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This is a direct legacy of Thomas Jefferson’s misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment in the Federalist Papers. Jefferson, who studiously avoided combat during the Revolution, talked tough about the 2nd Amendment as the right of the citizen to take up arms against tryanny. Like Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh, Jefferson had his chance during the Revolution to feed the roots of liberty with the blood of patriots, but preferred to use the Virginia militia as a security service to protect Monticello, with orders to withdraw in the face of the British without defending. The British were so impressed by the patriotic zeal of Jefferson that they didn’t burn Monticello as a broad insult.
The 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with private gun ownership: it is the Constitutional authority for what has become the National Guard under the command of the various states. The fact of the matter is that the bayonet was the primary infantry weapons system and the shoulder fired musket largely a novelty until the American Civil War.
Regarding Jefferson. George Marshall, who was on Washington’s staff, lobbied to have Jefferson court martialed for dilatory service while Governor. This never came to much, but it is not entirely an coincidence that Jefferson was in France when the Constitution Convention met.He was in something of a bad ordour within Washington’s inner circle.
And, of course. Jefferson was an enthusiastic proponent of the French Revolution while he ws ambassador, until it became the morbidly sanguinary affair it became, which horrified Jefferson. But, of course,. the French patriots were only fulfilling exactly the same rabble-rousing spirit Jefferson has provoked in these latter day American Jacobins.