document.

  8. Chip says:

    you just dont get it do you, what you posted is this guys opinion only, this guy Power was not born 200 yrs ago, he has no idea what jefferson was thinking or any one else. if the second wasn’t written the way it was jefferson wouldn’t have said all that he said,,

  9. W1J0N8 says:

    It is mentioned in the preamble of the constitution that it is the citizens’ duty to overthrow a tyrannical government and establish one for the greater good. (Paraphrasing of course).

  10. clatsop9 says:

    If the federal government were to actively strip away the Bill of Rights and persecute law-abiding citizens, then yes, everyone who believes in freedom should take up arms and fight the government.
    Do not forget, our country exists because the Founding Fathers decided, after many peaceful attempts, that armed rebellion was the only way to secure basic rights that were trampled by the British monarch.

  11. Mary Christmas says:

    Lucas A. Powe, Jr. is an F-in idiot.
    The plain language says “shall not be infringed.”
    Couple that with the Declaration of Independence, written by the same group of people, and it becomes clear:
    “…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends [to secure the Rights of the People to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness… when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”
    Declaration of Independence – January 18, 1777

  12. Lenny says:

    This is precisely what authors of Declaration of Independence thought, when government oppressed people.
    Read that document.

  13. Richard says:

    Lucas Powe is full of crap. The right to bear arms is to protect the people from tyrannical government period! There were cowards like professor Powe during the revolutionary war. People like him drafted the declaration of DEPENDENCE, and sided with the oppressive British government that was taxing the **** out of the colonies.
    If freedom of speech is not absolute then it is not free speech is it? The reason we still have free speech after all these years is because of the second amendment. Keep agreeing with people like Powe and maybe one day you won’t be able to post your opinion on Y A because an oppressive government will have deemed it “hate speech”

  14. Bflowing says:

    The 2nd Amendment, remember, it is an Amendment and not a part of the original document, was put in for the benefit of States in order that they would ratify the Constitution.
    The States did not want a standing Army, and wanted to maintain their militias. Go back and read about Shay’s Rebellion in Western Mass.
    The States, in all their individual Constitutions usually discussed well regulated militias, but never even thought of granting a “right” if people didn’t like their laws.

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