When the founders of our great country framed the constitution and the original amendments the memories of a long and bloody rebellion were still fresh in their minds. A revolution that had been fought to free them from the tyrannical rule of a government so far removed from them that it knew very little about their concerns, and cared even less.
Many people at the time were opposed to a federal government; they believed that the states were where the power should lie. These anti-federalists were afraid that a central government, capable of putting together a standing army, could become so powerful as to restrict civil liberties. They were a strong enough voice at the time, that the second amendment was put into place in order to allay their fears and get the constitution ratified.
The second amendment, reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This was not, as many gun control advocates would lead you to believe, put in place because people “back then” needed to defend themselves. Granted life on the frontier was tough and full of danger, but the people who wrote this into the constitution were not living on the frontier. It was put into place to safeguard the American People from a federal government gone out of control. They knew all too well that you cannot fight an army without weapons.
This all took place long before we had anything like the “Patriot Act”, or a federal government that spied on it’s own citizens without due process. As pointed out in a couple of the other articles written here, our rights are being stripped away at a frightening rate. If we as a people fail to stand up for ourselves the worries of the anti-federalists will become prophecy. I don’t believe that we are anywhere near the point of violent rebellion nor would I advocate it, but if we continue to allow our rights to be stripped away, including and especially the right to bear arms that day may come. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be the guy throwing rocks at a Blackhawk.