WASHINGTON, D.C. — While speaking alongside Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday, President Joe Biden made a comment about Second Amendment advocates that seemed to raise a few eyebrows as he outlined his administration’s intent to crack down on gun ownership.
“Those who say the blood of lib- — ‘the blood of patriots’, you know, and all the stuff about how we’re going to have to move against the government. Well, the tree of liberty is not watered with the blood of patriots. What’s happened is that there have never been — if you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.
The point is that there has always been the ability to limit — rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it.”
One may be inclined to dismiss this as yet another incoherent musing of a doddered President Biden, a man historically recognized as a trailblazer among ignoramuses.
However, this runs a fair bit deeper — this is a statement reflective of outright dismissal of the entire philosophy upon which the Second Amendment was drafted, something echoed not only by Biden, but often by those on the left writ large.
The Second Amendment is indeed the legal enshrinement of the right to self-preservation. This is not the product of the collective ramblings of angry, backwoods gun nuts, as Biden seemingly characterizes it to be. This is the specific intent of the amendment — a notion that is substantiated by the writings of the framers, the historical context of the Bill of Rights, and the text of the amendment itself.
Federalist No. 28 is an excellent expansion upon the broader language of the Second Amendment. Penned by Alexander Hamilton, it reads in part:
“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted [sic] with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. The usurpers, clothed with the forms of legal authority, can too often crush the opposition in embryo.”
In other words, it is well established that the legal capacity for private gun ownership in America does not hinge on the firepower possessed by the federal government. To simply write this off is to declare the value of self-preservation as a last resort to tyranny as invalid, and in turn, to sacrifice the idea of a free state secured by its people at the altar of a subjective sense of safety.
Approaching the issue from an angle that suggests otherwise (as Biden has) is illustrative of either no understanding of basic constitutional law, or complete intellectual dishonesty with the sole intent to sell bad policy — and one would certainly be inclined to believe that Biden’s philosophy here is the ugly overlap of both.
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