Just As The Founding Fathers Intended
In our recent debate about whether the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is constitutional, we discussed Thomas Jefferson’s condemnation of slavery. And George Washington’s inability to end slavery and the Framers’ intentions. This debate resulted in a new definition of the First Amendment, just as the founding fathers intended. The Constitution prevents any government interference in individual affairs. However, the Framers intended to make such decisions impossible.
Right of the people to keep and bear arms
In the Second Amendment, “the people” is a collective term referring to both states and individuals. But in this case, “the people” means all citizens capable of bearing arms. The phrase is synonymous with “the people,” because the Founding Fathers meant every citizen to have the right to bear arms, regardless of race or gender. While the right to bear arms was never formally granted to individuals, the Second Amendment clearly defines that right. It identifies it as a fundamental American right.
The right of the people to keep and bear arms is deeply rooted in the history of the United States. Englishmen were granted a right to bear arms, and the Founders extended this right to Americans.
The Founders did not intend for the right to keep and bear arms to be an overthrow of tyrants. They intended to protect citizens’ rights in times of need and ensure they prepare for emergencies. The Founding Fathers recognized that this right is important for self-defense and protecting the people and the nation. The right to bear arms is vital to the balance of power. Without them, the world would be peaceful, but the weak will fall prey to the strong.
Thomas Jefferson’s condemnation of slavery
Jefferson’s condemnation of slavery echoes the founding fathers’ principles, even though he profited directly from its existence. Jefferson advocated gradual emancipation, abolishing the transatlantic slave trade and reforming slavery’s most horrific features. Although his proposal to free slaves was enacted, it served as a landmark statement on the rights of blacks and its impact on American society.
While Jefferson’s words are an unmistakable marker of place, time, and ideas, his words are important as markers of our nation’s history. Despite great progress in American society since Jefferson’s time, attitudes toward blacks and slavery remain stubborn. In some ways, Jefferson’s views are representative of a time when the nation’s ideals were rooted in racial prejudices.
The most crucial aspect of Jefferson’s condemnation of slavery is that he did not simply address enslaved people but also other victims of the Atlantic slave trade. “MEN” meant men, women, and children. He also made sure to call out the people who incited the slave revolts. Jefferson’s condemnation of slavery demonstrates the importance of context in the founding fathers’ intent.
The Second Continental Congress did not specifically condemn slavery in their document. While the founding fathers did not support slavery, they did extend the truth that all men are created equal.
In this regard, they largely ignored the Second Continental Congress’ condemnation of slavery. Even though the Founders were anti-slavery, their condemnation of slavery was a political necessity. That’s why removing any reference to slavery from the Constitution was politically expedient.
Washington’s failure to end slavery
George Washington’s failure to end slavery as the founders intended may have been due to his morals. In 1774, he publicly condemned the slave trade, although he remained dependent on enslaved labor after the war. Washington remained critical of slavery even after the war. He even publicly denounced the slave trade in the Fairfax Resolves.
George Washington’s will, published after his death in 1799, was widely distributed, highlighting that he enslaved people. Most of Washington’s slaves were dower enslaved people, meaning he could not free them. However, he did free his valet William Lee immediately. Washington then allowed his wife Martha to use the enslaved laborers at Mount Vernon until his death, giving her the use of them until she died.
Despite the deep divisions in the original plan, the delegates managed to devise a compromise that kept the Union together. While several slave-owning states agreed to end slavery, many of them remained steadfast in their refusal to do so. In the end, slavery permits until 1808, when Congress could legally ban it. But the slave trade was still alive and well.
While some argue that original intent is a misnomer, others cite the Framers’ beliefs that liberty requires courage. Regardless of whether or not we can discern original intent, we should consider how we interpret the Constitution and our Founders’ intentions in the first place. Whether we can identify the Framers’ intention tests how seriously our courts take the Constitution’s provisions.
The Constitution is also a gag rule, keeping sensitive subjects like religion off the political table. The Framers intended to prevent a repeat of the English civil wars in the seventeenth century. They intended to remove religion from ordinary politics, and their efforts have reduced religious strife overall. But are the Framers’ intentions just as the founding fathers intended?
The Framers’ intention to divide power goes beyond laying a skeletal framework and getting politics moving. The Framers’ Constitution set up a system of sovereign people exerting gravitational force on other sovereigns. Meanwhile, the Madisonian checks and balances have a machine that goes of itself. This concreteness makes presidential and congressional powers concrete. It is the only way we can truly understand the Framers’ intentions, and they did not mean to.
Origins of the Second Amendment
The tradition behind the Second Amendment requires citizens to have firearms to protect themselves against crime. This duty extended beyond individual acts of hunting down criminals to the organization of posse comitatus, a force summoned by a sheriff. This tradition is rooted in ancient Roman and Florentine thought. In the mid-eighteenth century, Queen Elizabeth I attempted to establish a national militia. This debate grew into two wars: the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution.
Scholars have outlined the Second Amendment’s legal protection and historical foundations. Its legal recognition dated back to the Assize of Arms in England in 1181. The founding fathers influenced by the laws of nature than by common law. By keeping this in mind, they can defend their citizens’ rights. Hopefully, this will prevent future conflicts.
The founding fathers knew the battles fought by men such as Cromwell. They knew that the monopoly of force must be a shared responsibility that never rests in the hands of an elite few. After all, governments have been responsible for some of the world’s most horrific crimes against humanity. Origins of the Second Amendment, just as the founding fathers intended