The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #148617 Message #3465764
Posted By: Ron Davies
13-Jan-13 - 10:01 PM
Thread Name: BS: Shooting tragedies and guns
Subject: RE: BS: Shooting tragedies and guns
More on the background behind the 2nd Amendment.
As I noted earlier, the 2nd Amendment did not spring out of a vacuum. Not only was the militia ("well-regulated militia") supposed to substitute for a standing army, but this was obvious to all interested parties at the time.
Not only was there a fear that a standing army might produce a general who wanted to make himself dictator, but there had in fact already been an instance in which the standing army at the end of the Revolution did threaten to bend Congress to its will. At Newburgh officers of the Continental Army threatened to mutiny--many had not been paid for years and the army was to be disbanded, without, they thought, any reliable provision for them--or the enlisted ranks, who if anything were even worse off. "The soldiers were so famished that when local vendors peddled produce at their huts, they often plundered" them. (Washington, by Ron Chernow, p 431.) "Many doubted they would receive years of back pay owed to them or that Congress would redeem its 1780 pledge to provide veterans with half pay for life". Congress did in the end grant the officers payment equivalent to 5 years of full pay. (My question here would be if this pay was in hard currency or Continentals.)
At any rate, as usual in such cases, the 2nd Amendment was based on earlier provisions by the states. In Massachusetts, not only could every man be armed but in fact they "had to be to protect the colony from invasion; local communities paid for guns for men too poor to purchase them. Virginia also mandated ownership of firearms." Triumvirate, by Bruce Chadwick p. 58 (book on the passage of the Constitution).