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Columns

March 2, 2013

What exactly do you mean when you say tyranny?

(Continued)

Certainly the framers of the U.S. Constitution were no fans of armed insurrection. Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power “to provide for calling for the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions,” and Article III, Section 3 states “levying war” against the feds constitutes treason.

So let’s get this straight: “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” apparently means our founding fathers believed individuals can have rifles with 30-round magazines to fend off state tyranny, but their “militia” — as defined in the same document, by the same people — can be ordered by the feds to quash a rebellion? So who “regulates” this “militia?”

It makes little sense, but this fanciful new interpretation of the Second Amendment has taken root in recent years, as succinctly argued by Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, last month.

“The very purpose of the Second Amendment is to stop the government from disallowing people the means to defend against tyranny,” he said. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., upped the ante, saying its wording permits citizens “the same equipment as the military to protect them against the tyrannical government.”

But Nevada Tea Party diva and U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle was the most strident of all in a 2010 radio interview, saying: “If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying ‘my goodness, what can we do to turn this country around?’ I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”

During the 1993 Waco siege, similar sentiments were expressed by a protester interviewed by a student reporter.

“The government is afraid of the guns people have, because they have to have control of the people at all times. Once you take away the guns, you can do anything to the people. … We are slowly turning into a socialist government. The government is continually growing bigger and more powerful, and the people need to prepare to defend themselves against government control.”

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