More on 2nd Amendment

But what scholars of American history and the Second Amendment have concluded is that the framers had in mind “a universal militia, raised and disciplined by the state.” As Mr. Mauer correctly believes, they were animated by fear of the federal government. But the framers did not sanction private militias. In addition, to being disciplined and trained by the states, the American citizens who were part of such a state-created militia were considered to be homogenous and committed to the common good.

How does Mr. Mauer conceive of “the People”? If he conceives of “the People” as all Americans (or overwhelming majority of them) bound together by common values, a shared view of the common good, and shared perceptions of what it is about our governments (state and national) that is tyrannical enough to justify armed revolution, I maintain this is a mirage.

But this is probably not what Mr, Mauer has in mind. His letters seem to echo the views of militia movements on the Second Amendment right of revolution. Not surprisingly, they do not clearly answer the question of who are “the People” claiming a right to revolution. Motivated by particular views held by some people they assume their members are “the People.”

“Throughout America’s history groups of citizens have resisted the government in the name of an abstraction called the People. On inspection, however, that abstraction always turns out to be a subset of the citizenry, united by class, language, or political viewpoint.” (Professor David Miller)

George Washington stated the issue very clearly. Invoking the Militia Law of 1792 President Washington led 13,000 troops against those who took up arms against the fledgling new U.S. government in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794.

“...if the laws are to be so trampled upon with impunity, and a minority...is to dictate to the majority, there is an end put at one stroke to republican government...for some other man or society may dislike another law and oppose it with equal propriety until all laws are prostrate, and everyone will carve for himself.”

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