The Second Amendment Was About ‘Assault Rifles’ – Letters to the AmmoLand Editor

The Second Amendment Was About 'Assault Rifles' - Letters to the AmmoLand Editor
The Second Amendment Was About ‘Assault Rifles’ – Letters to the AmmoLand Editor
Letters to the AmmoLand Editor
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USA –  -( In my opinion, the Second Amendment is about National Security and only guarantees the right to keep and bear Assault Rifles.

The Constitution ratified in 1788 contains The Army Clause, the Militia Clause and the Organizing the Militia Clause.

The lack of a standing army and small state-controlled militias left the nation vulnerable. And, many Founding Fathers believed an armed citizenry was the best defense against tyranny. I deduce that the intent of the Second Amendment was to solve those two issues. An armed citizenry to aid the militia in defense of the nation in the event of insurrection or invasion and to join with fellow citizens to defend the nation against tyranny.

Explicit is the right to keep and bear arms. Implicit is the kind of arms. To aid the militia, and to defend against tyranny, the arms that citizens keep and bear arms. must be compatible with arms carried by soldiers, not robbers. That right encompasses current arms and arms for individual soldiers that may be created by new technology. In 1791, soldiers were armed with muskets. Today, individual soldiers are armed with Assault Rifles.

Technology does not mitigate any constitutionally guaranteed right. The right to keep and bear is not limited to arms technology in common use in 1791 when the Bill of Rights was approved any more than a free press is limited to printing technology at that time.

Regarding the Bill of Rights, absent is an explicit right to self-defense. That Right is implicit in the Declaration of Independence.

Regarding the Second Amendment, I do not recall any consideration of licensing to purchase or carry, hunting for food or for sport, stand your ground, registration, private militias, castle doctrine, survival prepping, home defense, background checks or competitive shooting.

The Second Amendment intent is to guarantee an armed citizenry to aid the militia in defense of the nation, and to defend the nation against tyranny. To perform those tasks, the citizenry must keep and bear current technology arms.

Today, that would be the “Assault Rifles”.

Marshall Sprague
[email protected]

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Marshall Sprague

After winning their freedom from King George III, citizens demanded an armed citizenry to defend against tyranny. Constitution of the United States, Article. I. Section. 8., (Clause 12 – Army): [The Congress shall have Power] To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; (Clause 15 – The Militia) : [The Congress shall have Power] To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; (Clause 16 – Organizing The Militia): [The Congress shall have Power] To provide… Read more »

Jay Eimer

The Supreme Court even confirms this – although in a back-handed and poor fashion. In Miller (1939), they held that the GCA of ’34 could regulate sawed off shotguns because they served no military purpose. While that’s debatable (since short barreled shotguns were used in WWI trenches and in Vietnam, at least), the decision in Miller actually SUPPORTS this view. If short barreled shotguns could be regulated because they are of no military use, the M4s can NOT be regulated by the same reasoning. The court could (based on this precedent) therefore rule that true assault rifles (the select fire… Read more »


In my somewhat lengthy post on Assault Weapons/Assault Rifles, my terrible typing again betrayed me. In my reference to pigs, and the adornment thereof, reference to “putting more lipstick on the pig” got lost, and my futile proof reading efforts failed me too..


In response to Craig Black:

All that a lot of Low Information Level People know is what they get on The Boob Tube, and that unfortunately includes more than a few gun owners.



Bullseye!!! Dead center!!! End of debate!!!

Craig Black

As assault rifle is a selective fire weapon not a semi automatic weapon. AR15’s are not assault weapons the ignorance of some people!! A AR-15 is a Modern Sporting Rifle not an Assault Weapon.



Can you afford to feed the beast?


I may be old fashioned, I certainly am “old”. That being said, all this ongoing CRAP about Assault Weapons/Assault Rifles is, in my opinion, nothing other than the WET DREAMS of anti gun,anti gun rights apparatchiks and their political/media allies. Assault Weapons, the drivel coming from one end or politicians or the other,. are nothing other than such devices as one person attacks another with. Assault Rifle is a specific Technical/Military term referencing a Selective Fire Weapon, Usually of Rifle Configuration, Chambered For Intermediate Cartridge. Absent Selective Fire Capability, no matter what the firearm might resemble, it is not an… Read more »


Red coats. Thank you, auto correct.


One advantage Americans had over the British was the Kentucky Long Rifle. The dedicated had muskets.


Repeal the NFA and the Hughes Amendment to FOPA.
I want a machine gun.


“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776 “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787 “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787 “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit… Read more »


@jh45gun Marshall You’re technically correct. Any implement or device used to assault person or property becomes a weapon, therefore an assault weapon. From guns to knives to pens to ladies’ purses loaded with pounds of cosmetics if you use an object to strike someone with the intent to do harm not in the nature of defense it is then an assault weapon. Otherwise it is what it is intended to be. In the case of semi-automatic Armalite pattern weapons they are modern sporting rifles. This differentiation is what we, as responsible gun owners, need to continue to convey WITH THE… Read more »


“The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. What clause in the state or federal constitution hath given away that important right…. T he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the… Read more »


I can’t get over this phrase people keep using ‘ the second amendment gives the right’ the second amendment confirms a GOD given right , right or wrong thats the way I read it..


My “AK” is used in “defense” against an assailant, therefore it is a “defensive” weapon.
If I used my “AK” to “assault” someone, it would be an assault weapon.
Either way, ohomo will NEVER GET THEM, without losing a LOT of people, so the name is a moot point !!!


Just a point for consideration; Assault is an action, NOT a thing. BTW Kent, you can be arrested and charged with “Assault ” for using a squirt gun.


If the the second amendment only applies to muskets then does the first amendment only apply to spoken words and those printed on paper? the founding fathers could have never imagined the internet and digital technology.


1) “Assault” is a state of mind or determination to attack
2) During the 18th Century, “well regulated” meant well trained, not well controlled, BTW.


“Assault weapons” is a term created by fascist pigs in the media and anti-freedom organizations to demonize semi-automatic weapons. The term “Assault Rifle” is actually a semi-technical term like “repeating rifle” which was used to describe magazine-clip fed bolt action rifles a hundred years ago. An assault rifle is defined as a magazine fed rifle chambered in an intermediate cartridge and has select fire capability (operator can select semi- or automatic). That said, I disagree with Mr Sprague on a couple of points. First militia members are armed with whatever they can get their hands, so the second amendment covers… Read more »


To those who do not comprehend the basics of the “English Language.” assault is not a noun, or a pronoun. It is by it is by it’s very nature a verb.
Merry Christmas, and keep your powder dry.

Kent San

I know your intent was positive, but all you added was your personal misperceptions of what an “assault” weapon happens to be. The stupidty of your post is highlighted in your last sentence where you assert a water gun is an assualt weapon. Asserting that something that is capable of assisting in the process of committing an assault is an “assault” weapon reallys reflect almost zero insight into the ongoing assault weapon debate.


Laddyboy, the issue addressed in the opinion piece was his belief that the 2nd Amendment applied military weapons to the people (which I also believe). Samuel Adams, in a letter to James Warren in 1776 said, “It is certainly of the last Consequence to a free Country that the Militia, which is its natural Strength, should be kept upon the most advantageous Footing. A standing Army, however necessary it may be at some times, is always dangerous to the Liberties of the People. The Militia is composd of free Citizens.” This is explicit language that the militia be kept at… Read more »

Jim Marshall

The term “Assault Rifle” is inaccurate, although some by now loosely know what you are referring to. FYI..All firearms (rifles, handguns etc.) are ‘Assault’ type weapons, no matter what caliber…. even the antiquidated muskets used by our forefathers. Possibly a ‘more correct’ and accurate term should have been “Semi Automatic” to describe and refer to the modern day ‘crop’ of military type rifles, my son’s water gun is actually an assault weapon


We the people ARE the Military. Why is it Liberals don’t want the people to have AR-15,or any assault rifle. In time of conflict these Liberals want a Military that is Prepared.


I one concern with your editorial. The Militia IS made up of the People of the area who had their own or borrowed weapon(s). The Militia usually consisted of “land owners”.