Rebutting Second Amendment Insurrection


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Speaking of anti-government insurrectionist Tea-Publicans, David Frum today offers this response to the National Review Online, Americans for Insurrection:

In National Review Online before New Year's, Kevin Williamson explained
that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual Americans
to launch an insurrection against governments they believe tyrannical.

There is no
legitimate exception to the Second Amendment for military-style weapons,
because military-style weapons are precisely what the Second Amendment
guarantees our right to keep and bear. The purpose of the Second
Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose enemies foreign and
domestic, a guarantee against disorder and tyranny.

To deliver the rebuttal, we welcome guest
blogger Abraham Lincoln. In his first message to Congress, July 4, 1861,
the sixteenth president explained:

Our popular
government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it, our
people have already settled,–the successful establishing and the
successful administering of it. One still remains,–its successful
maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it. It is
now for them to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly
carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the
rightful and peaceful successors of bullets; and that when ballots have
fairly and constitutionally decided, there can be no successful appeal
back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal, except to
ballots themselves, at succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson
of peace; teaching men that what they cannot take by an election,
neither can they take it by a war; teaching all the folly of being the
beginners of a war.

There is also this constitutional explanation from Robert J. Spitzer,
Five myths about gun control

5. The Second Amendment was intended to protect the right of Americans to rise up against a tyrannical government.

This canard is repeated with disturbing frequency. The
Constitution, in Article I, allows armed citizens in militias to
“suppress Insurrections,” not cause them. The Constitution defines
treason as “levying War” against the government in Article III, and the
states can ask the federal government for assistance “against domestic
Violence” under Article IV.

Our system provides peaceful means for
citizens to air grievances and change policy, from the ballot box to
the jury box to the right to peaceably assemble. If violence against an
oppressive government were somehow countenanced in the Second Amendment,
then Timothy McVeigh
and Lee Harvey Oswald would have been vindicated for their heinous
actions. But as constitutional scholar Roscoe Pound noted, a “legal
right of the citizen to wage war on the government is something that
cannot be admitted” because it would “defeat the whole Bill of Rights” —
including the Second Amendment.

Robert J. Spitzer is distinguished service professor and chairman of
the political science department at the State University of New York
College at Cortland. He is the author of four books on gun policy,
including “The Politics of Gun Control.”